Philippe Boulot’s Favorite Rivers: McKenzie River
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The McKenzie is one of Oregon’s best-known rivers, revered for its beauty, accessibility and diversity. The upper stretches offer abundant whitewater challenges for kayakers and rafters, and excellent fly fishing for native redband trout, all against a backdrop of dense forest that includes many old-growth Douglas firs. It was on these upper stretches that the famed McKenzie drift boat with its “double-ended” design was created. Below Leaburg Dam the river flattens out, opening into a more leisurely series of pools and riffles, excellent for less seasoned kayakers and rafters. This middle section is quite popular with salmon and steelhead anglers, who target fish that cue up below the dam. Fly anglers and gear fishermen also ply the lower sections of the McKenzie before it joins the Willamette, launching jet boats from Armitage Park to explore promising waters up and down stream.
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