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Voices from the river

  • Voices from the river

    The gift of the skunk

    One learns not to expect much when fly fishing during the winter months. At least around here, or if you’re me. Regardless of the season, sometimes you step into a river and just know something’s off. The water’s not moving right, or the sound of the wind rings particularly empty and distant. I envy steelhead die-hards their familiarity with this feeling, the impending, inevitable void, and how they march into it undaunted.   A guy I know…

  • Featured

    Welcome to winter steelhead fishing

    Dean hollered from upstream as a steelhead took his fly, then hollered again a moment later as the fish released it. At another spot Dean had a nice fish on for perhaps a minute, his rod bowed and bobbing. But that steelhead, too, practiced detachment. Welcome to winter steelhead fishing.

    Molly the water dog and Jenny Weis on Oregon's Umpqua River, before everything blew out. By the third day, it seemed a foregone conclusion that at least one of our three-person party would feel the chilly fingers of a stream no longer kept at bay by their waders. The ubiquitous blackberry vines armoring the banks…

  • Voices from the river

    Sighs of relief

    Do you make your sighs of relief audible? I sure have been lately.   Snow is currently falling in Southwest Colorado and it is piling up. Ahhhh. I can breathe a cautious sigh of relief for the trout in our watersheds. I can nearly hear the trees and plants sigh for the water nourishing their roots.   On a personal note, I’m…

  • Conservation

    Wild, scenic and fishable

    New legislation from Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley would better conserve some of Oregon's best waters for native salmon, steelhead and trout. Today, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced the River Democracy Act of 2021, which would create new Wild and Scenic River designations for a number of stream segments in Oregon where TU…

  • Conservation

    A case study for the ‘portfolio approach’

    A fisheries management plan for southwest Oregon coastal streams spurs debate over harvest of wild steelhead A fishery management plan being developed for southwest Oregon coastal rivers has generated debate over whether to temporarily reduce or prohibit harvest of wild steelhead. Trout Unlimited’s Oregon Field Director Kyle Smith recently penned an opinion-editorial in the Curry County Pilot making the case for caution in killing…

  • Youth

    Hiking the CDT: Four months, 3,100 miles and, suddenly, Mexico

    We hadn't changed at all, yet so much time had zoomed passed us. It felt like years had gone by since I saw my cousin Ethan, walking along in front of me down the trail in Montana. At the same time, it felt like no time at all. The road seems to go on forever, but it is behind you in only a moment.

    By Henry Strawbridge Editor’s Note: The Strawbridge family from Lakeland, Fla., hiked the length of the Continental Divide Trail – all 3,100 miles of it – from Canada to Mexico. Henry Strawbridge, 14, provided updates of their journey to Trout Unlimited as they passed through the historic range of seven native trout species. You can track the…

  • Voices from the river

    What do trout hear?

    I get lots of questions about trout, but many of them come this time of year. The sunlight shows itself for short periods, and the nights are long and cold. Seeing ice on riverbanks and entire lakes frozen over, people begin to think about what happens to the species that swim under their surfaces.   What…