From our Patrons

I contacted John Smeraglio for 2 days of guided fishing on the Deschutes this past September. I wanted to spend my limited time fishing, casting to productive water, rather than searching, and John was great when it came to making this happen. I had read that John had decades of knowledge from fishing the river, and I found out this was absolutely true. John put me on productive water and he provided the right fly for the conditions, and told me what techniques I should use. Even with my relative lack of skill and experience, I was able to get into fish at the very 1st spot we tried. At virtually every spot we attempted, I had takes within the first few casts. John added to the fishing by making it a stress free enjoyable day. He has decades of experience, allowing him to give you the right type of advice, in the right amounts. I learned some very helpful tips when it came to line management, casting, gear, and the like. John goes above and beyond to help you have a successful day, and I couldn’t have been more satisfied. I did my exploring during non guided hours, and I experimented with flies and techniques typically recommended for the Deschutes during that time of year (I had done some pretty extensive research leading up to this trip). My results, on my own, with flies and techniques that differed from what John recommended, were pretty poor, pretty much confirming that John’s help made a huge difference. I can’t say enough about how enjoyable and successful my fishing trip was, thanks to John Smeraglio. The Deschutes is a large and intimidating river in places, and I would recommend a guide if you’re not familiar with it. John helps you spend your time fishing productively, and he does it in the most enjoyable way. I will absolutely hire him again, when I get back there.

- Brian Mihara


For those interested in learning to fish the Deschutes River near Maupin Oregon I would suggest you look up John Smeraglio. I have taken a day trip for both trout and steelhead with John and gained a wealth of knowledge on the how to approach these sometimes elusive fish. John’s years of experience gave me the fast track to reading water, fly selection, knots and casting. What better choice than a patient, knowledgeable resident expert to give you a perfect day on one of Oregon’s best rivers.

- Paul K

I have always listed my priorities in order of importance to any guide I have hired:

  • Have Fun
  • Learn something
  • Catch a few fish

John is one of the few that ALWAYS hits all 3 in order, and set a very high bar for other guides to hit.

John was one of the first guides I ever hired as the Deschutes was a large, tough to read river.  He was patient with my errant cast and kept the teaching moments simple to understand.  He did not try to impress you with what he knew, but help you understand the why and how of fishing a specific section or run.

I have hired John for almost 20 years now.  He has educated me to the point where I certainly can catch fish on my own.  I still hired his services as he is a pleasure to spend a day with and always knows what new runs or sections will fish well, for trout or steelhead.

Although I have had or heard other guide yell at their clients for a missed strike or bad cast, John never has and used that as a teaching moment.  He is a true gentleman, who make your time on the water fun and productive. 

 As a fly shop owner for many years, John would always give an honest appraisal of fishing conditions before I planned a trip. When John would tell me the river was not producing much for one reason or another, he always give a logical explanation of why. I would look at the current fishing conditions from other fly shops in the region and they were always positive to the point of not believable.

I have been lucky enough to fish for many species in the US and out and John still stands as my favorite guide.  You will never have to worry if you made the right decision if you hire John.

- Peter Lucier

Kingsland, GA

I met John about a dozen years ago at his shop in Maupin. I had been referred to him from friends who were experienced and serious Steelheaders. I had just decided to try Steelheading in Oregon after ten years fishing in British Columbia.
I think it was the first time John guided me with his unusual road fishing approach to guiding on the Deschutes River. We hadn't had any success yet on this morning on the "D". John walked me down to a part of the river where he thought we might find a Steelie. I was getting set up to cast but first queried John about this very small little "run". It was bouldery and about the right speed of current but it was really skinny water. John convinced me to cast out and watch carefully as my fly turned around a good size rock. Blam!, I hooked a good hen Steelhead; and I did manage to fight it to the net - success!
John has proven innumerable times over the years that he intimately knows the river and its fish as well as casting and fishing techniques. More importantly, John is a really good guy and has become a wonderful friend over these many years.

- Mike Fisher

“I’ve known John as a fishing guide, fly shop owner, instructor, and friend for over 40 years. Without a doubt he’s one of the most knowledgeable people on the Deschutes River bar none. Besides getting you into some nice fish, John’s approach is to teach you as much as possible while he’s guiding so you can take your fly fishing to the next level. Call him - you won’t be disappointed!"

- Rick Hafele

fly-fishing instructor and author - Western Hatches, Western Mayfly Hatches, Nymph Fishing Rivers & Streams, and more

John Smeragio is a lifer around Maupin and knows the Deschutes probably better than most. He's got a great attitude towards conservation, and yet is so fun to be guided by...

- K. Jurgens