James Adams
Fishery biologist with an unmatched mania for fly fishing and all its techniques, history and gear – 2012

Native Californian Jim Adams is a professional fishery biologist with an unmatched mania for fly fishing and all its techniques, history and gear. In his youth he fished and worked in Alaska, Yellowstone, and Truckee where he evaluated the river’s trout fishery and developed his Master’s degree thesis (later earning his doctorate at U. Washington). In 1962 he was hired by PG&E to look after the many waters of the north state impacted by the company and was the company’s first biology/ecology scientist. When he retired 25 years later he was supervising 80 scientists in his unit.

When the founders of California Trout were seeking a demonstration project in 1967 to kick-start their vision for a statewide Wild Trout Program to counter the state’s growing infatuation with industrial trout and hatchery trucks, Jim suggested and designed the famous Hat Creek Project on PG&E waters in Shasta County. For years after he was a behind the scenes advisor as the Wild Trout dreams became realities.

Adams is known throughout the world for his fly fishing exploits. He’s fished in 14 states, ten other American countries and provinces, nine European countries, and a few South Pacific venues mainly New Zealand. Among other things he is credited with inventing methods for catching giant salmon on fly fishing gear in the deep waters of the Smith River, and was a contemporary of Bill Shaadt and others featured in the recent film, “Rivers of a Lost Coast,” which he helped produce with his vast store of memorabilia from that era. For several years he taught Rocky Mountain summer classes in fly fishing entomology.

In retirement (180 days a year fishing!) Jim runs a long successful second-hand book and angling gear business serving customers worldwide. His knowledge of angling history, classic literature and collectable paraphernalia is truly encyclopedic. If you are wondering about that dusty bamboo fly rod handed down from your great grandpa, Jim at a glance can give you its full pedigree – and value. Looking for a classic book? Jim’s not only read it, he’ll sell you a copy!