I recently had the opportunity to visit with John Smeraglio about his life here in Maupin, his love of the river that is our life-blood, and his business. John opened Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop back in 1985, with the goal of providing excellent products and service through guided trips and classes.
John’s passion is not only evident but contagious. As I listened to him describe what Maupin was like 30 years ago and how it has evolved, I was struck by the realization that he is one of those people who embodies the old Confucian sentiment: Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. He has turned his love of the river–and his belief that humans are gifted and burdened with the responsibility of stewardship and common sense when it comes to the resources we enjoy here in Maupin–into a livelihood, albeit one that is perpetually jeopardized by recent changes in river environment.
John’s knowledge of the river and all things fly fishing runs deep; he is enthusiastic about educating locals and visitors of all ages and experience levels and hosting special events throughout the year. John teamed up with Rick Hafele to create a trio of educational videos: Fly Fishing Large Western Rivers, Nymph Fishing Basics, and Advanced Nymph Fishing. He offers product demo days, stream-side entomology classes, clinics, casting lessons, and more. His website, www.flyfishingdeschutes.com, offers an abundance of information, from river levels, hatch charts, and fish counts, to local resources. If you are in town, stop and have a visit with John. His business is located beside the river at 599 South Highway 197.