Kelsey is the fourth generation of the Helfrich family to guide drift boat fly-fishing and whitewater rafting in Oregon and Idaho. Running a boat, and the opportunity to introduce people to the beautiful rivers of the Northwest, is her true passion.
Kelsey grew up along the banks of the McKenzie River in Western Oregon and has been boating since before she could walk. Growing up in a boating family, Kelsey was raised on the water, going on river trips and helping her dad in the family business. As she grew, so did her love of the river and the outdoor lifestyle. At the age of 5 she got to go on her first overnight company trip and was soon tagging along on McKenzie pontoon trips as a junior swamper.
When Kelsey turned 13 she moved up to running her own raft down the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Getting her first guides license when she turned 16, she started running rafting trips on the McKenzie in the summers and was introduced to the alluring waters of the Idaho rivers. Working on the river was a great summer job for her throughout high school and college.
Kelsey graduated from Oregon State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry Recreation Resource Management and a minor in Cultural and Geologic Studies of the Pacific Northwest. After graduation she was able to expand her guiding career to work more trips and become even more involved in the administrative side of the business. Kelsey is running the business with her parents, Ken and Sherill, and plays and integral roll in the marketing and management of all aspects of the river business. Her work is both in and out of the office and she guides full time on the Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Main Salmon rivers in Idaho and on the McKenzie and Rogue Rivers in Oregon, along with a few others.
In September of 2013, Kelsey married Kidd Youren in a beautiful riverside ceremony on the banks of the McKenzie River. Kidd is a full time guide and outfitter in Oregon and Idaho and we are proud to have him as an important part of our family and Helfrich Outfitters crew. Kidd and Kelsey love guiding together during the river season and spend their winters at their home outside of Emmett, Idaho.
Kelsey Helfrich-Youren is also one of the stars of a reality TV show on truTV called Way Out West. The show features three prominent outfitting families in Idaho. The show is full of shenanigans and laughs as the three families compete, work and play in the Idaho backcountry. Way Out West