South County Profile: Todd Lebouef

Occupation: Owner, River Romance

If you’ve ever had a hankerin’ to take a romantic trip down the Sacramento River, Todd LeBouef is your man. The owner of River Romance, the Redding resident specializes in scenic trips down the winding waterway, each voyage offering customers their choice of brunch or dinner.

“We’ve been doing it for 11 years,” said LeBouef, who confessed he had a second boat constructed to handle the overflow of business.

“I’ve always been an old-fashioned romantic,” said LeBouef, “I also thought it was a good business. I saw the potential of really making it profitable.”

But he’s quick to point out that his river trips aren’t just romantic trysts. He frequently caters to groups of sightseers and birthday parties, and most recently, wildlife tours held in connection with Shasta Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation.

“We see all kinds of wildlife all the time,” said LeBouef. “The ducks and geese come right up to the boat normally.”

And sometimes into to the boat, although that’s only happened once, he said.

For residents who don’t have a romantic bone in their body, LeBouef also has that covered. He is a fishing guide, too.

“I’ve been guiding for 16 years,” he admitted, explaining that he fishes the Trinity and Sacramento River for salmon, trout and steelhead. His guide trips are typically all day, while his River Romance trips are only three hours.

“My grandfather – as far as the fishing – he’s the one that taught me,” LeBoeuf said, sounding excited about this year’s fishing season. He said that based on the salmon count, limits could be raised.

“This year the limit could be four salmon,” he said. “I supply all the gear. And I have several sponsors so I have the latest in gear. Plus, I tie my own flies.”

That’s what LeBoeuf does for a hobby – tie flies, plus spend as much time out of doors as possible, he said. One would think he’d get tired of the river, but this self-confessed outdoorsman loves it too much, nearly as much as what he does for a living.

“We’ve had customers from all over the world,” he said. “People from New Zealand, Germany, Russia,” he said. “They think it’s the greatest thing ever. Someone even told us we were better than Italy’s gondolas, and they gave us a five star rating.”

All in his own backyard.

© 2012 Anderson Valley Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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