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!
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!
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.
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.
Twas the night before the two-hander, and all through Steelhead Ranch, anglers sat on the front porch seizing the chance for commune and conversation. Jack Mitchell, owner and operator of Steelhead Ranch, Ben Dow, Brian Chou, Michael Davidchik, Brian Styskal, Simon Hsieh and, myself, Chad Brown. This was an evening of wholesome dialogue centered around the passion of humble anglers, with the occasional jest. Fly fishing itself has so many layers of deep thought and rewarding memories regarding the big fish caught all the way down to the scientific and technological approach. Ambassador anglers seep in community of conversation about the gear used, the line chosen and the fly specifically created and selected for that exact moment in time. Every line has its own story and every rod has its own limit of flexibility that is almost always pushed to its maximum.
Deep thought ran its course and good, ol’ fun times was in the air. Friendships was mended even more on this porch like a family creating new memories that only they will understand and cherish. Egos aside, this was just a porch full of knowledge wound up in a mass full of experienced leaders of their own craft within the sport of flyfishing. As we talked through the night to the early morning hours we found ourselves fading away to sleep for the big two-hander event.
The day proved to be successful. Held right on the banks of the Klickitat River, people drove from all over Oregon and Washington to be part of this. This was the opportunity for participants to learn more of the how-tos in spey casting. One full day of instructions given by Brian Chou, Michael Davidchik, Ben Dow, Eric Neufeld, Jeff Cottrell and Brian Styskal were available, as well as casual opportunities to ask questions and have oneon-one support along the river. Various rods, including Loop, were available for participants to test out.
This event is a perfect event for anyone and everyone. It also provides a strong opportunity to gain and build your knowledge as an angler. What is so cool is that the folks here are like family – “river family” – and to learn on the jeweled banks of the Klickitat River is truly incredible! See you next year!
Thank you to Catch Magazine-Tom Bie , and the Evening Hatch provided by Steelhead Ranch – Mr. Jack Mitchel and all the supporters, vendors and instructors. If you are ever heading out to the Klickitat give Jack a ring and you will surely be welcome!
Thank you Brian Chou for the photos!
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 email@example.com 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
The ode, carpe diem quam minimum credula postero, meaning ‘seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow [the future]’ communicates that the future is unforeseen, that one should not leave to chance future happenings, but rather one should do all that can be done today to make the future better.
The day we set foot into the outdoors or we wade through the pulsating veins of the earth we call ‘rivers’ could be our last chance to witness the magic culminating around us. The brand of Soul River goes deep, deeper than an apparel line. It is a tapestry which connects us all to our most intimate, closest moment or our awakening toward healing of our soul. What is most important is the treasure we hold closest to us knowing and appreciating the great resource and healing powers nature has to offer and share with us. In the physical realm of importance lays our family, close friends, and sometimes even strangers.
The rivers runs deep, metaphorically speaking! Race is not an option, color is not an opinion, ignorance is not tolerated. We strive to make the green ‘our green’ and this is our color of prayer. Our nation and our brand is to celebrate. Carpe diem!
Support Soul River and purchase one of our awesome signature trucker hats ready for you to represent the outdoors and carpe diem!
Three talented partners collaborate as one artistic arsenal to tell short stories with impact and emotion. Guided through high-quality direction and shooting style in the outdoors. Through the stories we pursue and tell, each partner strives to infuse masterful talent through professional execution in order to give a breath of fresh air and to keep you craving more. A short does not compromise the production of quality and quality does not compromise a short story! A unique visual perspective in storytelling.
We are always looking for the next collaboration!