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I took some time last week to travel here in Oregon for a few days with two primary goals: to escape the smoke in southern Oregon and to expose my fiance to fly fishing for trout. In order to accomplish the fly fishing objective I reserved a day on the McKenzie River with Matt Ramsey, one of our favorite local guides. Matt is a long time professional guide who has guided for everything that swims in Oregon waters and has an impressive international resume. On top of that, Matt is just a pleasure to spend a day with.

We found a lot of success fishing dry flies and dry/dropper rigs without ever needing to resort to deep nymphing and fishing was fairly consistent throughout the day. The McKenzie River has a mix of wild fish and hatchery plants and the stretch we floated provided an abundance of both. Matt showed his level of experience when teaching my fiance to fly fish and it was clear he has an exceedingly intimate knowledge of his home waters. And, yes, she caught the most fish and all of the biggest ones!

I can’t say enough good things about the McKenzie River experience. There is something special about floating that river in a McKenzie-style drift boat, throwing dry flies to native wild fish. The sum of the experience is truly larger than its’ parts. And having your guide drop you off riverside in front of your lodging at the end of the day is a nice treat. If you’re looking for a quick getaway to fly fish for trout in the Pacific Northwest with steelhead options nearby,  I can’t recommend the McKenzie River enough. – Charles Gehr

Give David or Charles a call at 800.552.2729 to book your McKenzie trip!

KJ’s first ever fly-caught fish was a gorgeous wild rainbow.


Big fish and a happy angler, I think she’s hooked!