Of all the rivers I've fished in my lifetime, the McCloud is the one that gives me goosebumps when I get lost in dreams of wading in its boulder strewn, trout filled, turquoise flow. It winds through a deep gorge at the base of Mt. Shasta in the shadows of old growth Douglas Firs, Cedars and hardwoods; the diameter of the Douglas Fir trunks being measured in yards, and their tops so high they tickle the clouds. When you stand in the river, you feel safe and hidden in another world - the air is moist, and everywhere they can get a bite into the rocky terrain, grasses, rushes and ferns grow green and lush.
Getting to river is not for the average angler or faint of heart. Particularly, the Nature Conservancy section, which is truly a Garden of Eden. You start near Lake McCloud, and drive up a narrow dirt logging road that winds up and around the perimeter of a steep mountain, and then down again to a sloped "parking area" above the the river. Then its a two mile hike over and around rocks, dead falls, and spring seeps. Where the trail is flat, you walk on a thick bed of dried pine needles. The walk is really not that bad, you don't even notice it since you're so focused and fascinated by the beauty that surrounds you.
But despite its beauty and isolation, the McCloud is not immune to the challenges of our human dominated world. It needs our stewardship, and Keith Brauneis puts it all in perspective in his short film - Enough is Enough. Here's the trailer, and below is a link to a brief interview he did with CalTrout and within that, a link to a larger version of the film.