In life and in art, rivers are wellsprings of inspiration. They invite us to be adventurous, to be curious, to connect with nature, and to better understand history and heritage. And there are infinite ways to capture the joy we feel when we are alongside one, why they matter and just how beautiful they can be.
For this installment of Eddied Out, we turned to video, specifically online shorts. Ubiquitous as they are, some of them just nail it. So, we’ve collected 10 that resonated with us to share with you.
We hope these videos transport you, for brief moments, to the world of rivers and remind you just how important they are—to the fish, wildlife, people and communities that depend on them.
Children are tomorrow’s conservationists. For those of you with young ones in your life, a trip to the river is a wonderful opportunity to foster a love of nature that can last a lifetime. At Western Rivers Conservancy, we work with these future generations in mind. Everything we do is to ensure we leave a legacy of healthy, functioning rivers.
So, to help the West’s future river lovers get excited about wild streams, we’ve compiled a list of kid-friendly online activities, tools and videos.
On this list, you’ll find accessible resources that are designed to stoke curiosity and provide some educational fun. Think how-to videos on things like making mini waterfalls and tying flies, a short video on fly-casting icon Maxine McCormick (the “Teen Queen of Fly Casting”), and river-related games, like one from LEGO that shows you how to build your own river!
We hope this is an enjoyable supplement to family time spent on the river, and that it helps inspire your up-and-coming conservationists. Enjoy!
Rivers are the centerpieces of some of the greatest stories ever told, and some of the most epic adventures ever chronicled. To make a list of great river books, we polled our staff, friends and family about their favorites—there are so many!—and culled it down to these must-reads.
These books inspire, educate and excite us. Inside their covers, you’ll ride the rapids with explorers down the Grand Canyon, tie flies with a trout bum, and swim upriver from the viewpoint of a Chinook salmon.
We hope these titles transport you and give you a greater sense of wonder and connection next time you’re out on the river.
From bluegrass to soul, oldies to recent hits, we created a mix of some of the best songs inspired by the river. May it remind you of the tremendous joy our rivers bring into our lives, and their importance to all life here in the West. If you have any suggestions for songs you'd like to see added to the list, email us your suggestions. We hope you enjoy what you hear!
As we combed through the suggestions we received for this list, it became clear that rivers have played central roles in every genre of movie out there: comedy, drama, romance, crime, thriller, documentary and, of course, adventure! If there’s one thing this illustrates, it’s the importance of rivers to our lives and to our stories. They’re woven into everything. And that’s why Western Rivers Conservancy continues to protect them.
We hope you enjoy this list. We surely left a few favorites off, but these are the ones that rose to the top.
Western Rivers Conservancy hosted renowned fly fishing photographer Val Atkinson for a live Zoom how-to on photographing rivers and river scenes with your iPhone! Val shared his favorite tips and tricks in a one-hour instructional session that covered the fundamentals of great photography—stuff that will help anyone improve their photo game on the river. Topics covered:
Rivers are where we make some of our fondest memories, but it can feel impossible to capture those special moments on a camera phone. Val will help you do better! And hopefully those photos will help you share your love of rivers—and why we should conserve them—with others.
About Val Atkinson
Val Atkinson is an internationally acclaimed fly fishing photographer
whose work has taken him to over 30 countries. He has published four
photography books, and his photography has appeared in more than 100
publications worldwide. This is a rare chance to learn from a true pro,
who knows rivers intimately and knows how to capture them unlike anyone