Design by Nature

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Photo by Ankur Dholakia

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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo by Ankur Dholakia

 

 

Tight Lines,

Chad

 

 

Wild Reverence – The film to see!

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!!

– Shane

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Celebration Wild Steelhead Onward and Forward

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.

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.Celebration of Wild Steehead

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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!

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Tight lines,

Chad Brown

 

 

Live Bonafied

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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.

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Tight Lines,

Chad B.

Terry Edelmann – Fly tying from Idaho into the PDX @ Soul River

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A man who is emotionally and spiritually tied to the waters he was baptized in, Edelmann states, “fly fishing has always been the touchstone that helped me find reason.” He focuses his energy on helping others find positive paths in life, as well as sharing knowledge and instilling passion about resources we sometimes take for granted, such as steelhead. Edelmann travels to incredible locations (from Mexico to regions of the U.S. such as Texas and the Pacific Northwest) being mindful of the rivers and the precious steelhead.

Edelmann will be sharing his talent and skill in tying flies during the Celebration of Wild Steelhead this Sunday, September 7th.  He will be doing a sneak peak Saturday, September 6th at the Soul River retail space from 11am to 3pm. You won’t want to miss this, so make the time to come and visit! Not only is Terry entertaining to watch tie, he is full of conversation and stories and I am very much looking forward to being in his presence. It has been years!

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Terry Edelmann and his wife Angela

 

Some of Terry’s Flies

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Check out Terry sites Www.fishheadsfliesnlore.com & www.speyheads.com

Tight lines,
Chad B.