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Celebration of Steve Koler's life

42367 Views 46 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  pearl
Let's hear some memories, guys.
Steve passed away in the last hour.
Let's rejoice in his life. Let's remember all of the wonderful things.
Let's celebrate who he was and the fishing legacy that he left with so many of us!
It's a very sad day for those of us who will miss him. But he is still with us... every time we are on the river.

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My Prayers are With Steve and his family. Steve was Such a Icon in the industry.
I will miss spying on Steve as he fished his clients on the Willamette. This week a full moon was eclipsed by the shadow of the earth. The fall fish make their big push up river out of the big blue. And our fishing community lost a giant. Steve was a part of the cycle of life that we all loved. He will be missed.

My condolences to Steve's wife and Family and to his Brother Mike.

Steve's family is in our prayers at this time, I didn't know Steve as most of Ifish does, but he sounded like he was a class act, a real stand up fisherman, and a great guy.
Your in our prayers.
My DEEPEST Condolences to Steve's family,wife and friends.I fished with Mr.Koler only once in Alaska at Koler's fish camp and will always have fond memories of the trip.Steve was an Exceptional person and I will miss him dearly.Fish on Mr.Koler.....fish-on.......Also As Steve would always say....Jesus CRIIIIiSTTTT!!!!
Damm, Damm, Damm. I hate news like this! Steve you will be missed, as a matter of fact you have been missed on the water for a long time already. It will happen to all of us in due time, but why now to Steve, so young and full of life. May God be with your family Steve. To all ifishers, if you did not know Steve, you have missed out on knowing a great man and a super fishermen. If they have fish in heaven, I know that Steve will be teaching them how to fish, and always taste your sand shrimp before you put it on a hook. Please let us all know if and when services.
Both Gary Krum and Steve Koler gone from us in such a short time. So very sad. My prayers for his family.
Young Bill and I spent a night in Steve's camp on the Kenai. Billy snapped a rod on a fish and Steve never flinched. I caught a 51-pounder in my hour or two in one of his boats. The cleaning station's drain went into the river and had a couple of mink that would scurry up the tube and pop their heads out the drain hole to catch the first tidbits...Steve and his family were just topnotch hosts...He got so many people started in fishing...
It hurts my heart to hear this news.

I do reflect back and think about all the great times I had with Steve on the river.

I met my wife in Steves camp on the Deschutes one Labor Day weekend.

Caught my very first Clackamas springer and steelhead in Steves boat.

Learned how to back troll next to the Lake Line and the Garbage Hole like only the master could.

He showed me some nooks and crannys on the Willamette that still hold springers today.

I caught my largest ever Chinook with Steve in Alaska.

Enjoyed more than one of his awseome meals on the river bank.

Spent more than one night at a camp fire or under a lantern exchanging ideas and talking about fishing hunting and our next adventure.

Steve gave me my fist Duds Plug to troll with.

Hoisted a few beers together at some SuperBowl parties over the years.

Steve showed me how to trim your out board up so that the jet can shoot water and knock your buddy over that is enjoying his dinner in a lawn chair on the river bank. :grin: A stunt I still enjoy today.

Laughed, talked, ate, drank, and always had a good time when I was blessed with his company..

:angel: :angel: :angel:

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We've lost someone special. I felt a chill this afternoon when I heard that Steve Koler had passed away a half hour earlier. My mind flashed back many years to a chubby four year old with big ears, short pants, and a grin from ear to ear who I first met at his Uncle Dudley's home on the Willamette.

As years passed, this little guy grew into perhaps the most intense and one of the most expert anglers I have known. When I guided, I was honored that Steve trusted me to sublet "overflow" trips with some of his clients. I recall the big trip to the Kenai in about l990 when we hauled the tons of boats, tents, and equipment to set up his camp for the first time. He worked and worried harder than anyone in this great adventure. All of your who knew him can picture this. I was concerned then that he might burst a blood vein.

Well, it happened. This past year he has had a series of strokes. He did, however, manage to make it to Alaska this past summer and caught his last big one -- a 65 pounder as I heard it. He was always so positive and intense. We have lost today a special angler and friend. I am going to believe next springs run is going to be better where he is than where we are.
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I'm very sad to learn of Steve's passing. I met him at the Sportsmen's show 10 or 12 years ago. He was giving a seminar on Spring Chinook. I was so impressed with the breadth of his knowledge that afterwords I approached him and asked if he was giving any other talks. He replied that yes, he was going to be at the Oregon City Elks(Lions?) the following weekend. Then I asked him if I could attend and film his presentation with my camcorder. After a short pause he said sure, why not. So I showed up with my camcorder and tripod and taped the entire thing. I watch this film every spring as the season approaches. It inspires and informs me. It stokes my "fishin' fire". At the time I felt awkward making such a request of a complete stranger but Steve put me at ease right away. He was very approachable. Now that he's passed on I'm so glad I did. If a copy of this movie might comfort the family I'll happily provide one.
This is very sad news and my prayers are with both Steve and his family. I won a half day trip with Steve from the NW Steelheaders probably 15 or so years ago. Gave that to my wife and payed my own half day while we fished the Willamette. My wife got a nice springer, I lost mine, and we had a great day. Steve was most impressive backbouncing a boat load of clients through open spots in hoglines. An expert for sure and he will be missed.
Yes Steve will be missed, but his memory will live forever...

I get a kick out of all the nice comments about a guy when they are gone...Steve would be beat red cheeked if he heard all these nice comments....

I met him over 16 years ago through David Johnson/NW Steelheaders~McLoughlin Chapter Koler invited David and I on several different trips...we were in high school and he didn't expect anything...he wanted to show us kids "how it's done"

He wanted us to catch fish sooo bad and when we did "rookie" "cracker" "oopsies" Koler would get [potty mouth]! But at the end of the day I learned....now David is the one is teaching and I also try to teach...that's what it's all about...

I knew Koler when he packed a .44, drank Wild Turkey and made Sailors (!#$!%@!) embarrassed...I'm saddened for his family, but delighted that he is no longer suffering....

Here's to "Dirty Steve" The other Clint Eastwood :cheers:
I too won a donated fishing trip from Steve at a NW Steelheaders meeting. We fished the Clackamas back bouncing eggs and I had a great chance to hone my skill under his watchful eye. I also learned how to use beads to create a speader that could be used in place of a wire spreader. We caught several fish and I went home with two nice fish for the day. The Mcloughlin Chapter of NW Steelheaders was very fortunate to have Steve as a member. He will be missed.
Many years I remember seeing Steve fishing on the Deschutes and he was always wearing a red t-shirt with the sleaves cut off. I remember talking to him at Green Light asking him why the red shirt. He used to tell me that when his clients had their beer goggles on, it was so they recognize him. My hat is off to Steve, the next Deschutes "freight train" will be released to swim again in his remberance.

Steve will be missed. :angel:

I did know him personaly that is my loss. I did know of him and sometimes follow him around on the willamette trying to get lessons. I wish I would have known a great person like this.

My condolences to Steve's wife and Family. :angel:
Anyone have a picture of Steve Koler? I'm sorry, I just can't place him.

I'm sorry to hear this news, my prayers go out to his family.

This looks like one.
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This thread will be a permanent link on the front page of ifish. When one of "us" goes on to that big river in the sky, we are added to the "Casting Memories" category on ifish.

Thank you so much for adding your thoughts and memories. They will mean a lot to so many people.
I'll also print it out for the family, and give it to them at the service. :hearton:

Steve was the example of what most guides should follow. A love ofr his family, the streams he fished and dedication to make memories for as many anglers as possible without all the ego stuff.

I met Steve when I was a young Guide at Larry's Sports Center. He was very nice and shared many things that have helped me to this day. He reminded me that guiding was a privledge fish for a living and that guides had an obligation to help fishermen at every turn and never treat anyone poorly.

Many need to remember his words. He will be missed but his spirit is drifting on many Rivers we fish.

May God Bless his family.

Val Perry
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