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.
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:
- As with most locations, use on the Green River drops on the weekdays. If you can swing it, try and make it out during the week, or at least come on a Friday or stay over until Monday. If you can avoid Saturdays and Sundays, the Green will seem like a different river.
- If you can make it out during a full moon, or during the nights that surround a full moon, try fishing at night. You may have several miles of the river all to yourself, and the fishing can be terrific.
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!
- The crowds on the Green River are always much smaller in the B and C sections below Little Hole and in Browns Park. Because these areas are tougher to get to, fewer anglers and rafters use them, even on the weekends. While these sections of the river have fewer fish, the fish are also less pressured and may be more willing to bite. If you're willing to drive a few more miles on a gravel road to get to Browns Park, or to walk a couple of miles downstream from Little Hole, you'll cut down on the number of people you see.
- Late in the afternoon, fishing below the dam can be fairly quiet. The rafters and boat anglers have long since launched, so shore anglers are about the only people you'll see. Use on the first few miles of the river below the dam drops off quite a bit each day of the week.
- If none of these options will work for you, and you'd really like to fish the Green when the crowds aren't around, the upcoming fall season is a great option.
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