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Posted by Don on February 7, 2010 in Angler Improvement Articles with No Comments


by Don Allphin

When Gary Winterton of “Hooked on Utah” invited me to accompany him on a little fly fishing adventure to the Green River last week, little did we realize that a wading trip would quickly turn into a full-blown float trip through the “A” section of the Green River from just under Flaming Gorge Dam to Little Hole.

After meeting Eric Manwaring and Rodney Kirk of Thunderstick Hunting Preserve, while on a late-season elk hunt, I told Manwaring of our plans to fish the “Green.”  “My little brother is a guide on the river,” he said.  “I’m sure he’d love to take you guys on a float trip.”  And, before you could rig up a rod and reel, the date was set and last Thursday we met at the Flaming Gorge Resort, and were treated to a day on the water with guides Spencer Manwaring, Kevin Clegg, and Shane White.

“February is a little hit-and-miss” said Spencer Manwaring as we prepared to launch his drift boat. “It’s dependent on weather, and we’re about a month away from the river really turning on.”  Winterton and I were just happy to be floating instead of wading in the cold, winter water, and were excited to see what the day would produce. Winterton fished a ginger streamer and I experimented with several different techniques with a spinning rig.  Although I have fly fished all my life, a shoulder injury a dozen years ago still keeps me from using a fly rod for long periods of time.

The weather was perfect and we soon began catching fish.  Winterton, in the front of the boat, struck first with a beautiful 16-inch brown, while I eventually caught a nice rainbow on a black wooly bugger rigged on a drop shot.  We took turns most of the day with ginger being the most popular color of the trip.  We both found our fish near the bank early in the day.  They wanted our flies right on or very near the bottom.  I switched to a 1/8-ounce jig to insure I was fishing near the bottom.

I can’t say enough about our guide.  Spencer Manwaring handled the drift boat like a pro and knew how to read the water as well as I’ve experienced before.  He recognized where the fish wanted to hold and put us right on top of the best water. “Sometimes the fish want to be in the shade and sometimes they want the sun,” he said.  “Today, it appears they like the shade.”

After catching a couple of dozen trout from 14 to 18 inches in length, we exited the river under the watchful eye of a bald eagle from his perch in a nearby tree.  February is a great time to be on the Green River.  There are no crowds, the fishing is great, and the Flaming Gorge Resort stands ready to provide shuttle service, guides, and accommodations at special winter rates.  Contact them at 1-877-FG-TROUT or online at www.FlamingGorgeResort.com.

« previous post

Change Gears When Fishing Is Slow

by Don Allphin After a 30-year hiatus Orrin Olsen and his son Grant joined me for a day and a half of fishing on Flaming Gorge last week.  Orrin and I were friends in high school and had some great times on Strawberry in the early ‘70s.  We went our separate ways after high school and we ...

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