Fishing Report: July 1, 2022

Willamette Valley Fishing and Home Waters Fly Shop fishing report for July 1, 2022:


  • After a heat wave last week that drove the fish down deep, temps in the valley are getting back to normal. The cooler mornings and evenings have been good for all. This weekend, the National Weather Service has used its crystal ball to guess at average temps for the holiday.  We anticipate great fishing through the weekend and into next week. However, we are well aware that this is a holiday weekend which means bigger crowds and potentially less that safe behavior on our waters. Take care of yourselves and each other out there. It’s the American thing to do.
  • On the McKenzie, dry fly action has picked up with both McKenzie green caddis and tan caddis working well. We like size 10 and twelve fishing through the fast water. If we aren’t seeing any rises, we’re relying on Frenchies, peacock perdigon, and PMD soft hackles to fill in the gaps. Finally, when needing to get down deep, we are looking to that trusty #6 trout retriever in yellow.
  • Willamette River fishing has gone from relatively reliable to outright bannanas! Flows have rapidly fluctuated from day-today leaving river conditions to anyone’s best guess at any given moment. When we have fished it, we’re looking to Tan caddis, parachute adams (both in #10-14), split case PMDs, and that old school favorite: the Royal Wulff.
  • Safety update for the Willamette: There are new obstructions leading into the Pengra boat launch as of June 28th. There is a clear channel to river right, but the current wants to push you into the root wad. Start your ferry early and stay wide. In addition, the confluence above Fall Creek leading down to Jasper State Park has 3 new trees in the middle of the main channel. As of the 28th, the only clear path is river right. Remember: When it doubt, scout!

Middle Fork Willamette River:

  • Middle Fork Willamette from Oakridge to Black Canyon:

    • Water clarity is good but run-off and reservoir management has kept the flows higher than normal. That said, water temps and insect activity have made for some epic dry fly mornings and evenings. If you are a dry or die kind of angler, this is the spot for you.
    • 1130 cfs at Salt Creek and 2360 cfs at the NF of the Middle Fork which places flows in the “normal” and “above normal” range for this time of year.

  • Middle Fork Willamette from Dexter Dam to Coast Fork Confluence:

    • Flows at Dexter are at 4270 cfs which is an all-time high. Looks like the Army Corps is trying to keep both Hills Creek and Lookout Point reservoirs at equal levels leading to daily changes in river flows. That said, the water clarity and temps are favorable. 
    • Jasper has flows at 4790 cfs which counts as “much above normal,” however if you can time the drops in flows the bite has been excellent.

  • Middle Fork from McKenzie Confluence up to Marshall Island

      • Armitage is at 4020 cfs, which is “above normal” for this time of year. Over the weekend, this is gonna be inner tube hatch central!

McKenzie River:

  • Above Leaburg Dam

    • Water clarity is outstanding (as always). Levels have been dropping but the river is still fast. While nymphing is always solid, we’ve started to see the dry fly action pickup. Green caddis and tan caddis in a size 10 has been productive. We are also starting to favor the purple parachute in a #12.
    • Vida is at 3200 cfs. This is in the normal range and we are no longer anchoring in the tall grass. 

  • Below Leaburg Dam:

    • Water clarity is good while water levels are still high. Fishing the head of deeper holes and the outside seams of faster water has been doing the trick.
    • Flows below Leaburg are at 3450 cfs. With the hotter days, the lower river has been warming more than expected. We are also seeing more salmon than in years past which is always a welcome sight.
    • Lastly, Hayden is at 3420 cfs which is above normal but fishing well.

Reservoirs we Fish:

  • For those interested parties, here are the current levels of our local reservoirs:
    • Hills Creek: 85% full
    • Lookout Point: 86% full
    • Dorena: 100% full
    • Cottage Grove: 97% full
    • Fall Creek: 98% full
    • Cougar Reservoir: 53% full