The author wistfully describes a 21 year period, 1977 through 1997, when native steelhead still were relatively abundant in the Pacific Northwest and he was privileged to fly-fish for them along many of the region’s marvelous rivers. Portrayed are those rivers, his most memorable fish, and some of the brotherhood of anglers he shared waters and camps with. The author also reflects on the future of the species and sport in Washington. The state once was home to some of the greatest runs of native steelhead and offered some of the finest sport. Sadly, most of those runs lost out to logging, dams, hatcheries and other depredations and the quality of sport inevitably declined. While the state’s abundant native steelhead runs are a thing of the past, it still may be possible to save and expand the ones that have survived and use them in recolonizing rivers that lost their runs. And, in due course, succeeding stream-bred generations of those used in recolonizing may form self-sustaining runs of their own similar to what the rivers once had, runs that populated all river reaches and continued arriving throughout the year. The author then challenges Washington’s leaders to make this happen and foretells that if they succeed future anglers may be casting flies over vigorous runs of steelhead and enjoying a quality of sport much as it once had been. While, if they fail, most of those being caught will be hatchery fish and the quality of sport will continue declining. Fifty-five color photographs.
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Stan Young resides in the Pacific Northwest (Clyde Hill, WA), and has since 1972. He was born, grew up, and attended college in Utah, twice served in the military, and retired from the Department of the Interior after 36 years. While with Interior’s Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and National Park Service, he had a hand among other things in getting the Wild and Scenic Rivers and National Trails systems up and running. As well as being a life-long environmentalist, he also is an outdoorsman and, particularly, a steelhead fly fisher. His other book is the novel, “A Northwest Saga, The Life and Times of Pete Eckland,” available from Amazon.
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