Celebration Wild Steelhead 2016


Thank you to all who came out to Celebration Wild Steelhead this past Sunday, September 11th at McCoy Park. As we know, the sport of fly fishing alone can be exclusive, full of overly-indulged obsessions of the sport, and somewhat homogenous where there is little room to foster the new, young minds and even new families. Under the umbrella of Celebration Wild Steelhead, we merge a conglomerate of local partners and sponsors from organizations focused on impacting diverse, at-risk youth to science experts to those who share about the all aspects of the outdoors. This year, there were fly fishing enthusiasts, archery experts, and conservation gurus! What really built the momentum of this event is the supporting partners’ friends and families whom came out to show support and celebrate with other families! Ahhh yes the key word and magic crystal ball of this event is “family.” The personal, open invitation of welcoming families of all races and socioeconomic demographics to have the opportunity the connect with new families from other neighborhoods; discovering together what crawls on the river bed and emerges through the clear veil on the water as well as learn what a wild steelhead is and why we need to protect it. By creating a community of open-ended awesome energy, good music and learning with a balance of science, art, and shared passion, we can say that the fly fishing world has found its future in Soul River Inc.


As I looked across the green lawn, I personally saw the growth that has developed over the past four years. What is most obvious and that stands out is the young veteran population that gets involved, remains engaged, and values the youth that they are reunited with from a summer deployment! Soul River veterans have truly connected and continue to serve the youth while youth are connecting with our veterans and providing a relationship of meaningful healing and connecting in the spirit of nature.


Our barriers can easily be our own personal manifestation of misperceptions, molded by social media and TV. We must be aware that this disconnects us from being part of the core mission of Soul River Inc. Some act on their own agenda, which tends to be unspoken, but is clear to the SRI community of youth and veterans we serve. When we act based on ulterior motives, the ‘good’ becomes totally misconstrued. Celebration Wild Steelhead strives to have a purity of ease and open, safe space on a green lawn for all types of people – young or old, black or white, rich or poor, professional or unexperienced. The success of this event is solely inspired by clear, open, care free thought and the love of the outdoors driven by the desire to share with new people. Thank you to all the volunteers who gave willingly and shared heart. Thank you to the partners, sponsors, and parents who, not only participated, but educated with an open mind the future generations.



These are challenging times where race is becoming a dominant factor and conversation around many dinner tables, on social media sites, and at work and school. ‘Race’ has always been around and amongst us all but these days the power of race is rising stronger and tempting people to respond out of either selfish hate and anger or to exceedingly love and protect. I hope we protect out natural world even more and know that it is our refuge and our power where we evolve into better beings, love one another by the river or on the trails, and let nature heal and be our guide to build healthier communities and most importantly foster and grow young leaders for tomorrow ambassadors of the outdoors.


We are looking forward to a strong powerful community as we wrap up this year’s Celebration Wild Steelhead! We hope you join us for an even more exciting CWS in 2017!



Tight Lines,
Chad Brown

Thank you for all your support!

Emergent Expeditions, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), Metro, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Urban Nature Partners PDX, Portland Parks & Recreation, Native Fish Society, Wild Steelheaders United, Clark County Trout Unlimited, USFWS_Pacific Region, Red Truck Fly Rods, Sista&Sista Sharon Ross, Academic Tittle VI Indian education, #veterans #families


Tuesday9:00AM - 3:00PM
Wednesday9:00AM - 3:00PM
Thursday9:00AM - 3:00PM

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Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625