Watch “School of Fish” today

Presented by Orvis with support from Trout Unlimited

Editor’s Note: This Native American Heritage Month, Trout Unlimited is celebrating and honoring the efforts of our tribal partners who, since time immemorial, have been stewards of the lands, waters, and wildlife that they hold sacred.

We are inspired by the stories of the Nez Perce working to recover salmon on the Snake River, of the Shoshone restoring the site of the Bear River massacre, of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa bringing back coastal brook trout, the Indigenous Peoples  of Bristol Bay who have worked tirelessly to protect their home waters from industrial mining —and so many more.

Trout Unlimited is grateful to partner with tribal nations in the work to care for and recover incredible lands, waters, and fisheries in special places.

Indigenous people and salmon have been intertwined for thousands of years in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The knowledge of harvesting, preserving and sharing fish is as important here as any lesson in a book. Today, kids must not only learn from their elders how to fish, but also how to fight. For the last two decades, the Pebble Mine has threatened to pollute the pristine headwaters of Bristol Bay.

“School of Fish” offers an intimate portrait inside one family’s seasonal salmon rituals and traditions. In addition, it explores the new connections to salmon that are being forged through programs like the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy, where local youth are empowered through flyfishing to serve as guides and conservationists. At its heart, the film is a glimpse of a bright, salmon-filled future that is possible when long-term protections are secured for this special place.

A special thank you to the Chaney and Samuelson family, The Orvis Company and directors Colin Arisman and Oliver Sutro for this incredible story.

And thank you to the many partners of the Bristol Bay Fly Fishing and Guide Academy: Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Bear Trail Lodge owner Nanci Morris Lyon, The Orvis Company, the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, the Bureau of Land Management, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the University of Alaska Fairbanks – Bristol Bay Campus, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership!