Detroit Lake Shutdown, Santiam Fish Recovery

From the Statesman Journal: A project intended to improve conditions for endangered fish could mean essentially emptying Detroit Lake for one or two years.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to build a 300-foot tower and floating screen at Detroit Dam to improve water temperature and fish passage for salmon and steelhead in the North Santiam River.

But the $100 to $250 million project has sparked alarm over the potential impact to water supply in Salem and Stayton, for farmland irrigation, and to the economies of Detroit and the Santiam Canyon from the loss of recreation at the popular reservoir.

“In the long-term, this project has a lot of positives, from a healthier environment for fish to better operation of the dam,” Marion County commissioner Kevin Cameron said. “But there is a huge risk in the short-term.”

At its core, the project represents the latest chapter in the struggle to preserve native fish while maintaining the benefits of dams and reservoirs.

The Corps is taking public comment on the project until January 23.

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From Native Fish Society:

Throughout the Pacific Northwest, dams have altered streamflow and water temperatures, impounded water over historic habitat, and prevented fish from migrating freely to the ocean and back to their homewaters. As their presence has increasingly put threatened and endangered fish in jeopardy, engineers have tried to design work-arounds including fish ladders, truck and haul programs, selective water withdrawal towers, juvenile downstream barging, and even a salmon cannon! All of these experimental projects bend the basic survival needs of the fish to the will of humans– and it isn’t working.

It has happened on the Deschutes River and the Snake River. The North Santiam is the next watershed in which agencies want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to modify infrastructure without meaningful evidence to support that strategy. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently accepting scoping comments to develop alternatives under an Environmental Impact Statement. We need your help telling the Army Corps of Engineers that restoring volitional access for wild salmon and steelhead to the headwaters of the North Santiam River is critical to the survival of the Upper Willamette salmon and steelhead populations. Without access to their historic spawning grounds, and ability to freely swim back to the ocean, Detroit Dam will jeopardize their survival.

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Trout Clouser Baby Rainbow Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay shows us how to tie a Trout Clouser utilizing the New Pastel Bucktail. This is a very effective fly for trout and Chinook salmon. It is a common misconception that more materials means more flashy but utilizing less materials will help your flies sink faster and fish have no problem seeing your fly. Jay recommends using a smaller hook for excellent hook ups. Happy tying!


Trout Clouser (Baby Rainbow)

Hook: Daiichi DX452 #6 or Gamakatsu Glo Bug #6
Cement: Loc-Tite brush on
Flash: Krystal Flash Peacock
Thread: Danville 210D Fl. Blue
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Lead Eyes Black/white/Black Extra Small
Belly: Pastel Bucktail Red, Orange, Minnow Blue
UV Deer Creek Fine Flex

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Loon Fly Tying Tools – Reviewing a few options with Jay Nicholas

Loon Fly Tying Toola at the Caddis Fly Shop

Loon is a respected source of high quality fly tying tools and quite a variety of associated products. I have only been using Loon tools for the last two years, but they have been so good that I decided to make special mention of several that I use regularly.

Loon Rogue Forceps with Comfy Grip
These are pictured at far left in the photo and are a stunning stealth black.
Cushioned finger grips. Lockable feature.
Serrated cutting scissors at base.
Fly-eye cement remover/knot un-tyer.
serrated gripping nose to hold hooks or your fellow angler’s tongue securely.

Loon 4-inch Razor Adjustable Fly Tying Scissors
These are pictured second from left in the photo.
Adjustable tension.
Very fine-point and sharp blades.
Slightly serrated scissors.
Also available in a 5-inch model.

Loon Ergonomic Dubbing Brush
These are pictured third from left (center) in the photo.
The handle really makes it easy to hold and manipulate this dubbing brush.
Durable fine metal brush.

Loon Ergonomic Fly Tying Bodkin
These are pictured second from right in the photo.
The handle does in fact make it simple to hold and manipulate this bodkin.
Fine and durable point.

Loon Gator-Grip Dubbing Spinner for Fly Tying
These are pictured at right in the photo.
This spinner will not roll off your desk.
Substantial weight makes for perfect spinning of dense material.
You have two options that are interchangeable as shown in the photo – very adaptable.
The finger loop makes it easy to wind your dubbing brush around tube or shank.

I hope you will feel comfortable giving Loon fly tying products a spin on your fly tying bench. They have performed very well for me.

Jay Nicholas – early 2018

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Cohen’s Sculpting Scissors – New Product Review by Jay Nicholas

Cohen's Sculpting Scissors 1

I discovered an entirely new-to me scissor recently, put them to work, and liked the results so much that I decided to share this information.

There are four options now available of this very solid scissor for fly tying the Cohen’s Curved Sculpting Scissors – with straight and curved blades in both 4-inch and 5-inch.

Cohen's Sculpting Scissors 2
Cohen's Sculpting Scissors 3

These fly tying scissors have slightly serrated edges and this makes them very good when shaping or sculpting materials as you will on muddlers, Kinky Muddlers and a wide variety of flies that use natural and synthetic materials packed from loosely to very tightly. I’ve been tying kinky muddlers lately using EP 3D fibers, Steve Farrar Flash Blend, and many of the Sculpting Flash fibers.

Best wishes, have fun with your fly tying adventures, and may the fish smile on your best efforts.

Jay Nicholas- early 2018

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F3T 2018 coming to Oregon

The Fly Fishing Film Tour recently announced some 2018 dates. This African Tiger trailer looks awesome:

The tour is coming to Portland Feb 10, Bend on Feb 17, Corvallis on February 24.

Posted in Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events | Leave a comment

Jay’s Swing Jig Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay ties a Jigged version of the Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Fly. This fly is tied on a #2 Jigged hook using the same color combination of black and blue and includes Double Pupil Eyes. It is fished best swinging for both summer and winter steelhead. The benefit of using a jigged hook versus a Tube Fly is that the hook will ride up so you’re less likely to snag and this fly actually has a little less material than the tube version. If you’re not experienced in tying tube flies yet this is a great alternative. This is a proven color combination that has worked well for Jay and other anglers.


Jay’s Swing Jig (Fl. Blue)

Hook: Umpqua S506H Jig #2
Thread: Danville’s 210D Fl. Blue
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Black/Chartreuse
Tail: Rabbit Strip Black Barred Fl. Blue
Collar: Senyo’s Chromatic 3.0 Brush Midnight
Body: Lagartun Carded Flat braid Holo Fl. Blue
Collar: SD Blue Saddle

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Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Fly Tying Video

Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube (Fl. Blue) is a vibrant Summer and Winter Steelhead fly that can be fished in any water. The weighted eyes help this fly sink faster and the loose rabbit strip gives this fly lots of action. Swing this bad boy through your favorite run next time you go out and watch your reel scream. Happy tying.

Jay's Ultralicious Steelhead Tube

Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube (Fl. Blue)

Tube: Pro 40/40 or Pro blue classic tube
Thread: Danville’s 210D Fl. Blue
Cement: Loc-Tite brush on
Eyes: Balz Eyes medium chartreuse
Body: Lagartun Carded Flat braid Holo Fl. Blue
Rabbit Strip: Black Barred Fl. Blue
Collar: Senyo’s Chromatic 3.0 Brush Midnight
Collar: SD Blue Saddle

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Photos from the South Island – Cedar Lodge Heli Fly Fishing Lodge


New Zealand’s South Island offers anglers and photographers some unreal subject matter. Brier Kelly who is super solid photographer and angler recently visited us at Cedar Lodge. I thought I would share some of his shots from his recent trip. You can follow Brier on Instagram at brier_kelly. I was fortunate enough to guide Brier and his mom Lynn a couple of days and got lucky with Brier’s camera myself. Enjoy!















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OWRD Grants Support Sprague and Crooked Rivers

Four water projects in Oregon have won nearly $6.3 million from state regulators, including two projects with a major impact on fish.

The Opal Springs Fish Passage Project is a collaborative effort to secure upstream fish passage at Opal Springs Diversion Dam, on the Crooked River just upstream from Lake Billy Chinook. The dam, owned and operated by Deschutes Valley Water District (DVWD), largely blocks steelhead and Chinook salmon from reaching more than 100 miles of historic spawning habitat. OWRD awarded $1.5 million for this project.

This project stems from a broadly supported 2011 settlement agreement between Trout Unlimited, Deschutes Valley Water District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish fish passage at the Opal Springs Hydroelectric Project.

Crooked River Canyon in central Oregon

Also, Trout Unlimited was approved to receive $2.7 million to replace an irrigation canal on the Sprague River watershed with two 36-inch diameter pipes. The unlined ditch lost some 35% of the water conveyed through it to seepage. The new pipes will prevent this loss and allow 90 percent of the water savings to be dedicated to instream flows.

You can read TU’s press release on the new projects here.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Daily Special Fly Tying Video

Justin Helm demonstrates how to tie a versatile tube streamer using some of our favorite fly tying materials. This pattern can be adapted to trout, steelhead, bass, salmon and more. Using a variety of color combinations one can make a pattern to fit the species and situation desired.

Daily Special

Daily Special

Tube: Pro sportfisher Microtube Black 32mm
Weight: Pro sportfisher Raw Weight Medium
Wing: Rabbit Strips Grizzly
Dub: Senyo’s Laser Dub Sculpin Olive
Flash: Ice Dub Minnow Belly
Collar: Extra Select Craft Fur Medium Brown
Cone: Pro cone Medium Orange

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Happy Holidays From Cedar Lodge New Zealand

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

We had a fantastic start to our spring season on the South Island. We experienced low water and good fishing for November and much of early December. The second week of December brought on some mixed spring weather with some freshening showers and tougher days but overall it’s been a much better fishing and season at Cedar Lodge.

Xmas fun nz 2017

This is our first Christmas break without a major project around the lodge and we have been enjoying a more traditional “kiwi Christmas”. BBQ’s, swimming and of course fishing. It’s been really nice.

Xmas fun nz 2017

Xmas fun nz 2017

Xmas fun nz 2017

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge


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Jay’s Olive Brush Bugger Fly Tying Video

Jay demonstrates how to tie a wooly bugger style fly on a Pro Sportfisher tube. By using an EP Foxy Brush as the hackle the fly becomes super durable and quick to tie.


Jay’s Brush Bugger Olive

hook guide: medium lavender/green
Tube: pro nanotube sink – 4
Tail: Olive UV Marabou
Flash: Krystal Flash Peacock
Weight: Pro Drop Weight
Body: Speckled Chenille Lime/Olive
Collar: EP Foxy Brush 3.0 Olive/Brown
Cone: Ultra Sonic Disc black
Hook: Glo Bug C14S

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Nicholas’ Shamen Fly Tying Bobbin Review

Jay Nicholas Shamen Bobbin 1
Fly Tying Tools Review: Shamen Bobbin

I have tied flies with many, many bobbins over the last five decades. Complicated and simple, inexpensive and pricey.

In general, I prefer bobbins that are on the less technically challenging variety, and appreciate high quality, durability, adjustability and feel in the hand.

I have used so many bobbins over the years that it is impossible to even recall specifics of many, but I’m quite sure that I have not been impressed with every new bobbin that comes along just because it is new or shiny.

The Shamen bobbin is one of the relatively new members of the bobbin family that I have tested and appreciated.

The model I have tied with is a standard size. A midge size is also offered and I assume that I would rate it highly as well.

Shamen Bobbin 3
Solid features of the Shamen Bobbin:
• Good fit in hand – very comfortable
• Easy to load the new thread spool
• Provides a secure hold on the spool
• Durable – I have many hours, days, weeks, and so forth with this bobbin in hand
• Easily adjustable thread tension! This is a BIG plus.
• Dependably adjustable thread tension – got to say it twice, it is so important.
• The tension is adjusted by means of the “screw” mechanism and it is SMOOTH.
• Adaptable to very fine and very stout thread
• Ceramic thread tube means no thread fraying

Please don’t assume that this is the only bobbin I keep on my desk. There are many very dependable fly tying tools available these days, unlike when I was learning to tie flies back in the early 1960s.

That said, I’m heartily endorsing this Shamen bobbin as a trustworthy companion at the fly bench.

Jay Nicholas, late 2017

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Fishpond Submersible Packs

Most of you are Moldy Chum fans, but if you haven’t been over lately you need to check out their in-depth analysis of Fishpond’s Thunderhead Submersible packs.

If you typically fish with your phone or a camera handy, you are taking a big risk. I’ve soaked phones, favorite point-and-shoots, and even my digital SLR once… And the replacement cost for those was far more than a convenient, waterproof gear bag.

Now Fishpond has really upped its game by introducing a waterproof, submersible pack made from post-industrial recycled material. They took home some major awards at the IFTD this year. Here is a great video summarizing the product line:

From the Moldy Chum review: If you haven’t seen one of these packs in person yet, make sure to head over to your local fly shop and check one out. It’s an obsessively designed product that will provide years of great use on your local stream or in the harshest waters on the planet. And if you’re still trying to figure out what gear to add to your holiday wish list, you won’t regret putting this pack at the top of the list.

You can pick up the various models at the Caddis Fly Shop.

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel Bag

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Washington Cancels Atlantic Salmon Farming Lease

From the Seattle Times:

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific has lost the lease for its Atlantic salmon net-pen farm in Port Angeles and must shut down and remove it, said Hilary Franz, state commissioner of public lands, who terminated Cooke’s lease.

The farm, operated by a series of owners since 1984, currently holds nearly 700,000 Atlantic salmon. Franz said the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would work with other state agencies to enforce an orderly shutdown and complete removal of the farm.


Check out a great informational source on the dangers of farmed salmon in the Northwest at Our Sound Our Salmon


Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment