Though the Spring Equinox is nearly two weeks away, signs of the new season are everywhere: warmer weather, crocuses blooming, green grasses sprouting in clumps from last year’s brown hummocks along the river banks, and March Browns starting to show on the lower McKenzie.
Over the last couple of weeks, nymphs like Mega Princes, Possie Buggers, Pheasant Tails, and various stonefly patterns fished under an indicator have been producing consistently, but dry and wet fly fishing opportunities have been few and far between. Moving forward, surface fishing should improve dramatically as the March Brown hatch ramps up.
The emergence typically pops between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. Each day some bugs will hatch, but abundance will vary wildly from day to day with weather conditions. The best March Brown hatches will materialize under overcast skies. Reasonably warm weather and a little rain never hurts either. On bright and windy days, the hatch will be much less intense. Look for the big March Browns to be intermixed with smaller Blue Winged Olives.
So far this season, we are enjoying lower and more stable water conditions than we have in the spring for a few years. The river is in great shape, and given the relatively mild forecast, it looks like good fishing conditions will persist for some time.