McKenzie River Rainbow Trout looking for a big meal

Fly fishing the McKenzie River for wild rainbow trout is my addiction. I love those big beautiful fish. And early spring time is my favorite time of year to chase them.

McKenzie River Oregon Trout Fly Fishing

There’s nothing prettier than a pre-spawn beefed up McKenzie Redside. After a hungry winter with low fishing pressure, the trout are innocent and looking for a big meal. Large possie buggers and mega-princes are just the ticket.

McKenzie River Oregon Trout Fly Fishing

This is my favorite time of year, but it wasn’t always. Back east, some poor fishing-addicted bastard is sitting in a shack around a hole in the ice, puking drunk, eating leftover Turducken and waiting for a 10-inch perch to bite the maggot-tipped jig hanging from his bobber.

That guy was me. But now I can go out in shirtsleeves in February and enjoy amazing trout fishing.

McKenzie River Oregon Trout Fly Fishing

Yesterday I went out for a few short hours with Ethan Nickel, and hooked a 15” fish, an 18” fish and then something that ran across the entire river, shaking its head and taking me into my backing before popping off as I reeled it in. I’m still fuming over that one and secretly hope it was a foul hooked sucker making a break for it and not the trout of the year.

I need to point out that an 8-year old could have hooked those fish, and might even have landed my mystery pig. Fishing for wild trout is not impossibly hard as some hatchery trout proponents suggest. Any kid could do this, and enjoy some of the most beautiful fish in the world. We’d like to see the whole river produce fish like these.

McKenzie River Oregon Trout Fly Fishing


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2 Responses to McKenzie River Rainbow Trout looking for a big meal

  1. b-christ says:

    My four year old routinely catches redsides, on a fly, in the lower river. It’s not rocket science, although some times the fish can make you feel that way.

  2. Ed says:

    Turducken…that’s what my weekends have been missing. And the driver is never puking drunk…by the time we get back to the car.

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