Green Drakes, Speydicator Line, Thingambobbers

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Green Drakes
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Green Drakes - The West's Second Super Hatch
Where, when & how in Oregon!
Text by: Mark Bachmann & Josh Linn    
Photos and Video by: Josh Linn & Marcy Stone
Josh Linn examines a wild Redband Trout that took a Green Drake dry fly...
Josh Linn examines a wild Redband Trout that took a Green Drake dry fly...
Proven Green Drake Fly Patterns
 Epoxyback Nymph Hair Wing Dun Paradrake
B.D. E. EXT Dun  Hackle Stacker Quill Body Parachute
Book Loop Wing Paradun  Spinner
Cripple Ultralight Emerger Video

Fishing Green Drake Hatches
These large insects are trout candy on our western streams. Green drakes are the largest mayflies that provide fishable hatches in our fast local rivers. In the Pacific Northwest region, look for them toward the end of the giant stonefly hatches; May & June on most rivers, but some spring creeks such as Oregon's Metolius River has strong late summer hatches as well.. Hatches occur during mid-day and are usually easily visible.  Windless, cloud-cover days are best. Green Drakes are large insects and evidently taste really good to trout.  When Green Drakes hatch in good numbers the trout forget all other foods and target drakes only.  A dense hatch of Green Drakes can bring the largest trout to the surface.  But, Green Drakes are fickle and somewhat unpredictable.  Some days have heavy hatches others very light.  Some regions of a stream will have more insects than others.  Green Drake hatches are something that the fully armed angler prepares for, even though it may not be the main target. However, if you ever encounter a major Green Drake hatch and are unprepared you will remember it with sorrow. 

Get In On The Green Drake Action
Green Drakes like to hatch from moderate flows and moderate water depths...
Green Drake mayflies like to hatch from moderate flows and moderate water depths...
Green Drakes hatch late May through June starting at lower elevations and progressing to higher elevations. Some very high elevation streams are reported to have Green Drake hatches as late as mid-September. Some streams have much heavier hatches than others. Even some parts of glacial and mountain streams have decent hatches, but spring creeks usually provide the densest and most reliable hatches.
Green Drake from The Descjutes...
Male Green Drake from The Metolius River...
Green Drakes are in the mayfly family, Drunella. There are several subspecies that can vary in size from #16 to #8. The largest varieties are called Grandis and the smaller ones are commonly referred to as Flavs. These pictures and text are about Grandis and related sub species, which are commonly tied on hook sizes #8 to #12. Extended body and parachute dry flies are very popular.
Green Drake from The Metolius...
Female Green Drake from The Deschutes River...
Green Drakes produce trout feeding periods on nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners. Dry fly action is most sought after. Both naturals and artificial flies are easy to see on the water, by both fish and anglers. The flies are normally easy to cast. Look for action in riffle water of moderate, depth. Flies are best fished with absolutely no drag from your line or leader.
This Redband Trout ate a Green Drake Parachute...
This Redband Trout ate a Green Drake obviously had been hooked before...
The most famous hatches of Green Drakes happen on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. Washington's Yakima River and the Deschutes in Oregon get reliable hatches of Drakes. An upper Deschutes tributary the Metolius has become the most famous Mecca for anglers in the Pacific Northwest that follow Green Drake hatches. Spring creeks and tail-waters provide the best action, but some mountain and valley streams have surprisingly good hatches of Green Drakes, such as the upper Sandy River tributaries. Some sections of very large rivers such as parts of the Willamette have very good hatches as well.
A Green Drake on Marcy Stone...
Green Drake Mayflies...close up and personal...

Green Drake Epoxyback Nymph Green Drake Epoxyback Nymph
Green Drake Mayflies are the largest mayflies that hatch from our faster west coast rivers.  They often leave the water in dense enough hatches to create good rises. They also create interest for a couple of hours before each hatch.  Green Drake nymphs are big and very rough looking.  Pound the bottom with this fly early in the morning.  Fish it unweighted during the earliest stage of the hatch or as a dropper during the hatch.
Item Description Size Price To Top
11925-08 Green Drake Epoxyback Nymph 8 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Ultralight Emerger
Some times Green Drakes emerge from the nymphal shuck while they are still submerged.  Usually they emerge as written above.  As the dun pushes through the opening in the back of the nymph it assumes a hunch back pose.  This fly was designed by Mike Huffman and is similar to his famously successful Ultralight Hex Emerger.  This fly floats because of the sealed cell foam on the back of the fly.  You should dress the deer hair wing with fly floatant. Spit on the lower part of the fly so it dangles below the surface of the water. 
Item Description Size Price To Top
03106-08 Green Drake Ultralight Emerger 8 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Cripple  Green Drake Cripple 
Sometimes the emergence doesn't go according to plan.  The dun gets stuck in the nymphal shuck and runs out of strength before it can pull free.  It is neither a water or air breathing insect. It dies half in and half out of the water.  It is a cripple.  It becomes fresh meat for the scavengers.  Its an easy enough target to interest big, selective trout.  Grease the hackle and deer hair wings.  Spit on the soft absorbent body and tail.  This is a particularly effective fly on slick water places.
Item Description Size Price To Top
2007-08 Green Drake Cripple 8 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED
2007-10 Green Drake Cripple 10 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake B.D. E. EXT Dun
The hardest part about fishing this fly in a dense hatch is it's hard to tell your fly from the real ones.  It floats because of the foam body, but you will want to dress the fly with floatant for the best performance.  The B.D.E. EXT Dun will float in the fastest flows, but it also fools 'em on slick spring creek water.

Available by 06/10/06.

Item Description Size Price To Top
03108-08 Green Drake B.D.E. EXT Dun 8 3 for $7.50 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Hair Wing Dun  Green Drake Hair Wing Dun 
These hefty mayflies are a big enough bite to bring trout up in rough, fast moving water.  To fish this kind of water takes a different fly than fishing smooth water.  Here the fly doesn't have to be as realistic, but it needs to be extremely buoyant.  It also need to be very durable.  The hair wing dun carries a lot of floatation in the wing as well as hackles and large body. Grease the whole fly, but with just enough to coat the fly but not weight it down or change its color.   Dave's Bug Float works well on this fly.
Item Description Size Price To Top
2005-10 Green Drake Hair Wing Dun 10 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED
2005-10 Green Drake Hair Wing Dun 12 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Hackle Stacker  Green Drake Hackle Stacker 
The Hackle Stacker is a fly that will fool trout even when the water is slick and slow moving.  It is often good to position your self up stream of a rising trout. Use a downstream slack line cast to bring the fly to the fish tail first before the leader.  Long tippets are a real help.  If the fish can not be approached this way and the cast has to be made upstream, be sure your tippet sinks before it comes into view if the trout.  Because this fly is made from soft deer hair, it is good for a limited number of fish.  Buy a number of spares.
Item Description Size Price To Top
Q1073-10 Green Drake Hackle Stacker  10 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED
Q1073-12 Green Drake Hackle Stacker 12 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Loop Wing Paradun Green Drake Loop Wing Paradun 
Very similar to the Hackle Stacker, except that the loop wing is more prominent.  This fly is also a slightly different color and will better mimic certain hatches, as there are variances in tones from stream to stream.
Item Description Size Price To Top
Q212-12 Green Drake Loop Wing Paradun 12 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Paradrake Green Drake Paradrake
This is the most popular Green Drake dry fly we sell.  It closely resembles the major hatches on the Deschutes, Metolius and Sandy.
Item Description Size Price To Top
2010-10 Green Drake Paradrake 10 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED
2010-12 Green Drake Paradrake 12 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Quill Body Parachute Green Drake Quill Body Parachute
This fly is gaining popularity, both in the Pacific Northwest and the rocky Mountain states.  The body is wrapped with a turkey biot feather which gives a very realistic, segmented look to the abdomen of the fly.  Since this is the part of the body that most heavily impacts the surface of the water, it is highly visible to the trout.  It is slightly more durable than bundled deer hair bodies of the extended body paradrake flies.
Item Description Size Price To Top
2004-10 Green Drake Quill Body Parachute 10 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED
2004-12 Green Drake Quill Body Parachute 12 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Green Drake Spinner  Green Drake Spinner 
Some reference books will tell you the Green Drake spinner-falls occur only in the dark and are of no consequence to the angler, but I have encountered several. My first Green Drake spinner-fall was in the mid-1970's on the pool upstream of Bridge 99, on the Metolius River.  We had arrived too late for the hatch the day before, but I had noted some very large Green Drake spinners with a few trout rising to them.  I caught a couple spinners and put them in a jar.  Later at the cabin, I tied three flies using stiff poly
yarn for the wings.  That morning the hatch had been very sparse, but the hatch the day before had been very heavy, and this day's spinner-fall was equally heavy.  The trout went nuts and my new fly was an instant success.
Item Description Size Price To Top
2015-08 Green Drake Spinner 8 3 for $6.75 SALE ENDED

Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele
Frank Amato Publications
Subject Category: Fly Fishing Enomology
Binding Type: Softcover, 264 pages, 8 1/2" X 11" format.
Retail Price: $39.95
ISBN: 1-57188-304-5
This Green Drake photo is the cover shot from: WESTERN MAYFLY HATCHES By: Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele, which is the most authoritative work on western mayflies available. Click this picture to buy one.
Pictured is a Drunella Grandis dun, which is the cover shot from WESTERN MAYFLY HATCHES, By: Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele.  It is a great reference material for the trout fisher.
In their first book together since their 1981 classic Western Hatches, aquatic entomologist Rick Hafele and fly fishing author Dave Hughes, combine their extensive knowledge to describe in detail the widespread and diverse western mayflies, unraveling their mysteries, revealing how to identify them, how to match them, and how to fish their imitations.

    Researched, written, and photographed over a period of more than twenty years, Western Mayfly Hatches covers all mayfly hatches important in the entire range of western states and provinces.  Color photos reveal the important aspects of each stage of each important mayfly hatch.  Scientifically accurate illustrations by artist Richard Bunse depict the details that will allow you to recognize key differences between species for both nymph and adult stages.  A series of fly patterns, from suggestive through impressionistic to imitative, are listed for each stage of each hatch.  The full dressing is given for each fly, and each is photographed in color by Jim Schollmeyer.

    Also included is information on collecting and observing mayflies, mayfly behavior and natural history, fly-tying techniques, presentation methods for nymphs, emergers, duns, and spinners, plus much more.  Unique "hatch ranking tables" list the important aspects of each hatch, and provide a means for determining its importance relative to all other hatches.  Hatch charts show graphically the emergence period of each hatch throughout the year, and the time of day you might encounter the insect on the water being fed upon selectively by trout.

    Includes more than 350 color photographs, 75 illustrations, and more than 175 fly patterns, You'll be amazed how much information you'll discover within the pages of this book.  Western Mayfly Hatches leaves no stone unturned.

Item Title Price To Top


Book, Western Mayfly Hatches, By: Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele $39.95 SALE ENDED
1-57188-304-5B Book, Western Mayfly Hatches, By: Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele with any purchase over $100. That is 20% OFF plus FREE SHIPPING. $31.95

Catch Magazine "On The Set"
Photos by: Josh Linn & Marcy Stone
Brian O'Keefe and Todd Moen on the "Set" in Central Oregon...
Brian O'Keefe and Todd Moen on the "Set" in Central Oregon...
CATCH MAGAZINE...bringing the action to you!
Todd Moen directing Eric Nuefeld
Todd Moen directing... Eric Nuefeld delivering the goods... 
"We like that gentleman rancher look!"
Eric, Brian, Todd and Jeff Perrine...setting up "the shot...
Eric, Brian, Todd and Jeff Perrine...setting up "the shot"...expect a Green Drake video in the near future...
Marcy and I had fished the Deschutes on Wednesday and then headed over to another river in Central Oregon on Thursday. We pulled into the parking lot around noon and started up the trail. Green Drakes were starting to come off. Marcy and I were taking turns to rising fish. We had hooked a couple and risen a few more. We were working a couple of fish, casting and swapping out flies. From down the trail I heard someone yelling, watch your back cast keep your tip up. It must be someone I know, but I couldn't put my finger onwho it was. Obviously he knew us. Who do we know out here? A second later it dawned on me; Brian O'keefe. "Oh man, what, you?" I said.  He asked us what we were doing here and I kind of gave him a blank look and said stupidly "fishing". He went on to tell us that we were fishing the best spot on the River. I said that's great because we were working a couple fo fish here. Good news he said, we are trying to film the Green Drake Hatch for an upcoming Catch Magazine issue. We went on to discuss the days fishing and other things. Brian asked if they could fish the water we were in he mentioned he would give us a free subscription to Catch Magazine. We said no problem. Todd and the rest of the gang headed up the trail. It turned out that the angler for the day was no other than Eric Neufeld. We hung out for a while to cheer Eric on. After a while we lost interest and headed off down the river. It's more fun to catch fish than to watch other people catch fish.......
Catch Magazine Online Now!

Speydicator Spey Line
Text by. Mark Bachmann     Photos by: brad Shiley

A 7-weight Speydicator line easily casts a large Thingamabobber strike indicator. Agitator flies are productive for early summer steelhead when dead drifted under a strike indicator.
A large size Thingamabobber easily suspends an Agitator fly and three AAA split-shots.
A large size Thingamabobber easily suspends an Agitator fly and three AAA split-shots. My Speydicator line rig is fished with a Sage 7136-4 Z-AXIS rod, which has proven to be an excellent choice for nymph fishing for steelhead.
The Speydicator was designed to throw an unreasonable amount of weight at the end of an unreasonable length of tippet with an unreasonably large indicator. With the help of steelhead junkies (who would rather remain unnamed) the Airflo Speydicator floating line has evolved into a tool any serious steelhead nymph angler cannot live without. The lines come in four sizes starting at a WF6. They all have a short 21 to 23 foot head with a long 12 to 15 foot rear taper. Behind the rear taper is a 25 to 30 foot heavy level mending zone. The combination of the rear taper and mending zone allows the fisherman to reposition the head after casting and still have enough mass to stack mend line for 60 feet or more. After the mending zone the line is made with Airflo's unique low stretch ridged running line, helping you to stick fish even at the end of the longest drifts.

Airflo Speydicator fly fishing line

Color: Sunrise/Fluorescent Orange
Item Description Size Price To Top
510190 Airflo Speydicator Spey Line #6
360 Grains
510206 Airflo Speydicator Spey Line #7
420 Grains
510213 Airflo Speydicator Spey Line #8
480 Grains
510220 Airflo Speydicator Spey Line #9
570 Grains

Thingamabobber Strike Indicators
These indicators are soft and squishy, but very durable. They are easy to see, are extremely sensitive, float higher than cork or yarn and are easier to cast. Its design was inspired by western guides who use small balloons as strike indicators for their buoyancy and sensitivity. All sizes will appeal to trout anglers. the large size is perfect for steelhead fishing.
Small (1/2"),  Medium (3/4"),  Large (1")
Item Description Size Price

To Top

014056 Thingamabobber Strike Indicators Small 5 for $4.95 SALE ENDED
014032 Thingamabobber Strike Indicators Medium 5 for $4.95 SALE ENDED
014049 Thingamabobber Strike Indicators Large 4 for $4.95 SALE ENDED

Agitator Series Flies for Anadromous Fish

Agitator Black  Agitator Purple Agitator Pink
Agitators get noticed by steelhead. In Oregon, we have steelhead in many rivers year round. Most return during the coldest months of December, January, February, March and April. Average water temperatures are 36 - 46 degrees. At these temperatures, steelhead will bite, but won't move far for a fly. To make matters more challenging the rivers are often very high and sometimes off color. The Agitator Series has evolved from the late 1960's to cope with tough winter & spring conditions. Through the years Agitators have been called by other names, but the design theory has remained the same, "get down quick and stir thing up". The current design has remained the same since around 1990. They have heavy nickel plated brass eyes for maximum sink rate. The design is compact for easy casting and they are densely colored for maximum visibility. The soft flowing materials employed create maximum movement.
Agitators are designed to get deep in a hurry and stay there in a controlled manner. Agitators are medium size, meaning that they are larger than traditional steelhead bucktails, but smaller in silhouette than most tube flies or stinger flies. Often they are just the right size. Though designed primarily with winter steelhead in mind, Agitators are also very productive for summer steelhead and Coho salmon. Agitators were first designed to be high-stick "nymphed" with a floating line and long leader. The heavy eyes allows them to be fished dead drifted deep along the bottom. They are perfect for fishing pocket-water. They have also proven to be very effective when fished on the swing with both floating or sinking tip lines with either single or two-hand rods. Agitators do not tangle or foul. They average 1 3/4" long.

Agitator Black & Red
Black and red is a winning combination any time of year. On our local rivers it is a good choice in the spring for early summer steelhead and spring Chinooks, but is also often deadly on winter steelhead.  This is a great fly design for picking the pocket water where you have to get deep in a hurry.
Agitator Black & Red
Item Description Size Price To Top
20215-02 Agitator Black & Red 2 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Agitator Purple & Flame
This is the most popular summer color combination  Fish this fly deep in the slots when the water is low and clear.  Can be used with a sinking tip line or suspended below a yarn strike indicator. Is also surprizingly productive when water is cold or off-color any time of year. Can be the answer when the White River mucks up the Deschutes.
Agitator Purple & Flame
Item Description Size Price To Top
20220-02 Agitator Purple & Flame 2 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

Agitator Pink & Orange
This is a favorite early winter fly everywhere in the Pacific Northwest.  It seems to be most productive when the water is very cold.  Of course this is the condition that drives steelhead into deep water where a heavily weighted fly is most useful. If you only had one fly to fish for winter steelhead, this very well could be it.
Agitator Pink & Orange
Item Description Size Price To Top
20225-02 Agitator Pink & Orange 2 3 for $7.49 SALE ENDED

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty