Helfrich River Outfitters

Type
Fishing
Overview
Welcome to the best drift boat fly-fishing trips Oregon & Idaho have to offer!
Join the Helfrich family for a drift boat fly fishing  trip in Oregon or Idaho. Helfrich River Trips are known as the most deluxe trips offered in the picturesque Pacific Northwest. The vacation of a lifetime, these trips offer a wonderful experience for guests of all ages.

"History" and "tradition" are words that have different meanings to different people. To us, at Helfrich River Outfitters, they are extremely important because they represent much of what we stand for. The Helfrich name has been synonymous with river running since the mid 1920's.

We are committed to excellent service and the safety of our guests. With state-of-the-art equipment, delicious freshly prepared meals, and a friendly experienced professional staff, we are able to provide river experiences that are second to none.
 
Why Helfrich
When people ask who they entrust their river vacation with, HELFRICH River Outfitters comes up first every time.Not only are we the oldest and most experienced company on the rivers we specialize in, but our safety record has been flawless since the beginning.

In 1925 when Prince Helfrich first started guiding on the McKenzie, he had an edge on other fishing guides because he added value to his trips with extra things like frying the fish his clients caught on the river bank or bringing one of Marjorie Helfrich’s home made pies to share at lunch time. The concept of added value to our trips has continued for 87 years, and is adopted a Helfrich standard.
 
Now into our fourth generation, our trips continue to improve and evolve.We have and will continue to always make the trips the best that they can be for our clients. The safety and comfort of our clients is our first concern.

The experience of our crew members and their accommodating and friendly attitudes makes our guests know they are in good hands.
 
 
Fishing Trips
$
3,450
-
$
3,650
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 angler
Days:
On Aug 12, 2017 - Aug 4, 2018
Duration:
6 days
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
Trip Details The Middle Fork of the Salmon truly has it all! Wonderful fishing, exciting whitewater Hot Springs on the Middle Fork Salmonrafting, natural hot springs, vast geologic ... moreand anthropologic history, a plethora of hiking trails, amazing scenery, wildlife and more! We don’t want you to have to choose between any of these fun activities; we want you to experience all of them! The combination fishing and rafting trip on the Middle Fork is the perfect way get the best of everything.

Fun Ride in a Drift BoatWith this option, guests will spend half of each day fly-fishing and floating in one of our comfortable and maneuverable drift boats and then spend the other half relaxing on the couch like seat of a big oar raft or taking on the waves in an inflatable kayak or paddle raft. The Middle Fork of the Salmon offers world-class fly fishing opportunities with approximately 2,400 native Rainbow and Westslope Cutthroat Trout per mile. This was the first ever catch-and-release stream in the country and has been protected as the crown jewel of the West for trout fishing. Our drift boats are built to provide the perfect fly-fishing platform to access the fish and to fish directly from the boat. When riding in the rafts there is more time to stop and explore the historical sites, hot springs, or go for a hike along the way.

The canyon scenery of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is truly breathtaking.Rafting on the Middle Fork Salmon River On this 100-mile stretch of the Frank Church Wilderness, we float through the heart of the largest wilderness area in the continental United States and drop 3,000 feet in elevation. Each day on this exciting river adventure is unique in activities and scenery, the abundance of which makes the combination trip the most popular option for guests who want to experience it all.

Each individual person in your group can choose to further customize their trip between the fishing, rafting or the combination options. Please contact us for more details regarding such customizations.

River Accommodations

Camping with Helfrich Outfitters on the Middle Fork is better labeled as ‘Glamping’, or glamorous camping, because of the deluxe accommodations that are provided at every campsite. Upon arriving in camp each afternoon, guests can expect everything to be set up and ready for them to enjoy. Each of our spacious tents accommodates 2 guests with comfortable cots and air pads for sleeping. The site is equipped with dining tables, lounge chairs, a hot shower, warm water wash station, hand washing facilities, a privacy toilet, ice and cocktail table, and a complete kitchen.

When guests arrive in camp they can pick a tent, grab a cold drink, munch on appetizers, relax and enjoy activities around camp. Each trip is focused on the customer’s interests and guides are available to lead activities by request.

The afternoons and evenings provide plenty of time for additional fishing, swimming, hiking, artifact hunting, photography, playing games, soaking in hot springs, reading a good book with toes in the water or just relaxing and watching the river float by.

The gourmet food on the Middle Fork makes this trip even more inviting. All meals are prepared in Dutch ovens and on the barbeque over open coals. Fresh baked Dutch oven breads, made from scratch, are prepared each day along with top quality meats and fish. Each meal is accompanied by plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Duel entree dinners and a wide variety of side dishes provide great options at each meal. If there is any room left in ones stomach after the evening’s premier event, a delightful dessert is sure to follow.

Riverside lunches of freshly made salads, fresh fruits and rich sandwich spreads are prepared each day on a shaded river bank. Lunch stops are a great time to relax in a lounge chair in the shade, go for a swim, lay out for a sun tan, read a good book or explore the surrounding area.
$
3,200
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 angler
Days:
On Sep 29, 2017 - Oct 5, 2018
Duration:
5 days
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
Trip Details The Salmon River in Idaho is the largest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. Our trip takes us through one of the deepest river gorges in North America and traverses ... more73 miles of river through three states; starting in Idaho, passing along the Oregon border and ending in the state of Washington. We float 55 miles through the rugged Salmon River Gorge to join the Snake River in Hells Canyon. Our drift boat guides competently navigate “The Slide,” “Eye of the Needle” and “Bodacious Bounce” - whitewater rapids that characterize the wilder side of the Salmon Canyon. From the confluence of these two majestic rivers, the Salmon and the Snake, we float the last 18 miles of our journey to take-out. Our fall trips offer both fishing and bird hunting on the Main Salmon and Cast and Blast Main Salmon Idahocan definitely be described as action-packed. Our trips are customized for our guests and can be more focused on fishing, hunting or both. We break camp and hit the river early each day to take advantage of consistently spectacular fishing for smallmouth bass, trout, and steelhead. With two fishermen in each drift boat, our guides travel through whitewater and find the quality fishing spots. Each of our professional guides are expert fishermen who provide equipment and helpful instruction with a personal touch to make each boat ride fun and unique. The camaraderie between our guests and the guides that develops over the five day trips enhances the trip immeasurably. Upland game bird hunting on these trips brings an additional dimension to this fishing trip. The Main Salmon Canyon is known for healthy populations of Chuckar and Hungarian Partridge. These fast-flying birds provide the ultimate challenge to upland bird hunters. Since the terrain can be rugged, drift boats provide ready access. Spend your day fishing until you spot or hear the birds, pull over for a hunt and go back to fishing. There is never a boring moment.

Watching and listening for Chuckars and Partridge as we float allows us to maximize the potential for a successful hunt. Hunting dogs assist in flushing and retrieving the birds as well and most of our guides have well trained hunting dogs who accompany us on the trips. Often termed “cast and blast,” our combination fall fishing and bird hunting excursions provides not just variety, but an excellent opportunity to engage in two of your favorite pastimes during the same trip.

Aren't much of a hunter? No problem! All of our trips are customized for our guests and these trips can be all fishing focused. The amazing scenery of this canyon provides an experience in itself. Add in the fun fishing, top quality camps and gourmet food and you are guaranteed a wonderful river experience!

River Accomidations

Each day, our camp gear and luggage are taken ahead where camps are completely set up before our guests arrive late in the day. Tents, cots, and sleeping pads are provided, as well as a portable toilet, hot shower and washing facility. Dining tables and chairs are set up for meals and our guides double as chefs. They are as skillful using a Dutch Oven and barbecue as they are in a drift boat. The meals are varied and delicious with a variety of meats, breads, and fresh fruits and vegetables each day.

Beyond the Banks

Hunting out of camp is a popular activity on these cast & blast trips. Hiking from camp in the mornings and evenings can prove worth it with a shot at a Turkey, Chuckar, Quail or other small game species.

Notes

Additional required 3% BLM use fee

Trips are available from the opening date of chuckar season through the middle of October. Price includes all necessary fishing equipment, meals, full camp set up, BLM use fees and professional guides. A minimum of 8 guests required per trip. Combined group trips are possible for smaller parties. 
$
2,000
-
$
2,050
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 angler
Days:
On Sep 8, 2016 - Aug 25, 2018
Duration:
4 days
Trip Details Floating and fishing the "Wild and Scenic" Rogue River Canyon is considered one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular river experiences. Enjoy this stunning canyon ... morefrom the classy comfortable ride of a beautiful wooden drift boat and spend your evenings in unique riverside lodges. Spend four days floating the 43 miles of protected waters while fly fishing for half-pounder and adult steelhead fresh out of the ocean. Legendary for its combination of dramatic rapids and tranquil pools, fishing on the Rogue River has been popular with guests of the Helfrich family since 1931 when Prince Helfrich first explored the canyon.

His legacy continues as newcomers enjoy the same majestic old-growth forests of Douglas fir and twisted Madrone along the riverbanks. Picturesque grassy pastures, wildflowers and wildlife are all part of this unspoiled wilderness. Deer, otter, black bear, blue herons, osprey and bald eagles call this paradise home.

And then, there are the fish! With two fishermen and one guide in each drift boat, you’ll have a unique opportunity to catch fall run Steelhead and Salmon on lures and flies. Even the most experienced fishermen will be challenged by the great sport of landing these fighters on light tackle. This is a world-class fishing river and our guides serve as skilled fishing instructors and experienced boatmen. Their knowledge of the river and the maneuverability of the drift boats allow them to easily access the placid pools and rich holes where the fishing is best.

Our trips begin at Argo Riffle and for four days and 43 miles we will travel west in McKenzie River drift boats through the Coastal Range to Hog Eddie at Agness. You’ll get a firsthand look at Rainie Falls, Zane Grey’s cabin, Mule Creek Canyon and Blossom Bar rapid.

Each night you will enjoy the comfort of three different rustic wilderness lodges. Shore lunch stops along the river allow time to relax and explore the area. We often barbecue or pan-fry any freshly caught steelhead or salmon. Delicious! No one goes away hungry.

The combination of unforgettable fishing experiences and drift boating through exciting whitewater make this outing on the Rogue River's "Wild and Scenic" section Helfrich River Outfitter's most sought after and desired fishing adventures.

River Accommodations

Nights are spent in comfortable wilderness lodges with private sleeping accommodations for couples or singles. All of the breakfasts and dinners are served family-style by the guides and lodge staff. Each remote lodge offers its own distinct character, which adds a memorable element to the trip that few ever experience, as they are only accessible by river or hiking trail and are run on generator power.
$
3,350
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 angler
Days:
On Aug 12, 2017 - Aug 20, 2018
Duration:
6 days
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
Trip Details Fishing the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with Helfrich River Outfitters is truly the trip of a lifetime. The river that has it all, the Middle Fork of the Salmon possesses ... moreamazing beauty, wonderful fishing, natural hot springs, vast geologic and anthropologic history, and great hiking opportunities. Our six-day, five-night Middle Fork of excursion, guests will experience daily changes in scenery as the river winds its way through granite canyons, dropping three thousand feet in elevation. Each day offers its own unique beauty with the last two days spent in the third deepest canyon in North America, Impassible Canyon. The sheer, white granite walls of this chasm tower overhead as the contrasting sparkling emerald waters of the river tumble along the bottom of its immense walls.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon is renowned for its healthy fishery of native Rainbow and Westslope Cutthroat Trout. The first ever catch and release stream in the country, this highly protected river provides a sanctuary for an average of 2,400 fish per mile.The Middle Fork is 100 miles long, running through the largest protected wilderness in the contiguous 48 states. The crystal clear emerald waters of this amazing waterway add an extra twist to the fishing with the ability to see the fish, even deep in the river. The clarity of the water gives the illusion of fish suspended in the water at all levels of each pool. The Middle Fork is the pinnacle of dry-flyfishing rivers. 

Guests ride down the Middle Fork in comfort and style in the front of our custom drift boats. These boats are the ‘Cadillacs’ of the river with comfortable padded seats and seat backs, along with a padded casting brace to keep one balanced while fishing. No need to wade, these boats are very maneuverable and tailor-made to access the very best fishing spots; and our guides know exactly where those spots are. Each drift boat accommodates two guests and one guide. Boats are equipped with all of the necessary fishing rods and tackle, stocked drink cooler and all requisite safety equipment.

River Accommodations

Camping with Helfrich Outfitters on the Middle Fork is better labeled as ‘Glamping’, or glamorous camping, because of the deluxe accommodations that are provided at every campsite. Upon arriving in camp each afternoon, guests can expect everything to be set up and ready for them to enjoy. Each of our spacious tents accommodates 2 guests with comfortable cots and air pads for sleeping. The site is equipped with dining tables, lounge chairs, a hot shower, warm water wash station, hand washing facilities, a privacy toilet, ice and cocktail table, and a complete kitchen.

When guests arrive in camp they can pick a tent, grab a cold drink, munch on appetizers, relax and enjoy activities around camp. Each trip is focused on the customer’s interests and guides are available to lead activities by request. The afternoons and evenings provide plenty of time for additional fishing, swimming, hiking, artifact hunting, photography, playing games, soaking in hot springs, reading a good book with toes in the water or just relaxing and watching the river float by.

The gourmet food on the Middle Fork makes this trip even more inviting. All meals are prepared in Dutch ovens and on the barbeque over open coals. Fresh baked Dutch oven breads, made from scratch, are prepared each day along with top quality meats and fish. Each meal is sure to please and are all accompanied by plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Duel entree dinners and a wide variety of side dishes provide great options at each meal. If there is any room left in ones stomach after the evening’s premier event, a delightful dessert is sure to follow.

Riverside lunches of freshly made salads, fresh fruits and rich sandwich spreads are prepared each day on a shaded river bank. Lunch stops are a great time to relax in a lounge chair in the shade, go for a swim, lay out for a sun tan, read a good book or explore the surrounding area.

6 days and 5 night packages - Cover 100 miles of river and are available from June through early september.

5 days and 4 nights packages - Are available starting in late August. Just as early July is known as the best time to fish the Middle Fork, September is very comparable. The water is beginning to cool down and the fish get more active. Come enjoy the world class dry fly fishing of the Middle Fork while surrounded by beautiful fall colors. September is also loved my many as the best time of year on the river because of the lack of visitors to the river this time of year.

Notes

Fishing licenses are not included in the trip cost.

Additional $4/day Recreation Enhancement Act Fee will be charged on all Middle Fork trips.

Lower water levels later in the season may require trip launch location to change. These trips require an additional flight in to a backcountry airstrip. Additional flight costs are not included in trip price. All booking and arrangement details for these flights will be handled for you; it is easy and affordable. Fishing rafts may be used in place of drift boats during these low water conditions. 
$
470
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
Destination:
The McKenzie River, located near Eugene, Oregon, offers anglers of every skill level incredible fly fishing experiences throughout its lush wild Cascadian course. Spend the day in ... morethe front of a McKenzie River drift boat and you will enjoy an unforgettable Oregon fishing experience.

The spring-fed McKenzie River is known for its brilliant blue waters, surrounded by verdant green forests, and home to gorgeous Rainbow Trout. Your guide's knowledge of the river and expert casting instruction will put you at ease and help you maximize your time on the water. All fishing and safety gear will be supplied on your drift boat.

Each boat holds two guests along with your guide and equipment. We will tailor your adventure to your skill level and preferences and your guide will determine the best places to fish based on these factors. You can enjoy a laid-back day (or better yet, a few days in a row) of great fishing with our friendly, knowledgeable guides to show you the way. 

Our McKenzie River drift boats, specially designed for the fishing and whitewater you'll encounter on this river, are perfect for enjoying your day on the water. They are easily maneuverable and designed to get you to the best fishing spots without the any need for wading. You'll enjoy the beauty of Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedars, Alders and Maples as you fish comfortably from your tailored drift boat.

We can accomodate groups of any size with several boats for the day and a fish fry lunch on the riverbank. You'll exchange stories of the morning catch and take an opportunity to relax by the water.

If you are more experienced and up for a challenge, we can arrange a one-on-one trip on the Upper McKenzie limited to one angler per boat. This provides the ultimate challenge for experienced dry fly fisherman where we take you to small pockets of water where precision casting is required to catch the elusive native rainbow trout. The Upper McKenzie is catch and release only.

All guests will have an opportunity to experience fried fish as part of the morning's catch. In addition, you can either bring your own lunch, or for an additional $20 fee enjoy a riverside lunch prepared by Helfrich River Outfitters.
Guides
Dan Bentsen, or better known as "Dano", began his guiding career in 1981, taking his love of fishing and making it a career. He worked for outfitters Wayne Gardner, Steve Schaefers ... moreand Dave Helfrich before he began guiding full time for Ken Helfrich in 1997. Since then he has become an integral part of the Dan Bentsen on Middle Fork Salmon in IdahoHelfrich river family. Dan's caring personality and willingness to help, paired with his honed fly fishing skills and outstanding boating abilities, makes him a wonderful guide to spend your time with on the river. These traits, among others, have been indispensable as he's escorted countless guests down the McKenzie, Willamette, Middle Fork of the Salmon, Main Salmon and Rogue rivers for over 30 years.

When not working for Helfrich River Outfitters, Dan guides on the Umpqua, Siuslaw, Smith and Alsea rivers. When Dan is not on the river he has devoted his time to carpentry, honing his skills as a master craftsman and perfecting the construction of beautiful, hand-made McKenzie Drift Boats. Distracted only by the lure of fishing, each winter he builds one or two fully customized boats during the off-season out of his home shop. Many of the guides on the Helfrich Crew run Dan's boats and have for years. When not indulging in his passion for boat building, Dan enjoys fishing for Steelhead, Salmon, Bass and Trout.

Dan Bentsen currently lives in Springfield, OR. He grew up in Eugene, Or, next to Amazon Creek, where he was renowned for his Bull Frog hunting skills. He went to Linn-Benton Community College and successfully completed his carpentry apprenticeship training.
Dave is an icon in the boating world. A drift boat guide and outfitter in the Northwest since 1947 and still going strong. Dave retired from outfitting when he sold his company to ... morehis son Ken however he has continued as a guide ever since. Dave is a second generation outfitter and guide of the Helfrich Family on many rivers such as the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Rogue River, McKenzie River and many more. He is an amazing boatman and is truly at home on the oars.

With his memory and boating skills as sharp as ever, having Dave on a trip creates a special and valuable learning experience for guides and guests alike. When he isn't on the river, Dave spends his time trap shooting, traveling, bee keeping and spending time with the love of his life, Terry.

Dave still runs at least one trip per season on the Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Rogue River and is still guiding on the McKenzie on a regular basis.
Drake Radditz got hooked on fishing and guiding at a young age. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, he spent his free time fishing, hunting and exploring the outdoors. Drake went to college ... moreat the University of Montana for 2 years befroe finishing at Portland State University with a BS in Geography and Environmental Studies. He now lives on the Oregon Coast in Warrenton, Oregon taking advantage of the fabulous steelhead, razor clam and dungeness crab opportunities the region has to offer. Drake’s parents helped to instill a love of the great outdoors in him by introducing Drake to fishing a hunting when he was young. When Drake was 9 years old he accompanied his parent on a trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho. Even at a young age, the magic of the Middle Fork imprinted on him and inspired him to become a guide.

Drake’s first job as a river guide began in 2001 with the Imperial River Company in Maupin, Oregon where he ran paddle raft trips down the Milk Run day stretch of the Deschutes River. The next year, in 2002, he completed his first training trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon for Ken Helfrich before he was offered a job as a full time member of the Middle Fork crew. Drake also guides the Rogue and Lower Main Salmon rivers for Helfrich River Outfitters.
Drake Radditz

When not working for Helfrich, Drake owns and operates Radditz/Sipler Outfitters (RSO) with Robb Sipler; guiding spring and fall trips down the Deschutes River for trout and steelhead, as well as scenic trips on the Owyhee River. When Drake is not on the Middle Fork or Deschutes he is most likely fishing for salmon or steelhead Oregon’s North Coast Rivers: the Trask, Wilson, Kilchis, Nehalem, North Fork Nehalem and Necanicum.

When not busy rowing his guts out, Captain Radditz runs his power boat on the Columbia and Willamette rivers looking for a wide variety of seasonal fish. As for the off season, “There is no off season, but if there was I would probably be fishing or hunting.”

“My family took me on a Middle Fork Salmon trip with Dave Helfrich when I was 9 years old, and I got hooked. Ten years later I was guiding for them. Thanks to Ken for the invite to come back. I feel very lucky to be part of the Helfrich Crew and privileged to have learned from the longest standing outfitter in the business!!!”
Jessie Thiel Shallow grew up as a farm girl in South East Idaho before moving to the town of Salmon. She studied Biology at “every college in Idaho,” and recently received her Masters ... morein Biology from Idaho State University. Jessie is a Wildlife Tech for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and spends much of her time tracking and studying animals throughout Central Idaho’s natural lands. If you love plants and animals, this is the girl you want to talk to!

Jessie’s first foray into river guiding took place in 1999 with Idaho Adventures on the Main Salmon River and she has since worked for a few other Idaho outfitters. In 2004 she began running the Middle Fork of the Salmon part time for Helfritch River Outfitters. When not working there, she guides on the Owyhee, Jarbridge, Bruneau, Main Salmon, and Flathead rivers; in Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

During the off-season Jessie continues her work as a Wildlife Tech for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. She spends as much time as possible outdoors and loves everything about it; from plant identification to hunting and fishing. She is newly married to a hot-shot backcountry pilot and loves spending time with him flying in and out of the wilderness. In the spring of 2013 Jessie and her husband Dave welcomed a new baby girl into the world. We can't wait for baby Reese to be old enough to join us on the river! Congratulations Jessie and Dave!!
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. ... moreHellman. 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 BlackadarJim Juza Fishing the Middle Fork 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.
Jon Belozer began his career as a river guide in 1985 on the Deschutes River in Oregon. He got started as a guideunder the tutelage of Skip Zapffe who also worked for Prince Helfrich ... moreon the Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Rogue River in the 1960's.
Jon started working as a guide for Helfrich River Outfitters in the summer of 2011 on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. He continues to work trips with the Helfrich Crew as a fill in guide for the later part of the season. Jon fell in love with fishing at a young age, catching his first fish on a fly rod out of the Deschutes River when he was only eight. Jon owns and operates Belozer's Whitewater Fishing on the lower Deschutes River with his son Kris Belozer. They run overnight float trips for trout on the upper Deschutes and have a permanent camp on the lower Deschutes where they run overnight steelhead trips using jet boats. Over the years, Jon has also guided salmon and steelhead fishing trips on many of the northern Oregon coastal streams along with the Willamette and Santiam Rivers.

In the off-season Jon works for the State of Oregon Wildlife Services as a government hunter for predator species. While working as a government hunter, he spends most of his time on the back of a saddle mule,hunting problem mountain lions with his hound dogs in Central Oregon. Jon also guides elk hunters each fall and enjoys spending time chasing deer and elk with his family and friends.

Jon and his wife Janine live on the rim ofthe Deschutes River Canyon near the town of Maupin, Oregon and run their business out of their home. Jon grew up in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon and moved to Northeastern Oregon in 1981 to start his career as a Government hunter. In 1984 Jon moved to the town of Maupin and has called Central Oregon home ever since.

Jon is a great guide who is guaranteed to keep you entertained and having fun. His vast knowledge of fishing and wildlife makes him a great asset on any trip and his story telling abilities will hold your attention all day.
Jon Payne or better known as ‘JP’ is known and loved as a character on the river. Jon grew up in Olympia, Washington and currently resides in Eugene, Oregon. “I learned to fish as ... moresoon as I was able to hold a pole. Tying fishing line to a favorite stick was my first rod. Growing up on Puget Sound allowed me to fish whenever I wanted. Prowling streams on the Olympic peninsula was a favorite growing up, as was leaning to row a Drift boat. As I got older, the Drift boat became a tool to get down river and fish out of. After moving to Eugene in 1997 the Drift boat became a toy to play on the McKenzie River.”

After 17 years in the Bar/Tavern business and fishing for fun in all his spare time; Jon finally was finally able to become a guide and dedicate himself to his passion in 1999. Helfrich Guide Jon PayneHe began working for Helfrich River Outfitters in 2006 and he now guides the Middle Fork and Main Salmon, Rogue and McKenzie Rivers. “My first Middle fork trip was in 2002 and I’m excited for many more seasons to come!”

Jon also guides on the John Day, Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Elk, Sixes, Willamette and Santiam Rivers. In his down time he continues to pursue his ardor for fishing and Drift boats. “I have named all my Drift boats “Miss Kay” in honor of my grandmother, who let me row a boat as soon as I was able. I spent hours and hours rowing my Grandma Kay around Puget Sound. My current Drift boat is named ‘Miss Kay III’.”
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 ... morepeople 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
Ken is the owner and operator of Helfrich River Outfitters. As a third generation guide and outfitter in the Helfrich family, Ken has been working and playing on the river his whole ... morelife.

“I was very lucky to grow up in a guiding family. When I was very young I was always excited when I got to float the river with my dad or grandfather. I always wanted to be a guide from the time I was very small. I started rowing my own boat down rivers in 1969 when I was 13. I rowed the McKenzie and John Day rivers that spring and started working as a swamper on the Middle Fork of the Salmon that summer. My next five summers I worked with my dad on the Black Water River in Canada, rowing a baggage boat and along with working on the Middle Fork of the Salmon as a swamper. I was 19 the firstyear I actually took clients down the Middle Fork. My passion for guiding and boating continued to grow and fly fishing and boating consumed all of my time. After my daughter Kelsey was born in 1985, I started my own one-day float trips on the McKenzie and ran day pontoon floats and fishing trips in the summer so I could be around when Kelsey was small. I took over the Lower Main Salmon River permit from my father in 1990 and then the Rogue River permit in 1995. Running the Middle Fork of the Salmon business has always been my main goal and in 2001 I was able to fulfill that goal by buying the permit from my dad. I am one of the lucky people in the world because I am doing the thing I always wanted to do and living my dreams.” --Ken
Kevin Hawkins has been a dedicated part of the HRO team and Helfrich Family since 2004. A favorite among guests, Kevin's energy, sense of humor and quick smile makes a wonderful part ... moreof our crew. Kevin was promoted to manager of our Rogue River operation beginning in 2014 and has proven himself up to the challenge.

Kevin met Kelsey and the Helfrich family while he and Helfrich Guide Kevin Hawkins in Mule Creek CanyonKelsey were going to school at Oregon State University. They had the same major, Recreation Resource Management, and spent all four years of college attending every class together. Both will tell you that they couldn't have made it through college on time, or have had as much fun, without each other. From forestry classes to swing dancing, Kevin and Kelsey are a great team and could make any class or project fun.

Kevin is a full time guide for HRO and transfers around between rives throughout the river season. Kevin spends his spring time running day fishing trips on the McKenzie River in Oregon before heading to Idaho for the summer. Kevin works in Idaho on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as a drift boat fishing guide with the occasional rafting trip mixed in. He also spends part of his summer on the Lower Main Salmon River in August. For the fall season, Kevin is in charge of the Rogue River fishing operation. He is in charge of making each four-day steelhead fishing rip come off without a hitch.

Kevin is a year-round guide, on and off the water. When he's not in his boat or telling stories to our customers, you are most likely to find Kevin with his bird dog "Hardy" chasing upland game birds or elk hunting in eastern Oregon. If not that, he has likely traded in his drift boat for his jet sled and a fishing rod himself and be experimenting with new ways to deceive salmon and steelhead on Oregon's coastal rivers and the Columbia.

It doesn't matter if you are a complete beginner or world travelled angler, Beaver or Duck fan; Kevin's knowledge, patience, and love of fun will ensure you get what you are looking for out of a day in his boat.
Outfitter Blogs
Snow and ice cover the landscape. Wind chills your face as you make your way to the river. Though it may be cold outside, winter offers fishing opportunities that cannot be passed ... moreup, such as the amazing steelhead run that takes place in Oregon’s coastal rivers.
Category:
Fly Fishing, Perfect Fishing Days, Winter Fly Fishing
Added Date:
Friday, 3 Feb, 2017
Featured:
No
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