Erik Holm started a 5 Rivers fly fishing club at the University of Portland in Oregon. Erik was selected as one of the top 5 Costa ambassadors for the fall 2018 semester because of his commitment to conservation! Thanks for all the hard work, Erik!
What is your major? Biology
Expected graduation date: 2020
Plans for after graduation: Medical School
How long have you been fly fishing?
I have been fly fishing since my sophomore year of high school so about 6 years. I was always big into fishing and I thought it would be really cool to try a new type of fishing and I’m definitely glad that I did.
Can you describe the fishing scene in your area?
Oregon is known for its Salmon and Steelhead runs from the Pacific so there’s no shortage of fishing from Portland. I’m from Spokane so the fishing in North Idaho is probably some of my favorite fishing, especially in the summer months.
Most memorable fish you’ve caught on a fly rod?
I was fishing in the early spring and wasn’t having much luck, but I was dragging a big streamer at the bottom of the lake and my line stopped in its tracks. I had figured I caught bottom because whatever I was stuck to was not moving, but after a couple seconds my line started moving slowly away from me and I knew I was on a pretty big fish. I was really worried because I knew the fish can get pretty big in the lake and I only had a 5 wt. fiberglass rod. I fought the fish for a while, and it ended up being a solid 25+ inch Lahontan Cutthroat which is the biggest fish I have ever caught on a fly rod up to this point.
When was your club started, and when did you assume a leadership role?
I was the one that founded my club because I thought it would spark a lot of interest since Portland has a decent amount of people that like being outdoors. Up to this point I’ve just been trying to make the club as viable as possible so I can pass it down and it can grow once I’m gone.
How many members are in your club?
It’s hard to tell because we have over 100 names on our email list, but I would say that we have 30-40 more active members
How often do you meet, and what does a typical meeting look like?
It’s difficult to meet with being busy college students, especially myself. But I typically just let everyone know if we’re going to go on a trip or have a meeting to make sure that everyone gets some Costa gear to rep around campus.
What are some conservation projects that your club has gotten involved with?
We work pretty closely with our local TU chapters and have done a lot with the recycling of Christmas trees and taking them to put in side channels to improve Coho spawning habitat. This event is a year round process, and it’s called “Christmas for Coho’s”.
Thanks for your dedication to conservation, Erik! Keep up the great work!