We are honored to pay tribute to Frank and Jeanne Moore now married for 76 years - this is a story of love and dedication between two inspirational conservationists and American heroes.
Above: John Waller, Founder, Uncage the Soul Productions, sharing copies with Frank and Jeanne Moore.
Few Oregonians have had a more profound, positive influence on so many of their fellows in the Beaver State than Frank and Jeanne. This remarkable couple have been a role model to hundreds if not thousands of people over their decades of effort to protect Oregon outdoor treasures like the North Umpqua River. Rarely is there a time when they don’t have guests visiting — often from other states or Europe. Sharing conversation, meals, time on the water with a rod in hand. Looking for wildflowers in the woods. Casting lessons in Frank’s pond. Numerous Veteran’s Day parades. Frank and Jeanne are the centerpiece of all these activities, and more.
"When dad returned from Germany, they moved to Roseburg, where they bought a cafe they renamed Moore’s Sportsman’s Cafe," says their daughter, Colleen. "They owned it until the 1950s". Frank would drive from Roseburg to the Steamboat Lodge, on the North Umpqua River, (then owned by Clarence Gordon), and guide some of the guests. There is a story that some of the employees at the his cafe put a missing person’s ad in the paper saying he was last seen heading up the river!
Frank proceeded to turn his passion for steelhead fishing into a profession and eventually bought the Steambaot Lodge and renamed it the Steamboat Inn. This locale has been a mainstay of the steelhead fishing experience on the North Umpqua since the early 1950s.
Today, The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary on Oregon’s North Umpqua River designates approximately 100,000 acres of public lands in some of the best remaining wild steelhead spawning areas in the Pacific Northwest. It pairs a legendary river, treasured by Oregonians and frequented by thousands of foreign visitors yearly, with two inspirational conservationists and American heroes.
Frank and Jeanne Moore bind the people of the North Umpqua to its natural bounty. As stewards of the North Umpqua, Frank and Jeanne embody the resilience and grace of the landscape itself. Their life together is documented in the film Mending the Line, and Frank was the subject of an OPB Field Guide special.
In World War II, Frank Moore stormed the beaches of Normandy along with 150,000 troops during the D-Day Allied invasion and was awarded the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for his bravery. He returned home after the war, started a family, and pursued his passion of fishing on the winding rivers in Oregon.
For 20 years, Frank and Jeanne ran the legendary Steamboat Inn on the banks of the North Umpqua. Frank served on the State of Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission from 1971 to 1974. He has been recognized for his conservation work with the National Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year award, the Wild Steelhead Coalition Conservation Award, and his 2010 induction into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.
Jeanne Moore is a self-taught botanical expert who has spent her life identifying the myriad native plant species in the Steamboat Creek watershed. Her discovery of rare plants in the Limpy Rock area of the Umpqua National Forest in the 1970s led the U.S. Forest Service to declare 1,800 acres of land a Natural Research Area.
The sanctuary proposal elevates steelhead as a management priority on high conservation value lands and waters in the Steamboat Creek watershed. The watershed provides over 50 river and stream miles of some of the most important habitat in the region for summer and winter steelhead, spring Chinook, coho salmon, rainbow trout, and other native species.
It serves as one of the few remaining cold water refuges for summer steelhead, which migrate from the main North Umpqua River to the cooler waters of Steamboat and Canton creeks in the summer months and hold in specific pools until the fall rains arrive. The Big Bend Pool of Steamboat Creek is one of the few places in the world where people can easily view hundreds of summer steelhead that use the pool as a refuge from warmer stream temperatures.
Some places should stay wild forever. Thanks to the people and organizations that know the importance of the North Umpqua, we can take heart that this river will remain the storied stream it’s always been: a place of tenacious wild fish, emerald water, and ancient forests open to all. •
Western Rivers Conservancy
Dean Finnerty, a wild steelhead initiative manager for Trout Unlimited.
Photos and video by John Waller, Uncage the Soul Productions
Read more about the North Umqua River and the Steamboat Inn in our current edition - order your copy online today!
Mending the Line is the extraordinary story of Frank Moore, WWII veteran and fly-fishing legend, returning to Normandy with his wife to fish the rivers he saw as a soldier in World War II. In 1944 Frank landed along with some 150,000 other troops on the beaches of Normandy, France for the D-Day allied invasion. Despite the cacophony of war around him, the young avid fly fisherman couldn’t help but notice the productive fisheries on the rivers he and his fellow troops crossed as they made their way into occupied France. In 2015, Uncage the Soul Productions, along with over 500 crowdfunding backers, realized Frank’s lifelong dream of casting a fly onto these serene French rivers.
John Waller, producer of Mending the Line, grew up near the North Umpqua River. One of his first summer jobs was picking blackberries for the Steamboat Inn. John met Frank and Jeanne in 2013 while producing a series of short tourism videos about fly-fishing on the North Umpqua River.