A bear-spotting playlist for southeast AK's remote salmon streams


I occasionally work as a guide in America’s Tongass National Forest, leading bear-watching trips among towering old growth trees and creeks flush with salmon. Though more than one million people visit this sparsely populated maze of islands in southeast Alaska every year, few venture to the remote streams where, every summer, a seemingly limitless supply of wild salmon feed some of the highest densities of brown bears in the world.

The extraordinary ordeal of Troy Bachmann

Up until a few months ago, Derek Bachmann had a closet full of fly rods, one of the perks of a lifetime spent in service of his family’s business, The Fly Fishing Shop, located in Welches, Oregon, not far from the Sandy River. Now he’s down to four. “I’ve sold them all,” explains Bachmann, “to finance the effort to get my brother out of jail.” The sacrifice paid off. Along with some extra closet space, Derek has his brother back.

Back at the fly shop, swilling on a hoppy brew, the inflated catch rate is steadily swelling. The guide's mathematically magical formula looks something like this: Whatever number client X got to hand, add 10. Ass hooked. Leader stroked. SJ worm sniffed. Saw a GOOD one rise. Yep, those count. But in the grand scheme of global fish tallying, a phenomenon of the opposite nature is occurring.

"Eternally Wild" showcases northern California’s Smith River; its steelhead, its history and its current plight. Here there are no dams, no clear-cut blocks, no mitigating hatcheries. Instead: ancient forest, iconic redwoods and a powerful symbol of freedom — THE SMITH. But 4,000 acres of the river's pristine North Fork are now threatened by a toxic mine operation. The Red Flat Nickel Corporation has applied to sink 59 drill holes that would feed one of the largest nickel mines in the Western U.S. The film, by Keith Brauneis Productions and California Trout, examines conditions and discusses future threats and asks just how much protection is enough?

Idyllic impressions of the Grand Canyon—tall walls with an emerald ribbon cutting through its underbelly—got slapped with a dose of ugly last week, when the U.S. Department of Interior released a vilifying report on sexual harassment among river guides employed by the National Park Service (NPS).

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comment on two new steelhead gene bank proposals targeting lower Columbia River tributaries. Options under consideration include either the Grays and Chinook rivers or Mill, Abernathy, and Germany creeks.