Thursday, July 13, 2006

Avoiding crowds on the Green River

DUTCH JOHN - The Green River below Flaming Gorge dam can get crowded this time of the year. Between recreational rafters, numerous boat anglers and a multitude of shore fishermen, fishing the river can be almost unbearable for anglers who value the solitude and quiet of fishing as much as catching fish.

Green River on a weekday
The number of anglers who fish the Green River drops off dramatically on weekdays.

While the insect hatches are usually enough to keep diehard anglers from pulling their hair out as the tenth water fight-of-the-day breaks out among rafts floating past them, most would prefer a bit more silence while wetting their line.

Lowell Marthe, Flaming Gorge project leader for the Division of Wildlife Resources, provides the following ideas to help you avoid the crowds and have a great experience fishing the Green this year:

Brown trout, especially large browns, feed a lot at night. The full moon seems to stimulate this nightly feeding activity even more. The full moon will also provide you with enough light that you'll be able to see what you're doing fairly well, but be sure to bring a headlamp so you can remove fish hooks and tie knots.

Fly anglers should concentrate on streamers, mouse imitation flies or large insect surface patterns. Glow strike indicators are available for purchase, but the strikes are usually hard enough that keeping your fishing rod in your hands will be your biggest worry!

Spin anglers should concentrate on shallow-running minnow imitation plugs or mouse imitation lures. Look for deep areas adjacent to riffles, as fish often move from these pools into shallow water to feed at night. However, slow moving water can also be good, especially if you're having problems hanging up in shallow water.

Once you get comfortable with it, fishing at night can be a blast!

After Labor Day, use on the river drops off on the weekends. As the hunting seasons start, more sportsmen trade their fishing rods for a gun or a bow, and the use drops off even more. If you add in the fact that fall is one of the best times of the year to catch big fish, and the weather in the fall can be just about perfect, making a trip to the Green in the fall can be one of the best fishing experiences you'll have all year.

So don't give up on the Green River. If you're tired of fighting the crowds, try changing your fishing tactics. If you do, you may be glad that everyone else is trying to crowd into the river on the weekends.

Lowell Marthe, DWR Flaming Gorge Project Leader