At 27 years old, Dillon Renton has already established himself as one of the finest fly fishing guides in Oregon whose experience far exceeds his age.
I first met Dillon Renton in 7th grade. Then, fly fishing had been the center of my universe for only two years, and the number of flies I had lost far eclipsed the number of trout I had caught. I vividly re-member standing there as a 12-year old, feeling baffled, if not perplexed, as Dillon recounted landing his first steelhead on the fly at age seven and rowing the Deschutes River’s notorious Whitehorse Rapid at age 11. When we got around to talking flies, he couldn’t remember tying his first because he was, liter-ally, still in diapers.
In the following years, Dillon and I became great friends and steadfast fishing buddies. With each new adventure on the river, my initial skepticism about his accomplishments were proven wrong time and time again. When I met the rest of the Renton family, everything came full circle. It began to make perfect sense. He was the real deal, a kid that went from the crib straight to the river and never looked back.
Dillon’s parents, David and Debbie Renton, built Renton River Adventures on a foundation of passion, hard work and astute attention to detail. David and Debbie are the ultimate outfitting pair and they shared their love of Pacific North-west rivers with their two children, Dillon and his younger brother Knut, from the moment the boys were old enough to take their first steps. David’s knowledge of fly fishing, rowing and guiding the rivers of the region spans more than 30 years, and through his mentorship, Dillon blossomed into David’s preferred guiding partner by age 16. David and Dillon’s shared passion for putting clients on fish, and in the process taking instruction and education to the next level, has not only earned them the distinction of being Sage Elite Pros but also made them Fly Water Travel’s go-to outfitters for Oregon’s Deschutes and Umpqua rivers.
Debbie Renton’s gifts shine brightest in camp with cook-ing and logistics. She, assisted by Knut, acts as the camp host and chef on Renton River Adventures’ trips. Debbie is an extraordinary cook, and her skills are deliciously clear in the culinary wonders she whips up under the canopy of a riverside dining tent. Whether it’s a rack of lamb paired with a Caprese salad or king salmon accented by a mint pea puree, Debbie serves it up with style and a smile.
All of the Rentons contribute their unique skills, warm personalities and accommodating attitude to making client experiences on the river unforgettable. For them, this isn’t a career — it’s what they were born to do. They are living their dream, and luckily for us, they are eager and willing to share it with the rest of us.