McKenzie River (Eugene, OR) — March 02, 2003

I fished the McKenzie River near Eugene Oregon on March 2, 2003. All I can say is WOW. This was my first trip to the west in search of trout (actually I only had one day to fish due to software training), and I was not disappointed. I caught 10 rainbows (biggest about 16 inches) and several white fish (one white fish about 2.5lbs) on my 3.5 mile float. Fishing out of a drift boat is UNREAL, but it may have had allot to do with my guide — Chris owner of The Caddis Fly in Eugene, Oregon. Chris has got a most excellent fly shop, and he is really knowledgeable — I hope to make it back to fish with him for a week at some point in the future as one day just wasn’t enough. I am convinced that if I could get Craig to row for me all day, I would buy a 14ft boat for use in Missouri. Actually, I was completely surprised how well they held in water and glided when they need to over flat water. Our access point was in some really swift water by Missouri standards (picture the White River with 6 generators running). My guide launched the boat and then proceeded to row upstream effortlessly about 400 yards to a back channel to fish and rig up. I was impressed from the get go. Then he told me about mounting electric trolling motors to them and how they would have pulled us upstream in that water no problem — due to the fact of the rockers and the low draft. He continued to handle the boat and at times we were fishing water much smaller than the upper Meremac out of the boat (he would walk behind the boat and hold it for me to fish to water, then glide through the deeper holes, etc.) Like I said, I only caught 10 rainbows, but man they were good rainbows. They fought in that heavy current and came out of the water like rockets — and man were they colorful. White Fish are an interesting fish. Fishing was slow due to a change in weather, but was OK. It seemed I wouldn’t just catch one fish in a hole. I strictly nymph fished with a 2 nymph rig (one very big b.h. nymph and a smaller prince). All my fish came off of the bigger nymph (i have 2 that I am going to tie up for here). I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted to. It started to rain, so I had to put away the camera, but I did take a couple.

Eugene Oregon is the most liberal town I have ever been in. According to the locals this town has the highest number of lesbians than any other city of its size — i can agree with that as 1 in 4 woman is holding the hand of another, etc. On my way to software training this morning, there was a protest to legalize marijuana in the streets. You can’t smoke anywhere (not that I do, but it is posted everywhere). I had to pay $9 for a turkey sandwich for lunch today — and you can’t get a Michelobe Light anywhere in town. The scenery is actually awesome though — and the fishing isn’t bad either. — Matt Tucker

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