Your Imperial River Company Guides

It’s a great day on the Deschutes River! At Imperial River Company, our great days start with amazing people to help guide you on your next adventure here in Maupin, OR. Whether you want to raft, fish, cycle or just explore, we have the right people with the right experience to give you the best time ever. 

Brian Black

River Guide + Front Desk + Maintenance
Born: Washington State
Lives: Maupin, OR

Working and playing in the outdoors is something Brian has always enjoyed.   He says he first started experiencing the outdoors in utero, as a matter of fact!  Being outside gives him a great sense of freedom.  Brian has worked for the USFS at Mount St. Helens and has a college degree in Process Engineering.  He is also trained in Natural Disaster & Evacuation Training, as well as White Water Rescue, First Aid & CPR.  Brian is exceptional with kids on the river and has worked for Imperial for 10 years.

Brian and his family live year-round in Maupin with their 2 dogs, Zeke & Walter.  He lives by the creed of, “What you put out in the universe is what the universe gives you back.” He is a big believer in shopping local and regularly volunteers in the Maupin community.  Outside of the summer rafting season, Brian is a Maintenance Magician!  He executes winter projects at Imperial, and is the go-to guy when something breaks.  Not sure how this makes him feel, but we all appreciate him!

Favorite River to Recreate on: Deschutes

Favorite Destination: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Worst Food Ever Tasted: Ruz al Bukhari

Words to Live By: The answer is right in front of you, you just need to look in the mirror.

Venmo: @BrianBlack22

Photo of guide, Brett Gillespie with his dog in a boat

Brett Gillespie


River Guide + Fishing Guide
Born: Mobile, Alabama
Lives: Madras, OR

Brett was born and raised on a family farm in Alabama. He has been guiding for Imperial for 6 years now and most of us say “Roll Tide” when things are going great! He grew up fishing & hunting and has always loved the outdoors. Following high school, he attended Feather River College in Quincy, California. He was a collegiate rodeo athlete and attained a whitewater guiding certificate there. His move out west allowed him to experience whitewater for the first time and he hasn’t looked back.

Brett has spent many years coaching little league baseball for his two sons and has owned his own landscaping business. He is a fishing guide in Oregon and Idaho and guides upland bird hunts out of Maupin in the winter. He and his family have lots of pets including a red healer named Booboo, a yellow lab named Marvin, an English pointer named Dobby, cows, chickens and a horse named Flynn. Brett loves the river, and is almost always floating in his driftboat on his days off. He loves to cap off the warm weather season with several trips down the Snake River of Hells Canyon each fall.

Favorite Deschutes River Rapid: Lower Elevator

Favorite River to Recreate on: Snake River in Hells Canyon

Venmo: @Brett-Gillespie-5

Holly Miles


River Guide + Front Desk + Server
Born: Maupin, OR
Lives: Geneva, NY

Holly can literally say that she has been around Imperial her whole life. Growing up with her parents running the business, she has had “opportunities” to try lots of jobs at the resort. What’s her favorite? Rafting of course! “I love how the river flows by everyday, giving life to everything that touches it.” She recalls many camping trips when she was young and also lots of outdoor playtime. She loves that there is a never-ending supply of things to do and learn about in the outdoors.

Holly is studying Geoscience at Hobart & William Smith Colleges. In Geneva, she’s working with a local non-profit to install air quality monitoring systems to monitor the impacts of industrialization on communities within Geneva. She’s loved taking a wide variety of classes about all things concerning the natural world, from aquatic biology to meteorology. Holly was a three-sport High School athlete and also played college volleyball for the William Smith Herons. She is always down to play a game on the lawn or sand at Imperial!

Traveling and learning new things are a part of Holly’s core. Her favorite world destination is Costa Rica, where she learned to surf. She also completed a solo road trip across the US when she was just 18. This summer, she would really, really, really like to take a fishing lesson on the Deschutes from Joey Bruce!

Favorite Deschutes River Rapid: Boxcar, with a good stadium seating!

Favorite River to Recreate on: Deschutes

Words to Live By: It will never be today again. Each day is a fresh start and a new opportunity to create the life you want.

Venmo : @hollykilometers

Jodi Robertson


River Guide
Born: Vancouver, WA
Lives: Bend, OR

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, the great outdoors were always around Jody. He first loved the pure beauty and knew it was where he wanted to spend most of his time. In addition to guiding whitewater rafts on day trips down the Deschutes River, Jody is also very proficient at rowing and sets up a great camp kitchen. He always brings a speaker in his raft, and enjoys playing music for each group of guests to suit their tastes.

Jody loves promoting experiences for youth in both rafting and snowboarding. He is a snowboard coach at Mt Bachelor in the winter. Prior to guiding and coaching full time, he received a Bachelors in Communication from Simpson University, in Redding, CA.

Favorite River to recreate on: the Deschutes!!!!

Favorite Deschutes River Rapid: Whitehorse (especially when playing ‘Cowboy’ by Kid Rock on his speaker!)

Favorite Destination Visited: Mt. Baker Washington

Worst food ever tasted: pickles

Favorite words to live by: “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Babe Ruth in the Sandlot

Venmo: @jodyrobertson

Isaac Jones

River Guide + Server
Born: Beaverton, OR
Lives: Corvallis, OR

Isaac first started adventuring in the outdoors at a young age. As soon as he could fit into a life jacket, his aunt, who was a raft guide on the Deschutes, took him on many trips down the river. During his rookie season, Isaac used a lot of her old gear to continue the legacy. That’s keeping it in the family!

Isaac’s winter gig is as Team Leader on the Race & Events Crew at Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort. A ski racer himself, there is no S-L-O-W when skiing with Isaac! He also currently attends Oregon State University full-time, majoring in Political Science. Go Beavs!!

Isaac loves the outdoors, especially the peace in the scenery and getting to be with those you care about in a secluded environment. Phuket, Thailand is his favorite spot on the planet and he hates fresh tomatoes but likes ketchup!

Favorite Deschutes River Rapid: Lower Elevator

Favorite River to Recreate on: Rafting the Snake River of Hells Canyon

Words to Live By: You gotta just keep livin’ man, L. I. V. I. N.

Venmo : @Isaac-Neill-Jones