“On behalf of the three of us that fished with you and your stellar team of guides, I want to thank you for what was by far the best guided fishing trip I have ever been on! Not only were all the guides amazing, the food and accommodations far exceeded all expectations.”
Rob Crandall - Owner
Starting years ago teaching classes and schools with some of Oregon’s finest instructors his ongoing love of fly fishing is evident. Rob has been a licensed Oregon fishing guide since 1992, who grew up on the banks of the Clackamas River. You may have seen him on a number of different shows with Flyfish TV or Columbia Country TV. Rob is also the past editor of Flyfishing & Tying Journal magazine. Guiding, teaching or tying flies Rob loves to share his knowledge with others passionate about the sport.
Email Rob | 503.704.6449
“I personally am a mid-level, experienced fisherman who does not necessarily want to be “baby sat”. On the trout drift trips Rob and his guys have been really good about giving me room to do my thing while checking in and giving instruction when necessary. I also want to fish hard, and they are always right there with me and are as happy to do that as I am.”
Being born and raised on the banks of the Rogue River in Southern Oregon fueled Todd’s passion for the outdoors. Fly fishing, hunting, camping and whitewater were a way of life growing up. In high school Todd began guiding whitewater inflatable kayak trips in Oregon, Idaho and California. Todd is first aid/cpr/swiftwater rescue trained. Todd is married to his wife Angie of 27 years and has two grown sons Alex 25 and Mitchell 22. Todd’s love for the outdoors runs deep; guiding others into outdoor adventures is something that brings him great enjoyment.
One of my favorite fly fishing memories occured on the Deschutes river nearly 20 years ago. I had my son Mitchell, age 10, on his first float trip down the famous central Oregon stream. Mitch and I were standing on the bank getting set up to nymph fish a riffle for trout. Mitch was familiar with standard trout nymphs so I thought I would let him pick out a fly he would like to use.
For some reason, among all the usual nymphs for the Deschutes in my fly box, there was a Damsel fly nymph that had somehow been misplaced from my “still water” fly box. Mitch of course picks the Damsel fly nymph. I tried to gently steer Mitchell’s selection to a more appropriate fly, but he would not budge. “OK, let’s put that one on there!” Mitch began to work the riffle with his hand-picked fly.
On his fourth cast, Mitchell’s line stopped like he was snagged. Mitch tugged on the line to try and remove it from the “snag”, when all of a sudden the line started swimming across the river! Not only had Mitch hooked a fish with his Damsel nymph, he had hooked his first Steelhead! The battle lasted for a while, but this Steelhead would have the last word and broke the line.
I’ll never forget how proud Mitchell was of his fly selection, and to this day he reminds me that a Damsel fly nymph is a great Steelhead pattern!
“Casting, line control, reading water, and fighting and landing fish — these are all different than in my home waters, but I never felt out of my depth because these guys know how to teach. The guides are fun, relaxed, patient, knowledgeble, generous with their energy, and unbelievably skilled in putting you on fish."
I started my career living in a tent on the banks of the Kanektok River in Alaska hunting for King Salmon, keeping my spey rods strung for ever-eager clients. I returned home to work for Jack Hagan of NW Flyfishing Outfitters in Portland, OR. Under his wing, I fine-tuned my coaching and customer service skills while teaching Intro to Fly Fishing courses and guiding the Deschutes, Sandy, Clackamas, and McKenzie rivers and the surrounding still waters of my hometown. Concurrently, I was invited to guide on the Warm Springs Reservation. That was no easy invitation, and it’s an experience I am very grateful for. My days are filled out of doors providing a service I believe the modern person needs a great deal more of: learning, bonding, and sharing a deep passion and love for wild places. When I’m not guiding, you can find me swinging my shotgun, honing my archery, calling in elk, and of course fly fishing in my backyard, and it’s always done with my best friend and dog, Gus!
In the summer of ’17, I decided I could catch an Oregon Rainbow Trout on a mouse. I had boxes of patterns left over from Alaska and a private lake all to myself. Sure enough, as the shade crept over the east bank I found a player. He jettisoned out of the water like a great white shark, spitting the mouse only to come down upon it pummeling it with his shoulders. I knew this game. Much like his cousin the Leopard Trout in Alaska, he would eat his prey in its stunned state. All I’d have to do is NOTHING. Just be patient, still; show one ounce of discipline. My heart was beating in my throat, each contraction encompassing a full swing around the sun. His nose surfaced and his tail swirled. Down went the mouse and my line went tight! It was a firm set, and we were dancing. I was all alone on a lake in the middle of nowhere, and all I could think was what a joy this moment was going to be share with others.
He may not be a native, but he got here as soon as he could. Ben Kittell now calls the diverse rivers of Central Oregon his home. Guiding has been Ben’s passion and career since he was 18 years old. The small streams of Colorado, where he was raised, have turned Ben into an accomplished oarsman, and an avid trout bum. Through his guiding career, Ben has had the opportunity to learn from and work for similarly passionate guides, fly shops, outfitters, lodges and equipment companies. He’s worked as a guide during the winter months in Chilean Patagonia for an Orvis endorsed Lodge of the Year winner, Magic Waters Patagonia, and he’s been a Pro Staff team member for R.L. Winston Rods and Baure Reels. Ben looks forward to sharing his appreciation of fish, rivers, and canyons with you!
A common question that gets asked of any fly fisherman is how they got started in our sport. Similar to many folks, I am fortunate to credit my Dad with starting me on a path that would define my career and life. However, like many working stiffs with a young family, my father only had so much time to go fishing. So as my passion developed into a career, I was sent down a path of endless learning from some of the best guides and fishermen around. Though my fishing skills had surpassed his, a father always has one more lesson to teach.
Possibly the most important lesson I have learned about fly fishing came on a day when I was supposed to be the one teaching. My Dad and I had the rare summer weekday off together, so to the river we went. Dad is no different than most people. He is always trying to learn and develop his skills to catch more fish. So we started with a short lesson.
There we were, father and son, standing knee deep together on a beautiful, slow turn on our home river, the Cache La Poudre. We were working on… something. Lets just say for the sake of the story it was a better mend. “Lift then mend” is something you may hear me say a lot when we fish together! When his drift had improved and all looked promising, I decided to move upstream and make a few cases for myself. “Stay here and keep working on those mends,” I told my Dad. “I’m going to run up to the next pool and make a few casts. I’ll be back in just a few.”
It was a short walk and an even shorter fishing hole. Not ten minutes later, I was returning back to the pool where I had left Dad fishing, but when I got back to our spot there was no angler standing in the water making perfect mends! Instead, my Dad was sitting on the side of the river with his hands folded in his lap.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him. “Did you get tangled?”
“Nope” he easily replied. Then I noticed the relaxed grin resting on his face.
“Did you catch a nice fish!”
The same easy “Nope”.
“Did you catch any fish?”
This simply wouldn’t do! “If you want to get better and catch more fish, you actually have to FISH!” I tried to gently explain.
He slowly got to his feet. “Upstream then?” he casually said.
That was it, my light bulb moment. My father had taught me a lesson that would define my guiding and outdoor lifestyle for the rest of my life. Not everyone goes fishing to catch fish. Sometimes it is about the fish, but sometimes it’s more about spending time with your son having him teach you to “lift then mend”.
This lesson is what I have built my guiding career and lifestyle on. I got into guiding to share the love and passion I have for rivers, and to help people build that same appreciation and respect I have come to foster. Adapting to an individual’s wants and needs is the key to providing a successful day on the water whether that success is based on the number of fish caught or the quality of conversation shared on the boat. I thank my father for teaching me this lesson that has become the foundation of the experience I get to share with others.
Marty Smith runs the camp for Water Time Outfitters. Marty is also known as “Superman Marty Smith” with a long time reputation as one of the best gear boat men on the river, Marty knows how to create the comforts of home on the riverside. After years in a professional career Marty now chooses to spend his time on the water. He’s trained in search and rescue, first aid and of course was an Eagle Scout.