Kayak or pontoon boat on upper Mckenzie?

J

Jish@61

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I am new here in Lane county, and is deciding whether I want kayak or pontoon to fly fish the upper Mckenzie, anyone have some knowledge on this? Please give me some advice or suggestions.
 
hobster

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I’d use a toon, and life jacket. That river is deceptively dangerous, people die every year not being cautious. I have floated the Mac several times in my pontoon, it is a lots of fun! Where abouts are you thinking?
 
J

Jish@61

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I'm really new on this kinda of fishing and pontooning, so I was thinkinhbthe upper Mckenzie, somewhere. Just looking for some advice on where to go. Have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks for your reply.
 
troutdude

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I’d use a toon, and life jacket. That river is deceptively dangerous, people die every year not being cautious. I have floated the Mac several times in my pontoon, it is a lots of fun! Where abouts are you thinking?
The water is ICE cold too boot! So a PFD can quite literally save your life! Good lookin' out @hobster.
 
J

Jish@61

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What exactly is a PFD? I'm so new at this,lol!
 
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Jish@61

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Ok I know what PDF us, I just want to know why I would need it on the water?
 
jamisonace

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Life Jacket or personal floatation device

What do you mean by upper McKenzie? Not sure why you would want to float what I consider the upper McKenzie. Its fun to wade but would be a difficult float from any device. Definitely expert level.
 
J

Jish@61

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I guess I will ask, would the lower Mckenzie be better to put a kayak or pontoon on, and next question would be, why can't I put a pontoon or kayak on the upper Mckenzie?
 
troutdude

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Ok I know what PDF us, I just want to know why I would need it on the water?
Because if you fall into the water and--are separated from your yak or toon--you won't last long enough in the freezing water (to save yourself from drowning). Ice cold water shuts your body down fast. You'll have a much better chance to survive; if you wear a PFD.
 
hobster

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Ok I know what PDF us, I just want to know why I would need it on the water?
What @troutdude said. A few years back a father and his son were in canoes floating down the McKenzie without life jackets. They both hit Rapids, fell out of their canoes and the father never came up. It was on Father’s Day to make it even more sad. Footage was on the news, hard to watch. Be safe!
As far as the upper McKenzie,@jamisonace is right. He knows that river very well also. I guess it depends on what you consider the upper McKenzie. But up by paradise campground it is really not floatable. I’ve always floated under Leaburg dam. Too dangerous up there, much more stocking in the lower river as well.
 
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Jish@61

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Ok, thanks, that will be my next purchase, any suggestions on what brand ect.. and where to go in eugene to buy one?
 
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olshiftybiscuits

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Since no one has said this yet, let me be unequivocally clear for the original poster - you do not have enough experience to float any water craft down any section of the McKenzie River. Full stop. In fact if you don’t have experience on the oars, you should not float any section of any river until you take a lesson. The upper McKenzie I would only float with a professional.

There is no such thing as a beginner float. I’m not saying this to be a jerk - I’m saying it so that you won’t die.
 
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olshiftybiscuits

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And for everyone else, call the sheriff’s office to ask about obstructions before you float your favorite section of the McKenzie this year. It’s a mess due to the fires and wind - just choked with sweepers.
 
J

Jish@61

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Thanks , so its better to wade in the upper Mckenzie? And how far is the lower Mckenzie from junction city? Thsnks again!
 
O

olshiftybiscuits

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20 mins or so to the lower. Matt Ramsey is a really good guide in the area, he can show you the whole river headwaters to mouth. Well worth the price if you live nearby and will be fishing it a lot, and especially if you want to learn to float certain sections on your own down the road. I’d also check out the McKenzie tribs like horse creek, they’ll be in fishable shape earlier than normal this year and could be fishing well by as early as June. They’re some of my favorite streams to fish in late summer. On the upper this year, wildfire damage is going to be a factor.
 
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Jish@61

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Thise Mckenzie tries? Are they all in the upper?
 
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olshiftybiscuits

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Upper and middle. Around blue river and upstream.
 
J

Jish@61

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Ok thanks for the info, I would like to go with a guide, but I just moved here from 3,000 moles away and kinda short on cash. Thanks again.
 
J

Jish@61

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Hello again, lots of good info on this forum, so is above blue river wadable, and how easy is the access.
 
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