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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TU California Video

In spring of last year, BURL teamed up with Trout Unlimited California to produce a college outreach video in hopes of helping spread TU’s message to the younger generation and future voters. When Dave Lass asked me if I could do a video for them, I jumped on the opportunity. A lot of my viewpoints fall right along the lines with those of TU. I was stoked at the chance to help the cause and it was also a fun video to make. Dave Lass is the Northern California Field Coordinator and public lands specialist for TU in the state of California. Dave grew up in Oregon, went to College in Colorado, and now runs all operation for Trout Unlimited out of the Truckee office. He’s not a bad fisherman himself and has spent plenty of time on trout streams across the western U.S.

I had heard about Dave from my buddy, Tim Haddon, who is a guide on the Truckee. I then ran into Dave one day while fishing the Big Truckee. At first I thought, who’s this guy about to drop in on the water I wanted to fish? Then I got to talking to Dave a bit and figured out he was actually a pretty cool guy and really passionate about his work. Trout Unlimited is really helping to make a difference in the area. Their work is instrumental in helping protect the fisheries and the public lands that surround them.

Our first trip together was a float down the Truckee River. It was Dave and I in Tim Haddon’s boat. We decided to float one of the lower sections of the Big Truckee. There’s some nice fishing water down there and some decent rapids too. Half way down the float, we ran into another friend named Dan LaCount. We picked him up too which made four people stuffed into a little pack 1300 raft. The boat got a bit heavy and at one point Tim drifted us into a big tree that was lying across the river. The boat pinned on the tree and flipped before I had a chance to grab my camera gear. My whole camera bag went in the drink! It ruined my camera and I lost my good tripod. I figured we weren’t off to a good start.

The next trip we did was a float trip down the canyon of the East Carson River. This trip went a lot smoother. It was an overnighter and we spent a couple days fishing hard on the river and filming. I realized Dave was a decent fisherman and could pull his own weight when it came to helping out.

Later that fall, I invited Dave on a backpacking trip into a remote lake deep in a federally protected Wilderness in Northern California. Bernard Yin and I had been planning a backpacking trip to this location for quite some time. It’s a really intensive hike and you need to be able to trust the people you’re going with. None of us knew anyone who had ever been to this spot, so we didn’t even know if we would find fish or not. The hike was a real ass kicker, but the place turned out to be a trout nirvana. I packed my camera down there and ended up getting some of the best trout footage I’ve ever seen. The hike out was a real trudge. Bernard and his friend left a day early so they could do the hike in two days. Dave and I decided to stay and fish longer. We ended up hiking over 14 miles with a 4,500 foot elevation gain. Then we had to ride a bike another 15 miles or so to where our car was parked. It was truly the limit of what my body was capable of doing in one day. Dave hung in there and I knew from then on that he was a trooper and someone you can count on when the going gets tough.

My last trip to film for the video was a trip into another pristine wilderness to film a fully intact water shed and some wild winter run steelhead. This time Dave didn’t make it along, it was just my brother Eugene, Justin Bailie and I. We did another heart breaker of a hike into some remote wilderness in the middle of February. It was kind of a bust as far as fishing, but I did manage to get some really good shots of pristine river drainage and it’s headwaters. I also got some shots of undisturbed wild winter run steelhead spawning.

With those trips and some stock footage I had shot over the past couple summers, I was able to put together 8 minutes of some of the best fishing California has to offer. This is a free DVD that will be available at fly shops around California and viewable on You tube. If you’d like to learn more about TU, become a member, or get a hard copy of this video, please contact Dave Lass ( or stop by TU’s Truckee office.

I urge you to help support the fisheries you love so much. Become a member of Trout Unlimited today!

Mikey Wier


Murdock said...


Great to hear you are heading back to Mongolia. I can't wait to see the result. Soulfish was an awesome flick. Best of luck.


BG said...

Excellent post...I'm looking forward to your upcoming adventures.


Anonymous said...

Great video! That was some awesome footage of all those rising trout, and I really liked the shots of the EC, one of my favorite flows. Did you stop off at the hot spring? I haven't been there in a few years, since the landowner blocked the access from the Leviathan Mine Road. Nice work!

Burl Productions said...

Thanks man. I checked your website and blog too. Nice job. Keep up the fishing hard!


Matthew Henrichs said...

Great video gents and keep up the good work. The Colorado Crew will be back to poach your waters soon enough.

Crazy Uncle Larry said...

Too bad Dave still can't remember his keys....