A couple hours to explore. A co-worker told me of a nice stretch on the McKenzie R. to explore. Business trips afford little time to play. What little time there is seems wasted driving hither and yon to find a new place, so you settle on the tried and true spots. Last night, I decided to explore. I headed toward the McKenzie R. and found a the nice spot.

As I put on the gear and rigged the rod, those pesky mosquitos appeared. I had sprayed on some DEET, but  they didn’t mind and found sweet spots of opportunity. I walked quickly toward the river. Once there the water looked swifter than I had at first thought. I decided to walk up stream through the woods to find a safer stretch. Big mistake. The trail petered out onto a bluff and there were even more mosquitos in the woods…very aggressive and not the least bit put off by wimpy DEET %’s. If you are going to use it, go for the gusto (90%).

Eventually, I found access and waded out beyond a back channel and to the other side of an island. Beautiful water of rapids, riffles, seams, and an eddy. Easy wading. A few willing trout; a few large, unwilling trout porpoised for something beneath the surface. There were a midges aflutter above the quieter back water near the island. I could not tell if they were coming off or had already come off earlier. A very few Caddis (small/black, medium/brown, medium+/tan) elevated up from the riffles. No mayflies. No stoneflies. Pretty sparse. I nymphed, swung a small wet, used a dropper, fished the surface and in the film. I fished well. I caught a few and had several splat attacks. But, I didn’t draw the big trout I had seen porpoise a rod length away, directly in front of me. It was a perfect evening in most respects. Location, presentation were clicking along. Wrong fly selection? Maybe. Or, just the cosmic alignment of the boulders?

Plus, I  have learned to deal with rejection. There is a certain karmatic (I made that word up and you can use it) harmony to it all. The McKenzie River is a very beautiful river. On the way out to the rig and the mosquitos, a man asked if I connected with any steelhead. Hmm, next time. Now, where did I put that Scandi head?

Oh the above pic of me…just screwing around with some photo processing dealy (‘special effects’)….freaky hey?