McKenzie and Willamette Fishing Reports: March/April Conditions in May


Hatches have been more consistent on the McKenzie and Lower Willamette. March Browns in the later afternoon, sporadic caddis and even Pale Morning Duns have been present. It has been a crazy spring for water levels and weather and with all the snow pack it is unlikely that we have seen the end of high water. Yesterdays reports…


I spoke to Lou who got into an excellent March Brown Hatch on the Lower Willamette above Harrisburg. Plenty of bugs and plenty of small to medium sized cutthroats coming to the surface.


Barrett fished the Lower McKenzie and also had a good March Brown Hatch taking fish on adult March Brown Patterns and swung wet flies.

I fished the Middle fork of the Willamette through Oakridge were the water temperature got all the way to 45 degrees, that means it hurts if you keep your hand in it to long! Nymphing was decent and the average fish size was really pretty good. The wind came up in the afternoon and with the water on the rise things shut down around 4pm. The river spiked last night jumping 500 CFS out of Hills Creek Dam. The spike had to come with Hills Creek at 98% full and a ton a snow melt yet to come we are looking at some big water on the both the McKenzie and Willamette this late Spring.

Best Patterns for both rivers

Tan Sparkle Dun #14
Parachute Adams #14-18
Peacock Caddis #14-18
Sedge Hammer Caddis #14-16
Pale Morning Dun Sparkle Dun #16
Royal Coachman Wet #12-14
Wet Cahill #12-14
Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle #14
Bead Head Emerger March Brown #14
Mega Prince #6-10
Possie Bugger #8-14

Todays overcast should have the lower McKenzie and lower Willamette fishing well. Overcast and 64 degree air temps are perfect hatch conditions. Have fun out there.

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1 Response to McKenzie and Willamette Fishing Reports: March/April Conditions in May

  1. Bill says:

    Great blog guys. Great info. Great tying videos. Question…I’ve been fishing mega princes and possie buggers under a 1/2 inch thingamabobber with some luck. Some days the biggest and most fish hit the pink/orange thingamabobber and ignore my other offerings. I’ll mix it up and toss out a big dry to see if they are keying in on the surface…no luck. Then I’ll try a troutbead to see if its the round pink/orange that they like…no love again. I’m about to start tying a hook to my thingamabobber. I hate thinking that I’m spooking these fish with my bobber before I get a chance to hook them. Any suggestions?

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