Fished the Mckenzie the past two days. This Wednesday and Thursday we put in a Deerhorn and ran down to Hayden Bridge. Wednesday the water was over 13,000 cubic feet per second at the Hayden Bridge gage. It was like fishing a new river. When your flies were over willows you knew things weren’t good. Surprisingly, we did find fish. Visible drop offs and softer water with 3-5 feet of depth seemed to be most productive. Thursday the river made a steep drop and came under 10,000cfs at Hayden Bridge. There were bugs out both days, Pale Morning Duns, smaller March Browns, small dark caddis. Thursday afternoon we did see a few green Mckenzie Caddis. Very few fish were on the surface, but swinging a Mega Prince and a Possie Bugger tightline down and across was very effective. The river will drop more in the coming days and fishing should be even better.
The fish we landed, wild rainbows, wild cutthroats and hatchery rainbows were very healthy. The trout had robust stomachs, probably gorgeing on cased caddis that have rolling down the river with all the high water. Despite the high water fishing was really pretty good yesterday(Thursday). Water temperatures ranged from 45-47 degrees. Lower and warmer water is the forecast. Concentrate your efforts on the lower Mckenzie and you will have surprising success.