We try and challenge ourselves to contribute new things to fly fishing and eco-tourism in general... looking to develop more swim lanes that encourage folks to consider the impacts on local watersheds and wildfish above the pursuit of just catching the biggest or most fish.
One of the things we've become the most passionate about in recent years is reducing use of plastics because it takes upwards of 400 years for most hard plastics to naturally decompose. While working closely with SOLVE here in Oregon on river cleanup ideas during the winter of 2017 and discussing the ramifications of so many guides/anglers in the NW who target steelhead and salmon by drifting hard plastic beads (or incorporating small plastics into fly patterns or lures on some level) coupled with the daunting reality that much of that gear ends up getting hung up and finding its way into our rivers and ocean permanently; the idea hit us that there has to be another way.
There is and if you are going to fish with beads, wood is that better alternative.
This batch of 10mm steelhead candy was hand painted with UV-glow paint and the organic nature of wood allows the beads to have a thick realistic texture while maintaining density to drift in the correct water column.
This year (2018), AAO has set up a natural wood bead production facility to create and test (not sell), hand-made in Oregon wood fishing beads we have aptly named "Eco-Beads". We'll be reaching out to a few friends in the industry and fly shops to try. Please contact us if you would like to be a part of this process!
You can follow us on this exciting new adventure on InstaGram @ north_coast_eco_beads:
See ya on the water!