The first time I made money in my drift boat I was 13 years old. That was August of 1965. Jim Beryl and his cousin were my first clients. Skip Zaffee boated their grandmother Mrs. Hellman. I don't remember what I was paid but day wages for guides was in the $35-45 range. I think I got about half of that. I got my first Oregon guides license on my 18th birthday Sept. 16, 1969. A fellow from ODFW came to our house and gave me an oral exam. The only thing I remember about that test was trying to name the fins on a fish. Knowing how to row a boat did not seem to be important.
I first worked for your grandfather in the boys camps in 1967 and '68. I worked for Dick on his river camp in 1968 and did the Rogue running the camp boat for Dick in August of that year. Chris Olsen ran the other fishing boat. I ran a drift boat on the Owyhee in May of 1969 with Prince, Dave and Leroy Pruitt. That was the first trip that Dave ran his pontoon. Prince baked his first loaf of dutch oven bread on a river trip. He had done a practice loaf at home so knew it could be done.
I guided the McKenzie until 1993, the Rogue from 1979 to 1994. I still guide the Lower Main and started guiding the MF in 1980. I have guided the Owyhee, John Day, Main Salmon and a few other rivers in Oregon.
Other occupations include driving semi-trucks and building logging roads. I raise cattle on our ranch in Salmon and work for the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game capturing and collaring deer and elk. I have captured a couple thousand deer and a couple hundred elk, a few bighorn sheep and some antelope. I keep track of about 325 collared animals each winter.
I grew up on the McKenzie River. I moved to Salmon in 1983 and married Lois Blackadar March 22, 1986. We have 2 boys and a daughter and 5 grandchildren. The Middle Fork of the Salmon is my favorite river. I believe there is no other river that offers as much. We have the scenery, wildlife, fishing, Indian cultural sites and occidental sites. The Middle Fork is also in the middle of the largest Wilderness in the Lower 48 (if you take in the Selway/Bitteroot). I see something new everytime I float the MF.
I feel fortunate to be a fishing guide. We get to be with people when they are at their best. On vacation! I believe that we provide the best vacation experience possible. Ken has taken Outfitting to a new level and I believe that Kelsey will continue to improve on that tradition. We have a crew that is dedicated to providing the best experience possible.
I graduated from McKenzie High School in 1969 and from Oregon State in 1973 with a degree in Wildlife Science.