Fly fishing in the rivers near Jackson Hole is some of the best in the country. Whenever I visit, I always try to make a trip to the Green River for one of my first stops. The sheer beauty you experience while fishing is enough to keep you coming back. Pair this with the high populations of brown and rainbow trout and you’re getting a true western United States fly fishing experience.
The Green River flows for over 700 miles through Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Most of this river flows through mountainous regions in these three states! Many people choose to float this river when they have a chance, but wade fishing is exceptional when the flows are right.
Warren Bridge- Great Spot to Begin a Float Trip
About 60 miles south of Jackson you’ll find Warren Bridge. Warren Bridge is a great place to begin your float trip. As you head downstream, you’ll find a decent amount of private water with limited public access. Remember, landowners in Wyoming can own everything except the water, so make sure you fish from your boat and don’t get out on the land. These landowners are extremely protective of the Green River.
As you float, you’ll find a nice mix of riffles, cut banks, and even some pools. You’re going to be successful with flies and streamers throughout these sections of the water. If the water is high, stick to streamers along the banks, but as soon as you start seeing the fish rise, you know it’s time to get going with the dry flies! The rainbow trout and brown trout can’t get enough of the topwater action.
Guide Pro Tip: Jackson Hole WY is a mecca for fly fishing. I’ve got a complete guide where to go – Where to Fly Fish Near Jackson Hole WY
Fish Hatchery- Easy Wading
Downstream from Warren Bridge, you’ll find a fish hatchery along Pape Road. If you want a glimpse into the Green River as a fishery, you can visit here and learn some fascinating information. Once here, you’ll find access to both Forty Rod Creek and the Green River. Fishing in these areas is usually quite productive due to the food that creeks bring into the rivers. You’ll often find fish stacked up near these waiting for something to eat. Just north of the Hatchery is a great access point.
You can wade here, but make sure you’re paying close attention to the private property signs! It’s a beautiful part of the Green River. Fishing is productive and you won’t find as many people fishing here as you would near the Warren River bridge.
Below Green Lake- Great for Lake and River Fishing
If you’re willing and want to drive a bit further up into the mountains, you’ll find the Green Lake Campground. Below Green Lake, you’ll find a wider portion of the river. It fishes well almost all year round. The biggest obstacle you may run into is the drive into the Green Lake Campground. The road is all gravel and fairly rough, but easily doable in a 2wd if you’re willing to take it slow. If you’re willing to put in the effort to get here, you’ll be rewarded with exceptional views and fishing!
Guide Pro Tip: Wanting to up your game for catching rainbow trout? Read -> How to Fly Fish for Rainbow Trout
Why the Green River is Perfect for Fly Fishing?
The Green River is perfect for fly fishing due to the proximity to Jackson, nice floating opportunities, and a decent amount of public access. It’s not as open to public access as other rivers in Wyoming, but that’s to be expected in this area! If you’re willing to drive around and fish different pull-offs, you’ll be rewarded with nice size rainbow and brown trout.
What Stream Flow is Best for Fishing the Green River
The Green River is unique in the fact that even if the river is high, it has the opportunity to widen out and still stay fishable. The water doesn’t get too muddy. If you’re able to fish anywhere from 700-1400 CFS you’ll be able to wade and access most areas that hold fish. You’ll find that these flows are great for floating as well!
What Kind of Fish Can You Catch on the Green River?
The Wyoming portion of the Green River is primarily filled with rainbow trout and brown trout. Brown trout are the primary fish and it’s not uncommon for anglers to find them over 20 inches! The Wyoming Game and Fish Department stocks the area near Warren Bridge with around 12,500 rainbow trout annually. The brown trout population is naturally producing, so there isn’t as much of a need to stock them!
Favorite Flies for the Green River
Pale Morning Dun- Size 18
PMD’s are always successful when the weather warms on the Green River. If you see a rise, cast this fly near it and see what happens. Remember your light tippet!
Pheasant Tail- Size 16
If the fish are still feeding below the surface, don’t fret. Throw on a pheasant tail nymph and let it drift through the seams and riffles. It won’t take long for you to get a fish to strike.
Woolly Buggers- Size 8
A size 8 bugger is always a safe play. Stick with the green or black colors and see what you can find. Throw these in deep water and swing or dead drift them through the more fishable areas. You’ll be pleased with what you can find with them.
Hatch Chart for the Green River
|Fly Name||Size||Start Date||End Date|
|Trico||20-24||June 26||August 31|
|PMD||16-18||June 26||July 31|
|Tiny BWO||20-24||August 1||October 10|
|Caddis||14||July 1||August 31|
|Cicada||10||August 1||September 31|
|Stoneflies||10-12||June 1||July 31|
|Baetis||18||September 1||October 31|
|Crane Flies||12||August 1||September 31|
|Midges||18||January 1||December 31|
|Scuds||14||January 1||December 31|
|Terrestrial||10||July 15||September 15|
Fly Rod and Reel Setup for the Green River
Use a 9’ 5-weight rod when fly fishing the Green River. You aren’t going to need anything too heavy, but when the river is wide, you’ll want the chance to make longer casts and fight some of those 20-inch fish that you might find!
The Perfect Fly Rod Combo for Wyoming
Orvis originated in the fly fishing business. The Orvis Clearwater Combo is perfectly balanced and comes with everything except flies. It’s so easy to cobble together an outfit that just doesn’t cast right. No worries with that using the Clearwater Fly Rod Combo.
Guides and Fly Shops
- Two Rivers Fishing Co- Two Rivers Fishing Co. is located in Pinedale, WY and they’ll have everything you need for a day on the Green River. Flies, gear, and advice are all available as soon as you walk through those doors.
- Wyoming Fishing Company– Located in Daniel, the Wyoming Fishing Company guides are veterans of the Green River. If you need information, they’ll help.
Last Cast for the Green River
The Green River is an amazing river for fly fishing. It has all of the challenges and charm that a quality western river needs. You can’t go wrong any time you visit. Be prepared with the proper flies and access points and you’ll have a wonderful experience.
Are you looking for some great How To Fly Fish Articles? Checkout this list:
- How to Fly Fish for Bluegills – These amazing fish are all over the USA. I like to call them the “Gateway Drug to Fly Fishing”
- How to Fly Fish for Brook Trout – Find the cleanest, coldest, most beautiful streams and I’ll bet Brookes are present.
- How to Nymph Fish – Step by Step details for setting up, presenting and catching trout with nymphs.
- How to Fly Fish for Salmon – Image hooking into a +25 pound King Salmon in a river and your Fly Rod breaks! Seriously this happened to me on my first trip.
Wyoming is a dream destination for every angler, including me. It’s over 27,000 miles of…
Stocking trout is big business in Michigan over 12 million trout were stocked in 2019….
Every time I visit Jackson, Wyoming it seems as if I find a new river…
Wyoming and fly fishing are a perfect pair. While most anglers think of the western…
The Yellowstone River is held in extremely high regard by fly anglers because it provides…
There are certain rivers in the world that you can’t help but be in awe…
Danny Mooers is a high school English teacher in Arizona with a love for fly fishing. Growing up in Minnesota gave him the opportunity to experience all types of fishing and grow his skills. After living out in the Western United States for several summers in college, his fly fishing obsession grew. Having the opportunity to share in his passion for fishing through writing is a dream come true. It’s a lifelong hobby and he strives to make it understandable for people of all skill levels