Yesterday I guided a gentleman named Kevin Raph from Pacific Grove, CA on the lower McKenzie. Conversation revealed that Kevin’s son-in-law is a friend of mine from high school. It’s a small world. Relatively high water (nearly 8000 cfs at Springfield) and a few showers must have kept everyone else indoors, as we had the river entirely to ourselves. Apparently the wild rainbow and cutthroat trout hadn’t gotten the news that the water was too high, and cooperated nicely. Throughout the day, Kevin caught a good number of wild trout, many of which were of very respectable size.
The cooler weather and wind kept the hatch from coming off very well, though we did catch some fish on mayfly emergers. Most of the fish we encountered, however, and all of the big ones, fell victim to nymphs fished under an indicator.
As the weather warms in the coming weeks surface fishing should improve dramatically. Any day now the big green mckenzie caddis should begin to emerge from the river’s riffles and pools. This is one of the best hatches of the year, and makes for some exciting fishing. These bugs are big (#8-#10), emerge midstream and move actively on the water. The McKenzie’s trout give chase, moving aggressively to these large caddises. This hatch usually begins sometime in the middle of May and remains important well into the middle of June. We have a beautiful spring and summer ahead of us. It’s time to go fishing!