Deschutes River Alliance Portland Patagonia Event

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Want to know the latest about the Deschutes River? How are water temperatures, water levels and dam releases affecting the rivers health and future? Join the Deschutes River Alliance at the Portland downtown Patagonia store: 907 Irving Street on September 10th from 7-10pm for an informative discussion and update.

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Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

A Hint of Fall in the Air: Local Fishing is on the Improve

Mckenzie river August 2015

Dry fly fishing in the morning and evening has been considerable better lately on the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. The further removed we are from those blistering hot days of July the better the fishing has been. Water levels remain low but fish are looking up. Spent mayflies seem to be the preferred imitation for fish in the morning. Adult mayflies and small caddis are the most productive patterns in the evenings.

Mckenzie river August 2015

Seeking deeper runs and “drop off’s” remains very productive throughout the day with “Hopper Dropper Rigs”. Best patterns include Jigged Possie Buggers and CDC Jigged Pheasant Tails.

Mckenzie river August 2015

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Leave a comment

New ODFW Regulations Part Two

Hale Ovisten’s comment from Bill Bakke is an important one, so I though I would post it in order to stress the importance of commenting about the “simplification” tact that ODFW is using. See the comment below and please do let your voice be heard.

A message from Bill Bakke:

ODFW wants you to kill Deschutes redband trout and steelhead smolts. Stocking of hatchery rainbow trout in the lower Deschutes was terminated in 1978 with the intention of managing the the lower 100 miles exclusively for wild trout. Spawning redband trout average 3 to 4 years of age and 12”-13”. These trout can live up to 10 years. In 1984, at my suggestion, the ODFW Commission and chief of the Fishery Division agreed to a 10” to 13” slot regulation that would protect steelhead smolts and the full age structure of Deschutes wild trout. The purpose of this regulation was to prevent anglers from keeping 3 -4 year old juvenile steelhead or high-grading their catch and killing the larger breeding age redbands. With the slot limit in place, most anglers do not fish for trout in the lower Deschutes for consumption, but prefer to practice catch and release regardless.

Now in the name of “simplified” regulations ODFW is proposing to allow a kill fishery on all trout greater than 8-inches (two trout limit per day). Even though the local biologists would prefer a catch and release fishery on trout, their Salem bosses want more license sales and less conservation. This regressive regulation can be stopped if YOU contact ODFW and redirect their misguided and selfish approach to management.

What could be more “simple” than mandatory catch and release of all trout on the lower Deschutes? Tell the Commission that you want a catch and release fishery on trout in the lower Deschutes River so that this unique and diverse population and the exceptional fishery they support can be protected.

See yesterdays post for details on how to email ODFW and for the full run down of proposed rule changes.

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New Fishing Regulations on the Way for the State of Oregon

In an attempt to simplify the rules and regulations around the state of Oregon’s waterways. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing and most likely finalizing some “inter-agency” regulation changes for the 2016 fishing season. There is a meeting on September 4th, 2015 that will likely approve the proposed regulations in the link below. If you would like to comment please do so before the meeting.

You can view the changes by clicking the link below.

You can comment directly the the ODFW commission by emailing:

Please let them know what you think about the proposed rules.


Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon fly fishing links | 2 Comments

Fly Fishing Gizmo Identified

Nice Hatchery rainbow trout - a reminder of the days when I find the metal leader eyelet on my fly line.

Nice Hatchery rainbow trout – a reminder of the days when I find the metal leader eyelet on my fly line.

Yes folks, as many old timers like myself recognized, this is a barbed metal eyelet that we often used to create a nice junction between fly line and leader.  The barbed point was shoved into the fly line core and the leader tied to the nice metal ring.  Simple and effective, and I do not recall EVER loosing leader with fish when using these devices, but probably used these fishing for trout, not steelhead and big fish.

A HUGE Thank You to all who responded; Don’t think I remember a day with 11 comments in in less than a day – responding to a simple blog post question. Funny how well many people remember these metal leader eyelets, used join leader butt to fly line.

Also interesting the variety of opinions about the gizmos: some folks seemed to have good luck with these, but others have less than fond memories.  Hummmmmm.  I do think I remember the issue of jamming the barbed shaft into a thumb or forefinger – not often but often enough to be very cautious. I also remember the problem of the pointed shaft sticking out of the fly line instead of staying straight in the center of the core, as intended.

Most of the gadget names sound vaguely familiar and most are probably right or close enough.

Leader to fly line eyelet.

Leader to fly line eyelet.

Hope this reminder of our fly fishing roots was a little fun.  The braided loops we can add to our lines plus the factory loops with line labels are sure a step-up from the gear we had back in the 1960s and 70s, but somehow we managed to get by then, catch fish, and have plenty of fun.

Jay Nicholas, August 2015

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Anyone old enough to recognize this fly fishing gizmo?

 Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Gizmo.

Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Gizmo.

So here we have a “thingy” that was formerly a standard in the fly fishing industry. Anyone care to name it?

Anyone ever use one?

Good or bad?

Successes or failures associated with use?

I’ll follow up shortly with commentary.

Jay Nicholas, 2015

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | 11 Comments

Bass Action is Hot on Oregon Coast

Julie executes a strip-set on a black rockfish.Fishing with RED and JULIE – August 17th

Julie was visiting from Gig Harbor, and was already parked, waiting out in front of Jack’s Fly Shop when “Red” and I pulled in at 6:15. We all helped with introductions. Capt. John warmed up the Johnson 75 outboard while we loaded our gear, into the dory and then it was time to head down to the beach,with the Gold Comet in tow. A truck was stuck in the sand at the bottom of the ramp, so we had a ten minute wait until the ramp was clear. There was only room to launch one dory at a time, way down in the corner near the Toadstool Rocks along the cape, but John roared down the beach and had us in the water with no hesitation.

Jack was standing by to hold the dory and push us out, and we headed along the sheltered side of the Cape with swells that were in the four to five foot range, with a breeze already developing at 7 AM. John started us fishing west of Haystack Rock, over schools of rockfish that were anywhere from twenty to forty feet deep.

Julie fished a 450 gr SA Streamer Express with a pink Clouser and found fish pretty quickly. I fished a RIO 350 gr Striper Line and found willing bass too. Red took photos while Julie and I fished, and then I traded places with Red, so he could fish while I ran the camera.  Julie fished an 8 wt ECHO PRIME, Red fished the ECHO BASE.

Julie continued to catch fish, Red was having a slow streak, and then – oops – Red’s line got fouled around the prop. That was the end of that fly line.

John pulled the motor, cut the line loose, and then Julie and red went back to fishing, Red with a different rod & line. I shot more photos, and then looked at the fly line head, laying on the deck. Putting the camera away, I tied a loop in the end, about three feet behind the head, and lowered the still-attached fly overboard, holding the loop in my index finger. The head was about 25 ft, the leader about five ft, and I figured that I had about thirty feet of line danging over the side when I leaned over the side of the dory, letting the fly settle, jigging it a little, letting it sink again, and occasionally raising it up three or four feet before letting it settle again. Julie and Red were laughing at me, kidding me about hand-lining, until I hooked my first bass. Two more bass followed my hand lining adventures, unanswered by either of my fishing partners.

John was laughing too, and remarked that maybe the use of rods and reels was over-rated, judging by who was catching the fish. I was having a great time, and was fascinated by the subtle nature of the take I could feel with my fingers, compared to what I could feel working with the line on a rod. I thought that I could feel fish taking my fly far better on the hand line than I ever had before.

John repositioned the boat again, and this school was spread between forty and fifty feet deep, so my hand line technique was no longer effective, being limited to my 30 ft line. My hand-lining experience was fun, I caught fish on the hand line, and it all made me wonder how much better I might be able to feel bass take my fly if I tried hand lining with longer lines on more occasions. I dug out a spare reel and went back to fishing with conventional rod/reel/line, but the possibility of hand lining again has me quite intrigued. Maybe I’ll just give it a try next time I go out into the ocean.

Here are some photos from our day chartered with Pacific City Fly Fishing

Julie & Pacific black rockfish.

Julie & Pacific black rockfish.


Jay and Julie with a double on sea bass.

Jay and Julie with a double on sea bass.


Another fine day on the Pacific.


Red (Echo Fly Fishing Blog and Rajeff Sports) with another double.


Time to rinse those rods and reels back at Jack and Mary’s.


Our day’s haul.


Red behind the lens.


Julie (left) and Jay (right). As if you didn’t know, ha ha ha.


Here’s Red going for the artist angle on the shutter.


This was the ONLY time that Red’s bass was bigger than Julie’s – all day long.


Wonderful day, great seafood to take home, and most excellent companionship and guide service.  Highly recommended to anyone interested in fly fishing the near shore Pacific.

My best to our readers.

Jay Nicholas, August 18, 2015

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fishing Reports, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | Leave a comment

Caddis Fly Hosted Trips to Cuba July 2016 – Reserve Your Spot Now

becker cuda

We have two separate weeks booked in Cuba this coming July of 2016. Both on “live a board” boats. This past June we found the food and service level to be outstanding on the “live a board”. Over the past 8 years we have seen numerous operations around Cuba fishing with the Avalon Group at different locals, the “live a board” is really an ideal way to fish the rich and largely unspoiled waters around the Cuban mainland. The fishing in Cuba is fantastic and something to be experience sooner rather than later. With travel restrictions eased anglers now have zero worries coming and going from Cuba.

The week of July 2-8 2016 is aboard the Perola Yacht.

This luxury yacht will take you to the most remote and pristine flats and distant waters that collectively surround Isla de la Juventud. The Perola is a beautiful 75-foot luxury live-aboard yacht that is utilized for weekly trips to the most remote areas of the Canarreos Archipelago. Areas that are accessed and fished by the Perola include Cayo Campo, the Cantilles islands and Cayo Rosario, which is renowned for some of the most outstanding flats fishing in all of Cuba. The Perola is a recently refurbished classic wooden yacht, perfect for a group of up to six anglers. There are five comfortable air-conditioned cabins below deck, most of which have a private bath with good showers and plenty of hot water. Anglers will really appreciate the large amount of storage space available in each of the rooms. 

This is an impressive yacht, with polished hardwood floors and teak paneling. Circular stairways take you downstairs to the cabins or upstairs to the dining area atop the open-air deck. The top deck is covered and always remains in the shade, but open to the sea breeze, ensuring guests a very comfortable and insect-free environment. Clear plastic side coverings are utilized if harder winds or inclement weather become an issue. Several comfortable rope hammocks are hung from the ceiling and can be lowered after lunch or dinner for a nap in the breeze or a very relaxed cocktail hour. A full-sized, air-conditioned salon on the main deck level can be utilized as a living and dining area in extremely harsh weather. Fly tiers will like the full tying table in the salon, and sinking into one of the salon’s plush couches with a good drink is the perfect end to a long day on the flats. 


Cuisine on board the Perola is exceptional. Fresh fish of the day is offered for most meals, either caught by the anglers themselves or brought in by the crew. Lobster and conch are abundant can be enjoyed on a daily basis or upon request. Salads with fresh vegetables and a variety of fruits are always available as well. Other menu items include pork and chicken entrees served throughout the week, fresh sashimi for appetizers and some of the finest frozen Daiquiris in all of Cuba. 

Anglers arriving on Isla de la Juventud will stay aboard the Perola on the first night, anchored at a private marina on the Jucaro River. Early the following morning, anglers will meet their guides, jump in the skiffs, fish, and make their way east to meet up with the Perola that evening in one of the outer anchorages. On the final fishing day, anglers will fish their way back to Gerona, reboard the Perola at the marina with time to take a refreshing shower and pack before departing on the evening flight back to Havana.


The week of July 8-16 is aboard the Avalon II Yacht.

Avalon II is a brand new, state-of-the-art mothership with 10 staterooms and all the amenities and offerings you would expect from a high-end, private yacht. 

The ship’s overall capacity is 20 passengers and 9 crewmembers, although all trips are limited to groups of between 10 and 16 anglers. The boat offers the perfect balance of substantial exploration capabilities, functional style and total comfort, and offers guests a unique platform for an exclusive voyage through the Jardines de la Reina. 

All staterooms offer plenty of space, private bathrooms, individual air conditioning and heating controls, electricity plugs, and panoramic windows to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Caribbean. 

There is also a spacious and comfortable combination lounge, dining room and bar area on the main deck. This is the ideal option for large groups and families.


Food and Beverages

Dining on board Avalon II is always amazing. The menu typically combines fantastic Continental Italian cuisine, fresh seafood every day, and traditional Cuban favorites like rice and beans, black bean soup and fried plantains. If you are someone who enjoys fresh seafood, then you will be in heaven. Beverages available on board include bottled water, various soft drinks, beer, rum and imported wines. If you prefer liquor other than rum, you can bring this with you.

avalon 1 food

Typical Length of Stay

A typical stay in the Jardines de la Reina area is seven (7) nights / five and a half (5.5) fishing days, starting on Saturday and ending on Friday. A normal week includes five full days of fishing and one or two half days (depending on your schedule and mode of transportation to and from Jucaro). Additional days in Havana or on other parts of the island can easily be arranged and itineraries can be fully customized. Combo trips between the Jardines de la Reina and other fishing areas can also be arranged.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

These are a remote live-aboard operations located in the mangrove wilderness of the Jardines de la Reina. This means that non-angling (and non-diving) activities are limited. If you are interested in diving, Avalon’s dive program is incredible and the Jardines are considered by many to be one of the finest, most pristine dive and snorkel destinations in the entire world. Even anglers can participate in a shallow-water dive program on a few afternoons of their trip. This can be taught after your day of fishing, and can culminate in a trip where you dive with the area’s famous Silky Sharks. Overall this specific destination is best suited for anglers and divers.

Wi-Fi via the Avalon Hot Spot is available free of charge to guests on Avalon II. While this satellite internet access is slow and at times spotty, it is available! Guests should bring their own laptop, iPad or other device to access the internet. Keep in mind that U.S. cell phones currently DO NOT work anywhere in Cuba. Also, satellite phones are strictly prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport on arrival.

We have some exceptional rates for these trips and welcome any inquiries. Please contact me directly at

Chris Daughters

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Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers 7th Annual Fly Fishing and Tying Festival

Free admission on September 12th, 2015 to the family friendly fly tying and fishing festival in Glide Oregon. Umpqua Valley Fly Fishers will host 25 fly tiers from around the Pacific Northwest. Casting instruction and fly fishing presenters will be at the event from 8am until 4pm at the Glide Community Center.

Info 2015 01

Info 2015 02

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

Help Bring Big League Baitball to the West Coast

Success on the baseball diamond comes from doing the little things right: an outfielder’s throw hitting the cutoff man, or a batter laying down a bunt.

Little things are important in the ocean, too. Large swirling “baitballs” of tiny schooling fish – known as forage fish – represent a key indicator of ocean health. These fish provide food for an all-star lineup of marine species along the West Coast, including salmon, tuna, birds, whales, dolphins and many species of finfish. Unfortunately, many of these fish species are not protected in Oregon and California waters.

Learn more via a recent blog by Paul Shively at the Pew Charitable Trusts.


TAKE ACTION – Send a message to Fish and Wildlife Departments in Oregon and California:

Thanks in large part to thousands of people who voiced their support for forage fish protections over the last few years, the Pacific Fishery Management Council reached a landmark decision in March to adopt a forage fish conservation policy in federal waters from three to 200 miles off the U.S. West Coast.

This important decision sets the stage for Oregon and California to move forward with similar safeguards in state waters, from the shore to three miles out (the State of Washington has had a plan in place since 1998). California approved a forage fish policy in 2012 that has not yet been implemented. Oregon is developing a plan to conserve forage fish in state waters, but action is needed this year to ensure consistent management along the West Coast.

By protecting forage fish, Californians and Oregonians will take a critical step towards a healthier ocean with thriving coastal communities. Now it’s our chance to bring Big League Baitball to the West Coast!

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International Fly Fishing Fair on Now in Bend Oregon

Help celebrate the 50 anniversary of the International Federation of Fly Fishers by attending the Fly Fishing Fair in Bend. On now through Saturday August 15th, you can get the entire scoop by checking out their web page here:

World class instructors, authors and presentations will be held throughout the week. Download the entire program for full details.

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Super Cool Fly Tying Materials from FlySkinz

Check out the cool tying materials and videos to go with them from FlySkinz. Jonathan Kiley has created some really innovative synthetic fly tying materials. All of these products are now available for same day shipping from

Kiley’s Crab Skinz make tying realistic Crab patterns as easy as pie.

Kiley’s Spoon Skinz make tying a “Spoon Fly” a snap compared to building elaborate mono frames.

Kiley’s Slow Rolla Tails. If you have ever fished a rubber tail for small mouth bass or bonefish you know how fish “gobble up the rubber”.

Body Wrap and Baetis Backs are great for smaller trout patterns.

Bugger Bling creates a target lateral line on your buggers.

Kiley’s Scud Skinz helps make great looking scuds.

Kiley’s Stone Skinz speeds up the process of tying Stonefly Nymphs.

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | Leave a comment

Fishing Highlights Around the State

The Deschutes River near Maupin is experiencing it’s annual Summer Steelhead run and fishing has been pretty good. The White River is puking out quite a bit of color on hot days but fish are still being caught. The Deschutes is your best bet in the state for Summer Steelhead.

East Lake continues to be very good with Callibaetis, Damsel Nymphs and sparsely tied leeches and buggers. Evening temps in the Cascades have been pretty cool of late. We may experience an early fall this year and lakes like Crane Prairie and East are fishing really well now.

The Middle Fork of the Willamette River near Oakridge continues to produce good trout fishing. Not much has changed in terms of successful patterns since our last report:

The main-stem of the Umpqua is fishing really well for smallmouth bass between Umpqua and Elkton. The water is extremely low and a pontoon boat or raft is a great bet for a float. You don’t need to float a large section of river to find success with Thin Mints, small clousers and rubber legged nymphs.

The McKenzie River above Leaburg Dam is fishing well for trout despite minimal hatches. Small Caddis patterns and hopper dropper rigs have been the best methods of late.

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Post Cards from Pacific City Dory Fishing

Chris and Jay with bass.

Chris and Jay with bass.

Chris Daughters joined me and Capt. John Harrell for a short session dory fishing out of Pacific City, Oregon, on August 6, 2015. Wonderful day. Silvers were scarce, and we did not find even one, even though they had been thick a week earlier. Oh well, that’s how the bite and the ocean can change from day to day.

We had modest action fishing Pacific black sea bass deploying a variety of Clousers on fast sinking lines, finding fish at 20 ft to 30 ft in most places where we fished. Action was good – not as good as it often is – but we managed to catch plenty of bass and release a few too.

Life is not fair. Most of the bass Chris caught were large. Most of the bass I caught were small. Go figure. Naturally, the smallness of my bass became a topic of frequent conversation throughout the day.

We pulled crab pots, found them loaded and then headed back to the home base of pacific city fly fishing on Brooten Rd, where bass were filleted by John, crab cleaned and cooked, and Chris was sent on his way back to Eugene to host a monster taco and crab feed by mid afternoon.

0630 hrs, putting in on the beach.

0630 hrs, putting in on the beach.

Chris pulling hard on a nice bass.

Chris pulling hard on a nice bass.

Jay's bass.

Jay’s bass.

Chris' bass.  Hummmmmm.

Chris’ bass. Hummmmmm.

John takes a swim trying to retrieve Jay's SIMMS ball cap.  No luck.

John takes a swim trying to retrieve Jay’s SIMMS ball cap. No luck.

Dory loaded on a super calm day.

Dory loaded on a super calm day.

Poor photo of two great people, Chris Daughters and Jack Harrell.

Poor photo of two great people, Chris Daughters and Jack Harrell.

Contact Jack Harrell at 541 921 1276 if you would like to book a fly fishing charter with John this season.

Thanks gentlemen, great day on the ocean with fly rods and willing fish.



Posted in Fishing Reports, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | Leave a comment

Sage Introduces New Rods: Video on MOD, Little ONES, TROUT SPEY, BOLT and PULSE Series

The month of August brings a new launch of fly fishing products from the major manufacturers including Sage, Rio and Redington. Below you will find brief discussions from our sales rep George Cook about each one of the new series of Sage rods. These rods are trickling into the shop in the coming week and available for order now.






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