McKenzie River

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7 30 year
3 pm
4 pm
4.27/874 ↓
4 pm
6.79/1660 ↑
5 pm
7 30 year
4 pm
2 pm
7 30 year
2 pm
5.56/7480 ↓
7 30 year
4 pm
7 30 year
4 pm
7 30 year

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.


Size 16-20 Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear. Brown, brown-olive

Moderate runs, just below riffles: indicator, tight line, rising nymph


Size 16-20 Sprout Midge, Film Critic, Hackle Stacker. Olive-brown body, gray wing

Flats, runs, backeddies: standard dry fly


Size 16-20 Sparkle Dun, Comparadun, Hairwing Dun. Olive-brown body, gray wing

Flats, runs, backeddies: standard dry fly


Size 16-20 Diving Caddis, Soft Hackle. Dark body

runs, slowish riffles: surface swing

► Runs of slow to moderate speed are best for the blue-winged olive nymphs, but the dry flies and emergers work best in backeddies.

► There will be some sort of hatch nearly every day from 1:00 to 3:00 (daylight time). Cool, drippy days prolong and intensify the hatch, bringing more trout to the surface. Sometimes the best hatches occur when the weather is warming up after a couple of cold days. Temperatures near or below freezing will not produce a good hatch.

► Trout and whitefish feed on drifting nymphs prior to the hatch.

► Emerging duns collect in backeddies, and trout will be waiting for them.


Size 10-14 Soft Hackle, Quigley Cripple, Film Critic, Hackle Stacker. Tan to red-brown body, brown wing

Near riffles, flats: surface swing


Size 10-14 Sparkle Dun, Hairwing Dun, Comparadun. Tan to red-brown body, brown wing

Near riffles, flats: standard dry fly

► Prior to the hatch, nymphs can be productive if you drift them near the bottom. Or, tie a nymph to a 12"-18" trailing leader that is attached to the hook bend of a dry fly; trout could pick up either fly.

► During the hatch, trout may be receptive to emerger patterns.

► This hatch will probably start to fade by mid-April.

► Look for feeding fish in the slow-to-moderate runs that are within about a hundred yards (upstream or downstream) of a good-sized riffle. Nymphs grow-up in the riffle, then migrate to quieter water (upstream or downstream) just before hatching.

► Hatches start around 2:00-2:30 p.m., daylight time.


Size 12-18 Soft Hackle, , Deep Sparkle Pupa. Body: tan, green; Shroud: tan

Riffles, runs, just below riffles: surface swing, shallow nymph


Size 12-18 Goddard Caddis, X Caddis, Parachute Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis. Body: brown, green, dark gray; Wing: tan, brown

► Caddis tend to be present on sunny days when March browns are no-shows. If all else fails, a size 16 Adams or Purple Haze can work dandy when the caddis are around. Sometimes it works great when NOTHING is around and NO trout are dimpling the surface; don't try to make sense out this--just go with it.


Size 10-22 Chans Chironomid Pupa, Zebra Midge. Black, gray, olive, red, creams, browns


Size 10-22 Griffiths Gnat, Sprout Midge. Black, gray, olive, red, creams, browns

► Be prepared for midge hatches in the warmer parts of the day.

► When trout are midging, a Sprout Midge or Griffiths Gnat can work well, but a pupa pattern is always a good choice.


► Fishing below Armitage can be good, also. At that point you're in the Willamette, not the McKenzie, but who's keeping track?? You can put in at Armitage Park (next to I-5 on the McKenzie) and float to Hays (12 miles) or put in at Hays and float to Harrisburg (7 miles). Hatches and tactics are similar to those on the McKenzie.

► The Mohawk River can dump a lot of silt into the McKenzie. So fishing can be poor below the Mohawk after a storm, but okay above it. If you look at the river at Armitage Park and see chocolate milk flowing past you, don't automatically assume the entire McK is blown-out.

► Trout fishing will be best in the lower river--between Armitage and Hendricks Bridge--unless there is a string of heavy rain storms. Then it will become "difficult."

► Watch for hatches of other mayflies of size 18 and size 14-16; the latter is locally called a "pink lady" for its color, but it doesn't appear to be a pink albert mayfly.

The Caddis Fly Angling Shop 541-342-7005

Cascadia Fly Shop 541/230-1706

The Fly Fisher's Place 541-549-3474

Home-Waters 541-342-6691

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