Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An All-Water Route: Outfitters and Guides

President Thomas Jefferson's principal objective in sending the Corps of Discovery to explore the northwest was to find opportunities for new commercial ventures. These could involve trading goods from the United States (as it existed at that time) with native tribes inhabiting the Louisiana Territory and beyond, and it could involve opening up a new route for trading goods with the Far East.

In those days the only way to move large quantities of goods over long distances was by water, so Meriwether Lewis was instructed to seek an all-water route linking the two sides of the continent. Jefferson's instructions read:

"The object of your mission, is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by it's course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce."

After setting out, the expedition was to follow the Missouri River to its source (as instructed), cross the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, follow the Clearwater River across the Idaho panhandle to its confluence with the Snake River at the Idaho-Washington border, follow the Snake forty miles or so to its confluence with the Columbia River, and then paddle downstream to the Pacific Ocean.

That being the case, the Lewis and Clark trail today offers many opportunities for those interested in combining historical curiosity with an enthusiasm for water sports, particularly fishing. I should talk about which species are popular at different points along the route, but for today I simply want to list the Outfitters and Guides that are referenced on my Google Maps website.

Lower Missouri River

Missouri River Paddling Company Parkville, MO

Upper Missouri River & its Tributaries in Northern Montana

Billingsley Ranch Outfitters Glasgow, MT

Yellowstone River & Southern Montana

Rollin’ Boulder Outfitters McLeod, MT
Bear Paw Outfitters Livingston, MT
The River's Edge Fly Fishing Shop Bozeman, MT
Medicine Lake Outfitters Bozeman, MT

Western Montana

Central Montana Outfitters Great Falls, MT
Beardsley Outfitting Ennis, MT
Carl Mann's Montana Experience Outfitters Stevensville, MT
Redbone Outfitting Corvallis, MT
Osprey Outfitters Guide Service and Fly Shop Hamilton, MT
Blackfoot River Outfitters Missoula, MT
Wapiti Waters Victor, MT

Snake River

Northwest Fishing Guide Service

Lower Columbia River & its Tributaries

Mid Columbia River Guide Service Milton-Freewater, OR
Adventure Fishing Klickitat, WA
Young's Fishing Service The Dalles, OR
Dennis Pratt's Guide Service Battle Ground, WA
Lucky's Guide Service Vancouver, WA
Portland Kayak Company Portland, OR
Columbia River Fishing Guide Woodland, WA
Streamside Fishing Guide Service Forest Grove, OR

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