Oregon’s Trout Route – Highway 97 with Marlon Rampy
Fly fishing in Oregon – a glorious sport in a beautiful state, right? We harbor magnificent daydreams and enjoy lovely images of our fishing rivers such as the Deschutes, the Rogue and the Umpqua. But, as we’re about to discover, thinking in only those terms would be seriously shortchanging ourselves and Oregon. Seeing and learning about the truly impressive trout opportunities that exist along central Oregon’s north-south Highway 97 open up a whole new world.
Highway 97 offers us such scenic, rich tail waters as the Crooked River, loaded with high fish counts. And the crystalline headwaters of the Upper Deschutes River will put you on some of the most picturesque brook trout water imaginable. An encounter with the legendary callibaetis hatches of East Lake, Hosmer Lake -- "The Pearl of the Cascades" and many other spectacular fisheries near Bend, Oregon will leave you with spectacular fly fishing dreams that can easily come true.
At the southern end of Highway 97, you can find the Wood River, see how to float the Williamson River and explore an expansive Klamath Lake system, home to Oregon's largest redband trout!
Some of the largest trout in the mainland 48 states (fish up to 20 pounds!) are quietly swimming, finning and eating in the spring-fed rivers and lakes along Oregon’s lovely 97. From the Klamath Basin all the way to Bend, our May presenter (and one of our favorites), Marlon Rampy, will show us about this fantastic fly fishing playground.
Marlon is originally from southwest Washington. The summer he was 10, Marlon visited relatives in Montana and, under the guise of working, he pursued his love of fly fishing on pretty streams around Bozeman. (Marlon learned quickly that fishing is much more enjoyable than baling hay.)
After high school, Marlon attended Lee University in Tennessee where he discovered new trout water in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. Graduation from college brought opportunities for exciting fishing in eastern North Carolina, where Marlon had moved to begin a job. There he learned about the fun of fly fishing saltwater for stripers and blues, super aggressive fish that represented a big change from freshwater trout. But trout were still his first love.
So, in 1991, Marlon returned to the Northwest to reacquaint himself with the beautiful trout and steelhead streams of the Cascade Mountain Range in Oregon and Washington. Through his experiences in the Southeast, he had learned to appreciate the natural beauty of central and southern Oregon. With a desire to become an outstanding fly fishing guide, Marlon started working at McKenzie Outfitters Fly Shop in Medford, Oregon teaching students to cast, tie flies and fish the local streams.
Today, Marlon has been fishing and guiding these waters for more than two decades and, from all testimonials (many from our own members), has achieved his goal of becoming an outstanding guide. He has fished for Rogue steelhead and the trophy trout throughout the Klamath Basin. For nineteen years Marlon has been working with the Lonesome Duck Lodge on the banks of the Williamson. (This river is Marlon’s choice for challenging fishing and rewards of truly sizeable fish.) Situated within 45 minutes of Crater Lake National Park, the Lodge is also near a major flyway and the Klamath National Wildlife Preserve, where multitudes of birdlife are in abundant evidence.
An highly-accomplished and admired photographer, Marlon's work can be found in Northwest Fly Fishing magazine, CATCH webzine, Flyfishing and Tying Journal and many Amato Publications. He practices catch and release fishing techniques, recognizing that the native Klamath Basin redband trout is a limited resource and more than worthy of this practice.
Since its inception in 1995, Marlon's guide business, Wildwest Fly Fishing, has steadily gained a dedicated and popular following as a quality fly fishing experience. For more information about one our favorite presenters, go to: www.flyfishoregon.com
Marlon’s presentation will be a multi-media composition with plenty of photos, sound, scenery, music and yes, even some lovely fish. He will take us on a detailed journey up Highway 97 to see and learn about some of Oregon’s best trout waters. This is an evening brimming with stunning images that could help us pinpoint an exciting new fishing trip to central and southern Oregon.