Saturday, October 8, 2011

McKenzie River Slam While Trout Fishing

This past Thursday, we floated the McKenzie for trout, and ended up having a wonderful day out there. The day had a pleasant surprise that ended up making it a totally memorable one. We were swinging wet flies under the surface film, and the trout were responding quite well to the presentations. We caught rainbows consistently throughout the day, and there was not much of a bug hatch while we were out on the water. We also fished with a large October Caddis dry fly and a Possie Bugger nymph dropped off of it, and that was not the best producer this day, but it usually works very well throughout the fall.
A nice 15" Coastal Cutthroat taken on a yellow softhackle in the Surface Film
 The first fish to make the "slam" criteria was a fine 15" coastal cutthroat that tore up a yellow softhackle pattern swung down and across in the surface film. The McKenzie River cutts do not get much bigger than 15"; so I was totally stoked to see that gorgeous fish. It was quite the scrapper too, making a few little runs and jumping clear out of the water several times.
 Hot Turbo Charge McKenzie River Rainbow Trout Taken on a October Caddis Pupa
 The next fish to count towards the "slam" was a fine 15" rainbow that hit a swung October Caddis pupa pattern in the surface film. The fish ripped Lance up nicely, as he commented on the fish's strength and long battle that would not cease. We admired the hard bodied rainbow before releasing it back to continue its piscatorial pursuits. Little did we know that the fishing would yield a super awesome bonus that would make the day one hard for Lance to forget.
Chrome bright 33" steelhead taken on a 8'6" 5wt fly rod on a swung October Caddis pupa
We were coming through a nice run/flat and the swung October Caddis pupa came tight with a solid grab. I commented that the fish was probably the best of the day, when suddenly the water erupted with a chrome bright steelhead. I freaked out with stoked excitement! We fought the fish for a couple of hundred yards to luckily come upon a nice gravel bar beach to be able to finish the battle off. The fish eventually yielded to a long battle filled with several hard runs. It was a 33" chromer that was on its way up the river and Lance's fly happened to intercept its coarse up the river. What a bonus!

It is awesome how you see pleasant surprises on the river, and fall can fill you with many good times while fly fishing in Oregon. Tight Lines!!!


  1. Great catch! A steelhead on a 5 weight fly rod sounds like a blast. Thanks for the great photos.

  2. um, Brian, where's the whitefish? isn't that part of the slam? they just get no respect.