Summer Fishing Conditions on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers

McKenzie summer 2016

Gorgeous summer days look to be in front of us for a while. Water levels are fantastic for wading and boating. Steelhead counts are looking good, welcome to the Willamette Valley!

Hatches have slowed for sure on the McKenzie and Willamette and anglers should focus on smaller bugs and lower light conditions at this stage. Make sure to have Pale Morning Duns, Little Yellow Stones, and small Parachute Caddis in your box. Yesterday around mid morning I did find quite a few fish rising on the upper McKenzie. They were willing to take a Purple Parachute Rooster pattern, an excellent all around searching pattern.

Mckenzie river and Redington Butterstick

Evenings are going to produce solid fishing and again you will want smaller caddis patterns, little yellow stones and some spent Pale Morning Duns or “rusty spinner patterns”. It’s time to go to a longer leader and fish 5x and even 6x tippet to get that perfect drift with your smaller flies.

Steelhead fishing is going to best in low light as well. Fishing has remained solid on both the McKenzie and Willamette. The McKenzie seems to have more fish stacked up at Leaburg dam while the Willamette is getting a better spread of fish throughout from Dexter dam through town. We expect water conditions to get lower and scaling down your “intruder style” pattern is a good idea as the sun gets up a bit. We have some killer Aqua Flies that fit the bill.

willamette falls fish counts


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