Fly Fishing New Zealand’s South Island at Cedar Lodge

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

We waded across to carefully look for him. I’d seen the dark colored alligator brown trout in the run just leaving the gorge on another day, but had never had him to the net. The fish was crafty and sitting in a brutal spot for a natural drift of any length. After I confirmed his position I called to the guests, “who’s up?”.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

Cammie started to come over and I quickly waded over to grab her hand to lead her across the waist deep slot of medium fast current.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

I showed her the fish and we discussed our attack. During our brief strategy session he gave himself away a bit. He slid out from behind the massive boulder and swam downstream in quick water about 12 feet to grab a small banana floating speedily away from him. The banana was either a massive cicada or a yellowing beach leaf but either way he engulfed the object and easily slid back into the eddy behind the rock.

After three casts that fell short enough not to spook him, she shot the line across the emerald green glide and the fish went for broke! Chasing her cicada pattern downstream just as he had the yellow leaf. To her credit she waited long enough for him to eat the fly and begin swimming back to home.

The alligator instantly went deep behind a boulder, rubbing the leader on a submerged rock. Cammie had both hands on the rod and reel and I needed her to move towards the fish. She is very light and wading on the slippery rocks in waist high water wasn’t easy for her, she just couldn’t move fast enough towards the fish!

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

I grabbed her under her arms and pushed her out toward the fish. We are both in deep water now and it’s not a place to be for long. We coax the fish upstream and away from the submerged hazard and I continue to help/lift her towards “safer” footing.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

Down she goes and out my feet go from under me. Rod and reel remain fixed in her hands, reeling and adjusting for the fish just enough. I get my feet and lift her to better footing. The fish has been battling a bit now, but we have more rocks, a down log, and a rapid below to deal with.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

I go for a premature net job thinking it’s my best shot before the fish leaves the glide or wraps us on a log or rock. Downstream it’s faster and deeper, and while I love my net it’s not lightening fast scooping fish when your more than waist deep in fast flowing water. After my first failed attempt I finally get a break when the alligator comes towards the surface enough to be gobbled up by the “purse seiner”.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

Success! A serious circus show but managed in the end.

New Zealand Fly Fishing Cedar Lodge

The second half of our Cedar Lodge season is well under way and fishing has been very good. Despite two tough days of weather in the late teens of January fish have been pretty dialed to large cicada patterns. It’s hard to beat the upstream dry fly take of a 4-5lbs brown or rainbow trout. Fish are so convinced that your cicada imitation is the real thing that they engulf your imitation entirely with wide-open jaws pushing through the surface. Fish move “miles”, 6-12 feet to take these easy to see ridiculously large patterns.

Heli Fishing New Zealand

Heli Fishing New Zealand

Casting practice on the lawn.

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Dropped off and getting ready to go.

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Post fishing nibbles.

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Giant Dragon Fly

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Heli Fishing New Zealand

Heli Fishing New Zealand

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Fly Fishing New Zealand at Cedar Lodge

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Silvey’s Bead Head Caddis Pupae Fly Tying Video

Tony Torrence demonstrates how to tie Brian Silvey’s Bead Head Caddis Pupa.
Often fished as a dropper behind a Caddis dry, this fly can be very effective dredged behind a Stonefly Nymph. If you are fishing in Caddis country you should have a few of these in your box.

Untitled

Silvey’s BH Caddis Pupa

Hook: TMC 2487 #14-18
Thread: Veevus 12/0, Rusty Brown
Bead: Hareline Gold Cyclops
Body: Hareline Pearl Core Braid, Tan
Legs: Hareline Tan grizzly marabou or Grizzly Soft Hackle
Wingpads: Starling
Head: Hareline Rust Brown Dry Fly Dubbing
Antennae: Wood duck Flank

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 1 Comment

Hatch Turneffe Atoll Trust Fly Reel

hatch-7-plus-turneffe-atoll-trust-reel

Hatch Reels are considered one of the best fly reels on the market. Along with our stock of standard Finatic Fly Reels we have purchased a number of limited run Hatch Reels. Only 100 of the Turneffe Atoll Trust 7 Plus Large Arbor Fly Reels have been manufactured. Come down and take a look today.

Here is what Hatch has to say about the Turneffe Atoll Trust Reel:

Our mission at Hatch was to help support the efforts of TAT by creating a one of a kind 7 Plus Large Arbor Reel in Cool Aqua Blue with TAT engraving and a unique aqua blue neoprene pouch to match. The results are one of the coolest looking reels we’ve ever made.

There’s only 100, so get yours now before they’re gone.
$250 from the sale of each reel goes to providing protection of Turneffe Atoll. The project will generate $25,000 USD. That’s $50,000 Belizean and represents a major step forward in protecting the Atoll. Help us help the Turneffe Atoll!

Specs:

Reel: 7 Plus

Body Style: Custom Finatic
Protection: Type 2 Anodize

Line Weights: 7-9

Capacity: Hatch Premium Backing (LA Spool: WF7F-360, WF8F-325, WF9F-295) (MA Spool: WF7F-415, WF8F-380, WF9F-370)

Diameter: 4.0”

Width: 1.125”

Weight: 8.6 Oz

Price: $850

hatch reels

Hatch Turneffe Atoll Trust Reel

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Sea Flies Book Featured on Podcast

Jay Nicholas John Leach Dory

Gary Palmer is building a portfolio of podcasts on website, Fishing the Oregon Coast and asked if he could interview me about SEA FLIES , a recent book I published on Amazon.  Gary and his wife are super enthusiastic ocean fishers, found my book online, ordered it, and are now making plans to add fly fishing to their usual tactics for fishing the ocean.

This has been my first podcast interview, and it was fun talking to Gary, a fellow angler who is now excited about the possibilities of fly fishing in the ocean.  That was one of my key motivations in writing SEA FLIES, because at present there are so darn few people waving fly rods around here off the Oregon Coast, and the fly fishing is so darn good, and I wanted to share the idea so that more people would find out just how much fun it really is.

Never thought that someone like Gary would find the book and lend his support spreading the word so fast.  The SEA FLIES Contents are shown below.

jay nicholas sea flies cover

You may visit my podcast interview with Gary by clicking here.

I’m happy to report that John Harrell is now a licensed Captain and will be booking ocean dory fly fishing trips out of Pacific City this season.  Good news for folks who want to see just how much fun ocean fly fishing can be from a small boat.  Far as I know, opportunities to fly fish the ocean offshore Oregon with guides who specialize in the fly rod are rare.

If you know another saltwater fly guide, please send in a comment and email the shop, because we want to help connect anglers with fly fishing guides so we are building a portfolio of contacts we can refer clients to.

John’s contact is through Pacific City Fly Fishing.  I’ve fished the ocean with John for three years now, and he is a great person to help you get off the beach and into the salty brine to pursue black rockfish, lingcod, salmon, and even tuna (conditions permitting) with the fly rod.

Jay Nicholas Coho Tube fly

All fun, and I’m itching to get out on the ocean soon, whenever the surf lays down the lingcod should be in shallow water for the next few months and my fly rod is rigged and ready to go.

I sure encourage you to give the ocean fly fishing a go from a dory boat, because it is fun to have the sea monsters pulling back from the end of your line.

Jay Nicholas, January 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Profiles, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | 3 Comments

Saddle and Cape Feathers Now Available: Salmon, Steelhead, and more!

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 1

We have seen the availability take a jump for the better just recently, and wanted to share a little of what we have available right now.  The selection has rarely  been as good and the price as reasonable since we were hit in mid 2011 by the discovery of saddle feathers by the fashion and hair extension craze.

We have a very nice supply of long grizzly saddle patches that make for great dry fly and wings on Intruder style flies.  Included are Metz Grizzly in Kingfisher Blue, Pink, Purple and natural.

Bottom line?  We have hackles for dry flies; wet fly collars; trout, steelhead and salmon flies; comets, traditional wet fly collars, and wings – whatever you are looking for, d we have something fine here for your tying bench.

Jay Nicholas Metz  grizzly saddles a

Jay Nicholas Metz  grizzly saddles b

Jay Nicholas Metz  grizzly saddles c

Jay Nicholas Metz  grizzly saddles d

 

Jay Nicholas Metz  grizzly saddles aa

We also have #2 grade Metz saddles in Grizzly and various other colors.

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 2

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 3

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 4

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 5

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 6

We also have a nice selection of dyed saddles perfect for steelhead and salmon collars, ranging from narrow for small comets to wide and webby for collars on size 2-6 wet flies.

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 8

We have some very interesting dry fly capes.

We also have some nice Euro saddles in cream and variant marking.

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 9

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 10

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 12

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 11

And some nice capes for wings and collar hackles anywhere from black to natural grizzly, to dyed Badger and Cree, plus red and purple and gosh knows what else.

Jay Nicholas Saddle and Cape Feather Supplies 7

Our purples are wonderful.

So – come by or call or email and let us know what you are looking for and we will be happy to make your feather wishes come true.  many of these are one of a kind items, so the sooner you act, the more likely it is that we will have these limited availability items.

Thanks for your interest, we are constantly striving to keep good feathers for fly tying at reasonable cost, and our latest acquisition is worth smiling over.

Jay Nicholas – January 2015

 

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 1 Comment

Winter Steelhead Report

 

Winter 3

The weekend rains may have established this seasons run of winter steelhead.   All coastal steams, ( Alsea, Siuslaw, Siletz) had been fishing well prior to the recent rains.  Anglers should find fish spread through out the system.

Indicator fishing has been the proven winner, but for those “who swing”,  have had positive results as well.  Positive results have come from egg patterns, mole leaches, and the infamous “lowly glowly“.

With additional showers forecasted for the weekend, the long range outlook for winter steelhead is very good….get out there!

Winter 1

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fishing Reports, Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing | 1 Comment

Tom Larimer’s Green Butt Purple Fly Tying Video

This bright pattern is another brilliant creation from the vise of Tom Larimer.  Though the tried and true Green Butt Purple is a relatively new pattern to me, this little gem has earned a place in my Summer Steelhead box.  Many things dictate size choice, but I usually fish a #5.  No big tales to tell, let’s just say, it catches fish!   A mono leader, your favorite dry line, and you are off to the races!  As I understand an absolute must for the Deschutes!

 

Jan 2015

Tony Torrence

 

 

 

larimers-green-butt

Tom Larimer’s Green Butt Purple

Hook: Daiichi AJ D2051, Sizes 3-7

Thread: UTC 90, White; Veevus 10/0, Black

Rib: Silver Lagartun Oval

Body: Rear-Half, Fl. Chartreuse Floss

Front-Half: Purple Hareline STS Trilobal

Wing: White Calf tail, or other white hair of choice

Wing Flash: Hareline Purple Haze Prism Flash

Hackle: Dyed Purple Guinea

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

ECHO GLASS Two Hand fly rod review

Glass 4

ECHO Glass Spey- FG 7129

When talking with ECHO’s marketing manager Red Kulper about this rod the first thing that came out of my mouth was that this rod gives the “poor man and average joe spey nut” the ability to fish something similar to a bamboo rod, which for most steelhead anglers is not achievable. When first hearing about this rod line up I instantly knew that ECHO could be on to something big, especially given the “re-interest” in fiberglass rods from anglers wanting to return to a rod they can truly feel load, fish and handle the fish. Although today’s graphite and boron rods are excellent and have proven their worth, there is something about fishing a glass rod that will always be appealing: whether swinging flies for steelhead or chinook on the west coast or using a light weight glass rods for Missouri River trout.

Aesthetics:

This rod is EXACTLY how one would want a fiberglass spey or switch to look, not surprising coming from ECHO, whose visual aesthetics are appealing throughout all of their rod line ups.

Let’s start by talking about the classic honey finished blank and metallic brown thread wraps. A new rod, with a vintage look and feel, how can one complain about that?

Secondly, let’s mention the grip, reel seat and butt section. The fore grip on this rod is great, but it is a little bulky. (Which I personally don’t mind) My assumption is that most people will initially prefer a smaller diameter grip when first casting this rod but once acclimated to casting this rod I doubt they’ll mind.

ECHO put their time in when considering how this rod should look, OR… maybe they just studied rods built from previous generations? Either way they did it right, a matter of fact they did it perfect. The brushed aluminum reel seat and cork insert really set it off; it looks right and feels even better. I’ll let the following images sum up the series aesthetics

glass 1

glass 2

glass 3

Recommended Line Sizes:

ECHO FG-7129 Spey- With it being winter during the release of these rods I decided to pass on even trying a Scandi head and solely stuck to fishing Skagit and Skagit switch heads. In my personal opinion I found the Airflo Skagit Switch 540 grain to be the perfect line for this rod. It threw tips and weighted flies both extremely well. The Skagit Compact 510 grain also worked very well on the rod if you like a slightly longer head

This is a complete guess but, based on how this rod felt when casting a sink tip and Skagit head I can only assume that this rod, along with the 6 weight, could potentially be the most gratifying rod to fish during the summer and fall months with a Scandi Compact head.

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Casting/Fishing These Rods:

Two words when grabbing these rods for the first time… Slow and Smooth.

As you’d expect, these rods take you back to the fundamentals of fishing a two handed rod. After fishing a graphite rod and then transitioning to fiberglass you are quickly reminded that you need to slow down, and smoothen out your casting stroke. Once you’re re-adjusted to this notion you will be extremely happy with how well this rod shoots line and quickly reminded on how forgiving fiberglass rods can really be.

Furthermore, with how forgiving this rod can be I can say that for the beginning double hand caster, looking for their first rod, this could be a great learning tool, especially when casting Skagit heads and sink tips. It will definitely teach you to slow down your casting stroke and will help you quickly learn how to properly control the fly.

One would not expect this rod to punch line out the same way a graphite rod does, but it’s pretty dang close. As we all know, it doesn’t take a 100’ cast to fish effective water, and this rod will teach you just that. With that said, these fiberglass rods cast extremely well; to achieve distance with these rods they need to be lined correctly and your casting stroke will need to be altered slightly. What I found to work extremely well when casting these rods, is stopping your casting stroke high. This allows the rod to load more effectively during your follow through. I’m no casting pro, but when dialing these rods in you will be pleasantly surprised by the distance one can achieve.

Glass 5

Price Point:

I’ll keep this short. For under $300, this is THE most fun I have had fishing a double hand rod, period.

Conclusion:

Alright, so my review of this rod is pretty good so far right? Right…BUT I do want to address that this rod won’t replace your graphite or boron rod. Although, the new ECHO Glass can be fished year around in any condition, I still feel that it has its time and place with in ones spey/switch arsenal.

Glass 6

I personally plan on fishing this rod 75% of my time on the river during this winter’s steelheading, and I can honestly say that it will be the first rod I pick up when targeting summer runs. I only say this because of the rods “fun factor,” not because it replaced my graphite and boron rods.

The first time you cast this rod you will instantly smile, possibly chuckle and begin to know why this new toy from Echo is so much fun.

Whether being a beginner, intermediate or pro, this rod should be on your list.

-Tom Rangner

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | 4 Comments

Cedar Lodge in the Washington Post

Last week the Washington Post published a feature on Cedar Lodge, by Chris Santella:

A large spotted head popped out of the water and engulfed my beetle fly. I lifted the rod and was connected to a feisty brown trout. My fly rod bent double and line peeled off my reel as the fish tore about, leaping clear of the water twice before coming to Paul’s net. It was a thing of beauty — buttery golden skin, dotted with fine black and silver spots. Paul gently removed the fly, revived the fish by holding it by the tail in the current, and let go. The fish beat a hasty retreat, soon blending with the river’s rocky substrate. We shook hands and continued walking upstream, searching for the next fish.

Here are some photos from a recent trip with the kids:

GOPR0090

GOPR0137

GOPR0124

GOPR0149

We’re fully booked this season, but taking bookings for next year!

-CD

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Larimer’s Brazilian Fly Tying Video

The Brazilian is a subtle colored fly designed to fish in low, clear water. Claret flies are a great choice for Summer Steelhead, and this Tom Larimer creation is no exception. Whether you swing this fly as a comeback fly or as your pattern of the day, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. While I have tied this pattern with a red wire, the pattern calls for Copper Wire, not wine as stated in the video. According to Mr. Larimer, a very consistent producer on Idaho’s Clearwater River.

Jan 2015

T. Torrence

larimers-brazilian

Larimer’s Brazilian

Daiichi AJ D2051, Sizes 5-7
Thread: Veevus 10/0, Black
Tail: Gold Pheasant Red Breast feather fibers
Rib: Ultra Wire; Medium Claret
Body: Claret Hareline STS Trilobal
Wing: Black Hareline Krystal Flash; Dyed Black Arctic Fox
Hackle: Dyed Claret Guinea

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 1 Comment

Victory for Clackamas River Salmon and Steelhead

From WaterWatch (one of the most awesome conservation groups in Oregon):

This week, the Oregon Court of Appeals delivered a victory for Clackamas Riverc salmon and steelhead in an opinion determining that municipal water users must leave enough water in the Clackamas River for imperiled fish populations. The decision was also a win for WaterWatch of Oregon, the river conservation group which originally challenged a state decision to allow increased water diversions from the Clackamas despite the risks to struggling fish runs.

Clackamas  Wild and Scenic River

“This is a welcome decision for all those who value Oregon’s incredible rivers, salmon, and steelhead, and especially for those in the Portland metro area who regularly enjoy the Clackamas River,” said Lisa Brown, WaterWatch Staff Attorney.

The decision addresses the proper conditions needed on state-issued permits allowing withdrawals of 100 million gallons of water per day (150 cubic feet per second) from the lower Clackamas River. These permits are held by the City of Lake Oswego, the South Fork Water Board (which serves water to Oregon City and West Linn), and the North Clackamas County Water Commission (which serves areas including Damascus, Oak Lodge, Happy Valley and additional unincorporated areas of Clackamas County). The 100 million gallons of water per day at question would come on top of another 100 million gallons of water per day already allowed to be diverted from the lower Clackamas River for municipal uses. The Clackamas River flows into the Willamette River near Oregon City.

In 2008, WaterWatch filed protests against the orders issued by the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD), raising concerns that the fish protection conditions placed on the permits were inadequate. A 2005 state law requires undeveloped permits such as these be developed in a way that maintains the persistence of struggling fish populations listed under the state or federal Endangered Species Acts. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has identified five populations of fish in the lower Clackamas which qualify for such protections: cutthroat trout, winter steelhead, spring chinook, fall chinook, and coho salmon. Chum salmon would also qualify, but are considered extinct in the area.

The Court interpreted a law that many cities across Oregon are already successfully implementing. On rivers with imperiled fish, the law allows cities to meet their reasonable water needs and develop more water but in ways that allow imperiled fish to persist into the future. On the Clackamas, the cities argued that the law only required enough water to ensure that the listed fish species do not vanish altogether from the affected portion of the river. Thankfully, the court rejected this interpretation.

“There is plenty of water to go around in the Portland metro area without putting the Clackamas River and its fish at risk,” said John DeVoe, WaterWatch’s Executive Director. “For example, the Bull Run system is underutilized, and many other utilities are tapping into the Willamette River. The fact that the state allowed the Clackamas River—the Portland metro area’s backyard gem—to be put at risk when there are clearly other better solutions highlights the shortcomings of Oregon’s water planning requirements.”

Although the ODFW identified river flows needed for the fish, the Oregon Water Resources Department issued orders allowing the permits to be developed without protecting these streamflows.

“Even though the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife indicated that struggling fish would need 650 cubic feet per second of river flow in the summer, and 800 cfs in the fall for spawning salmon, OWRD’s permits set no limits on the new water diversions if river flows fell below these levels in the summer months, and inadequate controls during the rest of the year,” noted Brown.

The permits at issue tie up an amount of water clearly in excess of what the permit holders’ need, but under Oregon law this water can be sold to other municipalities. The City of Lake Oswego is doing just this, by allowing Tigard to use its water in exchange for Tigard footing a significant portion of the bill for Lake Oswego’s massive infrastructure upgrade currently under construction.

“The Clackamas may have the last run of self-sustaining wild coho salmon in the Columbia Basin,” said Lisa Brown, WaterWatch Staff Attorney. “We shouldn’t be sacrificing Clackamas fish populations when there are other, less risky options readily available.”

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment

Happy to reschedule — TU Chapter 678 meeting tonight: GO DUCKS!

From The Redsides:

The January meeting has been moved up to TODAY!

Due to the conflict with the Ducks in the National Championship game on the 12th, we’re moving the meeting up to Monday, the 5th (That’s this Monday as in, two days from now).

We apologize for the change, but we don’t think many (if any) people will want to show up at the January TU meeting in the middle of the Ducks National Championship game.

The general meeting will be held at Izzy’s Pizza, 1930 Mohawk Boulevard in Springfield. at 7:00pm. The board meeting will follow at 9:15 or so.

We also decided that since some people have had trouble making the board meeting at 6:00, we would move the board meeting to after the general meeting.

So to review:

We have a new location at Izzy’s Pizza in Springfield
The meeting has been moved up to January 5th (day after tomorrow).
The board meeting will take place after the general meeting.

Again, we apologize for switching things around on you. Our goal is to settle on a location and meeting day and stick to it. We’ll make some time to hear from you at this meeting and in future meetings, so if you have any questions, suggestions, comments or you just like to hear yourself talk, come out and speak up.

The Redsides

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment

EP Senyo’s Chromatic Brush – Must have material for Intruders

I have been tying with a variety of Enrico Puglisi’s brushes for about three years now, many in my saltwater flies and also as elements of my steelhead and salmon flies. In the most basic terms, these brushes have a wire core and look like a hackle made of various natural and synthetic barbules. EP brushes come in many widths, materials, and colors – they make great bodies, butts, and principal components of flies.

The latest of these EP brushes I have used is the series of Chromatic Brushes and Sommerlatte’s UV Brushes. These are offered in 1.5″ and 3″ widths, include natural hair plus synthetic flash, and are both easy to use and very fish-catchy.

One of the most effective flies one may tie and fish for both steelhead and salmon is constructed by winding on several turns of a Chromatic Brush at the rear of the tube or Intruder Shank, applying a slim tinsel body, adding weight (or not), and then winding on several turns of the same or different color Chromatic Brush at the front of the fly.

You may use the 1.5″ brush at the butt and the 3″ at the head of the fly, or use the 3″ at both ends of the fly, depending on your preference. One may top the fly with a marabou hackle and wing of Arctic Fox hair or ostrich (or not), again depending on your preference. Adding extra Krystal Flash topping or Real Fake Jungle Cock is another option too.

Main point here is that the EP Chromatic and Sommerlatte’s Brushes offer a ready to wrap alternative to spinning our own butts and hackles for our steelhead and salmon flies. the colors are very fishy, the materials are UV iridescent (if you care), and these flies swim enticingly and the fish eat them.

Here are a few photos of the material and two flies I have tied with the EP Brushes.

Have fun with these brushes, they will save you time and create great flies to swing.  And yes, you may use these brushes under marabou if you want the traditional feather look to finish off your flies, same with Guinea – simply tie the Chromatic Brush, then wind the hackle in front of the brush.

A few of my favorite colors: blueberry; Copper Candy; Flame (this is a hot orange); Midnight; Ruby; Chrome Black; Tiger (Orange with black highlights); Purple Rain; and Joker.

I should mention that the Chromatic and Sommerlatte’s Brushes are available in muted hues perfect for imitating a variety of baitfish too.

Enjoy. This material makes a wonderful addition at the fly bench.

Jay Nicholas

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

Town Lake Fishing Report December 2013

I’m addicted to fishing for salmon, steelhead and all creatures in the ocean – but my roots involved a lot of fishing for trout and often that meant hatchery trout.  Now our family cabin in Pacific City is action central for my fly fishing adventures and I have virtually abandoned my fishing on the Deschutes, McKenizie, Metolius and other rivers and lakes in favor of anything close to the cabin.

Well, there is a small lake less than a five minute drive from our cabin where I can head out on many days when the estuary or ocean fishing isn’t on the menu – for whatever reason including water too high or low, bad tides, bad weather or too few fish to bother with.

The Town Lake does not support wild fish, it gets worked hard by cormorants and otters, but depending on the stocking schedules, I have very pleasant fly fishing for stocked trout and recycled hatchery summer steelhead.  The trout are regular catchable size in the spring but this fall ODFW stocked “trophy” trout and there are some 16″ to 20″ bruisers still in the lake.  There have been quite a few hatchery summer steelhead stocked already too, and these take flies quite nicely on occasion when you show them the right fly for the right fish.

Anything from size 16 dry adams, Foam Hoppers, Muddlers, size 14 brown chironomids, bead head hare’s ears, black and brown wolly buggers and more, they all produce at times.  The steelhead can be very selective, some fish only responding to a retrieved bugger and some only taking a free falling chironomid or dry fly, but you can sight cast to these fish and release them to catch another day.

I fish 5X tippets on three and four weight fly rods and floating lines on most occasions, and the big trout and steelhead will put up a good fight.  The summers range from very clean fish to pretty old slim fish, but it is fun to spot them and try to get a take from  big fish that can be spooky or silly accommodating.  If you find yourself shut in some weekend with your usual haunts too muddy or cold to fish, consider coming over and trying Town Lake.

There is a public dock that you can fish from, but a raft, small boat, drift boat, or float tube is a big advantage to give you better access to the lake.

You may or may not catch fish here on any particular trip, but it is a change of pace and offers a lot of potential from day to day, depending on stocking schedules and water conditions.

If you have questions, you may email the Caddis Fly Shop and they will forward your email to me and I will be happy to give you a recent report and help out as best I can.

Update: I just got back to our cabin after a 4 hour outing on the Lake today.  I managed to spot over a dozen steelhead that I was able to cast to.  Four took my and I got so excited that whipped it out of their mouth before they could close it.  I hooked three steelhead that bit my fly having finally calmed down a little; one on a size 12 bead head hares ear, one on a size 8 Silver Hilton, and one on a glass-bead brown wooly bugger size 10.  I only jammed the hook into my finger once this day.  This is fun sight fishing and quite  a challenge to tease these fish to take a fly.  Most of the summers are in the five to seven pound class – and I release these fish with hopes of finding them again this winter.

The “Trophy” hatchery trout are challenging now that they have been the lake for over a month and catching 3-4 of these 14″ to over 20″ fish is quite a feat.

This is a lake that has in the past supported perch (gone now) still has a few bass, but seems not to support any natural reproduction.  ODFW has put some really nice fish in ths small lake, there is a public access boat ramp for small boats, Kyaks, float tubes, and such, and there is a very nice new public dock for people to fish from. I see people fishing Powerbait and spinners with success regularly, and fly fishing is always effective on the hatchery trout and steelhead.  I think this is a great place for every experience level from beginners to advanced skill anglers with time on their hands.  Close to home, nice scenery, and challenging fishing make a great combination in my opinion.

Jay Nicholas, December 2013

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Jay Nicholas’ 2014 Photo Review

2014 was a very full year and I have much more planned for 2015. These photos are just a few snapshots from a very full year from the Nicholas family.

I am full of hope for the future. May you also have great plans for adventure and joy in the coming year; I look forward to posting another year-end review twelve months from now.

Thanks to Chris Daughters, Bryson, Ty, Clay, Andrew, Lou, and Peter of the Caddis Fly Shop staff; and the many fine people I’ve had the good fortune to correspond with and share river-time with this last year.

Jay Nicholas

 

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