Cameron Davenport

Years Fishing?


Who introduced you to fly fishing?

My Uncle Ron got me fly fishing around age 7, on a ranch pond full of large mouths in Oregon. Prior to that, I was a committed worm and bobber plunker and rooster tail aficionado. From the moment my uncle introduced me to fly fishing, I was hopelessly addicted. His fly boxes certainly felt the pain in those early days.

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

Growing up in Central Oregon, the Deschutes, Crooked, Fall, and Metolius were my home waters, as well as the Cascade Lakes system. I still hold these waters close. Nothing beats a crisp fall morning swinging a fly on the Lower D. I now live in SW Montana with my wife and two small children. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, I make my way down to the Henry’s Fork. These days a lot of my local fishing is on ponds with my 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?

With my job as Director of Eleven Angling, there is always something going on. I travel globally to oversee Eleven’s angling properties and to connect with our teams in these remarkable locations. Northern Hemisphere summer finds me in Colorado, Iceland, Alaska, and Canada. During our winter (Southern Hemisphere summer) I bounce between New Zealand, Chile, and the Bahamas. It's hard to have a favorite season when I’m constantly shifting between hemispheres. It’s more about what is next and what opportunities arise as the seasons change across the equator.

What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?

I enjoy all travel destinations when a fly rod is in tow. Currently, New Zealand’s South Island, where Eleven’s Cedar Lodge and Owen River Lodge are located. As well as Chile's Los Lagos Region and our Martin Pescador Lodge. We’re currently developing new programs in Iceland and I’m excited about working on those this summer as well as getting back to our Holkna Cabin program. One of my bucket list items is to take my kids on their first fly fishing trip, whether in our backyard or internationally. It’ll be a few years, but I can’t wait.

What you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?

The story behind T&T, the people behind the brand, the overall belief of the company in its people and their ingenuity, and the quality and pride in craftsmanship are all incredibly compelling. T&T isn’t about producing the greatest number of rods each year or making another rod for the sake of making another rod. All T&T products are purpose-built and are seriously top-shelf, best-in-class. The rods and rod series speak for themselves.

I fish just about every series of T&T rods. I’m reaching for the following routinely, depending on where I’m going: Avantt II 10’ 5wt, Avantt II 6wt, Exocett SS 250, Sextant 9wt, DNA 13’0” 7wt.

The Avantt II has become a mainstay in the Eleven guest/guide fleet of rods at our Cedar Lodge and Owen River Lodge as well. Its adaptability and accuracy are perfectly matched for New Zealand’s fisheries.

What's your current go-to fly?

It depends, but the top picks currently are a Chubby and Turd, Blow Fly, Sunray Shadow, Undertaker, and Ho Bo Spey.

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

A quality puffy jacket. Don’t leave home without one. It doesn’t matter where I am, I have a Patagonia Nano Puffy on hand. Alaska to New Zealand, Iceland to Belize, the Nano is more useful than you could ever imagine. I also always have a camera and a custom first-aid kit. Oh, and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, never leave for a trip without it. Rarely need it, but when you or a buddy does, it’s a godsend.

My favorite thing about guiding is:

My guide days have been behind me for quite some time. Shortly after college, I shifted from guiding to managing angling outfits and properties. That shift certainly wasn’t easy but it took me around the world and provided different ways to impact destination anglers. It also provided my current opportunity with Eleven Angling. What I miss most about guiding is the people and the direct impact you can have on someone’s day, week, month, year, or life. Fly fishing is an amazing endeavor for all of us and it can shift people’s lives and shift the paradigm of how they interact with the natural environment.

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

Knowledge. Guides are always attuned to the water. They understand the resource better than you could ever imagine. Allow them to impart some knowledge and teach or hone some skills. Everyone can benefit from a guided day on the water, whether a beginner or the most ardent angler.

What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? 

Receiving guidance offers an accelerated path to leveling up and improving one’s angling game. At the start, for all anglers, it is simply about catching fish. A guided day will certainly increase the odds of being successful in catching fish. However, a guided trip can help any angler continue to progress as an angler and become more attuned to the subtleties of a fishery. My favorite thing to teach is a conservation ethos, to help new anglers understand that fly fishing is about far more than simply catching fish.

What’s your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?

A hot pastrami sandwich and jalapeño chips, washed down with a PBR. What I actually pack: a bag of chips and a Snickers bar, or sometimes only jerky. If in Iceland, taking a break to pick up a loaded bacon-wrapped hotdog from a stand is a MUST! Vikings have taken the hotdog to the next level.

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

The Drake, Catch Magazine, Fly Fisherman

When I'm not fishing you'll find me:

In winter, snowboarding/skiing with my family at Bridger Bowl, just outside Bozeman. In the fall, if I have a free moment, I’m in middle-of-nowhere Montana chasing upland birds.