Drake Magazine 2020 Winter

Photo by Corey Kruitbosch

End-Times Steelhead. Group therapy on the Oregon Coast.

None of us guessed what was coming. Within hours of our leaving the river, the county would close all boat ramps and Oregon’s governor would implement stay-at-home guidelines. We were fishing on the last days of winter steelhead season 2020 and we didn’t even know it.

Bobby Foster Chrome Winter OP

Commodities and Steelhead. An imperative shift on the Olympic Peninsula.

Wild Steelhead are not corn, wheat, or cattle. They are not oranges, apples, or anything that we can control with expected specific outcomes and pounds delivered to market. Put them in a box and they will swim right out of it.
Even among anadromous fish, steelhead are the least predictable of any salmonid swimming the North Pacific. They are never a species of multitude, like Kings, Coho, or even Pinks, that come home in a rush of biological delivery to the rivers spanning the West Coast. They cruise along the edges, arriving to their natal rivers in fits and spurts, with dozens of life histories across each watershed. In short, there were never that many steelhead to begin with.

A FAT BATCH OF NEWLY MINTED ELWHA CHROME.

PHOTO BY SHANE ANDERSON

Undeleted – Story of Elwha River

The return of the Elwha’s steelhead Give a rainbow trout a direct line to the ocean and you have a potential steelhead. Throw a dam in its path and watch anadromy hit a wall. Salmonids in Washington State’s Elwha River, on the northeastern edge of the rain-soaked Olympic Peninsula, found their long-lost gateway to the…

Pebble Mine will effect the whole ecosystem.

Reignited – Pebble Mine Project

The proposed Pebble Mine, subject of 20 years of controversy, 2.2 million public comments, a dozen Congressional hearings, multiple documentary films, media campaigns, ballot initiatives, lawsuits, and the most ubiquitous sticker in all of fishingdom, is back on the table. Seemingly the result of one 30-minute meeting between two men: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and…

Umpqua Feather Merchants collaborates to conserve habitat in Tongass National Forest.

Umpqua Marks 45th Anniversary with $45k Pledge

LOUISVILLE, CO — Forty-five years ago, Umpqua Feather Merchants opened its doors to anglers and shops in search of high-quality flies and unmatched variety. Now it’s wrapping its anniversary celebration around a good cause, collaborating with Trout Unlimited and the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska to raise $45,000 to help conserve and restore key salmon and…

Without our rivers, what is left?

Confessions of a One-Issue Voter

DEEP INSIDE MOST TROUT anglers lies an understanding that the existence of clean water and healthy public habitat are what get us out of bed in the morning, especially on weekends. Many have sacrificed lucrative careers, either by stalling out in the middle when the job-responsibility-to-annual-vacation-day ratio became optimal for fishing, or by running away…

An argument for catch-and-release fishing

Accident in Bear Gulch

I rarely keep trout—let’s get that straight right away. I have no ethical objection to killing them when done responsibly, I just prefer to leave them in the river. Plus I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of trout, which my wife still regards as “strange,” given the amount of time and effort I spend chasing…

Drake Magazine Easement Taylor Park Reservoir

Photo: Corey Kruitbosch

Living on Easement Street

There aren’t many rivers in the Rockies more appealing in late September than Colorado’s lower Taylor, which sits halfway between Crested Butte and Gunnison and is known nationally for its monster, mysis-shrimp-filled rainbows that inhabit the short tailwater section below Taylor Park Reservoir. The river received national attention of a different sort in the spring…