Fishing Report: Mckenzie and Willamette Rivers, June 3, 2022

Willamette Valley Fishing and Home Waters Fly Shop fishing report for June 3, 2022:


  • After a warm week, the Willamette Valley will see more rain moving in. The National Weather Service is calling for showers through to Monday, with the heaviest rain falling on Saturday. On the one hand, the cloud cover and rain should be good for more hatches. We already have a full water table, so expect Saturday’s rain to impact Lower McKenzie water clarity below the Mohawk River. The Middle Fork of the Willamette may experience a blowout in the town run, too. All depends on how hard and heavy the rain falls.
  • While Middle Fork of the Willamette is wadeable around Elijah Bristow and Pengra, the section up river towards Oakridge is dealing with late season runoff. Salt Creek is humming and the flows are high. 
  • We’ve had steady reports (and first-hand experience) of people catching summer-run fish on both the Willamette and the McKenzie. Go and work your favorite runs. While the numbers are still low, they are stronger than last year. 
  • As always, if you plan on heading out, be sure file a float plan with someone, and to check the recently reported obstructions from the Oregon State Marine Board. These are PNW rivers, not a Disney Land rides.
  • McKenzie River fishing has been nymphs (stone, Pat’s rubber legs, Hare’s ear, Frenchie) in the morning and Green Caddis #14 in the evening. We’ve also seen some PMDs coming off and happy fish feeding on spinners. For that reason, always carry a trusty rusty with you!
  • Willamette River fishing has been solid for dries, streamers, and nymphs. Down deep in the morning on the nymphs, mid-day swing through the deep holes (slower than you think, trust us!) and dries in the evening (#14-#12 tan caddis, trusty rusty). 

Middle Fork Willamette River Fishing Report:

  • Middle Fork Willamette from Oakridge to Black Canyon:
    • Water clarity is good but the run-off has bumped the levels. Water clarity is decent, but rain and runoff will change things over the weekend. Look to later in the week or fish the rain before it gets bad.
    • 1790 cfs at Salt Creek and 4680 cfs at the NF of the Middle Fork above Oakridge. With the reservoirs filling, flows should increase over the weekend.
  • Middle Fork Willamette from Dexter Dam to Coast Fork Confluence:
    • The spigot has been turned off at Dexter making things more boney. There is new timber down at Dexter Boat Launch, above Pengra, and Down to Jasper. Also, lower flows are showing all the new root wads that are boat killers.
    • Flows at Dexter Dam are “below normal” at 1520 cfs and remaining steady. Gear fisherman and rooster tail cowboys have been spotted with their power bait pipe dreams.
    • Jasper has flows at 2140 cfs and rising by 40cfs. This is below normal and it shows. The swingable runs have slowed down. Fish are holding in the deeper water or along the cut banks.
    • Middle Fork from McKenzie Confluence up to Marshall Island
      • Armitage is at 6060 cfs, which is above normal and remaining steady. Through the confluence is fishing well for now. The weekend storm might change clarity.

McKenzie River Fishing Report:

  • Below Leaburg Dam:
    • Water clarity is good and the flows are returning to normal (at least until the rain hits this weekend). The water levels are still high, but fishing well. Nymphs in the morning, dries in the evening.
    • Flows below Leaburg are at 5170 cfs and rising 20 cfs/hour. River speed is still a little fast, so look for that decelerating water and those cut banks as feeding zones.
    • Walterville is at 2760 cfs. That classifies as “normal” for this time of year. The flows are steady. Walterville down fished the best last week.
    • Lastly, Hayden is at 5360 and rising by 30 cfs/hour which is normal. But, the Mohawk is still humming along at 458 cfs. This is adding to some clarity issues. That said, this is where those unexpected summer-run fish have been hooked.
  • Above Leaburg Dam
    • Water clarity is outstanding (as always). Levels have been dropping but the river is still fast. Nymphing, has been the most productive. The combo of a big stone to get down and a mini-possie bugger dropper (#10) or a pheasant tail has been the ticket.
    • Vida is above normal at 5050 cfs and Gate Creek is sitting much above normal at 205. 

Reservoirs we Fish:

  • For those interested parties, here are the current levels of our local reservoirs:
    • Hills Creek: 86% full
    • Lookout Point: 79% full
    • Dorena: 102% full
    • Cottage Grove: 99% full
    • Fall Creek: 96% full
    • Fern Ridge: 100% full