Rogue River fishing lodge stays true to its roots

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Not everyone enjoys waking up in the early hours of the morning in order to be in an ice-cold river by dawn, content to continue throwing a line in the water until dark.

But those who do know that the best fishing holes are often well off the beaten track and it helps to have a place to rest nearby. And if that place is more than a bed but a destination, all the better.

While some lodges have moved to a standard bed-and-breakfast model to attract non-fishing clients, the folks who run Morrison’s Rogue River Lodge in Merlin have found that staying true to their roots is their greatest asset. General manager Lowell Pratt explains that the lodge’s greatest attraction is the rural environment and riverside location. “If you’re coming from the city, it’s a rustic getaway,” he says. Their addictive orange rolls and expert fishing guides encourage repeat visits.

Morrison’s opened in 1946 as a fishing lodge and the fly-fishing opportunities continue to attract visitors, especially for the height of the fall steelhead run. “You are 80% to 90% sure you’re going to get a fish,” says Chris Santella, Portland-based author of Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die.

No fishing lodge would be complete without a fishing story or two. Guests can share their stories around a four-course gourmet dinner served in a dining area or on the outdoor deck next to a salmon pond. Pratt says staff members take pictures of each visitor’s catch, encouraging a friendly competition.  

Not everyone’s idea of fun includes standing in a frigid stream at dawn, but regardless, Morrison’s appeals to fly-fishing fanatics and their landlubber counterparts.


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