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Brett Prettyman
Brett Prettyman writes about the outdoors, recreation and fishing for The Salt Lake Tribune

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Green River Fishing Report - Cicadas and 'self-quandary'

Ryan Kelly of Green River Fly Fisher has been busy as of late. Here's his latest report.

The social media world is a buzz (pun totally intended) with word that there are cicadas on the Green River. As I was releasing one of many great fish on a terrestrial pattern I pondered what I might regard as a "self quandary." When there is a true cicada "hatch" on the river, what are the benefits, and/or negatives to the fish. They are receiving a large and easy meal, but many fish are caught multiple times and expend large quantities of energy. The other thing that I have noticed is that cicadas tied on wide gap hooks kill fish. When fish are eating large amounts of cicadas they take the fly deep. Trout have an artery than runs directly under the tongue. If this artery is punctured, even with a barbless hook, the fish can bleed out. Last years cicada hatch killed off quite a few nice fish. Try tying or buying cicadas on smaller hooks with extended bodies or tie on long shank streamer hooks. Use heavy tippet. When cicadas are "on" you can almost fish a rope to the fly. Try not to tire the fish out.

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While cicadas may be a trending topic at the moment, there are numerous bugs on the water. There are still tons of BWO's (now #18-20, they get smaller as the hatch goes on), beetles, flying ants, and caterpillars in abundance. We have caught most of our fish the last few days on a caterpillar pattern. This is also the time of year when worms and scuds become more active.

A note on flows. Spring flows generally begin sometime in May. Flows are difficult to predict as they are dependent upon the discovery of the larval stage of fish that are endangered. The idea is to peak the Green with the Yampa to create a flood plane down stream to encourage recruitment of endangered fish. The current forecast for flows varies from a high of 4300 cfs up to 8600 cfs. I'll try and keep you posted.



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