Guides remove a sunken boat

Guides retrieve a sunken boat on the McKenzie River

Photo Courtesy Christiana Plews

This article was published in the McKenzie River Reflections on May 26th.

Vida: Last Tuesday morning, May 17th, several McKenzie River Guides and two members of McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s Water Rescue Team retrieved a driftboat that wrecked on a rock in the middle of the river near milepost 36.8 of the McKenzie Highway.
The boat reportedly overturned two weeks ago in Cooks Rapid, a rocky stretch of the river about a 1/4-mile long. The occupants were able to get safely to shore but since then, McKenzie Fire & Rescue received multiple calls regarding the boat from concerned passersby. The owners decided to donate the boat to the McKenzie River Guides and McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s Life Jacket Lending Program, for which the agencies are very grateful.
River Guides taking part in the retrieval included Steve Schaefers, Ken Helfrich, Randy Dersham, Don Wouda. McKenzie Fire & Rescue Water Rescue Team members LT Bart Thompson and LT Christiana Rainbow Plews Water Rescue Technicians also helped salvage the boat.
The recovery mission went very smoothly. Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident or the recovery. The Guides and Fire Department want to remind everyone to wear life jackets on the river to avoid tragedy.

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McKenzie Guides Auction: fishing day

2016 McKenzie Guides Auction Group at lunch

2016 McKenzie Guides Auction Group at lunch

Six guides and twelve anglers hit the river for this years McKenzie River Guides Auction. The rain held off and the fishing was great. A special thanks to Bill Barrett and the lunch crew for a great riverside lunch on the lawns of Eagle Rock Lodge.

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2016 Wooden Boat Show at Eagle Rock Lodge

2016 wooden boat show  (c) West Coast Action Photos

It was another successful year for the 2016 McKenzie River Wooden Boat Festival. A light rain didn’t dampen spirits as boat owners and those that appreciate them gathered to view boats and watch demonstrations of fly tying and casting. A fundraising lunch was provided by the McKenzie Guides and raised money for the Free Life Jacket loan program. We also thank Cascade Family Fly Fishers for their support. You can view great photographs of this event at This LINK Thank you Lilly and West Coast Action Photos for being there.

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