John Dietsch, Graced by Waters
October 8-12, 2023
You don’t have to be in a 12-step program to join us on this insightful retreat connecting soul, nature and the river with floating and fly fishing one of Southern Oregon’s most beautiful and productive trout fisheries: The McKenzie River! Participants will have an interest in seeing how the spiritual journey of the 12-steps relates to the river where we fish for not only trout, but perhaps a Higher Power. Our focus for this retreat will be the 11th step: “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
On this awesome and purposeful adventure, we will stay at the Eagle River Lodge for three nights, fishing for two-and-a-half glorious days. The lodge is right on the banks of the river, and because it has its own boat ramp. our float trips can start right at the lodge with hand-picked fishing guides who will take us down the river fishing from their dories.
Each morning we will have a 12-step meditation meeting and check-in to share on our intentions for the day, and our daily progress, integrating the experiences on the river with a specific intention we set at the beginning of the trip. Also, each evening, after dinner we wil have an informal gathering around the fire to discuss whatever is on our minds, We hope you will join us on this powerful journey down the river and into our souls.
We will be fly fishing for mainly rainbow trout and cutthroat. The final morning, you will experience guided fishing on the premises of the lodge, and after lunch a brief informal ceremony to conclude the retreat. Typically we will do 6 to 8 mile floats on the Mckenzie. But there are many sections where a longer float up to 10 miles is not uncommon. Most of the spots are just along the road . Located in a beautiful and remote valley, the McKenzie river winds through dense forest and mountains. Known for its healthy population of native red side rainbows and cutthroat trout, the McKenzie provides excellent dry fly, pocket water and even great sections for swinging flies.
The river is also well known for being the birthplace of the McKenzie style drift boat, now used around the world as a staple for fly fishing float trips. This unique boat is the safest dory made, with high sides and a large rocker to handle the exciting and often tricky rapids found throughout the river. It is also not uncommon to see bald eagles, osprey, and even a golden eagle while floating down this beautiful and powerful river.
Blue river is the closest town about 6 miles up river. Eagle Rock Lodge is in the small town of Vida, six miles from Blue River and 25 miles north east of Eugene.
The McKenzie’s natural beauty is the perfect backdrop for a retreat designed for us to get more in touch with our higher power.
A lot of what we will be doing, while fishing, is to ask, “what is God’s will for us?” Is God’s will for us to catch…. Or are we here to fish? How does this dynamic apply to the rest of our lives? Can we stay in the process and leave the results business to the power that is impossible to neglect while floating this majestic river carved from the beginning of time? In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it talks about God’s will for us and points out that it is our duty to seek that out in prayer, meditation and fellowship. So that is exactly what we will be doing! How can the stream of a river, and our Higher Power, help us to get out of our own way so we can be of service to others and pack more into "the stream of life?” Fly Fishing and the river provide a beautiful way to discover and connect with your higher Power.
Hosted by John Dietsch, author of the book “Graced by Waters," our trip will begin with John reading from his book then leading a discussion on our own journey exploring the 11th step and our ability to have a spiritual connection to the river and nature. John will also facilitate morning meetings and check-ins and will float and fish with us down the river. John has been a friend of Bill's for 12 years, and Brian Sweeterman, is also Bill's friend, and will be the co-host and head guide for our trip.
FISHING GUIDES AND TACKLE
Brian Sweeterman is a veteran fly fishing guide who had guided in many parts of the US over the years. Brian has handpicked a number of other experienced, certified guides to help us navigate the path of the river which includes some exciting class-three rapids. These guides also know where the big fish live and feed!!
• Airport Shuttle included, arrival mid-afternoon Thursday & drive to the Lodge
• Communal Dinner on the deck followed by a presentation by John Dietsch (book reading and discussion)
Friday and Saturday
• AM 12-step meditation meeting (open to anyone who would like to join)
• 3-course breakfast
• Fly Casting for the Soul: brief casting instruction, including 11th step insights into throwing a line
• Launch right from the hotel: McKenzie River guided dory fly fishing (includes a box lunch)
• Shuttle back to the Lodge
• Communal check-in before dinner (optional meditation)
• Friday communal dinner on the deck & Saturday dinner at the local restaurant (10 min drive)
• Evening wrap up
• AM 12-step meditation meeting
• 3-course breakfast
• 3-4 hours of guided fly fishing on the premises and/or near the lodge
• Light lunch and an informal closing ceremony on the banks of the river, including souvenirs!
• Check-out from the hotel and (2 PM) shuttles to the airport. "The river never says goodbye.... Only hello.
SINGLE OCCUPANCY* $1972 - 2164
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY* $1510-1629
*Price depends on the room, See http://EagleRockLodge.com
Includes all transfers, meals, beverages, water, accommodations, 3-course breakfasts, box lunches, communal dinners overlooking the river and a finale evening at a local restaurant.
FISHING LICENSES, PLANE FARES AND REQUISITE GUIDE/MAID TIPS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICING.
Proceeds go to Fish for Wellness and its scholarship programs.
• Please tell us about any mental or physical health conditions we should know about.
• Please inform us of any dietary restrictions you may have.
** All participants (over the age of 15) must purchase a 3-day Oregon fishing license (not included in the price)
Oregon Fishing License: https://odfw.huntfishoregon.com/login
Brian Sweeterman: 541-674-1727
Eagle Rock Lodge phone number:
To make a deposit & get the sweetest room please call John at 310 415-9232. This retreat is limited to seven people.
A river flows because of its tributaries., just as a nonprofit grows due to its contributors. Whether it is donations or volunteering, we can do more together than we can do alone.
There are many ways to join us and support our mission. Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, donations, fundraising events, and ways that you can get our message out to your friends and family. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter on the confluence of fly fishing and wellness.
Fish for Wellness qualifies as a 501(c)3 through a fiscal sponsorship with Fish for Change. For more information please call us at 310 415 9231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org