Canada’s Largest Standing Fly Rod
Canada’s Largest Standing Fly Rod was the invention of a local resident and avid fly fisherman, Warner Jarvis. Commemorating Houston, “ The Steelhead capital of the world.” The idea came upon him while he was attending a tourism workshop, where he had been sketching his idea onto a paper napkin. From that paper napkin, Warner’s project travelled to numerous local machine shops to be developed and constructed, then the project travelled to Vancouver to be anodized
The unfinished rod was displayed at the “Discover Houston Trade Show” giving locals a chance to see and touch the rod before it was permanently installed.
The rod was machined in six local machine shops with 470 hours of donated equipment/shop time and over 574 hours of donated labour. Forty-one local companies contributed the goods and services used to make the rod. Local volunteers contributed countless hours of time to help complete this 60 foot fly rod. The installation of the rod was May 5, 1990. The many people who helped to craft the rod carried it on their shoulders from the Industrial Park to its new home beside the Visitor Information Centre. The long line of volunteers caused temporary closure of Highway 16. The months of preparation ended when the rod was placed on its supports by a crane and anchored within a matter of minutes.
By selling shares of the rod, the residents of Houston managed to raise the funds required for this venture. For five dollars, each purchaser received a “Piece of the Rod” in the form of a numbered certificate, showing ownership of a specific centimeter. You can still purchase “Piece of the Rod” today. Stop in the Houston Visitor Information Centre for more information.
The Rod is constructed entirely of aluminum and is anodized bronze to simulate graphite.
The fly is attached onto bright orange 5/8 floating line of hollow plastic with tapered leader (weed eater cord and 300 pound test tip.)
Height: 18.3 metres (60 feet)
Weight: 364kg (800lbs.)
Reel Diameter: 90 cm (36 inches)
Skykomish Sun-rise Fly: 53 cm (21 inches)
There is no better place to exhibit Canada’s largest free standing fly rod than in a park that is equally impressive. With easy access along Highway 16, Steelhead Park is a prominent feature of Houston’s Downtown and a favourite stop for visitors. Steelhead Park is among northern British Columbia’s most picturesque downtown community parks, and not without reason. Visitors and locals alike enjoy the summer splendor of the extensive floral display. In winter, the park is transformed into a dazzling display of winter lights and decorations.
At any time of year, Steelhead Park is one of Houston’s treasures including: Houston’s only totem pole, the Wolf Totem Pole was built by a Hazelton Aboriginal artist Wilfred Sampson and commissioned in the early 1980’s by the Houston Booster Club. The park has walking trails throughout where one can view displays promoting informative aspects of our area; such as, the Steelhead fountain, “Coming Home”, which is a tribute to the life cycle of this ocean going fish, Steelhead park is a suited home for this structure, being that Houston is the Steelhead capital of the world. The park also consists of a playground, dog run, various picnic areas, and park benches which gives one a chance to relax and take in the wonderful view.
The park continues pass the visitor center, home to our Grizzly Bear prominently displayed in the front window of the visitor Centre which can be viewed 24 hours a day. Don’t miss the Houston Museum Society’s “Walk Through history” on the west side of the park. Prominently featured on the walk are Houston’s first fire truck, a 1955 snow mobile, tractor and buildings with peek-able windows allowing a glimpse into days of old. The buildings include Houston’s first school house portraying a classroom scene from 1916 and Houston’s first Anglican Church of St. Clement which was constructed in 1916 and held its last service in 1995. The doors are open seasonally for visitors to enjoy with organ music being played in the back ground. Future plans include an on-site “treat truck.”
Steelhead Park is also home of the Pleasant Valley Community Farmers Market that runs from June through September on Fridays 10-00am to 3:00pm. If it is made, baked, grown or raised in Northern BC –one can buy or sell it at the Pleasant Valley Community market.
Houston's Grizzly Bear
Our Grizzly bear welcomes over 12,000 visitors every year. He draws much curiosity with our visitors being able to get such a close look a this massive animal (in a safe setting)
Our area is home to many grizzly bears, magnificent animals that bring a richness to our environment. With the protection of grizzly habitat, public education, and efforts to ensure human-bear interaction is safe, we are striving as a community to ensure that these beautiful giants are protected for generations to come.
In order to gain a full appreciation for the size, beauty, and power of grizzly bears, we encourage you to stop at our Houston Visitor Centre to have a close-up view of our” phantom grizzly bear.”
The grizzly received its nickname from the local newspaper reporting “phantom bear claims more Hungry Hill livestock”. The phantom bear was, in reality 975 pounds, eleven feet in standing height and was between eighteen to twenty years of age. For many years, local ranchers on Hungry Hill (17 km west of Houston) had reported that livestock was vanishing. At the time it was believed that the culprit was an elusive grizzly bear, but just how large that bear actually was would prove to be quite a surprise to locals and conservation officers alike.
The grizzly is now on display at the Houston Visitor Centre. He is shown with a salmon in his mouth, even though the bear actually dined on local cattle. This bear is believed to be the father of a similar bear (with a similar cattle-poaching history) on display in the Smithers’s airport.
For bear safety while camping or enjoying outdoor activities, please request a copy of our “Bear Safety” brochure or visit www.bearaware.bc.ca