McKenzie Wooden Boat Festival: 'It started here on this river'

McKenzie Wooden Boat Festival: 'It started here on this river' »Play Video
Wooden boats navigate the McKenzie River at the 9th annual Wooden Boat Festival.

NIMROD, Ore. -- The lure of this famous stream is hard to resist.

Classic fishing boats hit the McKenzie River in style Saturday to celebrate the start of Oregon’s trout season at the 9th annual Wooden Boat Festival.

Many handmade boats can trace their origins to this river.

“It's just our way of honoring the history of this boat - because it started here on this river,” said McKenzie River Wooden Boat Festival co-host Debbie Dersham.

Craig Curtis’s sleek wooden wonder was one of the nearly 20 wooden boats in the special flotilla.   

“Water's a little high, so we had some good rapids up above.  It was a nice, sweet little ride,” said Curtis.

On the shore, Steve Overall taught Fly Tying 101. He makes a combination of thin wire, feathers and fur and into what a trout might mistake for a delicacy.

“The first one we're going to tie here is a McKenzie Caddis,” Overall said. “There's nothing more rewarding than catching a fish on something that you have tied yourself.”

Dersham said that first-timers to the festival are usually hooked by the McKenzie's charm by the end of the day.

“To come and see this beautiful stretch of the river and then to see that all of these people that are participating and bringing their boats, they are as attached to the river as they are their boats.”