As he says in the prologue to his book, Michael Checchio likes his fly-fishing on big western rivers where there are lots of mountains to look at, and where the steelhead don't come out of a hatchery but are born as nature intended, in the cold gravel of a clean stream. He finds all this and more up in British Columbia on his search for some of the last great runs of wild steelhead left on earth.
Steelhead, the great sea-run rainbow trout of the Pacific Northwest, have long been sought by fly-fishermen. To Checchio, they have become a powerful symbol for the last of the wild in the Pacific Northwest and are to the Northwest what lions are to the Serengeti. And like their cousins, the salmon, they are among the species of fish most threatened by the modern world.
A passionate fly-fisherman, Checchio discovered steelhead when he moved to the West Coast a little more than a decade ago. Fishing for ever diminishing returns of these magnificent fish in the rivers of northern California and Oregon, he dreamed of faraway waters in Alaska and Kamchatka, where he might find the last strongholds of wild steelhead remaining on the planet. Finally, he was able to take a dream vacation north to experience for the first time the steelhead Valhalla awaiting the fly-fisherman in British Columbia.
Michael Checchio has been praised by the fishing community as a passionate writer on the plight of the great outdoors and the steelhead trout. But this book is not written just for the fly-fishing fraternity, but rather to the general reader who has a love of nature and the outdoors, and a deep interest in the fate of wildlife and the future of the environment. Checchio's personal steelhead journey leads him on a quest toward rivers and landscapes ever more pristine and wild, providing illuminating sights and thoughts along the way.