The Boat Drake was developed for use on rivers like the Roaring Fork, Rio Grande, Colorado and Eagle. Green Drakes hatch in good numbers on these waters, and in the case of the Roaring Fork and Colorado, do so late in the evening. This “Lightning Round”, the hour or so right at sunset into the darkness, brings fish slashing the surface after the big clumsy drakes. The nature of this fishing is fast and furious and requires a fly that has a large silhouette, is durable and will float well. The Boat Drake encompasses all of these traits. The foam overbody acts as a life preserver for the fly, keeping it afloat after several maulings. I like to hang another fly off the back of this pattern. My Green Drake Cripple or even a large, dark colored Hare’s Ear are favorites to imitate the emerging nymph. This pattern is really a simple tie, utilizing aspects from several other patterns to fit the bill. The wing is tied Comparadun style, as I see no reason to split them, the tail is a heavy clump of moose hair, darker and heavier than the naturals; I believe the moose tail imitates a shuck more than a tail, but who am I to say? The foam overbody can be made from thicker 2mm foam for added floatation, and this is how I tie them for use out of the drift boat. This extra bit of foam makes a big difference in the flotation of the fly. I have also used the thinner 1mm Razor Foam for flies with a more slender silhouette. I think these can be valuable when wade fishing, where you get more than one shot at a fish and need a bit of a closer match to the real thing. I finish the fly off with a heavy hackle collar. I used a Hebert Miner saddle from Whiting Farms on this fly, in a medium brown-dun color. This shade is a great match for our Colorado drakes, and the Hebert saddles have sufficient length and fiber density for a fly this size. Even if you have no plans to make it out to fish the Drakes this year, tie some of these guys up. You never know when you’ll need them, and being prepared for hatches like this is half the battle.