When We Fail Nature || Thompson Steelhead Crisis


This was written earlier this year in early February at the heighth of Thompson news. I allowed it to be published and have a circulation before re-posting here on my blog.


British Columbia is revered as a mecca for catching steelhead on the fly. With seemingly unlimited vast watersheds between our Pacific coastline and high mountain ranges, we pride ourselves, promoting our province as the cultural epicenter of wilderness; with forests that stretch hundreds of thousands of kilometers and rivers that flow through unseen remote lands. However, British Columbia is facing a crisis. If our landscape, our wildlife and our wilderness are so embedded into our wild psyches, why then, are we bleeding ourselves of our wild stocks?


Credit: Scott Baker

Mention British Columbia to any steelhead angler, and two rivers come to mind; the Skeena and the Thompson. Both now, under threat, under peril and vulnerable to Canada's provincial and federal fisheries' managements, industry and malpractices. The Thompson River, which is the largest tributary of the Fraser River and flows through the southern arid interior area of British Columbia, typically produces larger, stronger and faster steelhead than other wild stocks. For decades, anglers from around the world have been making their pilgrimage to the infamous Baits Motel, a steelheaders refuge, next to a log cabin pub and steps away from the silver sage brushed banks of the Thompson. This river, steadfast in its history of bright aggressive steelhead was a paradise amongst global anglers.


Credit: Scott Baker