When pro skateboarder Dave Gravette was sidelined with injuries a few years ago, he found himself in need of some new demons to chase. As a Pacific Northwest native with a wild streak, Gravette has always felt the need to be going after some new thrill—whether it was a clean new line at the park or wrangling rattlesnakes on the Deschutes River as a kid. With the skateparks, handrails and staircases of Portland, OR, temporarily out of the picture, he turned to kayaking, and eventually flyfishing, to scratch the itch.
“The same way there’s all those videos of me losing my mind trying a rail for five hours, I lose my mind trying to catch a fish for days,” Gravette says. “It’s all just that pursuit of challenge, endeavor and reward…I always gotta be doing something.”
In July 2021, with record high temperatures putting the kibosh on many fishing options around Portland, that “something” was carp in the lower Columbia River, smallmouth bass within Portland’s city limits, and a sprinkling of alpine trout—and some swimming—for good measure. Gravette’s back on his board these days, and he’s finally cracked the carp code; with parks and urban lines just minutes from carp flats and bassy drop-offs, everything’s coming up Millhouse in PDX.