Orvis is introducing the Breaking Barriers Award, honoring someone who has gone above and beyond to bring new blood into the sport, to break down the barriers of introduction. Over the next year, keep an eye out for people who are engaging new audiences and feeding the sport. Encourage them, help them, and nominate them. Let us know what awesome work is being done to help foster growth in our industry. Kids, women, new audiences – that’s what is going to propel the sport forward into the coming years. We are asking all Soul River supporters out there to support us and in your free time to take 3 min out to click here and go online to nominate us! We fill we are right in line with what the focus Orvis is looking for.
Thank you for your support!
Our lives are journeys. Often times we are not fully aware of our surroundings and how they alter and influence our physical and spiritual beings, but we naturally take the journey. Many of us are fortunate to have the lifestyle to get outdoors and explore a variety of recreational activities. It’s easy to take this part of our journey for granted and see the sport as one of pursuit not realizing what is right in front of us. Then again, there is also a handful of people who do not have the lifestyle to do such a thing. For me, getting outdoors has become not only a journey but a pursuit of opportunity waiting to be discovered and even challenged. I take this journey every chance I get when I go to the river to fish. I appreciate what is around me and in the water of what I may be chasing at that time; fishing simply becomes the by-product. The vehicle of scientific exploration leads me to a self-discovery of “change” which is my transformation, my balance, and my church. Whether I’m chasing trout or steelhead, wadding through the river with fellow anglers scanning the pockets and feeding lines or eddies on the river, I am metamorphosing as a pupil of what Mother Nature is revealing and how I am being shaped.
Soul River was given life as I was standing waist deep, filling my lungs with the pure fresh air, being humbly embraced by Mother Nature’s theater, and ultimately fighting my PTSD from my years serving in the U.S. Navy. Throughout the development of Soul River, a connection of art and design between the outdoor world and the urban world was inspired from the art of fly fishing. The intention is to fold both worlds into a creative, urban, outdoor fashion apparel brand beacon young and old bridging from urban to outdoors. The brand of Soul River represents an embodiment of nature inter-playing between fashion art and design and the beauty of our environment with legs in the community cultivating young minds and veterans connecting to the outdoors raising the mental state of awareness to an ambassador of the outdoors.
Photo by Ankur Dholakia
The brand is the soul of nature that is a reflection of ourselves, where we are at in that exact moment in time. It speaks to your individual lifestyle, no matter who you are, where you are, or what your passion is. Soul River represents everyone’s experiences that are interpreted like a unique thumbprint. The brand is viewed differently to each individual who embraces it because each person has their own adventure. Each experience on the water, on the trail, or in the city streets is different based on what is seen or breathed. My Soul River is different from your Soul River with diverse perspectives and experiences. My reality is the healing that water brings to the soul, the medicine to the mental, physical, and the spiritual world. At the end of the day we all stand on a common ground of interest and respect for Mother Nature, whether she’s seen in the urban world or the natural world. The brand welcomes the uniqueness and individuality, as Soul River is unconventional in its approach to the consumers just as Mother Nature is unconventional in Her approach in the outdoors.
Photo by Ankur Dholakia
The voice of the brand also advocates our opportunity to stand and fight for the injustices that younger generations face, with intention to inspire exploring the outdoors, becoming ambassadors for tomorrow, understanding that nature is freaking cool and hip. It’s the journey of all groups, including age, race, and socio-economic status, which we take as a universal reminder that we are inherently connected. Part of the brand also gives back to veterans fighting PTSD, in pursuit to provides rich opportunities such as classes & expeditions that are one day to one week outings led by Soul River and partners with US Fish and Wildlife and Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and other partners coining the term “Iron Sharpening Iron.” Ultimately, one “iron” is U.S. veterans transitioning into society post-war in hopes that they will find peace and comfort in the healing waters. The other “iron” is community youth transitioning from a troubled past seeking alternative methods of healing by embarking into the outdoors, joining conservation efforts, and gaining a new respect for Mother Nature. Both veterans and youth have similar trials – whether it’s a literal war or a war of his/her own, struggling with street life, drugs, and gangs. By merging these two groups together, they’ll have the opportunity to mentor, learn from one another, and teach through their challenges. Soul River Runs Deep!
Photo by Ankur Dholakia
Soul River is proud to be part and help promote, support the film “Wild Reverence” By Shane Anderson. Come on out and see this film. Bring the family! We have posters for free to give away at Soul River located @ 1936 N. Kilpatrick Suite B. Portland, Oregon 97217 Come pick one up! Showing 9/28 Doors open @ 6pm
From the words of the Director Shane Anderson
Wild Reverence is a documentary film chronicling the plight of the iconic wild steelhead along the west coast of Amercia. In November of 2012, I made a pilgrimage back to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state to the rivers I once fished as a boy. This was a once in a lifetime fishing trip and I soon discovered wild steelhead and salmon were disappearing from the rivers and appearing as federally listed under the Endangered Species Act. How could the icons of the Northwest slip toward the abyss of extinction?
This discovery left me asking many questions so I decided to take off the rest of the year, cash out my life savings and embark on an adventure up and down the west coast to document and learn about the current plight of wild steelhead and why this fish is so revered. We are constantly mis-informed on information about the reality and the status of our fish until its too late. The effects of shifting baselines is more evident then ever. I wanted to find the truth, look at history and hard scientific fact as well as talk with people who have dedicated their lives to studying and advocating for wild steelhead and salmon.
My journey took me from Malibu, CA back north to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. I snorkeled some rivers and creeks and fished in others. Everywhere I traveled I met kindred spirits that the steelhead has influenced. Hopefully through my journey you can see the scope of our rivers across the west coast, hear the stories and see with your own eyes where things are working, where they are broken, how WE can turn the decline around, fill our rivers back up with wild fish and save some of the magic for future generations.
I hope to give the wild steelhead the spotlight it deserves and through “Wild Reverence” begin a movement to enact some real change before its too late.
Thanks for your support!!
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!