Northwest Travel: McKenzie River

John Gottberg Anderson • For / The Bulletin Published Nov 20, 2011 at 04:00AM
Fall colors splash canvas-like colors across an abandoned pond at the Old McKenzie Trout Hatchery near the Leaburg Dam. Dating from the 1930s, the hatchery is now home to a regional visitor information center, open seasonally.
The Eagle Rock Lodge faces a long straight stretch of the McKenzie River between Blue River and Vida. Owned by former Bend residents Randy and Debbie Dersham, it boasts handsomely appointed rooms and a large common area where hearty breakfasts are served.
Randy Dersham casts a line into the McKenzie River rapids. A former Bend resident, Dersham is now a certified McKenzie River guide who also owns the Eagle Rock Lodge between Blue River and Vida.
A McKenzie River drift boat is loaded on a trailer to be pulled to a boat launch. Designed with a wide, flat bottom and a high, narrow bow, the unique vessel was developed by local fishing guides in the late 1920s to be highly maneuverable in whitewater rapids.
The Goodpasture Covered Bridge is one of two covered bridges that cross the McKenzie River off state Highway 126. River traffic is busy here between April and October, the prime season for fly-fishing by drift boat.
Sahalie Falls drops 120 feet on the upper McKenzie River, a short detour off state Highway 126.
The colors of Christmas make a constant statement at the Spring Creek Holly Farm.