Steelhead conservation in Oregon

Photo: Nate Koenigsknecht

Can’t We Let Them Live?

As a lifetime Oregon resident, angler, and guide, I spend 40-60 days a year on the rivers of the Southern Oregon coast. I interact with anglers that use all types of methods, and every one of them I’ve talked to has noticed a significant decline in encounters with wild steelhead. How can this be explained?…

Release - Finding Grace in the Rainforest

California’s Prop 68: Salmon & Steelhead Funding Decided at the Ballot

If you (or a good friend) enjoy the outdoors and live in California, this is a must-read. In 2017, the California state legislature passed Senate Bill 5, which will allow the issuance of bonds to finance drought-recovery, water, parks, climate and outdoor access programs. That bill, now known as Proposition 68, will appear on California voters’…

Steelheading in the Olympic Peninsula

Finding Grace in the Rainforest

“My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” —Norman MacLean ABOUT TEN YEARS AGO, JAY BREVIK AND I SPENT A DAY FISHING several of the Olympic Peninsula’s winter…

The Greatest Steelhead State that Never Was

The State Of Jefferson

STATE OF ARMS AS WOULD ANY GUY SPAWNED FROM THE gravels of Oregon, I had deep reservations about driving the backroads of my home state in a rig blasphemed by California plates. It was a red Tacoma with a watertight canopy and a rod rack permanently bolted to its hood, an otherwise brilliant fishing truck,…

Meet the Deke

Meet the Deke

FLOWING WATER, BY DESIGN, HAS A SANCTIMONIOUS way of pre-qualifying its clientele. Gentle riffles and wide gravel bars lure the false-casting masses, and boiling black holes rimmed with mossy ledge rock frighten them away. That said, I suppose there’s really no great mystery why the easy flows produce the fussy little degree-candidate fish, while the…

Retracing steps in the Skeena Valley

(Still) Steelhead Paradise

I pulled into the Aspen Recreation Site just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 3rd, after a 13-hour, nearly nonstop rental-car bender from Vancouver. The site is the lowest of three B.C. Ministry campgrounds along the Morice River, sitting about eleven miles southwest of Houston—home of the world’s largest fly rod, the world’s largest sawmill,…

When natural flows return, so do the steelhead

Undammed Rivers Revival

Across the continent, 2012 was a bad year to be a climate- change skeptic, but a much worse year to be a fish. Before you bid a tepid au revoir to this torrid 12 months, consider: According to 350.org founder and climate raconteur Bill McKibben, June broke 2,132 high-temperature records across the country. May was…

Deconstructing Dworshak

Waters of Idaho’s North Fork Clearwater River once flowed freely to the Pacific. Cayuse Creek dropped from a high-elevation meadow into Kelly Creek, which funneled into the North Fork, which melded into the Clearwater proper, then the Snake, and finally the mighty Columbia. Native steelhead muscled upstream through it all—massive populations of massive fish during…

Steelhead Highways

Photo by Tim Scott

Seven Steelhead Highways

Hwy 101, from Northern California to Port Angeles, Washington. No stretch of highway in the country crosses more prime steelhead water than this one. Start on California’s Klamath or Smith, then head up to Oregon’s Rogue or the great Tillamook Bay rivers like the Trask and Wilson, and then finish up on the drippy Washington…

SPRINGTIME AT PETERSBURG CREEK

Springtime at Petersburg Creek

The fish were in, Savone said, had been since March. So we found them that April morning, a 45-minute upstream hike from the high tide mark. Steelhead. A threesome here, half dozen there, big, slab-sided, and salmon-sized, all holding in those tannic Alaskan riffles. We cast bright streamers at them well into the afternoon, flexing…