McKenzie and Willamette Fishing Report : Early August 2020

Hot weather and low water are pretty normal for early August. Add a full moon and quite a bit of fishing pressure and you have a recipe for some pretty tough mid day fishing on many of our local waters. It’s best to concentrate early and late in the day. If you are fishing during the high sun periods of the day look for shadows and quick holding water than fish will take cover in. If you have a Euro set up go deep mid day. Lengthen your leader and use a couple of heavy flies near the bottom in deep cool water. Evening hours are best for the limited hatches that are present. Small caddis and Parachute Adams have been the most consistent dry flies. Here is a list of our top 10 flies for early August.

Heavy Hackle Parachute Adams

The Heavy Hackle Parachute Adams is one of the best all around dry flies on the planet. We took a standard Adams and gave it two or three times the hackle and a full moose tail. This fly floats way better than a standard Parachute Adams, it can even hold up a small dropper in in sizes #12 and up. Use it for your evening dry or morning searching dry pattern when you don’t see anything specific. It’s visible, durable and it catches fish.

Rubber legged stimulator

When you need a big dry for a hopper dropper set up or just something you can see when it’s just about dark give the Rubber Legged Stimulator a shot. Local trout have been seeing Golden Stones throughout the early summer months and they still recognize this big bite. A stimulator is also a hopper imitation and is less “intrusive” than a Chubby Chernobyl is low water.

Brown Elk Hair Caddis

A small Brown Elk Hair Caddis #14 has been a solid dry fly producer throughout the day. Despite the lack of hatches it seems that there are always a few caddis “flitting” around. Keep your leader light 5x and 6x and at least 10ft long.

peacock caddis

The Peacock Caddis is another great all around dry to use during the dog days of summer. Keep in small, use #14 and #16 and long light leaders for best results.


Carlson’s Purple Haze is another superb “attractor” dry. It’s visible day and evening and the purple body Parachute works during hatches or when there is nothing apparent on the surface.

Jigged Iron Sally

Under a large dry, small indicator or when Euro nymphing the Jigged Iron Sally gets down quickly and has been an excellent summer nymph. Both the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers have good populations of Little Yellow Stones and this slender pattern does a good job of imitating them.

possie bugger nymph

The Possie Bugger catches fish all season on our local waters. Shrink the size down a bit this time of year. A #14 is deadly under a larger dry.

Rowley's May Day Nymph Pheasant Tail

Rowley’s May Day Nymph Pheasant Tail works well as a “Euro Nymph” or when using more traditional nymphing tactics. It’s dense and slender profile get down quickly and imitate a wide range of mayfly nymphs trout love.

rubber legged pheasant Tail nymph

One of the best all around nymphs to fish throughout the summer is the CDC Rubber Legged Pheasant Tail in smaller sizes. Ideal to put under a Stimulator or larger Heavy Hackle Parachute Adams.

Loren's Stud

Loren’s Stud is billed as a Euro Nymph and it catches fish using Euro Tactics. It will also work under a larger dry or more small indicator. It’s simple but visible look has been productive in lower water conditions.

Have fun out there!

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