This month At Soul River Space
Featuring Brian Chou “Artistry behind the fly”
ärt/ noun 1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Up close and personal! I had the opportunity to learn and capture Brian Chou’s art of tying on the vice. Every tier has their own approach on the vice. For Brian there is a ritualistic approach like an artist selecting the right palette of colors to paint their canvas. Brian creates with a mix of theory, science, artistic talent, and river experience from being out on the river. “Somebody said to me one day ‘fly tying is a craft not an art.'” This is a bold and interesting statement when you actually look at what art is, think about the process of a creation, and the execution of a skill set that dates back thousands of years in indigenous cultures worldwide. Relying on creativity and art in the hunt for survival to ritualistic ceremonies and forms of communications which all play a purpose in the process like an artist palette of nature. The statement that a person said was a bit bold but yet has no substance to the nature of knowing art especially when one knows the true definition of art.
There are three different fly tiers where the skill set and tools are almost always the same but different in the end product – the tier who ties for functionality, the tier who ties for classicism, and the tier who breaks the mold learning outside of the box displaying artistic expressionism and functional application.
In my observation, Brian’s approach is innovative, artistic but functional as well as scientific. In simple words, Brian’s flies are tried and true! Brian has many years under his belt from fishing throughout the Northwest to saltwater fly fishing along the Pacific. In his experience, Brian has been able to succeed at fly line design and fly rod design for various respected companies and holds a certification as an Federation of Fly Fishers casting instructor. In his pastime, he serves as a Soul River ambassador helping propel the sport to newer audiences, connecting youth to the outdoors, and working with veterans. Most importantly he is a father and husband.
As one of my graduate school professor’s once said to me, “Know the rules first, then you can break them.” Brian knows the rules and he breaks them.
Come to the Soul River retail space and purchase Brian Chou’s flies. His latest flies featured feed the appetite of a Portland Trail Blazer fan, whether it’s to go fishing or just wanting to have another affiliation to the Blazers. The bonus is it catches fish! And the fly name is the ” The Rip City”
Brian Chou on the vice in his studio tying ” The Rip City”!
Interesting to watch some of the little techniques Brian has under his sleeve working with materials.
Adding the glue! Final touches!
A few of Brian fly creations! A sneak peak in his fly box!
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.
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.
When the Celebration of Wild Steelhead ends, what are the next steps?
Soul River and our friends and partners have planned a retention plan to keep the youth in attendance interested and motivated in cultivating their passion as an angler while developing a sense of community.
Soul River is continuing our commitment to the next generation, connecting youth to the outdoors by issuing “Soul River Passports” at the event to encourage youth to continue learning about nature and the sport. The passport lists workshops at the event to attend as well as five additional “urban outdoor clinics” that will be offered throughout the rest of the year around Portland in local urban parks, where they can come to learn more about the importance of conservation while practicing and honing their skills with the guidance and encouragement of dedicated outdoorsmen.
The urban outdoor clinics will focus on fly casting, fly tying, entomology, river navigation, and a film showing. As the anglers advance and cultivate their new skills into the new year, they will also have future opportunities presented by Soul River and U.S Fish and Wildlife.
We want to thank the Stonefly Society for their generous donation of a flyrod package that will be given away at the Celebration of Wild Steelhead event September 7, 2014!
The Stonefly Society is a group of like-minded anglers that are concerned about conserving wild life and aquatic habitats along Utah’s Wasatch range.
The most beautiful and practical folding knife.
In 1995 Baladeo, a French partner of hikers worldwide, has created a line of knives and accessories for every outdoorsman. Baladeo products are crafted with the utmost care with respect to both the craftsman and the environment. Every piece, from the traditional Laguiole shepherd’s knives to compasses and multi-tools, is built to the highest standards and backed by a lifetime warranty. Enjoy the perfect pleasure of their work! as a part of your lifestyle with high functionality in the outdoors. Deejo is ideal to the unique, purist, style and functionality for the Hiker, Angler and backpacker whom approaches the outdoors with ultra light gear and understands how extra weight can interfere and become a burden in your productivity when embarking in the outdoors on your next adventure. And lets point the Deejo is a master of concealment in size and slimness. We are proud to offer in our Soul River space, A convergence where many rivers coming together through art, design, humanity and fly fishing.
DESCRIPTION Ultra-light knife in 420 stainless steel, matte finish. Secure liner lock system. Belt clip. Solid wood handle slab comes in three different types of wood. “Naturally fragrant” Juniper Wood, “Delicately veined” Rosewood and dense ebony Granadilla (black wood) which is visually impressive for its deep black, ebony-like hues. It is also known for being almost completely damp-proof. It is the heaviest, most dense, waterproof wood out there, and perfect for this beautiful piece of craftsmanship.
37 G / 420 STAINLESS STEEL / 11 CM CLOSED / 20,5 CM OPEN /9.5 CM BLADE / 0,9 CM THICKNESS
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE! CLICK ON PICTURE OR NAME
With more than 25 years in the rod-building industry, C.F. “Kerry” Burkheimer, has opened his doors to SR/NCO to share a glimpse
of the spey and fly rod building business. This will be a phenomenal opportunity to hear and see first-hand from an angler,
rod builder, and entrepreneur who has set a vision and pursued a life journey in producing some of the most respected
fly rods in angling history.
June 14, 2014
Innercity Youth / Young Adults/ Veterans
[limited space available – RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 9th]
• C.F. Burkheimer Shop Tour
• Behind the scenes rod making 101
• The science of rod building “The art and pursuit of quality-grade fly and spey rods”
• Conservation and the responsibility of a fly fisherman for young minds
• Being an entrepreneur an small business owner
Learn and experience fly fishing on the Hoh River. This event is open for inner city youth and veterans.
May 30th – June 1st, 2014
Olympic Peninsula National Rain Forest, Washington
Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center Camp Ground
14 (inner city youth and veterans)
[limited space available – RSVP to email@example.com by May 15th]
Fly Fishing 101
Jason Small – South Puget Sound River Steward, Native Fish Society
J. Michelle Swope – Fly Fishing Instructor
Jeff Nelson – Fly Fishing Instructor
Chad Brown – Fly Fishing Instructor, Soul River Runs Deep/Team NCO
John Hicks – Fly Fishing Instructor and Guide, Sea Run Pursuits
Jeffery Gottfried – Tenkara Instructor, Environmental Recreational Activities
Mark Roberts – Fly Fishing Instructer
Our Partners in Current: U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service , Native Fish Society, Urban Wild life Refugee, Echo Rods, Hoh Humm Flyshop, Tualatin River Wild Life Refuge, Sea Run Pursuits , ERA Educational Recreational Adventures EvolTwin Printing LOOP USA SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS CITY OF VANCOUVER COSTA