Mckenzie River flyfishing: trout and the tempest

It’s no secret we faced adverse conditions on the Mckenzie River Sunday April 20–cold temeratures, snow, rain, hail, wind, and frigid water.  The river temperature at Vida topped out at 45 and started the day at 41.  We floated from Hayden Bridge to Armitage.  Mid-afternoon there was a decent hatch of March Browns in those fleeting moments when the sun peeked through the clouds but any fish of decent size was feeling to sluggish to move.  Unlike what was observed upriver the caddis had gone into hiding (along with most fisherman).   If there was one good thing about the weather, the gore-tex hatch was about as slow as the fishing. 

 We picked up small fish on dries when the mayflies were around other than that we tried Possie Buggers, Prince Nymphs, big wiggly legged Stones, and Hares Ears, picking off a few small fish but nothing to brag about.  We persevered and Brent got into a couple of nice fish near the end of the day and drift.  Both trout ate a big Mega-Prince fished near the bottom:

Lower Mckenzie Rainbow

This native redband put up a solid fight before coming to hand.  A couple minutes later Brent picked this nice native cutthroat:

Nice Lower Mckenzie Cutthroat

After the second fish we declared victory and got off the water.  We’ll always be able to say we fished the great blizzard of April 2008.

As of this writing both the lower Mckenzie and the Middle Fork below the North Fork remain at fishable levels.   That could change really quickly though so keep an eye on the levels or call the shop for a report.

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