Sunday, September 29, 2013

McKenzie River Fall Trout Fishing Pics - Pre-Storm Fishing Session

This past Friday, I had the opportunity to go on a short float with my wife Nikki after a morning half day guide trip. There was a storm predicted to wallop the area from Friday afternoon on, and it was not predicted to cease until at least Tuesday or so. The rain was starting, but it did not appear too intimidating outside, plus I had to wait around to see what the weather was going to do for the trips that I had booked for the next several days. The storm was predicted to dump many inches of rain with winds over 40 mph. We decided to go for the fishing session, figuring we could at least push to the takeout rapidly if the rain started to pound down.
"On Tight" with a nice dry fly dropper/nymph two fish double

 Two Fish caught on one cast - October Caddis dry with rainbow trout & Possie Bugger Nymph with cutthroat trout
Fishing was semi slow at the start of our mini float, but Nikki did manage to hook up with a cool two species double, and the cutthroat was a nice one. Several nice cutthroats came to drill her dry, and a few rainbows also decided to play. The nasty weather was definitely encroaching, and we got the vibe that we were going to have to head towards the take out boat ramp soon enough. Towards the end of the float, I ended up getting into a really nice rainbow that tore me up nicely making several line ripping runs. The fish decided to gobble up the #12 Possie Bugger nymph dead drifted under a foam buoyant October Caddis dry. 
On tight in landing mode for a nice McKenzie River rainbow trout
This McKenzie River rainbow trout took a possie bugger nymph fished off an October Caddis dry fly
I decided to fish one more spot quickly before departing from the river before the storm hit. This is an old school spot that my friends and I always swing softhackled wet flies in for some potential hoggish rainbows. Nikki already tore up the fish rather well on this day, and my pride would be dented knowing she whooped me silly in regards to catching on this fishing session. She was cool with me fishing this spot; especially since she was satisfied catching lots of nice fish prior to this spot, while I only had caught a few. I had a wet fly swing get intercepted by some insane fish that screamed across the river  towards the bank like a rocket. I could not tell if I was into a steelhead, because several of the runs took my entire fly line which confused me even more about what I had on the end of my line. I never got to see anything breach the water, but every time I reeled it in close, it would burn the whole fly line out in one steady run. The fish finally budged into the landing net with lots patience and finesse on my end. It filled the net showing a healthy body with lots of girth, and its length came to 22 inches long! It was not my longest McKenzie River rainbow trout ever, but the hardest fighter I have ever experienced. 
Swinging a #14 yellow softhackle resulted in the hardest trout battle experience in years
This hefty McKenzie River rainbow trout filled the landing net and came to 22 inches
Posing with a top notch McKenzie River rainbow trout that took a #14 yellow softhackle
Rainbow trout fishing never seems to yield all of its prizes. Just when you think you have experienced and seen all that a fishery can offer you; you get humbled and go for a ride on your rod and reel that makes you appreciate why we all fly fish.

Tight Lines!!!
McKenzie River @ Springfield Gauge for 9/29/13
By the way, the storm was insane and the river rose up, but the wind driven rain was too crazy to be out fishing from Saturday thru the next several days. The fishing was really great right before the storm hit; so remember that for your future fly fishing endeavors. You can sense that the fish felt something was coming and they were feeding hard right before the storm hit; especially when the weather was stirring up.

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