A Lifetime of Experience

Jim Staight has been fishing the McKenzie his whole life. When I float the McKenzie I always go with Jim. He knows where every fish is and what and how they will take. It is a comfortable, unpretentious experience – all about the river and the fish. Thanks Jim.

Jessie Homer French
McKenzie Bridge, OR

Fish are on his Payroll

My name is Wendell Neumeyer and I am not a writer so this recommendation is simply from a more than satisfied customer of Jim’s who has the experience of many many float trips with him.  According to my fishing diary, I met Jim on June 7, 1988 on a multiple boat fishing tip on the McKenzie River.  By luck of the draw I was in Jim’s boat and, if you only want the short version of this story, I have not fished with another guide since and have gone on approximately 30 trips with Jim.

Jim is not only an excellent guide for dry fly fishing for trout but he is a good instructor for beginners and is very patient and helpful with folks just starting out.  My son was 10 when he went on one of our trips and had never cast a fly before that day.  Jim took some time at the start of the float and showed my son how to cast a short throw and to manage the fly on the water.  Kirk was a natural and had not only caught several fish but also had native fish coming to his fly.  It took me several trips to get to the point where I could get a native to take the fly.  The McKenzie River Rainbow is a beautiful fish and is an incredible fighting fish on a 3 or 5 weight rod.

In the many trips with Jim, we never got close to being skunked.  The slowest day I could find was about 25 fish for the boat.  A source of humor with us is his incredible ability to read the water.  He will ask me to put a fly on a spot  e.g. “just to the right of that rock” .  When I miss it by a few inches, he will say something like “no, another foot to the right” and BOOM!  So I often accuse him of having the fish on his payroll.  Actually, it’s not funny.  They are on his payroll. In fishing with Jim over the years, I have offered to swap places with him to let him fish and break the monotony of his “work”.  In doing this, Jim demonstrated his love of his work and the satisfaction he gets when his clients are putting their fly on the fish and getting hooked up for the fight to follow.  We swapped places for a few minutes on one of our trips but he quickly went back to what he loves doing.  (No, my rowing wasn’t that bad).

Well, I could go on and on with the stories created on these many trips.  I have taken several friends and relatives (mostly beginners) on trips with Jim over the years, and never had anything less than a great time.

If you want a guide with decades of fishing and river guide experience, one with concern  only for his client’s success, a guide who is an expert with safely managing a drift boat and passengers, and one who can find and connect with the elusive trout then Jim is a great choice.  I won’t fish with anyone else.

Oh, did I mention the shore lunch he prepares for you?  Well, it is to die for.

 Wendell Neumeyer
Sherwood, Oregon

Awesome Experience

What an awesome experience Jim provided.  Not only did we land numerous trout but we had great conversation throughout the day.  Jim is patient, understanding and relaxing.  He works with you and your experience level and adjusts his guiding to your pace. The shore lunch was incredible, the best trout I have ever eaten!

Jim’s ability to move the boat through the river and find the trout was impressive, you can tell he has been at this for awhile.  We caught both native, hatchery trout, cutthroats, small steelhead, and rainbows, all on dry flies, including an 18” native rainbow that fought us for quite some time before we landed it! I would say we were the busiest and most productive boat on the water that day, trout after trout after trout, we caught trout all day. If you want to catch trout from a McKenzie River drift boat with a fun and relaxed atmosphere then Jim Staight is the best guide out there.  Thanks a million Jim and see ya next year!

JJ Hetherington