View Full Version : McKenzie, N. Santiam, Deschutes Memorial Day Weeke

05-13-2008, 10:30 AM
Flying up to Oregon thursday for a Memorial Day weekend road trip! Planning to float the McKenzie for 3/4 of the day Friday and then running over to the N. Santiam for the evening. We will then head over to Warm Springs to fish the Deschutes on Saturday. Then off to Maupin to fish the Deschutes Sunday and 3/4 of Monday.

Not sure if any of the sniffers are from up that way but wanted to get some info on what would be considered unfishable flows for flyfishing and some good flies to pick up before I go. Fished the Deschutes last year, but have never fished the McKenzie or the N. Santiam.


05-13-2008, 01:30 PM
Sounds like a great trip. I have fished all three rivers, mostly for steelhead. Are you going to be targeting trout or summer run steelhead? McKenzie is beautiful and easy to access, but I think the steelhead run has continued to decline over the years. The Santiam has a strong summer run of steelhead, but there is a fair amount of technical water so watch out. The Deschutes around Maupin should be a trout only, unless there are some down river steelies lurking or a few springers in the system. There are a few good flyshops in the Eugene area I would check in there for the best producing patterns, or if you want to pick up some steelhead flys.


05-14-2008, 07:51 AM
WishN - We will be targeting trout but if we should happen to hook into a steelhead we wouldn't complain. The only place we will be floating is the McKenzie, but thanks for the heads up on the N. Santiam. The rest of the stops we will be banking it. I have seen the various fly shops in the general area, but I will be flying in late on Thursday night and we are headed straight for the McKenzie so they will probably be closed. Do you know of any gas stations/stores near McKenzie Bridge where we could pick up some flies? Thanks.

05-14-2008, 08:53 AM
I fished the McKenzie from a drift boat for trout some years back. I drifted 1 to 2 salmon eggs on a small hook and did real well. I even hooked a hog of a stealhead that about spooled my 4 lbs test and broke me off. Those ae beautiful pieces of water you will be on.

05-14-2008, 02:00 PM

take a look at this link http://www.westfly.com/oregon/oregon-fly-shop.htm. You should be able to find anything you need.

BTW if you are flying out of Portland, make some time and check out Fisherman's Marine off of the 205 HWY....it is my Mecca. I find myself pilgrimiging there every year to two.
Good fishN

WishN I was

05-15-2008, 01:46 PM
Hello JSP, I am from the area you are planning on coming to. I would recommend the Deschutes in Central Oregon just below the dam at Wickiup res. This time of year the Browns and Rainbows stock up there looking for the Kokes and other matter coming from the dam, it goes with out saying to check the local reg. before angling. With the snow pack this year the chances of a Trophy fish are higher than normal. It is mostly bank angling due to high flows so safety first and tight lines to you.


05-21-2008, 11:00 AM

Have you heard about any activity up around the 3 Sisters Area? Probably still iced over till mid-summer. I might be heading up there after the thaw. Good Luck.

05-21-2008, 03:31 PM
We have a new record for snow this year, all the higher elevation lakes area still snowed in. The lakes are still iced in; the lower elevation areas (below 4500 feet) are accessible. Let me know a general idea of when and where your headed and I will call some friends of mine over there and get first hand information. Tight lines.....


05-21-2008, 09:31 PM
Would love to hear more! I have a fishing 'tip' on the Santiam River in Mill City I need to cash in! Thinking it may be Mid-July.

Have family in town there, and have needed to fish that river since I first saw it! :o

05-22-2008, 03:04 AM
I fish the South Fork of the Santiam in Sweethome Oregon as my Mother inlaw lives about 5 blocks from the river it is a great river for summer steelies. Thre is also foster lake just out of town and Green Petter Lake with great kokanee fishing. I haul the boat up there and fish with some friends. There is a great tackle store in Sweethome with lots of flies and steelhead stuff it is called DanDees ifI rember right. Sounds by the snow report it might be late June or even July before the rivers are fishable. Nothing like cathing steelhead on the 4th of July sure beats 100 degree days in Calif. Kent

05-22-2008, 03:09 AM
One other note if you get to Sweet Home drive across the bridge and look down stream and see if you see any fishermen either fishing off the bridge or down stream then drive up River road to Foster dam and acrossed the dam. Looking dwon stream from the top of the dime you will see a hatchery on your right and there should be guys fishing there and acrossed from it then you should see guys further down. The more guys you see the greater the numbers of fish being caught. Kent

05-22-2008, 09:39 AM
Thanks for the info guys. I am headed out this afternoon and will report when I get back. Looks like a lot of water in all the rivers we are going to be fishing, but I am sure we will have a great time. If the fish cooperate that will be a bonus.

06-04-2008, 06:50 AM
Well sorry for the late report, but things have been hectic. We made it up to Oregon and it was wet! On Friday the McKenzie and N. Santiam were a little high for our taste. So we headed over to the Metolius Friday afternoon. What a beautiful river. No fish to hand, but a couple other guys in the group had a couple on. Then on Saturday we headed over to the Deschutes near Warm Springs. Everyone in the group got some fish to hand there, but nothing of any size mostly 8-12" with a mix of steelhead and redsides. The redsides were a lot of fun and fought extremely well for their size. Saturday night we headed up to Maupin to camp and fished up and down river of Maupin. Caught some more fish there Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday. Fish were a little bigger with the redsides putting up a great fight once again.

While the catching wasn't exactly hot we still had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. Maupin is a lot of fun for being out there a bit.