We are fortunate to have such a fine river so close to the Eugene Springfield area. The McKenzie boasts approximately 70 miles of fishable water. 2009 has been another high water year for the McKenzie and fishing has had it’s ups and downs. That being said conditions are now prime for any section of the McKenzie.
Lower River: Leaburg Dam to confluence
The river is still high compared to historic levels but this helps the lower river stave off the summer doldrums.
Water temps are perfect and a plethora of bugs have been hatching. Pale Morning Duns # 16, Little Yellow Stones # 16, Golden Stones #8-12, Green McKenzie Caddis # 10, Possie Buggers # 10, Prince Nymphs #10-16 are all taking fish. When the overcast/cooling air temps come early this week swing wets like McKenzie Caddis Wet, Greenwell Spiders and Hares Ear Soft Hackles. Stellhead have moved into the lower river and anglers have been inadvertently hooking them nymphing for trout, and catching them on Egg Sucking Stones near Leaburg Dam.
Upper River Between Blue River and Leaburg Dam.
Fishing was slow to get started in this section. But now is the time to catch a boat load of planted trout, and some gorgeous native trout in the upper river. Watch out for Martin Rapids below Ben and Kay Doris State Park if you are floating the river. The rapid is still very “runable”. The normal right or left routes are open the left being a bit tighter this year with new timbers wedged in the entrance. Fish Half Down Golden Stones size #8-12 with Possie Bugger droppers, Brown Elk Hair Caddis # 12-16, Parachute Adams #10-14, and Little Yellow Stones.
Upper upper river Blue River up to Ollalie Campground.
Still running high but fishing well. Hatches have been good most days on this section, but getting the fish to move consistently to the dry hasn’t been easy. Nymphing with Possie Buggers #10 and Prince nymphs #10 where possible in this ripping fast water has been very productive. Try Brown Elk Hair Caddis #12-16, Parachute Adams #10-16, Aanes Mo Joe Golden Stone #10 and Parachute Hare’s Ears #12-14 on the surface.–CD