Our Dear Friend Passes on to New Waters


We had many great fishing adventures with Rick McCreery over the years, all of them memorable. Rick touched many people through his work and fishing career and we will miss him tremendously.

Some of my fishing highlights with Rick included traveling to Sandy Point, Bahamas just after Hurricane Floyd. We fished the good tides in the morning and painted by night. There was so much water on Abaco that we had to stay in Marsh Harbor an extra night and “float a taxi” down the main road to Sandy Point. Rick loved to tell the story of us hooking Bonefish in the early darkness of morning by sound rather than sight.


We landed seven Steelhead on the town run one morning and all I remember thinking was, “this really couldn’t happen to better people than Rick and Joan McCreery.”

We walked up the Twizel River one windy afternoon in November on the South Island of New Zealand, it’s still one of my most memorable trout fishing days of all time.

We had a great day on the upper McKenzie this past month. It was one of those gorgeous days on the upper river, great conversation interrupted by wild trout amidst gorgeous scenery.

Rick had an amazing sense of humor to the very end. He passed surrounded by the people who adored him the most. We will think of him fondly on a beach after a long day of catching fish, Kalik in hand telling tales.-CD


Rick’s Obituary appeared in the Register Guard this past Wednesday.

Rick McCreery (1943-2011)

Rick McCreery took his final float down the river of life on Thursday, July 21st 2011.

Rick was born in 1943 in Alameda, California. He was a graduate of the University of Oregon and a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was also a decorated Captain in the United States Army, a dedicated social worker for the State of Oregon, an active community volunteer and a passionate fly fisherman.

His fishing took him around the globe, though his first and favorite river remains the McKenzie. His gregarious nature has earned him friends in the northwest, the Bahamas and all corners of the world. All who knew him loved his generous spirit and his skill for making people laugh through his wonderful story telling abilities.

He is celebrated by his adoring wife, Joan, of Vida, Oregon, his brother Mike McCreery of Springfield, and his children Kelley McCreery Bunkers and her husband Lane Bunkers of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Patrick McCreery and his wife Tara Doherty of Portland. He was an adored grandfather to Benjamin, Henry, Isabella, Maggie and Simon, who describe him as “a very good man.”

A Celebration of his Life will take place at his home in Vida on Sunday, July 31. Tributes in honor of Rick may be made to the McKenzie River Trust.

For more information about Rick’s celebration please contact Kelly Bunkers at: kelleybunkers@gmail.com

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7 Responses to Our Dear Friend Passes on to New Waters

  1. Stevie says:

    Sorry to hear you lost a friend.

    I didn’t know Rick, but I know fishing buddies are a precious commodity to be nurtured and cherished.

    Our prayers for Joan and family, Stevie and Gail

  2. steve says:

    Thanks Chris for posting this.. I met him on the rivers back in the ’90’s He was humble…..

  3. CTMonty says:

    Rick was a very nice guy and always treated me and everyone around him with grace and respect. He left this world a better place for having lived here and we all can learn from people like this. Thank you Chris for writing such a nice tribute to him. I am happy to have known him and sad he is gone.


  4. Maryam says:

    I didn’t know Rick, but I fished with Joan a few times. I am sorry for your loss Joan. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. Dag says:

    A group of us from Bergen , Norway has had the pleasure to fish with Rick and Joan in Sandy Point several times . Always a smile and good advice from Rick . He will be missed
    Thight lines my friend

  6. Stein Atle Fed√ły says:

    I have fished with Rick and Joan in Sandy Point several times, he was always helpful. He always had a smile and a good story. When the fishing was slow you could always walk over to Rick’s boat on the flats and you would find him onboard reading a book, while Joan was still trying to catch a bonefish. You will be missed.

  7. Tom Davis says:

    I first met Rick in 1966. We were all newly married in Eugene and living in the same apt complex the Steele & Stone. I used to see him leave on Saturday mornings in his fishing vest, hat and other gear. I once mentioned that I had always wanted to learn to fish. Well that’s all it took. With the patience of a saint he taught me to fish and gave a passion for the streams. Rick was not someone you soon forgot. Well my friend as you told me oh so many times and so many years ago ” Dammit keep your eye on the fly!”.

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