It’s been a few years since we’ve had early spring weather and water conditions like we do right now. Both the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers are way down at “Summer Like” flows. Coastal rivers are in fine shape today and continue to drop. The current water conditions allow for amazing wading access to the McKenzie and Middle Fork of the Willamette.
For the McKenzie and Middle Fork of the Willamette the much anticipated March Brown hatch has yet to materialize in earnest. A few “Marchies” have been seen but the fish have yet to really get going on the surface for them. Two warm days ahead could help water temperatures bump up and bug numbers increase. Both rivers have seen daily doses of Blue Winged Olive emergences. Slow edges, bubble lines, slower riffles and back eddies are the places to look for fish rising in the 1pm-4pm range. We have also seen a few adult Skwala’s on gravel bars and occasionally flying into the boat. Although rare to see big numbers of Skwala’s on the surface of the McKenzie and Middle Fork this medium to large bug is a nice meal for trout, and seems to perk up activity when seen on warm days.
Nymphing with Possie Bugger’s, Mega Princes, Tungsten Trout Retrievers and Curtis Get Stoned Stonefly Nymphs has really been the most effective strategy. Yesterday on the Middle fork the fish were really dialed into the nymphs fished near shore in surprisingly heavy water.
Bottom line is you should take the next few days off, go catch a steelhead then give the trout fishing a go. With perfect water and sunshine in the forecast it’s like April in February. –CD
Don’t forget we are still running our “pre-season” guide trip special, two anglers $250.
There is still room in the Dave Hughes class this Saturday, give us a call to sign up. $50