New Currents, Outdoors, officially titled Team NCO, by Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to provide at-risk youth the opportunity to learn more about the Coast Guard Auxiliary USCGA, water safety and survival, maritime stewardship, and career opportunities.
Until now, New Currents, Outdoors (NCO) has primarily focused on exploration, conservation, and safety in freshwater, river environments. This exciting collaboration with the Coast Guard Auxiliary will allow us to reach out beyond the rivers and to the ocean. Participants in NCO programs learn to interact safely and comfortably in a water environment, effectively breaking an often generation-spanning fear of water. To combat this fear more effectively, USCGA will act as a leader, teaching basic cold-water survival techniques to youth in the program.
Coast Guard Auxiliary USCGA will also further offerings of education programs by teaching a class on ocean conservation and the growing impacts of plastic pollution in the ocean. NCO looks forward to merging an existing freshwater conservation effort with saltwater conservation education thus creating a well-rounded educational program.
This collaboration will involve learning about the professional duties, safety, equipment, and vessels, as well as providing the skills and experience to explore future career opportunities within the United States Coast Guard.
NCO is thrilled with this opportunity to work with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to provide valuable lessons and guidance to youth. By establishing an interest in conservation and leading into careers with the United States Coast Guard, NCO will help youth and veterans navigate to new waters with new opportunities.
New Currents, Outdoors, officially titled Team NCO, by Soul River Runs Deep, LLC, is pleased to announce a partnership with Boy Scouts of America’s Cascade Pacific Counsel to bring exciting new opportunities to the youth we serve. New Currents, Outdoors (NCO) has been established as an “exploring post”, a position with the Boy Scouts of America’s Cascade Pacific Counsel to provide experiences helping young people mature and prepare them to become responsible and caring adults, focusing on the meaning of interdependence in their personal relationships and communities.
Explorers will focus on five main areas of emphasis including life skills, leadership experience, character education, citizenship, and career opportunities. NCO’s involvement will focus on these areas of emphasis built off embracing nature and integrating and instructing the sport of fly fishing.
NCO will provide youth the opportunity to get outdoors and explore with an emphasis on career building in the realm of nature and fly fishing. NCO will introduce the skill sets necessary for leadership responsibility (i.e., career opportunities, citizenship, and character education) and survival by the way of river expeditions. Expeditions will vary with both day classes and overnight outings on a river base camp, with the opportunity to explore fly fishing, fly tying, conservation, backpacking, river navigation, rafting, and spark an interest in wildlife and natural sciences.
NCO is excited about this excellent opportunity to reach out even further to the community and provide valuable lessons and guidance to youth. By establishing an interest in conservation and river health will ensure a new generation of dedicated, passionate, river ambassadors who will meet the needs for future careers on the river.
“Eww, what is that? Oh, let me see!” These are a few of the things you hear from the innocent, young hearts exploring the outdoors. Searching for tiny life, getting dirty, asking question after question after question at 100 mph, only to see speechlessness and giggles transform into curiosity and investigation. You see in their faces a glow that resonates a young mind hooked on the experience, awe, and wonder.
On Saturday, February 22nd, New Currents, Outdoors (NCO) spent the day with our fellow partners on location at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge (TRNWR) in Sherwood, OR. Insightful and engaged volunteers from TRNWR and a handful of NCO supporters made up a team that encouraged investigation, fostered curiosity, and allowed unlimited exploration. We were all there to teach, to share, and to inspire new young minds about TRNWR and to explore what this incredible resource is all about.
We started our morning embarking on the trails to observe plant life and wildlife amongst the wildlife refuge, witnessing red tail hawks, bald eagles, and deer. We visited the ponds, which turned into a complete game changer for the young minds! The youth learned about invertebrates living in the pond water at the various levels. Realizing so many little living insects living, surviving, and reproducing at the different water levels helped solidify the concept of our role in conservation and beautifully intertwined a hands-on opportunity of a lifetime to engage with Mother Nature’s evolutionary cycle. This was truly where the “oohs”,“ahhs”, and “let me see” comments all started to come out! The opportunity to freely explore and engage with Mother Nature first-hand created an even stronger burning curiosity to the youth – with so much interest in what lies beneath the waters. Simply and organically amazing!
To top it off, we took this learning experience from the trails and the ponds to the classroom learning about conservation and fly fishing, including what the sport is all about and its lifestyle. At this point, their young minds were soaking it all up, and then we added a new dimension of challenge and individual art and expression– teaching the youth to tie a Wooly Bugger! Each child had their own vise and fly tying materials as we sat together and learned. The age range of youth was 7 years old to 17 years old and I am sure you can imagine the attention span on this one! But we did it! And they loved it! Every one learned not just the study of entomology on the ponds, but the application in how to tie an artificial insect that could possibly imitate one of the insects from the ponds. We learned how to use the right materials and tools to execute art on a hook, to imitate life, and to know and understand that fish eat more than just worms!
The young minds learned science, art, eye-hand coordination, and especially mental focus all wrapped into one day exploring the trails, investigating the ponds and incorporating everything together by tying a fly!
Sometimes, we get so caught up into our own world, complaining about so many things gone wrong, or feeling entitled. Don’t get me wrong, we all deserve the best! Each and every one of us! But, when we can stop for a minute and look at where we’re at in life is when we need to count our blessing and be thankful. There are youth in every neighborhood and community yearning for your attention, your time, your smile, your acknowledgement of their existence. As an adult, you have the opportunity to be a friend even if it is only for a few minutes. I look at myself today and then I look at myself as a wounded veteran of the U.S. Navy suffering from PTSD. When I then look at a young mind suffering silently from fatherlessness, lost family members, abusive parents, or drugs yet this young heart still smiles I can’t help but consider it a wake-up call and medicine to my soul to keep fighting the good fight and to never give up. Our youth need the guidance and the support and love. NCO teaches fly fishing – the art of fly fishing and the lifestyle, that it goes beyond the sport! Fly fishing is a way of living, a code we are guided by in life with rewarding delights around the corner, beyond every tree, around every river bend, past every street corner, and interwoven in every relationship. It is how we communicate and learn (or re-learn) to be conscious citizens as new ambassadors of our environment! I am proud to say that on Saturday, we taught, we explored, we learned, and we shared. But tomorrow we fish!
Front - Mikah, Nuradin, Delorean, Natalie, TreVon
Back - Robert Blake of NCO, Riley, Chad Brown of NCO, Niko, Tamarea, Wesley and Dominic NCO Volunteer
Thank you to all friends, supporters, volunteers who came out to make this extremely successful day an unforgettable experience and opportunity for our youth. This is where change begins.
Purchase your NCO 4-inch vinyl decal sticker to support the cause and make NCO “zero-cost” for our participating youth and veterans on one day outings to multi-day expeditions. Whether you’re a participant, parent/guardian, veteran, teacher, or a leader of change, support us and share our mission within your community. A small purchase goes a long ways.
Location: GPS Cordinates – N 40˚ 42’ 51.67” W 74˚ 0’ 21.503”
There’s a place in the Pacific Northwest with rugged glaciers, capped mountains and three distinctly different ecosystems expanding a 60-mile range of wild forest. Within this wild forest wonderland, lays an old-growth temperate rain forest that incubates within. These diverse ecosystems are pristine in character and phenomena, about 95% is wilderness and this natural world presents a stunning, diverse environment of seasons from a fog-shrouded coast with booming surf and manicured beaches protruding into alpine country holding sparkling lakes, lush meadows and glaciers. The wilderness interior reveals itself through some of the most wild, beautiful, scenic rivers such as the Sol Duc, Hoh and Quinault. These resources provide anglers with a grand stage presence for spey fishing which is a mere glimpse of the Olympic Peninsula’s diversity.
Nestled in this amazing phenomenon of natural beauty sits a resource where steelheaders can replenish their flies and gear while delighting in cool conversation of fishing stories…and a few lies! This place reminds me of a dream or a children’s book illustrating a path through the woods revealing a little cottage nestled in a magical forest. The name even reflects the coolness of this business like a headline pulled out of a Tom Sawyer adventure – The Ho Hum Flyshop! I was very excited to see the Ho Hum Flyshop as we turned onto the road, since it was barely visible from the highway. I was impressed as we parked in front of this unique, nostalgic and very creative shop! Hell, this is true passion here and you can feel it! Talk about a steelehader’s lifestyle and guide business! I sat there in the car and was simply puzzled by its size. My first impression was, “Cool! This is freaking cool! Creative, out of the box thinking!” This was the ultimate example of how a shop presents itself in a unique location and storefront that will separate it from competitors. There may not be any competitors within a 25-mile radius, but the bottom line is that their position is unique and their service is classy. Ho Hum Flyshop is a place of its own even with customer service. They are professional and respectful with customers. Their creativity and innovation of space is unmatched elsewhere. Just as unique the fish we chase like ghosts in Mother Nature’s epic arena gives that shared experience, so does the unique Ho Hum Flyshop as it centers itself in reflection of what they are all about and what they truly love and are willing to share.
Even if you’re not an angler but you’re visiting the Olympic Peninsula, visiting this epic natural forest alone or taking the family camping in the magical rain forest, you should stop in and visit the Ho Hum Flyshop. More than likely you will come across two awesome folks who run the business there – Alyssa (who operates the retail and is also the artist of the Ho Hum Flyshop and pretty darn cool) and Neil (who is the guide and owner and provides an awesome service) filled with the oozing passion of a steelheader and with a rooted kindness of heart and soul whom is willing to share and guide you on the river. Alyssa ties some pretty freaking awesome creative flies for the local rivers that you can purchase. She has a cool style of sharing how to tie steelhead flies through her comic style guide page online if you decide to attempt to tie some steelhead flies. You will also find some of Neil’s flies he has tied as well as some of Trey Combs’ plate patterns! Hand tied is like Made in America! Totally diggin’ it! There is nothing like handmade cool creative flies to fish with! If you’re going to chase some chrome then give the respect back and chase with some locally-made, hand tied flies! A steelhead deserves that that right! Alyssa is always ready to answer your questions and you may run into Neil between his guiding.
Check ‘em out! Especially you spey anglers! The Olympic Peninsula is a spey haven, an awesome place to explore, hike and camp, all while standing in a centuries-old, unique rainforest. Hey, some of us just need to get off the grid to replenish our mind and soul. If that’s your case, I suggest you check out the Olympic Peninsula where you can do just that! While you’re there, say hello to Alyssa and Neil at the Ho Hum Flyshop!
Disclaimer: The Olympic Peninsula is a natural place to visit and enjoy and is open to all. When you enter this epic and amazing part of the Pacific Northwest as anglers, you’re an ambassador of the environment we fish. Leave it this way please.
Check out the latest issue! Big R Flyshop!. There are 140 pages of great photos and articles. The December issue is well worth a look. You can subscribe to the magazine by email so you don’t forget about it next month. Check it out.
This magazine is a bi-monthly e-zine that appears on the 15th day of every even month. It is the first online magazine devoted exclusively to fly fishing in Montana. Each issue covers a range of topics, including fly-tying demonstrations; fish species and location profiles; interviews with fly tyers, artists, and industry professionals from throughout the state; photo essays, and humorous articles. Those who subscribe to this free online magazine are automatically entered into drawings for fly fishing-related prizes.
Film Synopsis: Soul River challenges traditional media by embracing the unconventional with their production of Conservation – Consciousness Runs Deep. Created and written by creative director Chad Brown, Conservation captures modern urban mythology with the message of consciousness and awareness of responsibility we have as urban dwellers and environmental protectors.
This short film mixes art, mythology, music, and poetry to provide a fresh perspective through the personal lens of environmental justice and the outdoors. In this film, a young man goes through his life in the city and morphs with his consciousness by the guidance of a Naiad. Conservation provides a breath of fresh air from a young, urban, and hip approach and inspires our consciousness to run deep and become ambassadors of the outdoors.
We are excited to partner with the Intertwine! And we look forward to the future with this phenomenal build alliance of collating private firms, public agencies and nonprofit organizations working together to tap new sources of funding, better leverage existing investments, and more fully engage residents with the outdoors and nature. The Alliance was built over many years, but was formally launched as a nonprofit in July 2011. In its first year in operation, The Intertwine grew from 28 partners to 68. And now they are at 80 partners.
There Alliance exists to ensure the region’s trail network gets completed; that our natural areas get restored, and that people of all ages discover they can enjoy the outdoors near where they live. We exist to make our region more attractive to new businesses and to help our existing companies attract talent. There here to reduce utility and transportation costs and keep our water clean. And now Soul River has now partner up with this strong alliance of Intertwine!
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Partners with Soul River Runs Deep’s New Currents Outdoors Program
New Currents Outdoors (NCO) has partnered with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to promote accessibility of local outdoor resources to urban youth. The Urban Explorers, based out of Portland, Oregon, was founded by Robert Blake with the intention to raise awareness of the outdoors, wildlife, and environmental justice. Urban Explorers works with different resources, such as wildlife refuge centers to provide information to the urban population. Recent studies have shown that the future of urban America is rapidly growing. This growth has created a wedge of disconnection between urban communities and experiences in the outdoors. The more populations increase, the further we get from nature and the outdoors, as well as the less aware future generations are of resources who preserve land, water, and air as well as foster natural growth. Wildlife refuge centers nation-wide are mostly based near highly populated cities. As the cities and urban boundaries expand, the wildlife refuge centers and other natural resource organizations and facilities are easily forgotten and become obsolete to younger generations. NCO sets out to bring youth and U.S. veterans into the outdoors. NCO collaborates with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to bring passion with a forward-thinking cool factor by combining art classes with the wild life refugee center visit.
Participants will learn “The Art of Fly Tying”, a lesson from Soul River Runs Deep’s proprietary curriculum. The event is a combination of the introduction to and tour of the wild life refuge center for participants to explore. Participants will investigate insects within the wildlife refuge and then take the new knowledge and incorporate it into the lesson “The Art of Fly Tying” to ultimately create art by imitating life they investigated. Soul River and its partners are looking forward this fun event!
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Brian Chow, Chad Brown, Michael Davidchik”
Of all life’s companionable activities, fly fishing tends to cement new friendships or foster the ones you have. Most of my journeys have been around a handful of select friends, many of whom are well-rounded anglers and ambassadors of the sport. They’re good, respectful, down-to-Earth friends with humble perspective on and off the water. The sport of fly fishing is a lifestyle beyond catching just fish – after all, catching fish is just the by-product of what is waiting for you on every journey, upon every river bend,and around every trail. The reward is the pursuit of your happiness found while sharing the water with fellow anglers. Anglers are constantly seeking the ultimate measure of personal endurance, aligned with nature in order to create an awakening. The awakening comes at the point when the physical, mental, and spiritual senses sync with the angler’s level of skill. An angler is rewarded by nature’s grace on the water combined with the practiced art and craftsmanship.
One never stops learning about his or herself. For anglers, the learning only reaches new heights. Eventually, the inner predator becomes more prevalent, reaching toward the keen sense of sight and sounds, leaning them toward a deeper conscience realizing they are not in control as they journey deep into the wilderness. Humbleness toward Mother Nature awakens the soul bit-by-bit in every cast made and every water served in order to seize the next epic opportunity. Being an angler does not mean youcare how big the water is, nor how cold the air feels when it hits your lungs and you wade waist deep in 30-degree water - your breath comes out white like the fog laying on top of the water in the early morning hours. You are in the zone! Friendship shared becomes your warmth of brotherhood. This river you serve has been here since the beginning of time filled with resources that have helped sustain life. You can only respect the greatness of what this river has to offer to anyone who seeks out this path, giving it an opportunity to reveal the native resident you find in the water is not a mistake, but rather a treasure.
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “CJ, Jack Mitchell, Michael Davidchik”
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Chad Brown, Jack Mitchell”
Last week, I had the opportunity to journey and explore a river in the Pacific Northwest with fellow anglers. Nights at the lodge were short and full of humorous conversation along with realizations that the learning never ceases. Discussions laced with humor, fishing stories, and personal life trials with a brotherhood that is respected on a common ground in nature creates a bond amongst fellow anglers whoembark alongside you into new beginnings, exploring new water and resources. I was honored to have had the chance to spend time on the water with Jack Mitchell, owner of The Evening Hatch Outfitters. At one point, Jack mentioned the concept that if you do all the right things and present the fly in the right way, you will be rewarded. Aside from this, I heard other wise advice from Jack and new techniques fromfellow anglers during this short time shared on the water. Myth turned to reality as I was rewarded by abeautiful native species. This massive, native trout came to my fly to greet me which lasted only a short moment, yet felt like admiration for a lifetime. There is no medicine on Earth that can heal the inner soulthe way a native fish does when you let yourself become one in nature’s sanctuary, guided by true friendship on the water.
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Evening Hatch Lodge”
.Photographer :Brian Chou – “Northern Columbia River”
If you are ever in the Pacific Northwest and you want to experience some of the best fly fishing, reach out to The Evening Hatch and tell them you want to go fish up north with Jack or any of the other expert guides! Aside from tapping into some of the best instructors, The Evening Hatch also has awonderful lodge nestled deep in the northern wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.
Many thanks to The Evening Hatch, and thank you, Jack! Fish on and keep exploring the outdoors!
The Evening Hatch Fly Shop 1.866.527.8866
Email at Jack@TheEveningHatch.com
Online at www.theeveninghatch.com
Jack’s direct cell 509.859.2280
I was recently invited to speak at the Urban Academy hosted at National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I was honored to represent Tualatin River Valley National Wildlife Refuge by way of Kim Strasburg, the Visitor Service Manager in Sherwood, Oregon. Most of my speaking opportunities revolved around my latest film Conservation Consciousness Runs Deep. The audience was full of many key influencers and national leaders from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Wildlife Refuge, and the U.S. Department of Interior. The conference was four days packed full of high-level conversations about social and environmental change, in attempts to pursue direct demographics for the most direct impact and influence. There was a lot of discussion around deciphering the code of cultural barriers in hopes to understand and reach out to inner city communities, analyzing opportunities for getting youth outdoors, inspiring and educating all communities and social groups, and determining why our wildlife refuge is critical for the future of our society.
Investing in our young people will dictate how our environment will be taken care of in the future. It is critical that we spend time connecting with influencers or leaders of our communities in order to ultimately prioritize the future generations. Inner city culture is a massive, growing demographic mixed with so many challenges and attributes including diverse professions, educational accomplishments, and lifestyle. Much of inner city culture lacks the connectivity to what the outdoors has to offer. In order to impact the future generations within the inner city, we must inspire and lead them into the outdoors. This guidance must come from traditional and non-tradition sources such as community leaders, parents, mentors, educators, ambassadors, and influencers of the outdoors. The outdoors brings out the inner-child in all of us. It also brings out the inner-scientist that has been waiting to step into opportunities of exploring nature. For children, the outdoors gives the gift of purposeful exploration as it is a tool to embark on adventure. For the veteran, the outdoors provides a chance to receive a life that has been holding its breath, anxiously awaiting to exhale. This is precisely what fly fishing has done for me. Fly fishing is a sport but yet has become a lifestyle of health, mental stimulation, and ongoing exploration of the natural world of rivers, species, and love.
Second showing of short narrative film Conservation Consciousness Runs Deep
How do we break the barriers of race, economics and social complexities that most communities face? We know there is a disconnect to the outdoors, so how do we connect with the right community influencers to help gain trust in order to ultimately impact a child and the family? What does one need to do to gain trust of the community? There is a rich blanket of history smeared with blood, hate, ignorance, discrimination, and misuse of authority that should not be ignored. The history of where communities have come from should be respected and acknowledged as a first step before one attempts to understand the culture. Only then can we embrace what was and now what is and rather than teaching the community, learn from the community. Communities are powerful and can inspire and influence all of us. Communities know survival and a lifestyle that has influenced their daily rituals and supported their ability to adapt to their environment. Within a community is a culture that includes even smaller entities called cell groups. An example of a cell group would be the homosexual community amongst Asian Americans. Asian Americans are already categorized as a diverse population, but the next layer of diversity (being homosexual) categorizes the group even more specifically. Cell groups live amongst a culture protected by leaders and influencers who all desire for change.
So what is the code of cultural barriers? We simply just want to connect a child to the outdoors, but there are many layers that must be pierced through in order to actually accomplish this. It is inspiring for me to see our government in the midst of making an effort for change. Our government does see a need for getting future generations into the outdoors and it is so paramount to make this happen. The urban community populations are growing each day and while the growth spurt continues, there is a prominent disconnect, especially with single-parent-family and lower-income households. In order to connect youth from these communities into the outdoors, it is critical that we connect with parents and families.
This really means that we must work with all generations of the family unit. I coin this term as Generation Shellback, meaning older generations influence younger generations by unknowingly imposing their beliefs, mistrusts, or assumptions onto the younger generations. Originally, the term “generation shellback” comes from the past when a soldier had been exposed to intense trauma of war that conclusively impacted their mental state. When a soldier returned home, attempting to move forward in life, the mental trauma would actually hinder and haunt that soldier. I see this with parents and grandparents mainly amongst African American and Hispanic cultures. What they have personally faced has actually traumatized and imprinted their memories making it hard to erase or forget. If grandma was afraid of the woods because of historical violations and discrimination, as well as what the woods is associated with, she may never take her children or grandchildren to the woods.
As we move forward into the future, the lines of cultures become prominent and strong but the desire to come together even within our government still faces the obvious – that we all still have a lot of work to do in bringing together our veterans and youth together into the outdoors. This is especially true of diverse, urban youth communities, supporting a reconnection to what nature has to provide for healing wounded soul. New generations coming up face new challenges, as well as our veterans coming back facing the trials of fitting back in to daily civilian life. It is apparent that even within our government walls the awareness of including inner-city youth is slightly forgotten, yet there is an obvious desire to welcome and include this demographic. There is an urgency to make more than just an effort but to actually execute a change. The success of change will roll itself into future leaders and ambassadors of nature. It will prompt options of jobs and develop conscious caretakers of our natural environment. We can support our veterans to achieve the same goal by partnering them with the Wildlife Refuge as a volunteer, or simply just connecting them to nature knowing that it can heal deep wounds of prior trauma.
Attending the Urban Academy at the National Conservation Training Center was an amazing trip and an awesome experience! Meeting various government leaders and having the opportunity to collaborate and partner with these key influencers was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is clear that we all have high hopes and are working toward a common goal. My hope is that the future generations resemble that of a quilt, consisting of partnerships, including images of thriving races and communities, respecting the outdoors. What feeds my soul is seeing young generations on the water with a fly rod in their hand, exploring our rivers as scientists, biologists, ichthyologists and ultimately being ambassadors of Mother Nature.