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A River Runs Through It

by Grant McOmie

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

Posted on August 14, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:35 PM


Oregon's rivers fascinate us!

They offer cool, restful moments along their shady shorelines and that's the basis for this week's Grant's Getaways.

Grant McOmie visits a river that runs through the heart of Central Oregon and is prized for it's fishing, camping and unique outdoor adventures.

Plus, you can watch the Metolius River come to life!



Early morning light, when the air is cool and clear, high cascade peaks like Mt Jefferson are a marvel.

That's especially true near Camp Sherman where the Metolius River bubbles from the ground to curl and wind along an 8600-acre river corridor.

It is so special a place that it's been protected as one of America's Wild and Scenic Rivers since 1988.

In nearby Sisters, Oregon, the folks who live and work in Central Oregon like it that way.

That includes Jeff Perin, local fishing guide and owner of The Fly Fisher's Place.


Perin is often found creating hand tied imitations of nature's creations and said "artistry and utility go hand in hand" for one of the hottest recreation activities around:


"What I think is really cool about fly fishing is that regardless of where you are in the sport, how much gear you have or don't have - it's still the same sport and everybody can do it. Plus, it's so beautiful here and we have so much great water - at any given time in Central Oregon, there's always some place to go fishing."

Jeff often goes to the Metolius River near Wizard Falls, a rough and tumble stretch broken by moments of calm water.

Perin has cast into the Metolius for more than 26 seasons and he loves to cast flies to tempt wild trout to bite.

But the trout are not "easy pickings" - In fact, Perin said it's one of the best "cat and mouse games" in Oregon; a fine compliment to the river's character:

met 3.jpg

"You don't have spring creeks like this in too many places where the water just bubbles out of the ground at 50 degrees and here we are on a 90-degree day and we're fishing in cold, clean water. It is such a special place."

It is so special a place that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has operated the nearby Wizard Falls Hatchery since 1947.


Manager Steve Hamburger says 45-degree water is the reason; it's the perfect water for raising trout.


More than four million trout are raised at Wizard Falls Hatchery for release into scores of lakes and ponds across Oregon.


Visitors come from all over the state too and stroll the 35-acre hatchery grounds that are more akin to a park land than a fish hatchery.

Nearby campgrounds make the living easy too.

There are ten U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds along the Metolius River that offer a place to stay and relax.

There are no hook ups, phones or TV at these campgrounds, it's self-contained camping without fancy conveniences.

Hamburger said that seems to be okay with the campers who return to the Metolius River area season after season.


"They came here when they were kids and now they have kids so bringing their youngsters out and it carries on from generation to generation.
They really do enjoy that and the kids love it."

As Jeff Perin said, "This belongs to everyone in Oregon and they should all come see it, enjoy it and be proud of it - it's that special a place."


The Metolius River may run through the heart of Central Oregon, but along it's way it also builds lasting outdoor memories in the hearts of the people who visit each year.