Running more than 500 miles, the John Day is the third longest free-flowing river in the contiguous United States. It is protected as a “Wild and Scenic” river under Oregon Scenic Waterways Act. The river’s serpentine course meanders along steep basalt canyon walls, juniper- and sagebrush-dotted hills, abandoned homesteads, and petroglyphs. This is one of the most culturally rich river corridors in Oregon. For thousands of years the Northern Paiute lived on this river they called the Mah-Hah. In 1805 these canyon dwellers met their first Europeans, the Lewis and Clark expedition. In 1812, the river was renamed the John Day after one of the members of the Astor-Hunt overland party. The John Day River is truly the Grand Canyon of Oregon.
Limited to 10 kids
When: July 11-14
Rate is $725 per participant
River Camp is a unique program that will offer kids the opportunity to learn fly fishing, and outdoor skills while floating the beautiful John Day River in Central Oregon. River Camp will foster an appreciation and understanding of rivers and the environment by encouraging an ethic of stewardship with hand-on activities. Most important, River Camp is fun!
Activities will include fly-fishing, outdoor camping skills, such as setting up tents and practicing Leave No Trace, how to row a boat or paddle a stand up paddle board, river safety, geology, and interpretive history with art projects, swimming, and making new friends! Students will increase their knowledge of ecosystems and gain skills to becoming an angler and steward.
Safety and well-being are our priorities. Our staff are role models who will share their passion for the outdoors and positive attitudes with the campers. We encourage personal growth in each child, by providing an excellent program facilitated by our cultivating and qualified staff. Anchored in this safe and supportive philosophy, each camper will have fun acquiring new skills and feel valued for who they are and develop a sense of belonging. Rivercamp will leave a positive impression on your child, and a parent’s dream to share the healthy lifestyle of fly fishing and the outdoors.
The John Day is also arguably the finest smallmouth bass fishery west of the Mississippi. Anglers of all skill levels can enjoy insanely high rates of feisty smallmouth bass while experiencing one of the West’s most interesting and least traveled wilderness float trips.
Bass season is at its peak from mid-June to the end of August. It is not uncommon to hook in excess of 75 fish per rod per day. This is the perfect river to introduce new flycasters to the sport, as the fish are typically aggressive and plentiful. The majority of the fishing is done from the boat and from the banks targeting feeding fish.
This trip will cover up to 32 miles of river. The John Day has mild, Class 1 and 2 rapids. In July the river runs at about 500 cfs, making the rapids gentle and very safe. A designated gear boat, with a two person crew, will lead the packing and move camp each day. There will be two lead guides and 1 parent chaperon that provides on the water pace setting, fishing and rowing advice, and daily activities. Kids are required to wear their life jacket at all times when in the boat and on the water swimming. These overnight journeys provide a magical wilderness adventure and camp comforts. Boats are equipped with first-aid kits and throw ropes.
All of the camping gear is supplied by Little Creek Outfitters with the exception of sleeping bags and pillows. Tents for the night will be setup and a sleeping pad will be provided. Boys and girl tents will be separated. There will be two kids to a tent. We set up a camp toilet with a privacy tent and hand-washing station. We carry all drinking water and provide a water bottle for your child to keep.
We practice ‘leave no trace’ camping ethics and pack out everything we take on the trip.
Meals: Three meals plus snacks are provided. A typical breakfast is bacon, pancakes and fruit, for lunch we have deli sandwiches, fresh salad, chips and cookies. Dinners are prepared with fresh meats, vegetables, a starch and desert. Please let us know if there are dietary restrictions.
Where to meet:
We will meet in Condon, at the café the morning of your trip, eat breakfast then head to the river Address is: 209 S Main St, Condon, OR 97823 Driving time from PDX airport is about 2 ½ hours . There is a private airport in Condon if you have a personnel plane
The Hotel Condon: In Condon we recommend staying at the Hotel Condon – 541.384.4624; www.hotelcondon.com.
John Day Multi Day Bass Trip Pack list:
We provide you with two dry bags. One is a duffel size bag that goes down to camp ahead of you and the other is a smaller dry bag to carry things (like a change of clothes in case you get wet) on your guide boat.
- Clothing for hot days and swim suite
- Jacket and long pant for cool nights
- Camp shoes
- Baseball cap
- SunglassesSleeping bag (40+) and a packable pillow
• Biodegradable soup
If you have fishing equipment bring it and this is what we recommend. (If not, we can provide)
• 4,5, 6 weight fly rod with floating line
• 3X leader and 3X tippet
• Tackle bag
• Flies – wolly buggers, poppers, damsel flies
You can purchase a fishing license on line at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/online_license_sales/index.asp
Purchase the 4 or 5 day – License with Columbia River Basin Endorsement