Tag Archives: Fly Fishing

Lapping the C – Green River

Enjoying Our Moment, Swinging Bridge, Browns Park

“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! We may conjecture many things.”

—John Wesley Powell

John Wesley Powell Likely Was One of the First White Men To See This View, 1869

A Storied History

In the spirit of 236 years of glory, I’m going to tell you a bit about ‘Merica and our Green River.  The river valley was originally inhabited by the Fremont culture, a people flourishing from the 7th century to the 13thcentury; their work can be viewed in rock art and cave overhangs. Eventually, the Shoshone and Ute peoples colonized the area for nomadic hunting purposes. While visited by the Spaniards and various trappers, the region remained unexplored. John C Fremont, legendary explorer, US Senator, and founder of the Republican Party, led an expedition into the region.

Modern Day View, Preserved Portion of Jarvie Ranch

The first complete expedition was led by John Wesley Powell in 1869, the second was in 1871; most of the nomenclature of the region was assigned on these trips. Powell’s expeditions were not without controversy.  Starting off in 1869 with 10 men and large gear carrying boats, they completed the expedition with 6 men. Four walked off, one successfully started a family in Vernal, Utah; the other three were possibly executed by Mormon Settlers. The Mormon Settlers claimed it was local Native American Indians. The true fate is still shrouded in mystery. Read the full account here.

Graves Visible From Road To Jarvie Ranch

Now for my favorite part of this story, The John Jarvie Ranch, founded in 1880 by an educated man of Scottish decent at Brown’s Hole. Located conveniently on the Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming border, Jarvie had significant mining and cattle interests. He distilled and sold Whiskey, while managing a general store, post office, blacksmith shop, and ferry. Jarvie made acquaintance with several notorious outlaws including: Matt Warner, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid. His ranch was a perfect location to hide out after a hard year of rustling cattle.

Christopher, First Fish On The Green, 2012

A Section

This 7-mile stretch of river commences at the boat launch under Flaming Gorge Dam, traveling through a red walled canyon down to Little Hole. This float is known for its aquarium feel, you can see the fish swimming below you in the crystal clear water. Also note, this section has the highest presence of rafters, though the Trout don’t seem to mind too much.

Brenton’s Day 1 German Brown Caught On A Section

On this stretch, we used a couple of tactics resulting in Fish On! The deep pools and seems of this section are ideal for nymph rigs. Brenton developed his rendition of a bead head Pheasant Tail and some small Midges, size 16 and 18.

German Brown Makes Its Hogan’s Heroes Style Escape
Dead Sculpin From Trout Stomach

B Section

Below Little Hole, the river widens and the canyon walls lower, allowing for new angling opportunities. Furthermore, on the B, you can start to throw the Hopper Dropper combo along the shorelines and back eddies. Making this section even more enjoyable is the variety of primitive camping opportunities along the river. Halfway down, drifters will encounter Red Creek Rapids, a Class 3 section on the river.  Upstream of Red Creek Rapids, is a long deep pool; fish activity is slow through here. We were able to coax some follows with articulated streamers.

B Section German Brown, Hopper on Grasshopper Island
A Trout’s Vantage Point

Lapping the C Section

Fish On! Indian Crossing Before Setting Out

Now onto the true wilderness fishing expedition! The Green River, for management and discussion purposes, is divided into the three distinct sections. The C-section is by far the longest and most desolate section of the Utah Green River; it winds 12 miles through a desert valley, terminating in the high walled Swallow Canyon. In the later part of summer, this section is renowned for its Hopper fishing.

Matt’s C Section Rainbow, Fooled By Nymph Rig Out

Day 1

This is our third day of living the dream, camping outside, fishing all day, every day. Having paid for a shuttle from Trout Creek Fly every day to this point, it was now our turn to use pedal power. To float the C, the preferred entry point is at Indian Crossing. It is also an option to use Taylor Flats, however, this will cost you a prime section of top water. Upon leaving the boat and gear at Indian Crossing; Brenton threw his Trek Navigator bicycle into “Toaster,” and drove the trailer to Swallow Canyon boat ramp. In my estimate, it takes about an hour to pedal back to Indian Crossing from that point, the road is shorter than the river here.

Brenton’s C Section Front Flip

Day 2

Hopper action picked up on day 2, everyone landed a fish on a Hopper. Matt took the crown with a 20-inch German Brown. All was well, except the sunscreen started to run low, for trips on this section of the river, I suggest ample quantities of sunscreen and gloves for your hands. Swallow Canyon was markedly unproductive; we attributed this to the low water situation.

Matt’s C Section 20 Inch Brown, Fooled By Hopper

Day 3

Fish were keyed into Yellow Sallies on the portion of river between Indian Crossing and Taylor Flats. Unaccustomed and out of practice on the dry, I missed almost every fish. There was redemption for Matt, and just as the weather changed for a thunderstorm, the Rainbows drilled in on Yellow Sallies and Triple Doubles.

Where The Eagle Flies

As I already mentioned, thunderstorms rolled in, and it was our last day on the river. In the distance, we witnessed a lightning strike. Then, there was a wispy spindle of smoke rising in the air! Brenton called the Forest Fire Service and reported it, luckily for us; the fire was over on a mountain ridge in Colorado. Needless to say, as the smell of distant smoke filled the air, we hurried up to the boat launch, packed our gear, and got the hell out of dodge.

Forest Fire Sparked By Lightning In The Distance

Threats to the Future

The Green River is one of the Blue Ribbon Fisheries in the American West. Technically, a tributary of the Colorado River; an error of history, due to Colorado having more political sway when the Colorado River Compact was signed. There is currently a speculative project proposed to build a pipeline, in order to transport Flaming Gorge water to the Front Range of Colorado.MKFF opposes this project, as it will damage the local economies, the environment, and Trout fishing. The residents of the Front Range should adopt new water conservation measures, in lieu of attempting to use even more water in the semi-arid region.

GBH – Nature’s True Fisherman

All of the Pics Here!

Part 1 – This Is Our First Rodeo

Part 2 – Prospecting Big Trout – Small Streams

Are you interested in a Guided Fly Fishing adventure on Utah’s Green River? Beehive Fishing Company, a Utah Fly Fishing Guide Service, offers a second to none Fly Fishing experience on Utah’s Green river.

Smallies on Funday

Now that the primary elections are complete, I have once again focused attention on generating some quality reading material for our audience. The MKFF Team East assembled in full force at the Dale’s Market parking lot on Sunday morning. Eating Dale’s Famous Breakfast Sandwich on the tailgate of Mark’s Toyota Truck has become a regular ritual for the team. In a future video blog we will evaluate the Taylor Ham or Pork Roll sandwiches available from the shores of the Paulinskill. For today, we decided to provide you (our readers), with a short synopsis on Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass with info on the species, techniques, flies, and river conditions.

When Nature Calls The Bio Wipes Are Ready

Conditions

Early in the season we reported on the low water levels and high temperature. Fortunately, conditions have changed. On June 11, in Blairstown, the river is flowing at 160 CFS. I neglected to take the temperature, however, what I can report is that the temperature is in the higher range of optimal for Trout. Evening thunderstorms are ideal for controlling the river temperature.

Mark And Kuhn Fishing A Slow Run

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass occupy a habitat similar to that of Trout; they are more amenable to a wider variety of water temperatures. Thus, you will locate Smallies in watercourses with sand or gravel bottoms and cool, clean, and clear water. In the Paulinskill, when the balmy summer heat forces the Trout into the cooling springs, Smallies occupy the territory vacated by the Trout.

Smallmouth Bass

Juvenile Smallmouth Bass feed on Zooplankton and Midge Larva. The adults feed on Crayfish and other aquatic invertebrates. The adults typically reach sizes of 12 to 15 inches, possibly reaching a maximum of 24 inches. One to two pounds is the typical weight of an adult Smallmouth.

Baby Turtle Hanging Out Riverside

Tactics

Smallies that make the Paulinskill their home tend to hold in a few key areas:

  1. The shade of overhanging branches and logjams.
  2. Behind large rocks and other obstructions in the stream.
  3. Areas of visible current or runs.

I have found that Smallmouth Bass will feed on almost all of the same flies that the Trout will consume in similar sizes. In addition, the Bead Head Woolly Bugger, preferably green with some flash, size 10 or 12, pulls fish out of the Paulinskill.   Rainbow Trout Pulled Out Of A Cool Section Of River

Bragging Rights

As I indicated above the water temperatures and conditions were optimal for the full range of Paulinskill River species. Special shout out for Mike’s Bass Grand Slam!

  • Mike Busteed – Smallmouth, Largemouth and Rock Bass
  • Mark Beardmore – Smallmouth, Sunfish, Brook Trout, Shiner
  • Christopher Kuhn – Smallmouth, Rainbow Trout, Sunfish
  • Deborah Walters – Smallmouth, Sunfish
  • Dave Boynton – Smallmouth
    Green Woolly Bugger With Tan Marabou

     

Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth: in Rivers and Streams