Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: north. Washington/south British Columbia
An interesting problem. It would have been easier a half century ago, when I decided to move west. At that time, we didn't realize that steelhead were fated to become an endangered species. I spent the first four years in Sun Valley, Idaho (Big Wood River in town, Silver Creek and many other great streams nearby). Then I moved to Bellingham, Washington for its university and several storied steelhead rivers nearby. In time, things deteriorated, and legal steelhead fishing became more challenging than accessing some archives in the Library of Congress.
It may be that some town along the U.S. shores of the Great Lakes, near productive steelhead streams, might be a good choice (my skin crawls as I write this). Bend or one of the few other towns along the Deschutes River is in the running. The D is probably the greatest trout/steelhead stream (with very few rivals) in America. A good choice would be Lewiston, Idaho/Clarkston, WA, on the Snake River, at the mouth of the Clearwater River, with a combined population probably near 50,000, a state university in Lewiston, which has the mildest climate in Idaho. Forget it, though, if you can't stand the smell of wood pulp.