John Day River Shuttles, Outfitters & Resources

When To Go

The John Day River has no dams to control water flow, so water levels fluctuate widely depending on snow pack and rainfall. The best time to go is generally the late spring and early summer months. Before planning your trip, be sure to check the river’s current water levels. The U.S. Geological Survey provides handy information on its website:

Launch permits are required for boaters planning either day-use or multi-day trips on several sections of the John Day River. You may also be required to obtain an Aquatic Invasive Species Permit. For more information on permit requirements, fees, and the application process, please visit the Bureau of Land Management website:

The banks of the John Day River are a mix of public and private lands. The Bureau of Land Management provides useful maps, which include information about land ownership, river miles, and topography. To get yours, check out their website:

To ensure the John Day River remains a safe, pristine, and entertaining place for everyone, please be sure to follow the Bureau of Land Management’s Campfire and Leave No Trace rules. 

Shuttles and Outfitters

Arrowhead Adventures
Arrowhead Adventures does a guided fly fishing trip for smallmouth bass.

Donna’s John Day River Shuttles
Reliable and affordable John Day River shuttle service based in Fossil.

John Day River Shuttles
John Day River shuttle service based in Fossil.

J & Z Shuttles   
541-468-2182 or 541-561-3686
Based in Spray and offering shuttle service along the John Day River.

Little Creek Outfitters
Fly fishing adventures on Oregon’s John Day River.

Mah-Hah Outfitters
Lower your lure into the longest undammed river that flows into the Columbia.  For a guided trip for smallmouth bass take a trip with Mah-Hah Outfitters.

Rattray Ranches
Recreational activities on the John Day River. This wheat & cattle ranch has direct access to the John Day River with a private boat launch and fishing, swimming, and hiking opportunities.

Service Creek Stage Stop
See nature in high definition by renting a raft and exploring the beautiful and scenic John Day River. Offers a variety of river equipment that includes rafts, pontoon boats,  and canoes, as well as shuttle services.