March Brown Hatch Best in Years on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers


Clay and I floated the lower Mckenzie on into the Willamette, from Armitage to Cross Roads ramp this Tuesday. Fish were rising from the start of our float around 10am. I had to pry the indicator rod from Clay’s hands and quickly insert the Sage Circa 589-4, after that it was all dry all day. We did a little swinging of flies but by far our best luck was with dry flies. Caddis flitted about from the start, and as the sun won out over cloud cover the caddis grew thick. We stopped on numerous riffles with fish up and feeding. Best paterns were Parachute Adams, Purple Rooster, March Brown Parachutes and Peacock Caddis. As the sunshine of Tuesday afternoon intensified so did the caddis hatch. The caddis hatch became so intense in spots that we moved away from the spot in search of fewer bugs and less selective fish.

The weather looks to have shifted into clouds and showers for the next week or so, a perfect storm for the angler in my mind. With low snow pack and low reservoirs in the Willamette Valley water conditions are likely to remain ideal despite rainfall. Warm rainy days are without question the very best for March Brown hatches. The adult and emerging insect becomes “stuck” in the film and on the surface much longer, giving the fish a great opportunity to eat them. The Caddis that have hatched and will also be available but not as intense as on bright warm days. Fishing will be excellent!

Mckenzie willamette confluence float

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5 Responses to March Brown Hatch Best in Years on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers

  1. Brent Maher says:

    Great photos guys!!! I too have been working that stretch starting March 18th. Have about 4 day trips under my belt between about 2-3-30 and have been having a blast as the fish are very willing and there are a LOT of fish out there.

  2. Stevie says:

    Did I see Ty in a metal db on Wednesday? A friend took me out in his sled and we found fish pretty much all up and down the Willie.

    The caddii can be a pain but the fish do have thier headlights on…

    PS. don’t tell Lou! 🙂

  3. Mrmachinist says:

    I’ve seen better March brown hatches, the caddis hatch is what seems to be impressive. I was nearly inhaling them as they flew in my face wading around Armitage.
    The fish are actualy harder to catch now due to gorging on caddis all day, I watched many fish pass up nice fat March brown duns floating overhead.

  4. Mrmachinist says:

    The lower river was up and the temp was down today. There was no March brown activity. Various light and dark caddis in the 16-14 size range hatched between 2:00-3:30 with trout rising to dries and soft hackles.

  5. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    From Belinger down there were literally thousands of March Browns around, fish eating them until we left at 430.

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