I had the pleasure of being among the 5 guides selected to participate in the Lady Damsels annual McKenzie fly fishing adventure on the Upper McKenzie River in mid July. It’s always such a blast to enjoy a day of great trout fishing on the very scenic upper McKenzie River. The weather was superb, fishing was great, food was fantastic and camaraderie (as always) the best. If memory serves, my guests hooked 4 or 5 fish right out of the shoot on the very first run we hit. What a start! Indeed there were plenty more to come. At lunchtime, the participating guides put on a scrumptious shore fish fry of fresh caught trout, while the ladies provided lots of special side dishes, truly an epicurean delight.
This McKenzie trip has evolved into a fun annual tradition. Roe Clough was this year’s chief Damsel organizer who worked with lead local guide, Todd Linklater in designing & coordinating the 2017 trip. We’ like to extend a hearty thank you to Roe & Todd for their diligent efforts. During numerous prior years our wonderful friend and excellent fly fisher Darlene Dolby was the event organizer. We lost Darlene several years back and though her radiant smile and effervescent energy are sorely missed, she remains in our hearts and we always somehow feel she’s bouncing right along with us through the rapids and runs giggling with fish-on most of the time.
Some of the scenic highlights that we encounter on the upper river include Osprey and Bald Eagle sightings, an occasional Elk and the historic Goodpasture Covered Bridge . Running the boats through Martin’s Rapid can always provide a minor Adrenalin rush and a bit of a crap-shoot as to how big a splash you encounter. Big water doesn’t necessarily mean big waves and a wet passage. Sometimes a low water situation translates to more exposed rocks, trickier boat handling and big splashes.
It seems the both the guides and the Damsels look forward each year to this event and I hope it continues. It’s great fun and a wonderful way to honor Darlene’s memory.