Scott O’Donnell has deep roots in the sport stemming back to the 1980’s and his time serving the Navy in Washington State. There he might another like-minded soul, Dec Hogan, and together they learned to steelhead fish and spey cast. Scott guided winter steelhead on the Sauk and Skagit for many years before relocating to the northern Oregon coast to do more of the same. In the meantime, he spent more than 25 seasons guiding in Alaska, designed the very first RIO Skagit lines and enjoyed the pleasure and recognition of being a Sage-sponsored casting instructor.
It’s now been more than 20 years since Scott O’Donnell first laid eyes on the river that he would eventually call home. For much of that time Scott had a simple game plan: run multi-day float trips on the lower portion of the river in the early season and move the operation upriver to a rental house turned short-term lodge later in the season when temperatures dropped. Over time, Scott expanded his operation, and more importantly, he and his wife Stefanie fell more deeply in love with the Grande Ronde. In 2014, with the purchase of their own permanent Speywater Lodge facility, Scott and Stefanie are now proud to call the Grande Ronde home and share their love and knowledge of this river with their guests.