Brian Ohlen
Pacific Coast
McKinleyville, CA to Wesport, CA It’s taken me awhile to come to the realization that not everyone understands why I fish. It sounds completely ridiculous to say that, but after taking the time to describe this to few people, it’s clear that not everyone is on the same page as I am. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we tend to surround ourselves with like minded people...It makes sense though. To someone not obsessed with fishing, my habits look completely ridiculous:

●    Wake up well before dawn
●    Drive, ride, or walk (sometimes hours) to the best water and wait for the sun to rise
●    Wade waist deep into 40 degree water in leaky waders while it’s raining and snowing
●    Fish all day. If lucky, I might get a bite. If the gods are smiling, I might land a fish (FYI, the gods have not been smiling).
●    Camp in a dark, damp campground.
●    Wake up the next day and repeat.

The best answer I can come up with, is that fishing literally makes my heart beat. Each frigid morning, as I step into the first run and make my casts, my heart is literally beating faster. I can feel the urgency and anticipation pumping through my veins. The sheer possibility that a steelhead might move to my fly, and take it in its mouth gives me the shivers. Even after 6 weeks of not even catching one, just the sight of an emerald green river gets me excited.

I’m not sure that explanation does it justice, but it’s the best I’ve got. I’m sure we all have things that drive us, make our hearts pump harder, faster. For me it’s casting a fly rod in search of steelhead.

Highlights from the last week on the road:

●    Beach camping with new friends
●    Meeting the only two touring cyclists I’ve seen and sharing a meal in camp
●    Brewery visits in Arcata, and a friend’s roof to sleep under in McKinleyville
●    The first legitimate tailwind of the trip and the best scenery to date!
●    Casting to ghost fish in green water


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Brian Ohlen

Gear List

- My Ride -

- My Favorite Blackburn Gear -

- Brian's entire bike specs and gear list coming soon! -

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Brian Ohlen
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Realizing that biking from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Coast would give me the perfect opportunity to fly fish for steelhead. Why not bike-fish my way down the coast?
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? Yep. Mostly off road and gravel tours. The best ones lead to a fishing stream or hunting destination.
  • What is your goal for the route? I'd love to catch a steelhead in each of the three state's I'll travel through. Three fish doesn't sound like much, but those buggers are hard to catch!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? This trip will provide the type of physical and mental challenge that I crave. One that leads towards the discovery of amazing places, people, and coastal streams.

- Pacific Coast Milestones -