The McKenzie River is fishing well top to bottom. While the majority of our significant early season hatches have declined water conditions are ideal for wading or boating the entire McKenzie River.
Lower River: Confluence up to Leaburg Dam: Early mornings and late evenings have been best. Try Light Cahills and various Soft Hackles swung early in the morning. Parachute Adams and Little Yellow Stonefly patterns will also get fish to the surface. Mid day can be tough on the lower river but look for deeper holes and fast sections with drop offs. You may even find a steelhead using some deep nymphing tactics with Stonefly Nymphs and smaller Possie buggers or Copper Johns. The best hatches have been late in the day especially on some of the blistering hot days of late. Little Yellow stones, small caddis, and Golden Stones have been working well. For steelhead look for the best action around Leaburg Dam proper again early and late will be best. Moal Leeches, Egg Patterns, Green Butt Silver Hiltons, Simple Egg Leeches will do the trick.
Middle River: Leaburg Dam to Blue River: Dry fly fishing again has been best early and late. We like to use the Half Down Golden or Salmon Fly with a Tungsten Ice Prince or Possie bugger tied Hopper Dropper style in this stretch. Although it’s a bit early to tell, there have been seemingly better numbers of native trout in this stretch this July. A high water spring, a later stocking and fewer boat stockings (Jeff Zillers new program) may be having an effect, we will see as things progress. For sheer numbers of catchable keepable trout get out there and do the wild fish a favor and keep a few of the stockers.
Upper McKenzie: Blue River to Ollalie Creek: Green Drakes are still hatching although not spending a lot of time on the water during this hot stretch of weather. Evenings are great with Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones, Parachute Adams, small Caddis and Green Drake Patterns. During the day fish attractor dries like Royal Wulffs and Madam X patterns. Using the Hopper Dropper Rig on the Upper is a great idea as well.