Hatches Made Easy:
Eastern Green Drakes (Ephemera guttulata)
The Eastern Green Drake is the largest mayfly that can be found in any quantity
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They exist in Abrams Creek. The
Eastern Green Drake is the Ephemera guttulata. They are usually more
abundant in alkaline waters than they are in the more acidic freestone streams.
There are some Hexagenia bilineata mayflies, a large drake and some
Ephemera simulans or Brown Drakes in the park, but they exist in small
quantities in water that is basically too warm for trout.
When the Green Drakes hatch, the large mayflies will get the attention of every
trout in a stream. The large duns flutter around on the surface for some time
drying their wings before taking off. The large spinners will fall at dusk and
cause a feeding frenzy.
Green Drake nymphs are burrowers that are most commonly found in the slow to
moderately flowing water such as pools and backwaters that have soft or silt
bottoms. They spend most of their life buried in the silt, banks or soft bottom, but
molt several times during this stage of their life. They come out of their burrows
to molt as well as at night to browse for food and may be eaten by trout during
Sometimes weighted nymph imitations can be fished along the bottom of the
stream very late in the day with some success. Green drake nymphs can swim
well and action can be added to imitate the up and down, swimming motion of
We have not fished the Green Drake hatch in Abrams Creek. We have fished
the Green Drake hatch in Penns Creek, Pennsylvania, for the last several years.
We have found that it is of little benefit to fish imitations of the nymph unless the
hatch is taking place. They work good in the mornings prior to a hatch but that is
about it. The nymphs hatch throughout the day, not at any one particular time of
the day. I would think that would be the case anywhere they exist. The nymphs
stay in their burrowers most of the time and are not available for the trout to eat.
We feel certain some anglers may have taken a lot of trout on nymph imitations
other than during the hatch, but we cannot recommend it based on our
Coming Up Next:
Eastern Green Drakes - Emergers and Duns
Copyright 2008 James Marsh