Lower McKenzie River Report for mid-April

I woke up Sunday morning with the intention of having a lazy day at home watching The Masters. But about ten minutes in I couldn’t handle it, I had to get onto the river. After a quick call to a friend, we were on the river. Expecting to be fishing behind a bunch of boats, I was surprised to see a lack of fishermen on a beautiful, overcast day. Not seeing much bug activity we decided that it was best to start off nymphing. “What the hell is going on?” my friend said. “We always get a few nymphing.” Disgruntled by the lack of a hook-up on the nymphs, I threw out my Royal Coachman/March Brown Soft Hackle combo and proceeded to slowly boat swing it down one of my favorite flats while my friend nymphed the outside. Less than 10 seconds into this WHAM!, my rod was doubled over and the first fish of the day was hooked.

McKenzie River Rainbow Trout

Then another, and another. Finally noticing a few march browns flying around and a rise downstream, I had my buddy put on a Royal Wulff (inspired by the Lee Wulff video I had just seen) and after a nice cast, a big redside nailed it and proceeded to rip him downstream into the backing. The fish eventually released himself, but the sound of the click and pawl Hardy Lightweight screaming is something neither of us will forget. After this, the day became an average day with a few small to medium sized fish hooked. But just above the boat ramp, when I was more than ready to go home and eat; indicator dunk, rod heavily bent, and good fish on.

McKenzie River Rainbow Trout

“Let’s row back up and see if there is another one.”

McKenzie River Rainbow Trout

It was a good way to end a day that I wasn’t even expecting to fish. With mild temps and showers in the forecast for the next few days, it should be a great time to get a few more days of the 2010 march brown hatch.–JC

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