McKenzie and Willamette Flyfishing Report: Dry Fly Fishing Improves as Hatches Pop

I spent the last several days guiding different stretches of the Upper McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette rivers for trout. It’s a magical time of year. With the weather on the mend, the rivers are warming and dropping just in time for some of the best hatches on the season. The big green caddis are out in force up and down the McKenzie as well as the Willamette. Yesterday I saw decent numbers of Green Drakes out along with the green caddis and various smaller caddis and mayfly species. This insect smorgasbord brought some really nice fish to the surface to feed.

Tim Becker with Upper McKenzie River Rainbow

Spring and early summer on the McKenzie and Willamette offer the best hatches of the season; big bugs that get the fish stirred-up and looking to the surface. Golden Stoneflies will soon join the mix. I have to admit that I have spent a lot of time this spring staring at strike indicators. It is a great change of pace to see the fish come up and crush a big dry fly.

Green Caddis Adult

The McKenzie Green caddis hatch is a unique one. The pupae free-emerge, often out of fast water. They swim to the surface quickly where they hop, bounce, and flutter trying to dry their wings before flying off. The fish show a real preference for this bug. I sometimes wonder how this particular species of caddis perpetuates itself, some days it seems like every adult I see emerge is gobbled by a trout or bird. Survival in numbers I suppose.


It is time to get out and fish. Trout fishing conditions are ideal, and more summer steelhead are arriving in the area daily. Give me a call or email to book a trip to get out and experience some of the best fishing Oregon has to offer.

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