With the fourth or fifth major storm system of 2019 rolling through northern California, coastal rivers are going big. If you’re a winter steelhead angler you know the morning drill…step 1) coffee, step 2) precipitation forecast and step 3) flow forecasts. But, if you’re on step 3) this morning you know you’re not going fishing this weekend. Well, maybe the X River might, just might, outside chance be in marginal shape, but you know it’s iffy. So with winter steelhead on your mind and no fishing to be done, here are some ideas to keep you busy.
1) A River’s Last Chance – available on Amazon (free for Amazon Prime members) … Shane Anderson’s compelling story about the impact of timber, weed and wine on the Eel River and the best opportunity for wild salmon and steelhead recovery on the entire West Coast.
2) Swing North – Hidden behind deep gray fog, California’s North Coast is one of the most pristine habitats in the state. But the thick redwood forests and slate green rivers were almost devastated by the impact of industry. Once hosting runs of more than a million salmon and steelhead, the annual fish counts on the Eel River now often number less than 1,000. Yet, the salmonids persist. In recent years, signs of a recovery ripple through the waters. In Swing North, fishermen Mikey Wier and Jason Hartwick hook into the growing population of wild winter run steelhead on the Eel. With appearances by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and Shane Anderson, director of Wild Reverence: The Wild Steelheads’ Last Stand, the two discover a river that holds hope for one of California’s great remaining wild fisheries.
3) Wild Reverence – Director Shane Anderson made a pilgrimage to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state to the rivers he once fished as a boy. His relationship with the wild steelhead and the rivers in which they met upon taught him just how precious life can be. What was once a childhood fishing trip has evolved into a journey to find answers why his favorite fish is disappearing from the rivers and appearing on the Endangered Species list. How could this wild and beautiful creature slip toward the abyss of extinction?
WILD REVERENCE embarks on a quest to begin a movement to enact real change not only for the steelhead but for all ecosystems.
4) SOS II: Fish in Hot Water – CalTrout’s status update on threats and solutions for California salmon, steelhead and trout. You can download the report using this link
5) KeepemWet Fishing Principles – make sure you understand the three main principles behind keeping fish wet. Our goal is simple “improve the outcome of each fish we encounter”.
Thanks and fingers are crossed that there’s some fishable water around the corner!
CalTrout: to learn more about California winter run steelhead
Keepemwet Fishing: to learn more about Keepemwet priniciples
Lost Coast Outfitters: blog on many things fly fishing related