Bob Rafalovich – Merlin, Oregon

Bob Rafalovich┬áhas been a whitewater and fishing guide for 43 years on the Rogue River. He is the former outfitter and owner of Rogue Wilderness Adventures. After selling the business, he continued to work as a river, fishing, and trail guide. Bob lives in Merlin, Oregon and guides for Briggs Rogue River Trips and Morrison’s Rogue Wilderness Adventures.

The Interview

How long have you been running the Rogue River?

43 years.

What brought you to the river?

When I came to the Rogue River I started work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. That’s were I learned to run the river and I began guiding while I was working for ODF&W. Back in those days you could work as a guide and also work for ODF&W. Now a days it’s considered a conflict of interest

What is unique about the Rogue River?

The Wild and Scenic Rogue River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the United States.

Favorite place on the river?

Foster Bar.

Is there a sense of community on the Rogue?

The guides and outfitters are all in competition on the Rogue River. Despite this fact these are some of the greatest folks I’ve ever know. If you have a problem they are always willing to pitch in and help out. Everyone is dedicated to the resource and conservation of river.

How has the Rogue River changed your life?

At this point in my life I’m guessing that this is a career choice. I came to the Rogue in 1974 before the river was regulated by the BLM/USFS. I’ve seen a lot of changes and been part of establishing the current operating regulations, which I feel is one of the best and fairest limited use plans in the United States

Why do you love the Rogue River?

The Wild and Scenic Rogue River is a national treasure and jewel.

What’s your favorite story about the Rogue?

I have too many stories. You’ll have to corner me, and buy me a beer and I’ll tell you some.