President’s Message – June 2024

Mike Radakovich with Nehalem steelhead


We are nearly halfway through the year, and it’s time to enjoy fishing and other outdoor activities. As you know, the FCO has embarked on a journey to revitalize our club. Many members have stepped up to volunteer their time and expertise. There are four committees: Operations, Programs, Membership, and Communications, which will serve as the foundation for structure and ideas. See the Member Matters page of this month’s Flyline for more information useful to members and prospective members.

These groups have been meeting to formulate their goals and objectives. I want to thank everyone involved in this endeavor.

Our Programs committee, led by Lee Fiedler, has put together a wonderful event for Tuesday, June 11th, 2024. Our guest speaker will be Al Bagley, the first guide to operate on the Warm Springs Reservation. He will entertain everyone with his stories and experiences as a fisherman. Please sign up on the website, and bring a friend or prospective member!

Save the date for the FCO picnic on Tuesday, August 13th, at the Westmoreland casting ponds.

With gratitude,

Mike Radakovich President, FCO


About Al Bagley

The Treaty of 1855 (“Treaty of Wasco, Columbia River, Oregon Territory with the Taih, Wyam, Tenino, & Dock-Spus Bands of the Walla-Walla, and the Dalles, Ki-Gal-Twal-La, and the Dog River Bands of the Wasco”) between local Columbia river indigenous people and the U. S. Government defined the boundaries of the Warm Springs Reservation, and the fishing rights of the indigenous people both on the reservation and in nearby traditional fishing sites. It took until 1996 for an industrious member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to found a guiding service giving non-native clients access to the amazing fishing on the Reservation (western)  side of the Deschutes River below Warm Springs. Al Bagley, born in Sweet Home, had worked in the lumber mill (and fished the river) for years when he conceived of his guiding service; and everyone’s life took a turn for the better. Al called his outfit RiverBend Guide Service, and quickly developed a superb program and a large client list. He initially started with trout and expanded into summer steelhead as his business developed. Later in his 20-year tenure he introduced his grandson Matt Mendes to the business as a shuttle driver, and since 2016 the roles have reversed with Matt helming the re-named Spin The Handle guide service, and grandfather Al driving shuttles. It remains one of the best non-secrets in Oregon fly fishing.

Al is an extremely likeable, gregarious gentleman with many, many stories to tell about his life and the evolution of his guiding career. Please make reservations to attend the first regular meeting of the Flyfisher’s Club of Oregon in 2024. Bring a spouse, significant other or guests if possible, and also get an update on the status of the revamping process for the FCO that is ongoing.

The bio above furnished by Mark Metzdorff