The US Fish and Wild Life Service’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Program, a national program aimed at increasing a diverse engaged conservation constituency, is highlighting work of programs that connect youth with nature and encourage conservation. The event will be held on Capitol Hill Tuesday, September 16, 2014. Soul River Owner/Creative Director Chad Brown has been given the opportunity to speak at the event, in front of the organization and members of congress, to share the story of Soul River and our outreach work connecting youth and veterans with the outdoors using fly fishing and conservation as a conduit to spark interest and cultivate a passion creating the awareness to our youth and bring up to ambassadors into the outdoors.
Chad will be covering Soul River’s mission, our partnerships with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, and the importance of connecting with nature respectfully while giving back. Chad and Soul River would like to thank US Fish & Wildlife Service for their ongoing support with our programs and events like the recent Celebration of Wild Steelhead and for the opportunity to share our work and inspire others on a national stage.
AMAZING! TIGHT LINES!
The Celebration of Wild Steelhead was an amazing success this past Sunday. Mainly because of all the generous help we received from the local community to make it happen; local businesses, US Fish and Wildlife, and all the dedicated anglers who came out to share their skills. Everyone’s hard work ensured a high level engagement by both youth organizations that planned to attend and curious neighbors who passed through and ended up picking up a flyrod kit, hat and shirt and some info for our future clinics. We are confident that every kid who participated walked away with new skills, and understanding of fly fishing and the wild steelhead, and in most cases hooked enough to continue their exploration of the sport or just becoming an ambassador of the outdoors. The difference of understanding the youth had before and after the event was remarkable; some had no idea what fly fishing was, some had never heard of it, and some had come up with their own creative idea of what it meant to fly fish. Walking away from the event, everyone should feel proud of their involvement and the accomplishments we had that day introducing more youth in the community to the outdoors.
We want to thank all our volunteers, soul river ambassadors and our partners US Fish & Wildlife, Tualatin River Refuge, The Intertwine, Native Fish Society, LOOP, SpeyHeads, ZAP Team Oregon Zoo, Fly Fishing Collaborative, Jim Teeny & Donny Teeny, OPST, Scientific Anglers, Rising Buffalo Tribe, Oregon Department Fish Wildlife, Donny Adir, Stone fly Society and all the participating youth organizations; Momentum Alliance, PPS Title VII Indian Education, City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation, and Boy Scouts of America. Everyone who came out and did their part behind the scenes made all this possible! Moving onward and upward, we will be holding five clinics, once a month, open to all youth who came out to learn this past weekend to continue their education as an angler and outdoor ambassador. They will be held at various locations throughout Portland. Stay tuned for more specifics. We could talk for days about what a success the event was and how our hard work paid off but instead we’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Thank you to Ben Paull from OPST awesome photography from the event below!
Here is another sneak preview of Brian Chou’s flies coming soon to the Soul River retail space!
In addition to his flies, we are gearing up for a profile feature about this good friend of Soul River’s, angler, and soul river ambassador, showcasing his work on the vise behind the scenes, sharing his techniques, process, and philosophy behind transforming a bare hook into a masterful piece of functional art!
Stay tuned and review some of his work below!
“The Patriot” by Brian Chou – Honoring 9/11 Families and everyone coming together and standing together as one!
“Rip City” By Brian Chou – Representing the Portland Blazers – Inspired by the old classic steelhead pattern, The Red Winged Blackbird.
Since the opening of Soul River’s retail space, there have been growing pains to the changes, celebrations, and struggles. This crazy formula in entrepreneurial life forces one to grow up quicker in order to make better sense of what the hell you’re doing! Through the consistent and gracious support, we are making changes everyday to be a better small business and pillar in our community. In turn, we have streamlined, clarified, and sharpened our mission:
We are born from the sport of fly-fishing. We cast our line into a confluence of our soul where we inspire others, develop a community and form meaningful partnerships. We connect youth and veterans to a conscious outdoor lifestyle centered around conservation, art, design, and humanity through quality products and services to all communities. We are Soul River Runs Deep.
Celebration of Wild Steelhead is almost here! There have been many helping hands from all over the world (really!) that have given time and support. Thank you to everyone who has helped in so many ways – from donations to filling participant bags to those traveling to teach about conservation, casting, or tying flies. Love comes in many forms and on so many levels through the human spirit of kindness and respect. This is going to be a good, solid day at the park in community with people from all different ethnicities, races, genders, and ages. Soul River and US Fish & Wild Life goal is to reach one hundred youth and to ultimately connect with each one individually. Imagine a sport that is no longer exclusive to a single ethnicity, race, gender, or age – it simply becomes grander! We understand this is not a “save the day” but we know this is a beginning – or rather, an introduction to the process of moving forward in supporting teachable moments to connect, inspire, and mentor the youth in our community.
Let today be a great one and I want to leave you with an awesome shot of a Northwest wild steelhead caught (and released) by Brian Chou! When you hook in on a fish of this nature you just gotta sit back and smile at the opportunity nature has just granted you that moment. An incredible treasure to share with others who aren’t able to get out there. This is why we practice catch and release! Releasing this wild species allows others to come back and share in this experience. Maybe, just maybe, Mother Nature will grant this species another revelation into our world with new hands from an angler who can have their moment to look at the beauty, color, the eye, and ultimately the spirit of a wild steelhead.
Photographer provided by – Matt Klara
Soul River shares the experience and lifestyle from the water and gracefully transfers it into urban lifestyle. From an angling support, we are thankful to connect with a high-quality, relational brand like LOOP, providing opportunities to connect the gaps from the industry we passionately partner in to the daily lifestyle we share with our communities. LOOP designs, develops, and manages every manufacturing process of their gear themselves. All LOOP products are built to last and function even in nature’s toughest conditions season after season. Experience, enthusiasm, and an unbreakable will has led the LOOP brand to be the best in industry products. Though the brand started out as merely a dream, for over twenty years they have managed to become the leader in the fly fishing industry. Today that dream is evolved into an internationally known company focused on delivering dreams through their products. Soul River is thankful to be a part of LOOP in furthering their dream. Soul River, locally-owned in Portland, Oregon, is humbled and proud to house the LOOP gear in the retail space We are excited to have them on-board with the movement to give back to the community, specifically focused on inner city youth and veterans. Just as Soul River does, LOOP gives back ten percent of sales that happen in the Soul River retail space to New Currents, Outdoors (NCO), which provides opportunities for inner city youth and veterans to reconnect with Mother Nature through fly fishing. We are proud to align ourselves with LOOP and honored to walk this path with them, upholding their vision and focus in the industry and beyond. If you’re in Portland, or simply driving through, stop by and see the LOOP line up! We challenge you to try out one of these rods – cast it and you will see, it will not be your last cast (or touch) of LOOP gear. LOOP is all about quality and giving back and we enthusiastically welcome LOOP to the Soul River experience. Listen to the words of LOOP founder Christer Sjöberg The new LOOP Cross S1 fly rod series is the single most important revolution to occur in fly fishing since LOOP introduced the large arbor reel over 20 years ago. It’s that big. Tight Lines, Chad B.
Brad Cunningham , Yakima Washington
All of my patterns are proven on Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Some of the closer to home rivers includes Deschutes, Klickitat, Grande Rhonde, Cowlitz just to name a few. Brad patterns are more in the way of summer and fall patterns for steelhead. Brad been tying and fly fishing on and off for 30 years. Brad takes a different mindset when tying and thinking outside the box. You can walk into any flyshop and buy a cookie cutter pattern but like anything He thinks if your not evolving with your patterns and materials you could be missing the next big thing (fly). Brad also ties spey style and stinger style flies but he loves tying the classic style and have noticed in the past two years that fishermen are leaning back toward classic styles and some big names in the industry have mention how they are seeing it as well.
The fly box above are custom tied flies Brad put together himself for the Celebration Wild steelhead. Even though it is steelhead focus but he thought would be more fitting to folks to give custom tied trout flies for the special person who is getting into the sport! Whoever gets this box of flies is priceless! And will be very lucky to have a set of custom tied flies which you cant buy at a shop!
I hope these flies get into the right hands and right mindset to embark on an awesome fishing experience!
Brian Chou making it happen off the coast of Hawaii chasing bonefish. Loving the iconic Soul River Trucker flat brim hat.
Chou is a leader and mentor bringing unique facets of creativity, strategy, and ingenuity to the fly fishing industry. Combining creativity and tradition, he is always looking to further himself, while leading the way as a maverick of science and functionality. With years of experience as a product designer, consultant, fly tier, photographer, guide and certified casting instructor he manages to carve out time to help those willing to further their journey in fly fishing. Stay tuned for the next blog post showing Chou in the tying room cooking up some innovative, custom-tied flies that can be found at Soul River’s retail space.
A man who is emotionally and spiritually tied to the waters he was baptized in, Edelmann states, “fly fishing has always been the touchstone that helped me find reason.” He focuses his energy on helping others find positive paths in life, as well as sharing knowledge and instilling passion about resources we sometimes take for granted, such as steelhead. Edelmann travels to incredible locations (from Mexico to regions of the U.S. such as Texas and the Pacific Northwest) being mindful of the rivers and the precious steelhead.
Edelmann will be sharing his talent and skill in tying flies during the Celebration of Wild Steelhead this Sunday, September 7th. He will be doing a sneak peak Saturday, September 6th at the Soul River retail space from 11am to 3pm. You won’t want to miss this, so make the time to come and visit! Not only is Terry entertaining to watch tie, he is full of conversation and stories and I am very much looking forward to being in his presence. It has been years!
Terry Edelmann and his wife Angela
Some of Terry’s Flies
Check out Terry sites Www.fishheadsfliesnlore.com & www.speyheads.com
Michael Davidchik- Industry Consultant/Writer/SR Ambassador
Now featuring in the space of Soul River – Come out and check these flies out!
Michael Davidchik (aka Steelie Mike) brings to Soul River a holistic view of life combining conservation, tradition, and creativity, and by trade is an Emergency Room Nurse in Vancouver, Washington. When not working as a public servant, he enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors and fly fishing with others.
As a Conscientious Angler, Michael recognizes the role of a modern day outdoorsman as more than a weekend warrior. With climate change, urban boundaries and the over harvesting of natural resources, Michael is passionate about the need to understand the role to maintain and improve the current state of our remaining resources. Through the written word and work though several environmental organizations, he shares this passion through the education of others about different conservation topics and fishing related issues.
Michael feels that sharing the outdoors with children not only provides them with enjoyment, but also teaches them its therapeutic nature and what it gives our soul. With this understanding and teaching Mother Nature’s many lessons, one day our children can carry the torch to help protect it and pass it on for generations to come.
“Wait a minute, just one more cast…………………………” Michael Davidchik
Ducks Vs Beavers presented as custom tied flies by Michael Davidchick. Confidence is the key brothers and sisters! Fish with confidence and mother nature may just reward you! Come in and check out Michael Davidchik custom tied flies and if you are a Duck or beaver fan well here you go!