March is among my favorite months on the fishing calendar, with great opportunities for both steelhead and trout. While most of the hatchery runs have petered out, good opportunities remain to fish for wild steelhead on many of our coastal and inland rivers. The weather is typically more mild this time of year than it is earlier in the winter steelhead season, which can make the act of fishing more enjoyable, and can also make it more productive; as water temperatures climb slightly, the fish often respond better to flies, especially swung offerings.
As we enjoy the last month of our winter steelhead season, the trout fishing on the McKenzie is set to really turn on. Throughout the last month, the nymphing on the lower McKenzie remained good for some nice-sized wild trout. With the advent of the March Brown hatch and milder weather in the forecast, fishing on or near the surface will really pick up.
This picture was taken on the lower McKenzie last Friday. While the weather was cold, the fishing was not. A guest on a guided trip, Gregg Leet, found good numbers of nice rainbows on nymph patterns. This fish made a dramatic finish for our day on the river.