Glen Finch has worked on the Rogue River for eight years. In 2009 he moved from Livermore, California to Ashland, Oregon to attend Southern Oregon University. While in school he was introduced to the Rogue River and began guiding during the summer months. He’s traveled and worked on rivers in Australia, New Zealand, and Nepal, but has always found himself returning to Southern Oregon. He now works as the Operations Manager for Indigo Creek Outfitters.
How did you get started working on the Rogue River?
In 2010 I was introduced to the “Nugget” stretch of the Rogue River. I first started guiding on the Rogue with Indigo Creek Outfitters in the spring of 2011. I now spend over a hundred days a year on the Rogue; guiding, training new guides and for my own recreating.
Why are you drawn to the Rogue?
It’s the local river. You can choose what you want on any day. In the summer you might find yourself on a three day vacation float through the Wild and Scenic section. In the Fall it’s an afternoon surf session on Lyman’s surf wave, or perhaps a nail biting descent down Takelma Gorge. The choice is yours.
Favorite place on the river?
I think its Grave creek. Despite the chaos as a guide in the middle of summer, Grave Creek is the start of a new adventure, low or high water, old familiar faces and new wide eyed ones. It is the excitement and anticipation of the next adventure.
Is there a sense of community on the Rogue?
Yes. On the Rogue you help those in need and I have seen this happen more than I can recall. I was just told a story of how someone launching at Grave Creek lost their boat after sliding it off their trailer. As they stood there watching it slowly drift downstream, closer and closer to Grave Creek rapids, a local guide stopped what he was busy with, jumped in the cold morning water and brought the boat back to shore. A small act of kindness.
How has the Rogue River changed your life?
I am sure in more ways that I know. It is my livelihood. Many of my mentors work or previously worked on the Rogue. I have spent more time on this river than any other, gained more friends and memories here than any other. These memories, experiences and friendships will continue for a very long time and continue to shape my life.
What’s the personality of the river?
An old friend. Someone you are comfortable spending time with, but one that is not afraid to lash out at you if provoked.
What’s your favorite story about the Rogue?
I think this story is best told in person.
“I need this wild life, this freedom!” – Zane Grey