Lower McKenzie River Dropping Fast and Fishing Well

wild trout on the mckenzie river

We floated from Belinger to Armitage Park yesterday. The river was higher than anticipated but a very “fishable” level and dropping quickly. A nice variety of insects were present throughout the day including Green McKenzie Caddis, Grannom Caddis, March Browns, Pale Morning Duns and a few larger Golden Stone adults. It was bright and windy during the warmest part of the day and we did not experience any consistent dry fly fishing. Indicator nymph fishing was very effective throughout the day. Best flies were Jigged Prince Nymphs, Mega Prince and McKees Rubber Legged Stone.

fly fishing the lower mckenzie river  near eugene

It was a fun day with Joe Palanuk of Fly Fishers’ Club of Oregon and Dave Moskowitz executive director of the Deschutes River Alliance. Joe and I were able to discuss the McKenzie River Two Fly Tourney to be held the September 26 and 27th. Dave provide me with an eduction on the Deschutes River Alliance. The DRA is a relatively new advocacy group for the Deschutes. Dave and staff are working quickly to access changes occurring on the lower Deschutes River and how they are affecting recreation.

The DRA mission statement reads:

By designing collaborative, science-based solutions to basin-wide threats that may adversely affect the health and function of the lower Deschutes River and tributaries, the Deschutes River Alliance works to protect the river and its recreational assets for both present and future generations.

I urge you to have a look at the Deschutes River Alliance website, and get involved at some level. The changes that are taking place on the lower Deschutes are significant and are happening way to fast.

We are looking at a beautiful week of weather and a dropping river. Get out and enjoy!

wild mckenzie river trout

nymph fishing the mckenzie river

wild trout mckenzie spring


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3 Responses to Lower McKenzie River Dropping Fast and Fishing Well

  1. Mrmachinist says:

    Got out to the lower river much later than usual tues and could not entice anything, nearly used every pattern in the box, fished from top to bottom, no action.
    There was plenty of March brown and caddis activity despite the hi-cold water.
    The river as mentioned above was dropping rapidly, it dropped a couple of inches while I was there.

  2. Arlen says:

    Those are some real beauties, Chris. Inspiring even.

  3. Kevin Steeves says:

    I just finished up Spring Turkey Season and looking forward to getting back to fly fishing. I spent my first afternoon at Armitage yesterday. Fishing the park side near the western gravel bank.

    I used some Closure Minnows and a Renegade – no luck with either. Anyone have suggestions on what is working well for them along this part of the McKenzie?

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