Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Lower McKenzie Trout - Grannom Caddis Blizzard

(Fishing Report From 4/12/2011)
I apologize for the dated report, but I wanted to document some days from the recent past. Since I have been transitioning for a former Kaufmann Streamborn employee to a full time fly fishing guide, I have been really busy, and posting entries has been conflicting with my life's schedule, but now I am more or less all caught up and ready to roll on this blog style website. 

Recently I had a trip with two of my regular clients, and we had a fun day out on the river as usual. At first, the fishing was good, but the catching was rather slow. It was sunny, bright, and high pressure filled the sky, but I always have the attitude that it is better to be out in the sunshine with slower fishing; than to be out in a nasty weather day getting cold and catching fish while being wet. At least sometimes...

Beautiful Rainbow Trout Taken on a Golden Stone Nymph

The hatch came off at about 2pm, and it was rather gruesome. There was a grannom caddis hatch of epic proportions, and it was literally all about "bug mass" out there. It was basically snowing out of the water, and the bugs were matting up over a couple of inches thick on some of the current seams. If you took a seining net; you could gather pounds of insects in no time (LITERALLY!)

I have seen this hatch come off year after year, and it is funny because the fishing is literally never that good while they are coming off. It seems like there is simply too much bug life out there when this phenomena occurs, and the fish either get full, overstimulated, or something we do not know. People may try and be "know it all" and say, "we should put an emerger on, or a subsurface pupa pattern." My rebuttal to that one is other anglers, guides, and I have already tried all of those tricks, and not one of them has worked yet. I have seen the hatch bring all of the nice fish up, but that is literally only on a few occasions over all of the years. On the flip side, when the March Brown mayflies hatch while the grannoms are hatching; it creates a feeding frenzy that brings the hefty trout up to the surface. During that time the larger native trout become vulnerable to swung wet flies and dead drifted dries.

 Rainbow Trout Appreciation
After a while, the hatch tapered down to a level where the fishing got better, and you could start to target specific fish rising to flies. Wet fly swinging and dead drifting dries was consistent, but the larger fish were hard to come by. Many times, the caddis hatch like this will bring the interests of the "little guys" but the big ones seem to want something different. We were going to go back to nymphing again; as we wanted to get a trophy rainbow trout.

Lower McKenzie 20.5" Rainbow Trout

We got into a good spot and the day was really winding down. The fishing had slowed down to a level, where the surface action was more or less shut off, and we nymphed around some probable bed rock slots and boulders. The indicator plunged down, Bruce struck the line tight, and life was on the other end. The line went out of control for a few seconds as Bruce gained the line back onto the reel. His Rio Indicator Line peeled off of his reel as the large trout surged downstream. It was the trout we had been looking for, and now landing it was the quest. I pulled the boat over to the bank and Bruce hopped out to battle the fish from the beach. After a few runs and surges, the fish was in the net, and it measured out for a reading 20.5". Sweet!! We let that nice male native redside back off into the river to continue on with its bug feeding; so it could maybe be seen again at 21+". A couple more fish after that, and we called it a day. A wonderful day it was!!!

The McKenzie River really shines hard for the next several weeks, and there is a large Green Caddis that will be hatching from about here on out until summer really heats up. It is more or less the best time of the year to experience the lower McKenzie for its large wild trout. If you are interested in booking a guided trip for trout, call me at (541)-232-6360 or email me at fish@mckenzieangler.com

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