McKenzie tips for a someone new to fly fishing?

O
OregonApe
So I've been living in Eugene and Springfield for the last few years but really haven't fished much since I was a kid. Anyway, I've had some health issues over the last year and it does my mental state some good to get out of the house. I have a local buddy who wants to get back into fly fishing but doesn't know the area at all. I'm completely new to fly fishing and also don't know the area. I am currently in Springfield basically a mile north of the middle fork and a mile south of the McKenzie. I picked up a combo from Caddis last week and am waiting on my waders to be delivered tomorrow. I would have signed up for the August class from Caddis but we expect to be out on the water sooner than their next class.

Anyway, anyone have any tips for good spots to wade from or seasonally appropriate flies? Floating or sink tip this time of year? Really I'm just hoping to not end up swimming. Not that the local rivers are that bad in terms of temperature or flow. I've been on a couple of Kenai sockeye trips and that's a river you don't want to end up swimming in.

I was doing some spoon fishing from the ramp at harvest landing a couple weeks ago and it looked like there was decent top water feeding upriver if I were to wade up there. I have also fished from the ramp at Hayden Bridge but that looked much to deep to wade from which is a shame as they were going nuts just upriver from the ramp. I drove over the Hendricks Bridge park yesterday morning to take a look and saw some guys out there but no one looked to be having much success. My buddy heard about Finn Rock from somewhere and was curious about that area. Are some stretches of the McKenzie better than others?
 
troutdude
troutdude
Welcome to OFF. I'll defer to the fly fishing crowd to answer your questions. But do note that at least some stretches, as I recall, require barbless flies/hooks. As well as catch and release.

Good luck and let us know how you do.
 
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OregonApe
Thanks. I'm not seeing anything about barbless for the McKenzie. The Willamette apparently requires them above lookout point lake.

I'm catching and release generally so no concerns there.
 
troutdude
troutdude
My bad. I'd swear that I'd seen barbless hooks listed before. However I just checked the reg's and I stand corrected.
 
Echskech
Echskech
You can spend a lot of time getting discouraged by private property and heavily pressured public areas (rafters, tubers, bankies). My recommendation is that you and your buddy just split the charge and go on a guided half day trip. If I could do it all over again, that would be my move for that river.
Just be sure to ask $200 worth of questions on your trip to break even 🤑
 
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OregonApe
Well I hopped over to Hendricks Bridge Park this morning. Learned a lot from making mistakes my first time. Learned to make sure your reel is well secured to your rod. Haha. I learned not to keep my phone in my chest pocket when it wiggled it's way up and over my waders somehow. Only fell in twice (not really sure what happened there). I was just trying top water. Very little sign of fish. I saw a few splashes from the world's tinniest trout.
 
jamisonace
jamisonace
Harvest is a great option for where you live. Wade to the other side of the island as well as downstream of the swift water below. Access the water downstream from the 90 degree corner.

If you want some of my favorite options for up around Paradise and the South Fork, send me a message and I'll give you some tips. Super fun water up there.
 
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O
OregonApe
jamisonace said:
Harvest is a great option for where you live. Wade to the other side of the island as well as downstream of the swift water below. Access the water downstream from the 90 degree corner.

If you want some of my favorite options for up around Paradise and the South Fork, send me a message and I'll give you some tips. Super fun water up there.

I have actually been thinking about Harvest Landing a lot. I have fished a little from the ramp with a spinning rod. It does seem like the deeper water just above the ramp could be good. There was a lot of top water feeding up there the last time I was there. Is that the corner you are talking about?

1690818058050.png
 
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jamisonace
jamisonace
The 90 degree corner is on the road. Park there and walk on the trails to the river. that entire bank even beyond what is seen in the picture can be good to fantastic depending on the hatches that are happening. The other side of the island, just off the ramp can be equally good but there is less water to fish. The area you highlighted definitely holds fish, mostly in the riffle.
fish.png
 
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O
OregonApe
Ah, gotcha. I was curious about that area because it's marked as public park but I didn't see much in the way of access on my way to the ramp parking lot.
 
O
OregonApe
Well I went out again yesterday. Harvest Landing this time. I was delighted to wake up and find that the smoke had moved on. I decided to try a dry dropper setup this time. No luck. Haha, I got excited once when I saw the dry fly disappear below the surface. I set it and it moved like a fish. I had hooked a curved stick so when I set the hook it curved through the water.

I called it quits after a couple of hours. Almost made it back to the boat launch when my right foot hooked under a large rock and when I tried to bring my left foot forward to stabilize myself it also hooked under a rock and I went in face first. I was soaked but at least it didn't make it all the way to my socks this time. Honestly, the water is pleasant enough even in the morning that I don't know why I'm even bothering with waders right now.
 
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