Let’s be honest early August is not the best time on our local waters. Hatches are generally minimal and best hours for surface activity are early and late. It’s a great time to head to the smaller waters in the region, the North Fork of the Middle Fork, Salmon Creek, Salt Creek, South fork of the Mckenzie above Cougar reservoir and the Middle Fork above Hills Creek reservoir are great bets. Take your 3wt rod and some small dries, some hoppers and small nymphs to use as droppers. Aforementioned waters are easy to wet wade and you can cover fast water as well as the deep pools easily.
For the McKenzie and Willamette main-stem rivers fish have an opportunity to take full cover and the best fish occupy the deeper runs and pools. You need to get down deep to get these fish interested. Fish a longer leader with lighter tippet 5x or even 6x. Use heavy flies like our current favorite the Sen’s 20″ and other dense jigged patterns. Consider using two nymphs in a Euro set up or two nymphs below a Chubby Chernobyl or small indicator. You want your mid to small sized flies to be dead drift near the bottom.
Have fun out there!