Video spotlight: A Steelhead Quest

I've known Jerry Myers for a decade or so—his work to improve salmon and steelhead habitat in the upper reaches of Idaho's Salmon River is legendary. And I've had the good pleasure to meet Jerry's wife, avid steelheader Terry. 

For years, Jerry stood in the public eye, advocating against long odds for the fish that may—or may not—return from the ocean each year to enjoy the habitat improvements along Idaho's high-elevation spawning and rearing streams. But Jerry retired from TU a while ago (although, as you'll see, he's not really retired), and now the light shines on Terry, who birthed an idea. 

REI Presents: A Steelhead Quest

"I wondered if I could catch a steelhead in every month of the year," she said. And in 2015, Terry convinced Jerry to jump in. 

"I'm gonna be your ghillie, cookboy and wake-up call," Jerry told his wife. "You catching a fish is as great to me as it is when I catch a fish." 

And off they went.

They left the comfort of their home waters, managing the "quest" with the onerous duties to maintaining their ranch. They traveled across the Northwest—Terry left in April to visit Canada, and took the family dog with her for company.

"I'm going to miss the dog," Jerry deadpanned. 

The couple met on a blind date in college on the banks of the Salmon, and after a weekend spent together with friends, they knew they'd be fishing buddies the rest of their lives. Theirs is an enviable match—compatible, amiable and honest. No other couple had a better chance of pulling off this adventure than the Myers.

All went well until May, when water temperatures in Oregon put the fish down. In July, the fish just weren't there. So, they extended the trip into 2016.

Did it work? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. 

—Chris Hunt

 

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