FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Finn Rock Boat Landing Temporary Closure until Spring 2024 FINN ROCK- Ore. – October 11, 2023
Finn Rock Landing is a popular recreation site on the McKenzie River near Blue River, Oregon, attracting as many as 400 people a day in the summer. Owned and managed by McKenzie River Trust (MRT), the boat launch, parking lot, and restrooms will be closed from October 23, 2023 until Spring 2024 for renovations. Improvements to the site will include a better road base, safer traffic flow, and the installation of new parking stalls, ADA- accessible walkways, fencing, bird-friendly lighting, picnic tables, and garbage receptacles.
MRT’s Executive Director, Joe Moll, acknowledges the disappointment of the temporary closure. “We understand that this construction closure will be a significant inconvenience for the many river users who launch or take out at Finn Rock throughout the year. But we expect the site improvements to make the landing more accessible, safe, and enjoyable for all community members and visitors.”
Long provided by the Rosboro Company as a publicly accessible recreation site managed by the McKenzie River Guides Association, Finn Rock Landing was purchased by McKenzie River Trust in 2016 to ensure that future. In the same transaction, MRT acquired the larger Finn Rock Reach habitat conservation area, which has undergone major restoration efforts over the last three years. With ongoing support from community partners and volunteers, the landing has continued to offer an important space for recreation and connection to the river. Support for these upgrades includes grants from Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, EWEB, Lane County, Ford Family Foundation, and the McKenzie Masters, as well as gifts from private individuals.
About the McKenzie River Trust:
The McKenzie River Trust is a regional nonprofit land trust with offices in Eugene and Newport OR. Our mission is to help people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. Since 1989, we’ve acquired property and voluntary conservation easements to protect more than 8,000 acres of clean, free-flowing rivers, plentiful salmon runs, and vibrant farms and forests that provide livelihoods and habitat. We envision a future in which conservation lands are at the core of community efforts to sustain clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and diverse natural resource economies in western Oregon. Working with private willing landowners from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, we take on the responsibility of caring for land, water, and people, and ensuring that these resources are available for generations to come. For more information,
“Fly Fishing in Argentina: Exploring the Waters of Northern Patagonia and The Fascinating World of Golden Dorado” by SET Fly Fishing
Where: The Caddis Fly Angling Shop 168 West 6th ave, Eugene Oregon 97401
When: October 17th 6pm
Matias Claret of SET Fly Fishing will discuss the Golden Dorado as a species and why they are a great fish to fly fish for. In addition he will discuss SET Fly Fishing’s 3 Golden Dorado programs. For the final part of the program he will talk a bit about Northern Argentina a a trout destination.
Local wines will be served during the free presentation.
Please call the shop to confirm your seat. 541 342 7005.
The more time I spent fishing the surf, the more I came to realize that purchasing a stripping basket would make line management much easier. The Ahrex Flexistripper is a lightweight, compact take on the classic, more robust stripping basket. Its design resembles more of a tray with pegs, free of sidewalls. They come in several colors and feature 28 pegs to keep your fly line close. A neoprene belt is included and assembly is quick and easy. Whether you are in the Pacific surf chasing Surfperch and Corbina, the Atlantic surf chasing Stripers, or down South in the surf chasing Pompano or Snook, the Flexistripper will make a big difference in helping you manage your loose line. The Flexistripper also has potential to be used for streamer fishing or in a float tube if you do not have a stripping tray. It keeps your sinking lines close and out of the water, ready for your next cast.
Surf fishing at times can be a high intensity endeavor with lots going on all at once. Whether its crashing waves, conflicting currents, debris, rips, or getting hung up on your feet or gear, line management is paramount. Pair that with timing your cast, stripping, and still keeping your head on a swivel for waves, you need just about any help you can get managing your line. Stripping baskets are extremely helpful in situations like this where managing your loose line can be difficult, and distract you from actually fishing.
Jetty fishing for Rockfish, Lingcod, Greenling, Perch, and the many other species can be fun, but the sharp rocks and barnacles don’t get along with your fly line. Cutting your tippet and losing your fly is frustrating, but cutting clean though a fly line is something you really want to avoid. Using a stripping basket to manage your line and keep it off of the rocks and barnacles keeps your line in one piece for longer.
The low profile design of the Flexistripper makes it great for traveling. If the pegs and belt are removed it can easily be stored in a carry on sized piece of luggage. Because the tray is so flat, it does not take up any more room than a folded shirt. This is perfect for anglers traveling who have a surf trip in mind and want a stripping basket that they can pack with ease.
My one critique of it lies in its assembly. The pegs come on plastic trees which are remnants of the production process using a mold. To assemble, you pull the pegs off and then put them into the tray. On some of the pegs, there will be a tag end which sticks out. This causes the fitment to not be flush and your line can get hung up on the bottom of the tray. Trimming the excess off makes for a perfect fit and your line will not have anything to get hung up on.
One important note directly from Ahrex explains that the pegs can get bent and using an oven can straighten them out. They say: “If the Flexistripper spikes for some reason have bent, you can put the whole Flexistripper (without the belt) into a warm oven (90-100 degrees Celsius) for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool down. This will straighten the pegs.”
I think the Flexistripper’s new take on an old design has the potential to change how we think of stripping baskets for the foreseeable future. I have fished with it a lot and am happy with it; it is my first recommendation when someone comes asking for a stripping basket. It’s compact design and lightweight construction seriously rivals the old bulky stripping baskets. If you have any questions about it give us a call or stop by the shop, we are happy to help.
US Fly Fishing Team mini-comp at Diamond Lake Oregon
Saturday, October 21st mini comp and a Sunday October 22nd mini comp. Information posted on www.flycomps.com web page under the “Events” tab.
Although anglers earn points for this competition toward their ranking, we are focused on learning to lake fish using the loch style technique developed in the United Kingdom. This will be a fun weekend where we will help our anglers be more successful.
Organizers of these comps, have been prefishing Diamond Lake and can help anglers with lines, patterns, retrieves, and areas to fish.
This event will follow the new Fly Fishing Team USA cycle format starting this year. For anglers to be eligible to garner points, they need to be from the states of Utah, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, or California.
Angler Limit: This event will be limited to the first 12 anglers.
Transportation will need to be provided by the anglers on their own.
Questions: Please reach out by email to Hann at email@example.com with any questions.
For insurance purposes, we would need new anglers to sign up for a US Fly Fishing Team membership which covers everyone with their insurance for a year from signing up. Boat rental fees will be $45 to $55 per day.
With colder temperatures at night come our favorite fall hatches: October Caddis, Blue Winged Olives/Baetis, Shortwing/Nocturnal Stone, Assorted Caddis, Grey Drakes and Mahogany Duns. The cooler weather has fish waking up from their heat induced summer sluggishness. Fish are looking up keying in on hatches as well as eating voraciously subsurface. Dry fly fishing locally has been fantastic. We have brought in an extensive selection of brand new fly patterns for this fall that we are excited about. This is one of our favorite times of year, and a great time to get out on the water.
Fall hatches are triggered by cool nights and colder water temperatures; these hatches start high in the system and work their way down as the cooler weather makes its way down into the valley. October caddis pupa emerge at night or on cooler, cloudier days. Their activity is largely concentrated to the afternoon into the evening. Mahogany Duns, Gray Drakes, Short-Winged Stones, and assorted small caddis will be active in the afternoon. Blue Winged Olives will hatch in greater numbers on cooler, more overcast days. You may see some lingering terrestrials like hoppers, crickets, ants and beetles, but with these cold nights they wont last long.
For many of us here in the valley, this is our favorite time of year to get out. The river is conducive for a float, for wading, there are loads of insects hatching, what more could you want? Swing by the shop and check out the back table for a handpicked selection of our best seasonal flies, or to see some of the new patterns. Feel free to give us a call or stop by the shop if you need anything. Have fun out there!
In this video, Simon demonstrates how to tie a simple, but effective Caddis fly imitation. We really like the ease of Veevus Lucent Body in creating a quick durable body. The flash on the underside of the body makes it a great searching caddis pattern. The vertical hackle wraps can be clipped on the vise at home, or on the river for a lower riding imitation for picky fish. Use this pattern any time of the year; swap the hook size, body color, or hackle colors to match your seasonal needs.
An underutilized fly angling fishery exists right under all of our noses, in places most of us have already recreated. The Oregon coast has hundreds of miles of shoreline, which provide habitat for several species of surf perch. The most abundant species of surf perch in Oregon also happens to be one the largest: the red tail surf perch. Surf perch are broad-sided fish that vary in size, but most of the larger species top out at about 16 inches and can weigh in at over 3 pounds. A unique feature about them is that the females give live birth after carrying their babies 8 months. Sexing the fish is important for this fishery so you do not to take a pregnant female. Due to their reproductive life strategy, their populations don’t grow the quickest, so being responsible if you choose to harvest is important. They mainly inhabit sandy beaches diving in and out of the breaking waves eating food as it is stirred up. Surf perch offer a year round fishery, which is a bonus if you end up enjoying it.
You may have more of the gear necessary to start fishing in the surf on our coast than you think. I make do with a 9 foot single hand rod. You can use rod weights 6-8 to target surf perch. The strength an 8 weight provides is less about fighting the fish, and more about punching through the wind and getting your fly out far enough. I use a Scott Wave 9” 8wt, and am happy with how it fishes in the surf. Having saltwater safe components is a bonus.
Shooting head style lines are preferred while fishing in the surf because they can deliver your fly quickly as you do not always have time to false cast. I use a Rio Outbound Short 8I/S5/S7. This line features an intermediate running line, and transitions into sink 5 then Sink 7. A shooting head with sink rates between 3-7 ips is plenty. If you don’t want to use a shooting head, a 5-10 foot Polyleader with a sink rate of 3-8ips added to a standard floating line is appropriate to get your fly in the zone.
A saltwater fluorocarbon leader of 10-12lbs is plenty to handle these fish. Waders can be helpful when its cold and a good shell will keep you dry as it starts to cool off soon here. Lastly, a stripping basket is extremely helpful in the surf. I use the Ahrex Flexistripper. While you are wading into the waves, there is a lot going on. Keeping your line at your side is especially helpful for when you need to deliver your fly into the zone quickly. This is even more important with an intermediate line which will sink under the surface and come and go with the waves.
Surf perch are a lot like trout, they hold and feed in areas that provide shelter, food, and don’t require much energy to hold in. This is a lot like how trout will hold on seams close to food, but don’t have to work hard against the current. Surf perch are often schooled up and I’ve found perch congregating in the troughs that form between the sandbar and the actual beach. These troughs funnel water out to the spaces between sandbars called cuts. The perch will hold in here and face up current like trout and feed on food that is dislodged when waves break as it is carried out to the cut. When looking for favorable conditions, I am looking at what tide is most conducive for me to be able to reach that trough in front of the sandbar. Every beach is different, but in my experience tides on the higher side make it difficult to present a fly in the zone. This may be a situation where a two handed surf rod might be advantageous over a single hand rod. I also look at the weather, and ensure the wind is not so high that casting becomes extremely difficult.
Wading in the surf can be dangerous so making sure you have your footing and that you dont go too deep is important. Certain sections of the beach have rip currents where troughs drain water to cuts which dump water out quickly to the ocean. If you cant see these areas, you will feel the current pull as you approach the area wading. Sometimes several waves “stack up” and a surge of water comes in. Although, these surges churn up a lot of food and bring fish in closer, you should be aware that the water is very powerful and you should be careful. Be aware of sneaker waves too and never turn your back on the ocean.
Sometimes a change of pace is fun and challenging yourself by targeting a new species in an entirely different ecosystem can be a beneficial experience. The surf offers a great fishery to give trout a break during the hot conditions of summer. Because these fish school up, you will do a lot of walking and casting to find where fish are congregating that day. Feel free to give the shop a call or stop in if you have any questions; we’re happy to help with gear, fly selection, or advice.
Storytelling is one of the best tools we have for sharing information and getting people excited about a new topic. With that in mind, we’re excited to launch a storytelling campaign based on the wild fish and environment of the McKenzie River! To roll out this campaign, we need your help, starting at the McKenzie Chapter Meeting next Wednesday.
Please bring your photos, maps, and stories of interacting with wild fish, wildlife, or the McKenzie River itself. Maybe you have a great story about landing your first big wild, native McKenzie Redband. Maybe you’d like to share a time you watched springers spawning. Or maybe you’d like to let people know about the satisfaction you’ve gotten from volunteering on restoration projects in the basin. Any stories related to wild, native fish and the McKenzie River are welcome!
Ultimately, we hope to share these stories with the wider Native Fish Society community on our website, social media accounts, and at relevant events. We look forward to seeing you at the McKenzie Chapter meeting and hearing your stories!
The boat launch at Dexter Dam may close due to the Fish Facility Upgrade at Dexter. Anglers/Boaters should contact Ross Foster at the Army Corps of Engineers. Let them know if you would like to have continued access to the launch at Dexter Dam. “Contact us about Dexter Fish Facility Upgrade:Ross Foster: 503-308-2905. Email Ross at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Patagonia’s new Forra Wading Boot offers a lightweight, aggressive looking, and competitive wading boot in terms of its construction. Made by Fitwells in Italy, they feature a sticky Vibram sole which is great for hiking and wading. Both boots weigh in at an impressively light 41 oz. They retail at $299, which, in my opinion, is a steal for a boot of this quality. Studs can be added to these boots as well.
For destinations where you cannot wear felt, and may be hiking a lot, this boot excels. It is extremely lightweight and its streamlined design reduces bulk making it a great travel boot. Despite its minimalist design, the webbing running off each lace loop offers a significant amount of lateral support. The snug fit at the ankle helps support your ankles in the most slick conditions and aids in reducing the amount of sediment that gets into your boots, thus saving your wader booties. The sole is wide with knobby edges that grip when you need them to most. They are also made with non-corrosive components meaning they are saltwater safe.
Sizing for this boot was a little tricky as they run small. I was debating between sizing one or two whole sizes up from my previous boot. I ended up sizing up one size and am happy with my choice. Keep in mind you will likely have to size up at least one size. We have a wide stock of sizes at the shop to help you figure out what works best.
I put this boot to the test in several different environments and wading conditions. The initial test was in Central Oregon and I put about 20,000 steps in each day for two days of fishing. This roughly comes out to about 10 miles each day. During those days I waded on rocky and mossy riverbeds, slippery slopes, and walked through the mud and muck at the inlet of a reservoir. I knew pretty soon into the first day that these were hands down the best wading boot I have hiked long distances in. The Cordura upper dries, and sheds water quickly reducing weight for walking long distances. I do wish these boots came in felt, but if you really need additional grip, these boots can be studded.
I have also been fishing in the surf on the Oregon coast lately, and have taken these to the beaches several times. I’ve found fishing for surfperch on the fly requires a significant amount of walking, and these boots are great for that. The aggressive, wide sole provides a solid foundation for wading in the surf: a place where staying upright on your two feet is crucial. The snug upper fit helps sand keep sand out when compared to other boots. Standing on rocky outcroppings, and the jetty can be dicey; the grippy vibram sole really makes a significant difference.
Overall, this is one of the best boots I’ve had the chance to test myself. I do wish they had a felt option for our slippery rivers, and you must keep in mind the sizing when purchasing, especially online. These are a phenomenal boot, made by a company that will take care of you and your gear for the long haul. Stop by the shop and try them on if you’re interested, or give us a call with any questions if you’re from out of town; we’re happy to help.
One Boat is available for our annual tournament. Sign up here: TWO FLY
Since 2008, the Two Fly Tournament has raised more than $160,000 to benefit clean water, abundant fish and wildlife habitats and thriving communities for Western Oregon. A benefit for McKenzie River Trust, you’ll be connecting with other people who care and fishing for a cause during the Two Fly Tournament!
Friday: The tournament begins at the Caddis Fly Angling Shop with an evening dinner and local brew. You’ll recieve your own Two-Fly Tournament t-shirt and your team will draw your guide for the tournament. Need new gear? On Friday, 10% of all sales at the Caddis Fly Shop will go to McKenzie River Trust!
Saturday: Enjoy a full day of fly fishing with your local guide on either the McKenzie or Willamette River. In the evening, participants will come back together again at Hendrick’s Bridge Park to celebrate a great day of fishing on Oregon’s pristine rivers. A catered dinner is provided alongside local brews as the annual winner is announced.
Since Aug. 7th, there’s been one ecological disaster after another as the Winchester Water Control District (WWCD) made repairs to the dilapidated Winchester Dam to the minimum extent necessary to address public safety issues. Sadly, their cheap-as-possible approach came with near-maximum environmental damage.
The last several weeks have seen:
A massive fish kill of Pacific Lamprey as a result of the repair process, in which upwards of hundreds of thousands of fish died.
Mats made from old vehicle tires, likely containing a compound lethal to salmon and steelhead, were placed in the river and driven over again and again with heavy equipment.
Blocked passage for native migratory fish, including imperiled, iconic Summer Steelhead.
Wet concrete dumped into the waters of the North Umpqua, likely changing the river’s PH level and harming or killing fish and habitat downstream.
Thankfully, this ecological disaster is coming to an end. Fish passage is being restored, and native migratory fish will once again be able to access the 160 miles of habitat upstream.
Please consider testifying on Friday, 9/15 to the ODFW Commission asking the commission to investigate these reported violations and, if substantiated, bring enforcement action to the fullest extent possible. The meeting will be held in Bend starting at 8am (location of meeting). Folks must register to testify by 8am on Wednesday, 9/13, under the topic of public forum (link to register – check agenda item “other”).
In this video, Simon Stephen demonstrates how to tie a fantastic hi-vis cricket pattern. Tested this summer on the spring creeks of the Midwest’s Driftless area, it was his most productive fly he brought along. Locally, this fly has brought large fish up when they are keying in on terrestrials. This fly would be phenomenal on the South Island of New Zealand, and anywhere else with brushy banks and a significant terrestrial season. This fly is durable, hi-vis, and high floating. Try tying it with different colors like tan or light green for an all around deadly terrestrial pattern that best matches your local insects.
In this video Simon demonstrates how to tie a Pale Morning Dun “cripple” fly pattern. This pattern imitates the PMD as it emerges, attempting to break the water’s surface meniscus. This half in half out or struggling mayfly is like candy for feeding trout. During heavy hatches, trout will often key in on easy meals like emerging mayflies shedding their nymphal shuck. Mayflies that run into issues during their emergence such as getting stuck, or soaking their wings make for an even easier meal. A cripple pattern like this effectively imitates both emerging mayflies and crippled ones by dropping the rear of the fly into the water mimicking an emerging PMD. The pattern can be altered in size and color for other hatches. Have some of this particular style tied up in your box for summer months.
In this video, Simon ties a “Rusty Spinner” dry fly. This fly pattern is an indispensable pattern in a summer angler’s box. It effectively mimics the spent Spinner stage of Pale Morning/Evening Duns in the West, and Sulphurs in the Midwest and out East. Sparsely tied, this pattern effectively imitates a variety of smaller spent mayflies.
Mayflies go through several metamorphoses in their life. The most drastic is the nymph to Dun or Subimago transition where they shed their nymphal shuck and become a winged adult. Some anglers don’t know that mayflies go through a second metamorphosis where they molt in stream-side vegetation or in the air to become sexually mature adults called Spinners, or Imagoes. These Spinners or Imagoes are often more rust colored hence the namesake of the pattern “Rusty Spinner”. After this metamorphosis, adults will gather in clusters dancing up and down often above the river. After mating and depositing eggs, they will fall to the river dead or “spent”. Fish key in on this and spinner falls can bring some of the largest fish of the summer to the surface for dries. They know they will have access to vulnerable insects that won’t escape from them often under lower light. Whether they’re overlooked or kept tight lipped, a Rusty Spinner is a fly you always want in your box during the summer time.