About STS

About Frank Amato Publications, Inc.

Frank Amato Publications, Inc. is the publisher of three major magazines: Salmon Trout Steeheader, Flyfishing & Tying JournalGreat Lakes Angler, and over 500 fishing and outdoor related book titles, plus several videos.

Located in Portland, Oregon, Frank Amato has been accommodating outdoor readers for over 40 years. Frank Amato began with Salmon Trout Steelheader (STS) magazine in the 1960's.

The First STS
Salmon Trout Steelheader started life with the finest West Coast fishing writers. The leadoff article "Will Chinook Take a Fly?" was written by world-famous British Columbia writer and angler, Roderick Haig-Brown.

In 1967 he was in his fifties and had authored about 10 outstanding books dealing with salmon, trout, and steelhead angling and fisheries conservation. I had read them all and he was my guiding light. I sent him a simple letter, explained my idea for STS and he graciously agreed to write an article. 

Haig-Brown became the inspirational fisheries conservationist for thousands of angler opinion makers, especially from 1950 until he died in 1977. In my estimation he is the patron saint of North American trout and steelhead fishing and conservation, standing far above his contemporaries. His books are as valid today as when they were first published. 

Enos Brander, of Seattle, wrote an article about steelhead fly fishing the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River. As the long time editor of the Seattle Times he was widely known for his strong feelings on conservation and very savvy fish knowledge. 

Tom McAllister, of Portland, was an outdoor editor of the daily Oregon Journal (a very large daily in Portland, OR) and he wrote an article about salmon fishing in Tillamook Bay which 40 years later is still very relevant. Tony McAllister is still very active lecturing and helping conservation causes and is the unofficial outdoor-writer emeritus of the Oregon Country. 

Fred Goetz, also of Portland, was the widest-read fishing columnist in the world in the 1960s. Millions of union members read his pieces that were published weekly or monthly in scores of union papers across the nation. I knew him personally because he shopped in the Kienows grocery store where I worked while attending high school and college. I asked Fred to do a column on fishing for white sturgeon in the Columbia and Willamette rivers. I would see him years later as his daughter Susan married my second cousin Tim Hoey, whose sister Barbara was my first employee. Now retired, Tim gives us a hand when we need him. 

Larry Green, well-known writer from California, also contributed to the first issue, as well as several other issues. His Expertise ranged from California steelhead and trout waters to equipment. 

Frank Tabor was our excellent cartoonist who lived in Ridgefield and captured both fishing humor and editorial nuances concerning the commercial gill-netting of steelhead which was still legal in the Columbia until about 1973. 

I wrote an article about the Dry Creek area on the Deschutes River on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. At the time the trout limit was 10 fish and STS immediately began to push for a two-trout limit. Today the trout fishing is much better in the Deschutes than in 1967, as it is in many other places as well. 

Why did I start Salmon Trout Steelheader? (The original name was Northwest Salmon Trout Steelheader.) In 1967 there was no regional fishing magazine in the entire United States. There was only the Big Three: Field & Stream, Sports Afield, and Outdoor Life. A few other fishing magazines existed, but none specializing in salmonids. STS was probably the first of the "specialty fishing magazines". Today there are two score more. Fly Fisherman started two years after STS and then the flood gates opened.      

I liked to read about Northwest fishing, but the few articles published each year in the "big three" left me wanting more. So my wife Gayle and I, and my original partner Joe Torres, scraped a few thousand dollars together and published the first issue of STS in August of 1967. I had asked advice from Portlander Pete Hidy (fly-fishing book author) as to whether I should start such a magazine and he casually dismissed the idea as a kid's dream and said at the least I would need $50,000! Wow! I decided to go ahead anyway. 

For a long period of time it was a financial struggle to make STS work and my non-fishing partner who was more interested in the business end dropped out. In the ensuing 45 years Salmon Trout Steelheader has grown steadily and especially so in the past several years with my son Nick at the helm whose idea it was to take STS from six to ten issues per year. 

Probably had there been no Roderick Haig-Brown there would be no Salmon Trout Steelheader, Great Lakes Angler no Flyfishing & Tying Journal and none of the 500-plus fishing books we have published. His ideas in his many books inspired my fishing, my imagination and my desire to change fishing regulations and other management tools to protect the fish firstly and satisfy anglers secondly; for without the beautiful fish we are nothing.

  - Frank W. Amato, Publisher