Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

John Day River - McDonald's Ferry - Oregon

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

powered by Advanced iFrame. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

powered by Advanced iFrame. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January No significant hatches All day 6 - 10 Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph
February No significant hatches All day 6 - 10 Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph
March Midges, BWOs Afternoon 18 - 22 Midge Pupa, Parachute Adams
April Midges, BWOs Afternoon 18 - 22 Midge Pupa, Parachute Adams
Caddis Evening 14 - 18 Elk Hair Caddis
May BWOs, Caddis Afternoon, Evening 14 - 22 Parachute BWO, Elk Hair Caddis
Stoneflies Afternoon 6 - 10 Stimulator
June BWOs, Caddis Afternoon, Evening 14 - 22 Parachute BWO, Elk Hair Caddis
Stoneflies Afternoon 6 - 10 Stimulator
Midges Morning, Evening 18 - 24 Zebra Midge
July Caddis, Stoneflies Afternoon, Evening 6 - 18 Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator
Midges Morning, Evening 18 - 24 Zebra Midge
August Tiny Blue-Winged Olives Early Afternoon 20 - 24 Parachute Adams
September Tiny Blue-Winged Olives Early Afternoon 20 - 24 Parachute Adams
October No significant hatches All day 6 - 10 Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph
November No significant hatches All day 6 - 10 Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph
December No significant hatches All day 6 - 10 Woolly Bugger, Pheasant Tail Nymph

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The John Day River – McDonald’s Ferry presents a selection of superior spots for fly fishing, each boasting its array of aquatic life and exceptional surroundings. Here are some of the top sites:

  • Service Creek: This is the most navigable area in the river. You can reel in Rainbow trout, Smallmouth bass, and Steelhead trout.
  • Cottonwood Canyon State Park: This park brings together stunning scenery and a healthy population of fish. It’s an ideal spot for every fly fishing enthusiast.
  • Clarno: The river stretch past Clarno is well-known for its Smallmouth bass. Don’t hesitate to cast your line here!
  • Kimbrel Bridge to McDonald’s Ferry: This stretch, despite being challenging, rewards with robust Steelhead and Smallmouth bass.
  • Twickenham Bridge: Fly fishing at Twickenham Bridge provides a rich Smallmouth bass experience. It’s a popular spot during the warm months.

Best Access Points

The John Day River – McDonald’s Ferry hosts some of the best access points for fly fishing.

  • McDonald’s Ferry: This is the most popular access point as it’s located at the lower end of the river, allowing fishermen ample opportunity to explore the rich waters.
  • Narrows Bridge: This spot is located north of ⟨ b>Spray, offering upstream and downstream access.
  • Service Creek: This is a great point of access for fishing, located 50 miles upstream from McDonald’s Ferry.
  • Mitchell Bridge: This spot is located just above the town of Mitchell, offering excellent access and several great fishing holes.
  • Clarno Bridge: Located further upstream, Clarno Bridge provides excellent access to the Upper John Day River.

Ensure you have the necessary permits and observe all fishing regulations to protect this amazing angler’s resource.

Local Fish

  • Steelhead Trout: This species is a primary target for fishermen, especially fly fishers, due to its elusive nature and exciting fight. Adult steelheads spent most of their life in the ocean but migrate to the John Day River for spawning.
  • Chinook Salmon: The Chinook Salmon, also known as the King Salmon, is another popular species targeted by fly fishing enthusiasts. They are known for their size and tenacity.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Smallmouth bass are a catch and release species in the John Day River that are common to catch and are highly sought after because of their aggression and ability to fight.
  • Rainbow Trout: Known for their beautiful coloration and as a good fighting fish, Rainbow trout are flown for in almost all stretches of the John Day River.
  • White Sturgeon: This species is often targeted for its size and the challenge it represents. It’s released night after catching due to conservation rules.
  • Brown Trout: Brown Trout is another favorite species due to their ability to grow to large sizes and their tenacious fighting behavior.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Mountain Whitefish are abundant in the John Day River and offer fly fishers who target them a fun and productive fishing experience.
  • Channel Catfish: Channel Catfish provide a unique fly fishing challenge in the John Day River, known for their strength and ability to put up a good fight.

About The River

The John Day River in Oregon is rich in historical intrigue and natural beauty – a fact that’s clear when you discover McDonald’s Ferry. In the 1860s, Hugh McDonald created this ferry service across the river for miners and land-seekers, following the Gold Rush. The ferry held between two and three wagons, and it was driven by the river’s current. Here are some key points about this historical gem:

  • McDonald’s Ferry connected two major overland routes – the Oregon Trail and the Dalles Military Road.
  • Despite the ferry’s long-standing service, a hostile native attack in 1878 led McDonald to temporarily close the ferry operations.
  • The ferry was replaced by a modern bridge in 1928, and its remnants still lie at the bottom of the river.
Visiting the John Day River will immerse you in the area’s rich history and bountiful nature.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Recent Articles

Guide To A Euro Nymph Setup: How To, Techniques, and Tips

Guide To A Euro Nymph Setup: How To, Techniques, and Tips

Euro Nymphing: Setup, Techniques, and Tips A fly fishing technique that originated in Europe, has rapidly gained popularity…

Streamer Fly Fishing: Guide to Catching Big Fish

Streamer Fly Fishing: Guide to Catching Big Fish

Fly Fishing With Streamers A thrilling method to reel in some of the biggest fish in the water.…

Fly Tying Articles