Wier went to catch one of the Chetco's wild steelhead in one of the wildest wildernesses in the West, the Kalmiopsis. On that count he failed. On another he found riches beyond his expectations and beyond what most of us will ever experience. He wrote:
"Then I realized how lucky I was to have had the chance to see those fish in their native habitat doing what they have been doing for thousands of years."
|The trail in to the Chetco was covered with deadfall.|
"Wilderness is more valuable than any possession I own. I felt so blessed to see them in this environment. Just being there was enough for me. As population grows and climate changes, there is going to be an increasing strain on what remains of the habitat needed for these fish to live and thrive."
|Mikey Weir - Fly fishing on the Wild Chetco|
"As fish populations dwindle, they will become an icon of wilderness. Steelhead will become a symbol of a healthy and functioning aquatic ecosystem. In my opinion, they should be more valuable than gold, platinum or oil. They should be placed in front of mines, roads, timber sales and this year's fiscal earnings."There's no need to say more.