Water levels have dropped back down close to Summer levels on the McKenzie River. We are likely to see them come down even further with the lack of snow pack in the Cascades. This is going to be a great year for wading anglers on the McKenzie and it’s tributaries, it’s been a few years since water levels have been this low at this time of the year.
Throughout the day yesterday Little Yellow Stones and small caddis emerged, a few larger Golden Stones were present and Pale Morning Dun mayflies hatched and quickly left the stream. There were so many small stones emerging that swallows and crows were actively feeding on them over the water and near shore. Swallows are not surprising but when you get a large crow feeding on emerging insects then you are really looking at some significant numbers of bugs.
What flies and techniques should I use given lower water and bright sunny weather you ask?
Some decent mid-day fishing is still possible. Use mid-sized dries like Half Down Golden Stone and Yellow Stimulator in size 12 and drop a smaller possie bugger, prince nymph or pheasant tail in size #14 off of the dry, a scaled down hopper dropper set up if you will. You may find fish moving into quicker water, during the day. Afternoon and evenings will be solid bets throughout the Summer (it feels like Summer now). There are still some Green McKenzie Caddis around late afternoon and evening. You will be able to count on Little Yellow Stones, Parachute Adams and small soft hackle wets as standard producers over the next few weeks.