After the Flood

McKenzie River at Hayden Bridge April 8, 2019

A late-season Pineapple Express in early April resulted in some of the highest water levels seen on local rivers in over a decade. On the heels of a February snowstorm that toppled countless trees into the rivers, the flood has rearranged woody structure and riverbottom strata alike. In the last couple of weeks, it has been fun getting out there to see where and how the river has changed.

As is typical of flood events, the river takes a while to recover. Mature insects that were staging to hatch have been washed away, and the fish are only now emerging from the refuge of sheltering lies along and under the banks and submerged vegetation.

But fish gotta eat, and so the action has been pretty good since the waters have subsided. And there have been some really nice ones on the move.

As things settle down into Spring proper and the weather warms, we expect the fishing will only improve. It will be interesting to see how the hatches progress after the flood.

Spring Special is ON thru April

Early season trout fishing is in full swing this month. Through the end of April, the Two Dudes are offering our McKenzie Spring Special half-day rate: $350 for a 5-hour tour. This is a late morning-through-early afternoon trip, designed to be on the water for the best time for surface activity.

March Browns are popping daily, and the redsides are noticing. Time to get out and flex that trout gear!

2019 Brazilian Peacock Party

Epic Peacock Bass!
Max Salzburg photo.

Just returned from another amazing trip to the Equatorial Amazon. Great fishing this season! Here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights. This trip is as incredible as it looks! When you’re ready to sweat for your fishing, we can show you the way.

Matt Canter photo.
Arapaima.
Matt Canter photo.
Joseph has the eyes.
Matt Canter photo.
Traeira
Payara
Sam on lunch break.
Matt Canter photo.
Giant hopper.
Irmao knew the perfect laguna for Dexter’s last-day arapaima.
Tapir.
Peter Widener photo.
Matt Canter photo.

2018 Fall Fishing Highlights

Fall in the southern Valley is magic!  The persistent lack of rainfall and calm conditions throughout the last month have made for some epic days on the water.  Fishing remains very good for both trout and steelhead.  Shorter daylight hours mean that half-day outings are now the rule.  As we segue into the holidays and (hopefully) the rain and darker days of winter, here is a look back at the last few weeks on the homewaters.  Enjoy!

October Caddis Time!

The much-anticipated annual emergence of October Caddis is in full swing here on the waters of the southern Valley.

These protein-packed bugs are not going unnoticed by the local trout and steelhead.  While it is commonly assumed that steelhead aren’t “feeding” on their spawning migration, at this time of year, they reveal a true weakness for a juicy October Caddis pulsing on the surface.  On a recent 3-day visit, Agua Boa Ace Angler and friend of Grover, Elizabeth P. scored perfect conditions and enjoyed great fishing and solitude.  What a wonderful time to be in the Valley!

 

September Fishing: Swing’s On!

Cooler nights, crisp bright sunshine, and shorter days remind us that Fall is here. This is a special time here in the Valley.  With so much good fishing nearby, and dwindling days to enjoy it, anglers and fish alike are making the most of the fall bounty.  Time to get out there and store up some quiet river time for the winter.  Here are some of the moments that make for warm memories in the cold months to come.

 

Fall Fishing heats up as Weather Cools

As we segue into the fall season, the days are getting shorter, the mornings crisp and cool.  Anglers across the northwest are increasingly focussed on the coast and the promise of fresh fall chinook salmon.

But for those anglers wanting to escape the intensity of going coastal, there has been plenty of action closer to home.   Steelhead success has been slow but steady in spite of this year’s low return, and the river has been uncrowded.

Meanwhile, trout fishing on the McKenzie has been excellent, especially on the cloudier days. With more cool wet weather in the forecast, and the fall insect hatches coming off daily, fishing should be awesome for the next month or so.

Dog Days of Summer

The heat is on in late summer here in the Valley.  We’ve thus far been an oasis of clean air in the vast cloud of wildfire smoke engulfing the west coast.  Fingers are crossed that the winds continue to spare us!  In the meantime, fishing has been steady.  Trout action on the McKenzie has been the highlight with plenty of redside and breadside rainbows keeping rods bent.

Over on the sister river, the steelhead fishing has been pretty ok.  We’ve been averaging a fish per outing, despite the recent heat wave.  Best action tends to be before the inner tube hatch starts.

We’re looking forward to the cooling waters of September and October to provide some great fishing for both trout and steelhead.  Hope to see you on the water!

Summer Time on the McKenzie

Summer has begun, and the trout are biting.  We’ve been enjoying the typical panoply of June weather, with everything from full sunshine to thunderous cloudbursts.

Fishing has been excellent throughout the river.  Wild redside rainbows are in the daily mix along with plenty of breadsides rounding out the action.

On any day, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is a pretty awesome place to be.

Meanwhile over on the sister river, steelhead numbers are steadily increasing.  Fish are being landed here and there, and it looks like we will have contestable conditions for the latter part of the summer and into the fall.  An encouraging prospect after last year’s dismal return.  Stay tuned. The swing is on. . .

Deschutes Salmonfly 2018

As the fabled big-bug hatch winds down in the desert, we look ahead to summer days on the local waters of the McKenzie and Willamette.  But before we do that, here’s a look back at the last few weeks of adventure in the incomparable Deschutes Canyon.

Thanks to Scott Blackwell of High Desert Drifters and to Ethan and Kyle of Ethan Nickel Outfitters for black-belt outfitting. And special appreciation to Ty Holloway for his bravery in a moment of mortal peril in a Madras hotel room.