Pattern Comments please - Green Drake Dun

Jig hook - OK, got it. The Internet is a wonderful thing. It looks as though the shanks on the jig hook is too short. Even these can prove to be lacking in length at times.

Other thoughts?


Active Member
Those flies look great.There is a good article in the new Fly Tyer mag about ext. mays, with a nice looking foam body pattern, but I like the umbrella one better, RG.I bought some of those hooks, but havent really played with them.I found some strange, old English made extended body hooks on Ebay.Ill try the foam body on both. Exellent work!
Thanks for the comment P-FITZ98 but I've come to realize that even these ties are still too small for a real Green Drake hatch. Fishing the Cedar last weekend I happened upon a large Green Drake hatch and had the opportunity to net a few specimens. I never realized before but these are big, meaty bugs and they ride the water with wings out at a 45 degree angle as they are drying - prepared to attempt a takeoff. They attempt a few takeoffs and always land back on the water several times before becoming airborne and I've even seen then 'running' on the surface leaving a small wake behind (had one run right at me last weekend).

However the trout seemed uninterested in the newly hatched Drakes. What they seemed to be keying on was the equally large but darker brown spinner. When we put on a large brown hairwing they were all over it but they wouldn't take any of the newly hatched brighter green patterns. On the brown hairwing we locked onto a 22" spawing rainbow (freakin' boat anchor) and had several more active rises by similarly big fish. But when it turned off, it turned off like a light switch.

I think the Umbrella hooks are too small for the Green Drake, only because of the length of the shank, but I have a new pattern that I'm gonna try this weekend using Ethafoam and based on Skip Morris' Ethafoam Green Drake Dun. I want to change it up a little though making for a nine-segment abdomen like the natural (versus Skip's 3 segment tie) by folding very thin Ethafoam (or an alternate material) over on top of itself for each segment. Using this and building the abdomen seperately on a bodkin I should be able to tie the pattern on both a normal and an Umbrella hook and see which one represents the best solution. I also intend to use a little hackle to promote float and some light rubber legs.

Also seems that color is key for this hatch. I've read that in the past the spinners have been discounted but it has recently been discovered that the spinners can be very important as we found last weekend.

The other part about this hatch is that it always seems to be mixed in with other hatches - Grey Drakes, PMD, and BWO - that was the case on Rock Creek as well as the Cedar. Not sure what the fish actually key on but it is nice to have all of them to try.

I'll post the new pattern here when I finish.
Here it is. I'll find out tomorrow if it will float. I used white Ethafoam as the base of the abdomen and covered it with Thin Skin in a segment pattern. This is about the third attempt at something but this looks pretty convincing. Moose Mane for the tails, Ice Dub UV Light Olive for the thorax, wings are gray CDC (doubled).

The top of the abdomen isn't covered with Thin Skin, Figure the only one who ever sees that is me anyway. Looks like it may indeed need some hackle to stay upright. We'll see.


Active Member

These foam bodied dries of yours remind me of the old Jacque Herter technique of tying extended body dries with foam strips that had the tail wrapped inside a doubled-over section of foam. Your method is a lot easier though because you don't have to glue the foam section together.

Those interested in finding out more about the Herter technque can find it in George Leonard Herter's PROFESSIONAL FLY TYING, SPINNER, AND TACKLE MAKING MANUAL. This was produced for many, many years and went through around 20 editions before going out of print with the demise of Herter's stores in the early 800's.
New and improved pattern. Changes are dubbed olive hare's ear abdomen, green dyed deer hair tails (3), and a figure-eight wrapped hackle (versus the hackle wound around the post. Makes for a much better floating fly and a more natural presentation.

Recipe (Uses large umbrella hooks -

Western Green Drake

  • Thread: Olive
  • Abdomen: 8lb test monofilament wrapped with light olive dubbin
  • Abdomen overwrap: Pheasant tail fibers, light side up
  • Ribbing: Danville's gold fine wire, recipe change since posting
  • Wing: Slate gray CDC, doubled
  • Tail: Green dyed Elk fibers
  • Hackle: Olive, figure-8 tied around the thorax

Note: Western Green Drakes have massive wings and they are splayed for drying as they float on the water. I use the but ends of the Pheasant tail fibers and pull them back between the wings and then again forward to tie them off.
Based on my improved PMD in the other thread, here is an updated Green Drake pattern. For the abdomen overwrap I used a little bit of stacked green deer hair secured by the tips and pulled back over on top then wraped with the base olive thread. Wing is dun blue elk hair, dubbin is light olive Superfine for the abdomen, brown olive rabbit for the thorax / head. Hackle is olive-dyed grizzly. Tail is moose mane. Tied on the large umbrella hook. I dispensed with the splayed wings on this pattern, probably not that important to the fish and adds time to the tie, which is already a little time consuming.

And - it has been tested. It attacts fish and it floats very well, for as heavy as it is. Shake it after maybe 20 casts and it will float great for another 20 more at least.