“The Green” is a gem. Its waters sparkle with the colors of a polished emerald, its red rock canyon walls glow like rubies in the sunlight. And the river’s resident trout lure trophy hunters from around the globe. If you are keeping a fly-fishing bucket list, this Utah section of the Green River below the Flaming Gorge dam (another world-class fishing destination) should be in your top three “must fish” locations.
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A father passes the Green River fishing torch in this iconic image of paternal bonding and fly fishing. This short film follows the quiet pursuit of connection, patience and catching a trophy on the A and B sections of the Green River.
About the River
The river’s 27-mile course is a riparian oasis that descends into Utah from the north slope of the Uinta Mountains, slicing through the high desert sandstone of Flaming Gorge. Forty to sixty degree water temperatures year round, ample water flow and the river’s varied, meandering structure combine to make the Green River a thriving fishery for large rainbow, brown, cutthroat and cut-bow hybrid trout.
The preferred method of fly-fishing the A, B and C sections of the Green is by drift boat. Sight fishing is the name of the game, utilizing a majority of top-water fly choices. Fluttering clouds of yellow sallies ride the thermals, piles of blue-winged olives and midges collect in back eddies, and the buzz of cicadas drive trout to make very bad decisions.
The Green River section from Flaming Gorge dam to the Colorado border is split into three sections.
- Section A: Flaming Gorge dam to Little Hole
- Section B: Little Hole to Indian Crossing in Browns Park
- Section C: Indian Crossing to the Colorado/Utah border
Section A is high gradient, B moderate and C is slow. Highest fish densities in section A, second highest in B, lowest in C. Most fishing pressure is in section A, then B and lowest in C. Access to B and C is limited to boat and gravel road.
The Green’s A section is without a doubt its most renowned and frequented water. However, those willing to put in a little effort can find fewer people and bigger fish downstream of Little Hole in the river’s B and C sections. (For more on this, read: The Green less Traveled)
The 7.2-mile-long A section is a wade-fisherman's paradise. Trails and an elevated boardwalk will guide your wading boots toward famous feeding zones like “Lunch Counter,” “Secret Riffle” and the “Black Lagoon.” As you travel down river to the B and C sections, the fish population slims down but the fish size goes up — dramatically. Looking for a fish of a lifetime? Tie on one of the many preferred streamer patterns like the “Goldilocks” and start casting for the banks. Tales abound of fly anglers landing fish in the 25’’ to 30’’ range on the B and C sections.
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Directions and Camping
Fisherman can drive directly to Little Hole and then hike up or downstream to some great fishing holes, or many put in just below the Flaming Gorge dam and float the seven miles down to Little Hole, which is the first takeout spot along the river. Indian Crossing Campground is 16 miles below the dam.
The area is 45 miles from Vernal, a great fishing basecamp.
Additional nearby fishing destinations:
- West Fork Duchesne
- Currant Creek Reservoir
- Starvation State Park
- Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
- Strawberry Reservoir
- Permits are not required for private boaters from the Flaming Gorge Dam to the Crook Campground and takeout.
- At Little Hole, fish between 13-20 inches must be released. You may keep two fish under 15 inches and one fish over 22 inches, if you are lucky enough.
For the latest regulations, consult the Utah Fishing Guidebook
- For River Flow information call: 435.885.3106 or visit the USGS Water Data site.
- Check out the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Green River Fishing Report
Check out favorite spots for local anglers across the state — all off-the-beaten-path, all full of fish.
World-Class and Trophy Destinations
In Utah, these fishing holes are the places visitors from around the world come to experience.