Saturday, December 31, 2016


Brian Edward Miller

When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother’s piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I’ve never understood
Why this is so

But there’s an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow
For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.

"Music" by Anne Porter, from Living Things. © Zoland Books, 2006.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Wild Steelheader, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016
It's been more than two years since Trout Unlimited's Wild Steelhead Initiative left the boat ramp. This initiative was born of committed steelhead anglers whose hope for a brighter future for wild steelhead is matched by their stubbornness in fighting for the improvements in habitat and policy required to realize this vision.

For too long, steelhead management has been based on old studies and policies inconsistent with today's science, ecological conditions, fishing pressures, and the desire of most steelhead anglers to conserve wild steelhead while having an opportunity to fish for them responsibly.
In just two years, the Wild Steelhead Initiative has made significant, sometimes exceptional progress in our mission to conserve and restore wild steelhead and improve and sustain opportunities to fish for them. Coupled with TU's robust habitat restoration program, we have improved habitat conditions in wild steelhead rivers through partnerships and projects that improve water management and use, and keep more water in streams when steelhead need it most.
We have educated and organized thousands of steelhead anglers to speak on behalf of wild steelhead and push for policies that better protect them in the future. Our leading steelhead scientists and passionate ground-level activists have helped drive improvements in hatchery management, upgrade wild steelhead angling regulations, and establish wild steelhead management zones in priority steelhead rivers across five states.

In this season of hope, we are proud of our accomplishments to date but sobered by the challenges that remain. Yet thanks to the thousands of anglers who now support the Wild Steelhead Initiative, we are bullish on the future of wild steelhead. We deeply appreciate your commitment to our cause, and wish you good fortune in 2017, both on and off the water.
2016 Milestones
Science and Advocacy:
On Washington's Olympic Peninsula we and our partners worked for new regulations adopted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for the benefit wild steelhead. These included limits on bait fishing, an end to harvest of wild fish, and protection of six miles of the Hoh from excessive fishing pressure by boat.

In southwest Oregon we advanced theFrank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary bill, which would protect the North Umpqua River's most important steelhead-spawning tributary.
In Oregon and California, we generated strong angler support for protecting the headwaters of the fabled Smith River from proposed hard rock mining, and were a major factor in the California Fish and Game Commission's designation of the South Fork Smith as a Wild and Heritage Trout Water.

Last, we played a major role in designating wild steelhead management zones for the Nisqually, Elwha, Grays and Chinook rivers in Washington. Our volunteers participated in "angler science" projects on the Olympic Peninsula, Skagit River, Siletz River and Smith River (OR) to generate more accurate steelhead data.
Community Building
More than 5,500 anglers have now signed the Wild Steelheaders United credo, and the Wild Steelhead Initiative currently has over 18,000 total followers on social media platforms, with 10,000 weekly views of our Science Friday posts.  More than 40 leading companies in the angling industry -- including Sage/ Rio/ Redington and Echo -- now support us. And our local angler-advocates have generated some 2,500 letters and comments in support of management decisions that will better protect and restore wild steelhead.
Habitat Improvement and Protection
We reached a major milestone in the long campaign to restore the Klamath River(historically, the third most productive watershed for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast) with signing of the revised Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement in April -- this agreement provides for removal of four old dams below Klamath Lake starting in 2020.

In Washington we helped open 30 miles of steelhead habitat inManastash Creek in the Yakima Basin, and introduced legislation to protect 340,000 acres of public lands from open pit mining in theMethow River headwaters. In Oregon we helped to protect more than 14,000 miles of rivers by expanding logging buffers on private land. We played a key role in a transaction on California's Carmel River that will convert a 36-hole golf course to regional park land and return 98 million gallons of water to the lower river annually.
Our partnership-projects in Washington and California improved irrigation efficiency and water supply security for farmers and residential landowners -- and kept millions of gallons of water in important steelhead streams such as Pescadero Creek at times when fish need it most. And, our capacity to drive and support better results for wild steelhead populations and habitat expanded in 2016, with the hiring of Luke Kelly as restoration ecologist. Luke's focus will be habitat conservation and restoration projects on the Olympic Peninsula.  
Three things you can do right now for wild steelhead
  1. Provide scoping comments on the Columbia River Systems Operations Environmental Impact Statement. This EIS includes a review of the Lower Snake River Dams - Learn More - Take Action 
  1. Donate Today: With a generous matching offer from the Sol Duc Foundation, all donations through the end of 2016 will be doubled.  If you donate $10 we will be pleased to send you a sticker. For $40 donations we will send you a Wild Steelheaders United hat. All donations go 100% to support the Wild Steelhead Initiative.
  2. Share this newsletter with your steelhead angling friends, and encourage them to sign up with Wild Steelheaders United and  donate to the cause.
Our ambitious goals for 2017

Science and Advocacy

Work toward re-opening the Skagit River for catch-and-release steelhead angling. With the state and tribes having submitted a plan for federal review, there is now an opportunity to complete the environmental review process to evaluate the re-opening of the Skagit for a spring angling season. As we push for a commitment to manage the Skagit for wild steelhead over the long term, and as our science team works to develop a new life-cycle model that will help establish and achieve wild steelhead escapement goals, we will need your voice in support.

Other priority goals include passing state legislation establishing pilot projects to improve management of guided fishing on the Olympic Peninsula and Klickitat River (WA), working with managers to install SONAR units on the Hoh and John Day rivers to gather accurate data on wild steelhead run size, and expansion of our "angler science" projects to California and Idaho.
Community Building

Our goal in the coming year is to grow the supporters of Wild Steelheaders United to more than 8,000 anglers. Please help us reach this goal by sharing this newsletter and our blog and social media posts with your friends and business partners. We welcome your feedback in how we can improve our communications with our supporters and the angling community -- send your thoughts to There might be a small prize in store for the best suggestions.

Habitat Improvement and Protection
In 2017 WSU will kick off a three-year effort to secure perpetual conservation easements on 100 miles of riparian corridors, restore degraded riparian zones, and secure up to 30,000 acre-feet of clean water inputs in the Upper Klamath Basin. These actions will help prepare for the return of steelhead and salmon to this part of the watershed after the four lower river dams come out.

In addition, in the coming year we aim to double summer base flows in Pescadero Creek, perhaps the best wild steelhead stream on California's central coast. We will fight hard in the State Water Board's current Bay-Delta Plan process for improved water management in the lower San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers, to save dwindling runs of wild steelhead and salmon in California's Central Valley. We will work to pass the bipartisan Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary bill for the North Umpqua. We will improve streamflow and habitat quality in the Methow and Wenatchee rivers (WA) and Upper Salmon river basin (ID). We will implement our first wild steelhead habitat restoration projects on Olympic Peninsula rivers.

Have a wonderful New Year - See you on the water

Please consider a donation to our work.  All donations up to $5,000 will be matched by the Sol Duc Foundation until the end of the year.


Dwayne Meadows via 



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sunday, December 25, 2016


A little girl is singing for the faithful to come ye
Joyful and triumphant, a song she loves,
And also the partridge in a pear tree
And the golden rings and the turtle doves.
In the dark streets, red lights and green and blue
Where the faithful live, some joyful, some
Enduring the cold and also the flu,
Taking the garbage out and keeping the
sidewalk shoveled.
Not much triumph going on here—and yet
There is much we do not understand.
And my hopes and fears are met
In this small singer holding onto my hand.
Onward we go, faithfully, into the dark
       And are there angels hovering overhead?


"For Maia" by Gary Johnson.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Mission


New fly mag from South Africa. Nice article on smallmouth bass. Get it HERE.

Search Image

Get these imprinted on your mind's eye as you anticipate watching your streamer dip out of sight below the flow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice

"Mountain Winter" by Sabra Field

Welcome the return of the light.

"He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by William Butler Yeats
"The Kiss" Gustav Klimt

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

"He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven" by William Butler Yeats. Public Domain.

Monday, December 19, 2016

"The Poet's Occasional Alternative" by Grace Paley

Painting by Lisa Bell

                                                                           I was going to write a poem
                                                                           I made a pie instead      it took
                                                                           about the same amount of time
                                                                           of course the pie was a final
                                                                           draft      a poem would have had some
                                                                           distance to go      days and weeks and
                                                                           much crumpled paper

                                                                           the pie already had a talking
                                                                           tumbling audience among small
                                                                           trucks and a fire engine on
                                                                           the kitchen floor

                                                                           everybody will like this pie
                                                                           it will have apples and cranberries
                                                                           dried apricots in it      many friends
                                                                           will say      why in the world did you
                                                                           make only one

                                                                           this does not happen with poems

                                                                           because of unreportable
                                                                           sadnesses I decided to
                                                                           settle this morning for a re-
                                                                           sponsive eatership      I do not
                                                                           want to wait a week      a year      a
                                                                           generation for the right
                                                                           consumer to come along

"The Poet's Occasional Alternative" by Grace Paley from Begin Again. © Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000.

Wither or Thrive

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mind Blowing

Check out the Wind Map. It shows in real time the wind speeds and patterns across the continental United States. You can also go to the Gallery to see what the wind patterns looked like during Hurricane Sandy, for example, or during tornado outbreaks in the Midwest.

Click on the link or go anytime to the permanent link in the right margin of this blog.

This Is Fly No. 60


Get defined HERE.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Eat, Sleep, Fish No. 60


Five years old and they still haven't sold out to the big commercial interests. Get it ad-free HERE.

"Remembering Summer" by W.S. Merwin

Image result for new england country lane summer evening
Photo: Andrew Kearton

Being too warm the old lady said to me
is better than being too cold I think now
in between is the best because you never
give it a thought but it goes by too fast
I remember the winter how cold it got
I could never get warm wherever I was
but I don’t remember the summer heat like that
only the long days the breathing of the trees
the evenings with the hens still talking in the lane
and the light getting longer in the valley
the sound of a bell from down there somewhere
I can sit here now still listening to it.

"Remembering Summer" by W.S. Merwin from Garden Time. © Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Take Action for Wild Steelhead


The Columbia and Snake Rivers were once prolific producers of wild steelhead and salmon.  But today all Columbia Basin wild steelhead and salmon populations are just a small fraction of their historic abundance and are protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

In May, federal Judge Michael Simon rejected the latest in a long series of federal plans to address the impacts on wild steelhead and salmon of federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.  The latest plan, produced in 2014, was the fifth such plan rejected by a federal court since 2000. Judge Simon ordered the federal hydropower system operating agencies to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and to analyze removal of the four lower Snake River dams as a recovery option for Snake River salmon and steelhead.

The first phase of the EIS process is “scoping” (public feedback). Fifteen public hearings are being held across the region and written comments are invited. This is a rare opportunity for wild steelhead angler-advocates to call for actions that will  dramatically improve the prospects for wild steelhead and salmon in the Columbia and Snake River basins.  Please take a few minutes to comment

Comment on Columbia and Snake River Dam Operations.

Time Will Tell

Steady rain and 38 degrees. You stay comfortable, though. No ice in the guides, no problem.

River up, but coming down. Must have been more rain here than at home. Flow was much higher in the last couple of days: banks are muddy and riffled, sandy bottom has been shaped into new configurations of ridges and swales. It's still high, though, and the drifting sand makes wading a bit challenging: one step is firm, the next you sink in over your boot. The next might find you in over your hat.

All that means you can't get close to the deep run on the opposite bank. Can't get far upstream or downstream. Still, you cover what water you can. Should be up for grabs anyway. Some swings, some drifts under an indicator. No fish, but you're still fishing. In December. You like that.

But visions of spring dance increasingly in your head. An entire season to explore new water and find those damn fish.

So again you have to ask: is this the last time this year?

Time will tell.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scale No. 23

Fly, spin, we're all in this thing together. Find it HERE.

"Evening" by Raymond Carver

Image result for winslow homer watercolor paintings
A Good One, Winslow Homer, watercolor, 1889

I fished alone that languid autumn evening.
Fished as darkness kept coming on.
Experiencing exceptional loss and then
exceptional joy when I brought a silver salmon
to the boat, and dipped a net under the fish.
Secret heart! When I looked into the moving water
and up at the dark outline of the mountains
behind the town, nothing hinted then
I would suffer so this longing
to be back once more, before I die.
Far from everything, and far from myself.

"Evening" by Raymond Carver from Ultramarine. © Vintage Books, 1986.

Last Exit to Elsewhere

Beautiful film. Beautiful book.

Last Exit to Elsewhere from Dan Sadgrove on Vimeo.
Based off conversations William Least Heat-Moon had on the road in his book 'Blue Highways: A Journey into America.' This film represents my journey of lonely miles through small towns and empty highways.
In late 2015 I went on a 5,000 mile road trip through the bottom half of the US from California to Louisiana and back. Driving through back-road highways, much like the Least Heat-Moon, I avoided the Interstate Highways as much as I could. It is off these Interstate highways where you can still find remnants of America as it used to be, maybe back when the author drove through it in the late 70's. Over the course of my journey whilst reading 'Blue Highways' I found my experiences on the road mirrored that of the author and though it was written in 1978, still held true to my journey in 2015.

Director/Editor: Dan Sadgrove
Music: Hanan Townshend
Narration: Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Sound: Morgan Johnson at Barking Owl Sound
Color: Kath Raisch at Company 3

Monday, November 28, 2016

Backyard Bathing

 A puddle, a female Cardinal, and lots and lots of Cedar Waxwings.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Never Ending Flow of Hope

I plan a Thanksgiving week outing and go back to Deer Mill. The old bridge stands unchanging as the seasons shift around it for the 138th time.

The campground is closed for the season but the river flows on. I listen to it as it speaks to me of true and lasting things. I swing flies under the bridges and at the slick, the scenes of earlier catches. Today the only things tugging on the fly are drowned leaves.

I wonder if this is my last trip of the year. Then two fishermen come from somewhere around the bend upstream. I'm too far away to talk to them, but they are obviously coming from a place they thought they might find late season smallies.

Maybe I can still find that place before the snow flies.

I'm thankful for rivers and for their never ending flow of hope.