Trout Unlimited On The Rise is the next generation of TU television. Hosted by Colorado guide and increasingly notorious fly fishing media personality Frank Smethurst, OTR is one man's road journey in search of the most compelling coldwater fisheries in the country, along with the people who fight to protect them. Join Frank, an arsenal of fly rods, and a trout-skinned Airstream trailer on an insider's tour of American trout country.
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Trout Unlimited On the Rise: 2008 Episode Descriptions
Show 1: Bighorn River, MT
After picking up his Airstream trailer in Missoula, Montana, Frank heads to a classic Western tailwater in the south-central part of the state. There's a big reason (or maybe several thousand reasons per mile) the Bighorn River is so high on so many fly fishing lists, and Frank won't rest until he finds it (them).
Show 2: Madison River, MT
(1)Begrudgingly leaving the Bighorn River behind, Frank heads for the Madison River, the famed "100-mile riffle" upstream of Ennis, Montana. Frank hooks up with an old fishing buddy, Michael Gibson of Montana Trout Unlimited, and together they go in search of a native Westslope cutthroat trout.
Show 3: Madison River, MT
(2)There are not many rivers that have bested Frank Smethurst in his career as a fly fisherman—but the Madison is one of them. In the effort to beat his Madison curse, Frank enlists the help of legendary streamer-fishing guru Kelly Galloup.
Show 4: Deschutes River, OR
The mighty "D," as the locals call it, is one of the most fabled steelhead rivers in the world. Frank goes after some summer-run chrome, and finds out about a salmon and steelhead recovery project that would fit right into the pages of a science-fiction novel.
Show 5: Metolius River, OR
Renowned for crystal-clear (and ice-cold) flows and gorgeous scenery, the Metolius River also harbors one of the only populations of bull trout healthy enough to allow sport fishing. These bulls also happen to grow huge—well in excess of 30 inches.
Show 6: South Fork Snake River, ID
It's not often you find trout advocates encouraging the harvesting of rainbows, but in the effort to keep Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout off the Endangered List that's exactly what Trout Unlimited is doing. Frank floats the stunning South Fork, and looks to fork himself a rainbow dinner.
Show 7: Rapid River, ID
One of Trout Unlimited's top priorities is to protect America's remaining roadless areas that harbor coldwater fisheries. One such place is Idaho's Rapid River, where Frank hooks up with TU's chief Idaho roadless advocate for a camping and fishing trip
Show 8: Big Lost River, ID (1)
The Big Lost is aptly named, as it flows through gaining and losing reaches throughout its length. Frank tries to solve the mystery of this place, and along the way finds a spring creek honey hole that produces rainbows that need to be seen to be believed.
Show 9: Big Lost River, ID
(2)One of TU's biggest concerns in the Big Lost watershed is the fate of the Big Lost mountain whitefish, an excellent indicator species to the health of the river. In a strange turn of events for a trout fisherman, Frank sets his sights on catching the elusive whitey.
Show 10: Gunnison River, CO
There is a mighty water war waging in the West, and the Gunnison River is the site of a recent victory by the forces of conservation. Frank visits his "home water" with an overnight trip through the Gunnison Gorge, in the peak of brown trout streamer season.
Show 11: Fraser River, CO
The Fraser River is a little gem of a high-valley river tucked away in north-central Colorado. But if the forces of Front Range development have their way, it could be decimated. Frank gets to the heart of what makes this little river so special.
Show 12: Chattooga River, GA
One of the South's most pristine and isolated (it's the river featured in the movie Deliverance) trout rivers, the Chattooga is a labor of love for the many TU members who nurture it. Frank takes a look at some of the ways they've got the Chattooga's back.
Show 13: South Holston/Watauga Rivers, TN
Most famous trout tailwaters are located in the West, but these two rivers prove that there's no western monopoly on tailwater greatness. Frank hooks up with some old fishing buddies for a full-on brown trout attack.
Show 14: Davidson River, NC
The last leg of Frank's tour of southern trout water lands on the Davidson River in western North Carolina. Frank gets a look at the inner workings of a TU Embrace-A-Stream grant, and stalks some uncomfortably large brown trout.
Show 15: Northern Ohio Steelhead
The Great Lakes steelhead fishery is a wonder of modern fisheries management, and the counties surrounding Cleveland, Ohio have recognized the value of securing and maintaining prime steelhead water so close to an urban area. Frank fishes some mighty small water for some mighty fine freshwater steelhead.