Favorite Flies for Spring on the McKenzie and Willamette Part One: Nymphs and Wets

It’s spring break and the McKenzie River near Eugene is coming into shape nicely. The Willamette is still running a bit high and dirty but could come around later this week. March Browns are hatching daily around 1:38pm. Here are six ¬†fly suggestions to keep you successful on the McKenzie and Willamette this Spring. Six more coming in Part 2.


Fish the Mega Prince under an indicator or swung deep. It’s consistently one of our favorite high water nymphs.


You would think fish would get tired of looking at the Possie Bugger, nope. A great fly at all times of the year on the McKenzie and Willamette. High water fish the size 8, caddis hatch later in April fish it in a 16.

golden stone nymph

We get a surprising number of stoneflies in the spring and early summer on the McKenzie and Willamette. Get the Double Bead Golden Stone down deep with a smaller nymph dropper for best results.


The Tungsten Trout Retriever gets down deep without being to massive to cast. Add a small Pheasant Tail or Copper John and you have a recipe for success.


Spring time on the McKenzie is a great time to swing flies. Silvey’s Soft Serve March Brown has a bit more weight for faster runs and riffles. A new found killer!


The Coachman has caught fish for over 100 years. Think of it as a subsurface attractor pattern. Cutthroat on the lower river love it.

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3 Responses to Favorite Flies for Spring on the McKenzie and Willamette Part One: Nymphs and Wets

  1. Fishkamp says:

    Possie Buggers!!

  2. Matt Eifler says:

    Would you all consider putting up tying instructions/video on the tungsten trout retriever?

  3. Dave Earl says:

    Love the Coachman inclusion. I have fished a small (18-20) wet coachman dropped off a larger nymph for years with great success, glad to see it working here

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