McKenzie River, Willamette River Fly Fishing Report July 2011


Despite the recent rain of this past week, water and fishing conditions are excellent in the Willamette Valley and the State of Oregon. Here are some of the highlights and flies to use for some of our great fly fishing waters of Oregon.

The Lower McKenzie River is fishing well especially on some of the cloudy days we’ve have lately. Look for the sun to pop and fishing to remain good but focus more on morning and evening as we head into August. Water levels and water temperatures are going to be really good for lower river trout this year and the “Summer Lul” associated with low and warm water is most likely not going to occur. Flies you need to have in your box for the lower river include.

Little Yellow Stones 12-16
Pale Morning Duns 16
Small Caddis 12-16
Royal Wulffs 12-16
Blue Winged Olives 18
Copper Johns 14-18
Prince Nymphs 12-18


The Upper McKenzie remains in great shape and is fishing very well. The Upper McKenzie offers trout more mid-day cover with it’s pocket water and boisterous flows. Larger dry flies as indicator flies and all day fishing even in the heat of summer is available. Only recently have flows settled to historical norms for this time of year and we are unlikely to see really low water on the upper river this year. High water is great for the fish and insect habitat so look for the fall to be amazing. Flies to have in your pack.

Half Down Golden Stones
Green Drakes
Brown Caddis
Green Caddis
Parachute Adams
Royal Wulffs
Mega Prince
Possie Buggers


The Middle Fork of the Willamette has been a bit frustrating when examining the year as a whole (high water) but lately it’s been fantastic. Water level are way down, wading and boating conditions are great. This past week offered mid-day caddis hatches that moved some really nice fish into shallow riffles. When the caddis were around fish were more than willing to eat imitations. Hopper dropper rigs worked well all day on inside edges and drop offs. Similar Flies as the McKenzie.

Local Steelhead Report:

Steelhead Counts over Willamette Falls have been good with the number of fish now over 18,000. Both the McKenzie and Willamette have been producing results. Fishing has yet to get red hot and many fish are still making their way into the system. Early morning and evening will be best.
Good patterns include:

Signature Intruder
Pick Yer Pocket
Steelhead Muddlers
Hoh Bo Spey Patterns
Bennet’s Last Light

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2 Responses to McKenzie River, Willamette River Fly Fishing Report July 2011

  1. Stevie says:

    It’s been a fantastic year for stoneflies in the Valley. I’ve seen shucks or adults all the way from Springfiled to the Cascades. And the fish have been willing on stonefly dries too.

    I even saw some adults buzzing around the Gold Lake boat ramp!

  2. Chisel says:

    I’ll second that.

    Any stone pattern seems to be producing in our area. Had three Cutties in our group over 15″ this last weekend on the upper Nestucca. One was pushing 20″ All on Stimulators . Otherwise… Stonefly nymphs fished downstream and striped back through the tail outs will bring them up from the deep.

    This has been an awesome year… And there’s still more to come.

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