Summer Sunglass Special at The Caddis Fly


For one week only July 1-7,2015 The Caddis Fly is offering 2 dozen free trout flies with the purchase of Smith or Costa sunglasses. Please come in and have a look at our very large selection of these two great brands. Offer applies to in store merchandise only.


Posted in Shop Sales and Specials | Leave a comment

Project Healing Waters – Umpqua & Eugene Programs Need your help!

We at The Caddis Fly and strongly support and have worked with Project healing waters in the past. We urge you to help the two local groups below in any way you can.

PHW logo

Project Healing Waters is a national organization dedicated to the “physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and disabled veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.” Oregon recently started two new Programs, one in Eugene (Eugene Program) and one in Roseburg (Umpqua Program).

These two programs are just getting started and trying to build up enough fly fishing gear and fly tying materials in order to provide classes to Veterans free of charge. So we need your help, if you have some old fly tying materials, fly rods or reels, waders and boots (that don’t leak too bad), etc. bring them by the Caddisfly or give the Program Leads a call (contact information below). We also need volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering, please get a hold of us.

This is a great program that is a real help to the people that have bravely served our country and are suffering from physical or emotional disabilities.

Umpqua Program
Jeff McEnroe

Eugene Program
Chris Mathews
(541) 731-2759

Thanks for your help and generosity!

Project Healing Waters - Umpqua Program Flyer

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

2015 Caddis Fly Cuba Trip Preview

avalon1 fly fishing cuba

We have just returned from a couple of weeks aboard the Avalon I on the Northeastern shores of Cuba. Look for a more in depth post in the coming days but here are a few photos for a start.

avalon 1 skiffs

cuba bonefish

avalon 1 food

fly fishing in cuba

fising and snorkeling in cuba

havana cars

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Protect Oregon’s Salmon Habitat from Suction Dredge Mining

From the Native Fish Society:

Suction dredge gold mining is a practice in which riverbeds are “vacuumed up” by a large, loud, and gas-powered floating machine. Materials from the riverbed go through a sluice where heavy metals drop out, in particular gold. Sediment is then discharged back into the river, impairing water quality and fish habitat.

Suction Dredge Mining Southern Oregon

Suction dredge gold mining may also include the removal of trees that shade our streams and provide critical aquatic habitat. Mining in the floodplain involves the construction of pits that bleed sediment into streams and capture and strand threatened juvenile salmon.

Between 2009 and 2012, Oregon nearly tripled the number of permits issued for suction dredge mining. While restrictions have increased in Idaho and California due to impacts on fish, miners have rushed to unregulated Oregon to cash in as gold prices hit record highs.

The Solution: A bill before the Oregon State Legislature would permanently end all suction dredge mining within Oregon’s Essential Salmonid Habitat and across designated bull trout and lamprey habitats. It would also end this mining practice in Oregon streams considered impaired by elevated levels of pollution.

Take Action Now! Please send a letter today urging a key committee considering the bill to support Senate Bill 830 and protect our streams and riparian areas from gold mining!

Comment deadline: Friday, June 26th 2015

Personalizing your message would go a long way – and don’t forget to talk about how you value protecting habitat for wild, native fish and maintaining clean water!

Thank you for taking action!

For the Fish,

Stan Petrowski, South Umpqua River Steward
Charles Gehr, Rogue River Steward
Mark Sherwood, Southern District Manager

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Local Waters Low and Clear – Fishing Best Morning and Evening

While it’s not quite officially Summer it sure feels like it! The McKenzie and Willamette Rivers are running at levels very much unfamiliar to us at this time of year. Rivers are crystal clear and often moving at a snails pace compared to June flows of the past. Low flows give wading anglers access and make boating a bit more challenging. How about the fishing?


Hatches: It’s still June and despite the heat bugs are still hatching in good numbers. Little Yellow stones, Pale Morning Duns, small caddis, golden stones and green drakes are the most important adult insects to have in your box. Yesterday the river was alive in the morning from 8am. Undoubtedly it would have been better to be on the water even earlier as the temperature gauge near Blue River cracked 100 degrees later in the afternoon.

Tactics: Mornings and evenings are the most productive times to be out with the heat. Water clarity and low levels are putting added pressure on our local trout mid-day. You will want to shrink your tippet size a bit, if you normally fish 4x, go to 5x and even 6x on your smaller dries. Early and late if you don’t see fish rising don’t worry, often they will still come up and take a properly presented dry fly. When nymphing use smaller patterns and keep your tippet size down here as well. If you use double nymphs try tying your leader into the eye of the first nymph then a piece of tippet 12-18″ in length into the eye of the same fly and use a heavier but still small nymph on the end. This system has been working really well in the quickest water you can find.

Gear: This is a great year to get out the small rod! Summer steelheading has been really tough, counts over Willamette Falls are only 25% of last year and it was a slow start last year. Hopefully things pick up but it’s not looking real good. It’s very possible your three weight is going to become your favorite stick this summer. Fishing smaller waters like the South Fork of the McKenzie, Salmon and Salt Creek, the Middle Fork of the Willamette above Hills Creek Dam are all fantastic small rod waters. Productive evenings on the lower McKenzie are going to be a “last hour” show and you will be wet wading and casting #18 dries to cutthroat piles up in the riffles. It can be a blast catching lower river cutthroat on light tippets and a three weight.

Enjoy our Summer weather!

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | 1 Comment

Reader asks for definition of “Slack Tide”

Chris Daughters recently received this enquiry in an email. 

“Hi Chris,

As I was reading a posting from Jay and his use of the term slack tide, I realized I just did not know what that meant.

If it possible, could a posting to the blog explain all the various terms related to tides. Most of us can find the times of high tide and low tide and we know that it changes every six hours, thereby occurring twice in each 24 hour period.

But I can think of slack and ebb as two terms that are meaningless to me and I am sure there are others as well.

The ultimate idea being how it all relates to fishing.

Thanks for listening.”

When Chris passed the enquiry on to me, my first reaction was to immediately go to the Fly Fishing Glossary – Book of Revelation, and look it up.  This fine book does, after all, contain over 1,400 terms and phrases related to fly fishing and fly tying and must certainly define such a fundamental concept as “slack tide.”

Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Glossary - Book of Revelation.

Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Glossary – Book of Revelation.

To my great disappointment, I did NOT find requested term in the Glossary.  I found the following terms related to tides but NOT the one I was seeking.

Big Tides
Neap Tide
King Tide
Super Moon

So, here is a series of new definitions that will eventually be entered into a SECOND EDITION of the Ultimate Fly Fly Fishing Glossary (don’t hold your breath folks, because I have three other books to publish first). Anyway, here is what I can offer at present. Meanwile i encourage you to check out the ultimate fly fishing Glossary that you can find enlightenment and laughter and amazement at your bedside as you drift off to sleep or in the cubicle when you don’t feel like doing that job the stinky boss handed you.

I hope you have fun with these new definitions and that your days are filled with fishy thoughts and day-dreams.

Jay Nicholas, June 2015

__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

This is a term that is widely applicable to various aspects of fly fishing and fly tying, defined as a virtual absence of tension. One may find one’s fly line without tension. One may deliberately or accidentally release tension on one’s fly tying thread. Fly anglers and fly tyers are rarely “slack-minded” or “slackers” owing to the fat that their busy little minds are almost always plotting to do something related to their hobby.

See also: Cut me some Slack, Slack-Tide; Slack tide bite, and so forth

Rarely if ever will one find a fly angler or fly tyer who is a slacker, essentially a lost soul bereft of purpose and motivation. This is so because the general population of fly fishers/tyers is comprised of individuals who are diagnosable as Obsessive Compulsive over-achievers who are never satisfied unless they are busy tying more flies, lining up their flies in neat rows in boxes, starching and ironing their Simms waders, and so forth, in addition to making sure all of their fly lines and leaders are pre-rigged and properly labeled.

See also Obsession Parts One; Two; Three; and Four 

Slack Line
This term relates to the situation when a fish quite deliberately (or perhaps accidentally) runs back toward the position occupied by said angler and thereby removes all tension from the fly line and thusly creates a condition in the line where it is slack: neither pulling or pushing, moving in or out, and so forth.

See also Slack; Slack Line;, Slack-jawe;, and other silly terms

Slack lined
Noun/condition of circumstance
This term describes the state one finds him or herself in when a fish of great or small proportion has doubled-back towards the angler in question, forming slack in the line. This is generally a condition to be avoided if possible, because when one is slack-lined it is easier for a hook (especially a barbless hook) to fall free from the mouth of the fish in question, leaving our angler in a state of anguish.

This term is useful in describing the appearance of fly fishers who have just been confronted with awkward or challenging circumstances. One example would be when said angler finds that his or her sixty pound Chinook of the morning was the smallest fish recorded at the dock back at the lodge. Another example would be when a male angler thinks rather highly of his casting ability, and shortly thereafter observes a twenty something female fly fisher casting far more proficiently as she proceeds to follow the afore mentioned male angler through a steelhead run, thereby hooking and releasing seven large chrome steelhead on skated Muddlers. Slack jawed is also a likely condition when a fly angler/tyer stands that the check out counter at the Fly Shop and sees the total for a rod, reel, line, backing, leader, flies, tippet spools, nippers, floatant, sinkant, fly boxes, waders, boots, socks, under-wader undies, vest, wading staff, ball cap, prescription polarized glasses, boat bag, wading belt, and fishing pliers. This poor soul’s jaw is likely to fall, slack and tensionless, as they reach for the credit card.

See also: Cut me Some Slack; Slacker, and so forth

Slack Tide
Noun/environmental condition
This is the brief period when the tide is neither flowing in or out: essentially, it is without flow, without tension, and without movement up or down. This period lasts perhaps 53 seconds, and the bite period for salmon coincides with slack tide, the bite may only last the same amount of time, which is very little, and the possibility of hooking a fish when the bite is on at slack tide will depend on whether the angler actually has a fly within three feet of a salmon when the tide goes slack for the magic 53 seconds. Fortunately, the slack tide seems to last a little longer during which time the water on top is flowing out and on the bottom it is flowing in, or vice versa, at the time of apparent Slack Tide.  Salmon do often bite better at slack tide than they will when the tide is running in or out so high slack and low slack are periods when one should plan to be on the estuary with a fly in the water if it at all possible.

See also: Bite Period

Cut Me (him/her) Some Slack
One might beg an angling companion to “Cut me some slack” when the angler making the plea has not caught one fish and the angler being asked to cut the slack has caught seventeen. The expression generally is a request to cease harassment of any sort. Clients who have paid top dollar to certain Tarpon Guides ask these guides to “cut them some slack” when the afore mentioned super guides are yelling, screaming, and badgering said clients with remarks about failures to execute casts promptly and accurately, set hooks, not stand on the fly line, and such forth.

See also: Slack; Slack tide; Throw Slack

Throw Slack (Throwing Slack)
To deliberately and consciously remove tension from one’s fly line. This may be accomplished by quickly reeling backwards, stripping line off the spool, dropping one’s rod from a high to a low angle, and such forth. One could also simply run into the river, lake or estuary to introduce slack by removing tension from the line, as could one steer one’s boat in a direction to remove tension. This tactic may be desirable to prevent a hundred and sixty pound tarpon from breaking one’s leader tippet (see also “bow”) or to create the perception on the part of a hooked fish that it is no longer attached to one’s fly line because all tension is now removed. Such fish, on occasion, will cease their frantic and powerful leaping and charging to and fro, whereupon the angler may again introduce tension to the line in hopes of subduing the fish that is no longer swimming at mach three.
See also: Slack; Slack tide; Cut Me some Slack; Slack-Jawed; etc

Posted in Fly Fishing Glossary | Leave a comment

It’s all fishing and all fun: spring chinook on spinners in Tillamook

Apparently I do remember how to fish spinners.

Apparently I do remember how to fish spinners.

I had the pleasure of fishing Tillamook Bay with the most excellent guide John Krauthoeffer and Bill Monroe and Grant McOmie.  Bill and Grant have ritual salmon fishing ventures with John each year – they witnessed my first Tillamook Bay fly caught springer many years ago when I was fishing with my friend Jimmie.

This day was one when we were told that “we shoulda been here yesterday.”  Oh well, we trolled and trolled herring and spinners and watched for bent rods but half way through the day we had seen or heard of a scant four spring Chinook out of at least 4 dozen or more boats with at least two rods each.

Late into the day, on an incoming tide, I finally was able to make my way into the rear of the boat and play with my spinner, letting it drag far behind the boat, lifting it to the surface and then lowering it back down again, where most people always fish along the bottom.

Luck have it, I got bit and caught this fine spring chinook.  Not on a fly but still a great day with good people and plenty of stories to exchange.

Jay and springer with John Krauthoeffer on the Tillamook Bay.

Jay and springer with John Krauthoeffer on the Tillamook Bay.

Back at the Cabin with Springer.

Back at the Cabin with Springer.

My thanks to Bill, Grant, and John for good companionship, and to these wonderful spring Chinook salmon.

Jay Nicholas, June 2015

Posted in Fishing Reports | 1 Comment

Jeff Hickman reviews Jay’s Fly fishing Glossary – Book of Revelation

Amazing as it may seem, but indeed there are people inhabiting the earth who have not yet discovered the “Ultimate, Irreverent, IllustratedFly Fishing Glossary. if you happen to be among these wretched souls, the following commentary by the right honorable Jeff Hickman, best known for his easygoing approach and expertise as a spey fishing guide and owner (with his wife Kathryn) of Kimsquit Bay Lodge on the Lower Dean River in BC.

I quote from Jeff:

The Ultimate, Irreverent Fly Fishing Glossary, Book of Revelation.

The Ultimate, Irreverent Fly Fishing Glossary, Book of Revelation.


The Fly Fishing Book of Revelation is the best fly fishing book since the Curtis Creek Manifesto. Jay has taken a vast and confusing fly fishing linguistic jargon and broken it down in an entertaining, light and very funny way for anyone to understand. The depth and complications of various fly fishing gear and tactic is overwhelming for beginners to the sport. This book simplifies it all in a hilarious way that will allow fly fishing to be so much more approachable for all. But this book is not just for beginners to the sport. The more time you have spent in and around the culture of fly fishing the more humor and information you will find in this book. Though much of the information in this book is wild fabrication, much of it is deadly accurate! One entry will be actual science, the next could be an unusually named fly pattern or fly tying material, and the next could be Jay’s tongue-in-cheek interpretation of slang we obsessive fly fishers use.  And he doesn’t limit himself (the book) to salmon and steelhead fly anglers, taking a poke at bass, tarpon, and catfish anglers alike.  Sorting the fact from fiction is what will keep you engaged from cover to cover. I almost forgot to mention Jay’s sketches, which are precious side-bars to the definitions and commentary.  And another thing – No one who fishes is immune from Jay’s jabs and teasing.  This book is a must have for the coffee table, bedside table, back of the toilet and as a gift for any or the fly fisher or person in any way related to a fly fisher by way of blood relation, marital status, friendship, or the like.

Jeff Hickman, April 2015


Thanks Jeff.


And for the potential reader, here are a few terms defined in the Glossary, presented here to amaze and amuse, I dearly hope, so as to stimulate the reader’s appetite for purchasing said book directly from me as a signed copy or from Amazon, as may be preferable.  Direct sales can be accomplished by submitting a comment, through FaceBook, or mental telepathy.

Here are a few terms described in Book of Revelation.

This is a surprisingly common method of fly casting in which the angler faces almost directly away from the fly’s intended target in the river. Said angler then furiously whips his or her fly line amongst passing vehicles, power poles, and cell phone towers, thereby evading same – eventually more or less blindly flinging the whole mess over his or her shoulder to splat down in waters that are reputed to occasionally house an actual salmon or steelhead. The release of the cast occurs behind the back of the caster, because they are devoting the vast majority of attention to avoiding the terrestrially-based obstacles.

See chuck, trick cast

Backing (a)

The financial support begged from friends/parents/girlfriends/wife so one can retire and buy a fly shop. As in, “I know that I can make a go of this fly shop if you’ll just give me your financial backing.” Provision of said backing is a generous but futile act – an unadvised leap of faith.

Every dolt remotely familiar with the Fly Fishing Industry (FFI) knows that this is a doomed proposition. Successful fly shop owners make about thirteen cents an hour, before taxes.

Backing (b)

A string of white lies and evasions woven by your fishing buddy, who was with you when you had a two-hundred-and-thirty-seven fish day on the Siuslaw River in 2002. Fly fishers who have shared outlandishly successful fishing events 1) are sworn to secrecy; 2) have learned to rehearse their stories to provide semi-credible backing when separated or drunk, and interrogated by sober friends who attempt to pry the truth out of them; and 3) head straight to their cell-phones to call fifty-three of their closest friends. These phone calls begin with, “Dude, you’ve gotta promise not to tell this to ANYONE.” After a thirteen-seconds or so, backing becomes irrelevant, because anyone can see the beads of sweat on the backer’s forehead and knows they are being fed a pile of manure.


Backing (c)
A form of small-diameter fishing line, usually braided Dacron or Super Braid, attached directly to a fly reel spool before the fly line. Actually seeing one’s backing because a large salmon/steelhead/Great White Shark has pulled out all the fly line is the goal of every fly fisher. Ninety-nine percent of fly anglers NEVER see their backing in the water unless a poagie attaches a small Alder tree to their line, sending it off downstream to simulate a monster steelhead. Backing is engineered to mold and disintegrate after 2.5 days cooking in any truck parked in front of a Wal-Mart. Damaged backing should therefore be replaced often, just in case a big fish accidentally provides an opportunity to shout, “Dude, like he’s got me into my backing.” Backing costs about twenty bucks per yard.

Back-lash (a)

Reaction exhibited by fly tier/angler’s wives/girlfriends in response to perfectly normal behaviors such as spending the month’s mortgage or food money on a new Spey rod, a hundred Kingfisher Blue Chinese Cock Capes, or thirty Spey fly lines. Backlash also has been known to be initiated by something as trivial as leaving for the office in the morning and calling from the airport, on the way to a spur of the moment fishing trip to the Skeena.


Back-lash (b)
 See birds-nest.


Backroom Deals
Salmon Conspiracy phrase
This phrase means that pretty much all management decisions by state and federal fish agencies are sweetheart deals, good-old-boy horse-trades, and smell bad.


Young Gun
Any fly anglers under the age of sixty. These rambunctious youngsters think nothing of combining drinking, junk food, late nights, poker, and road-trip behavior with the sacred art of fly fishing.
Young Guns have an inordinate reserve of energy and courage, frequently endangering their careers and relationships by crazy behaviors such as “like Dude, let’s hitch up the boat and take a seventeen day trip to the Skeena – I’ve got twelve bucks for wieners and buns, you bring the beer and Muddlers”, or something like that. They also spend all night tying crazy gigantic Intruders and similar flies that absolutely reach out and slap King salmon in the chops, this inducing arm-wrenching grabs from otherwise uncatchable, mythically proportioned salmon.


You Tube
This is an Internet phenomenon that provides home to anglers and fly tyers who want to share their stories. I, personally, have well over a hundred YouTube Videos posted. Most of these are fly tying videos.
Here is how YouTube works. First someone shoots a video. Then they post it on the YouTube site. Then someone looks at the video. And there is a record of how many views are viewed too. There is no quality control screening involved to weed out bad information or misinformation, or whatever.
As proof, I cite the fact that plenty of videos on the topic of jig tying feature young fellows advocating the viewer go to Wal-Mart to buy sewing thread, craft scissors, nail polish, and feathers to tie their jigs. What an outrage! How are fly shops going to keep their doors open, pay the heat, and stock genuine fly tying materials on the pegs if people head off to Wall-Mart to get their stuff? Ridiculous. And then they go on to refer to string and glue instead of thread and head cement. What is this world coming to? Some of these YouTubers even advocate use of scent on flies and should be banished from use of the words fly tying in the title or tags of the video.
It is informative to look at the number of views that various videos receive. Some of my fly tying videos have received twenty or thirty thousand views, but more are in the range of five to ten thousand views. This is all well and good, given that I am a renowned expert fly tyer and everything I say on camera is absolutely true and useful information.
The fact remains that I have fond that fly tying videos and fishing videos that feature actual CLEAVAGE are viewed on the order of a half million to several million times in a week, while my videos take years to be viewed more than a dozen times.
Many of the more popular YouTube videos on fly tying also feature heavy metal background music, tattoos, and on-screen beer drinking, which puts me out of the running also. Oh well, it is what it is, and the base instincts of the video viewing public dictate popularity.

There is more than you can imagine here, with over fourteen hundred words phrases, concepts, and several hundred pen and ink sketches too.

Thanks for your support and patience, both are sincerely appreciated.

Jay Nicholas

Posted in Fly Fishing Books | Leave a comment

2015 Two Fly Tournament Dates are Set, Registration Open


Registration is now open for the 8th annual McKenzie River Two-Fly Tournament, October 2nd and 3rd. Brought to you by The Caddis Fly Angling Shop and your local native-fish supporting river guides. Since it’s inception the tournament has raised over $30,000 for habitat restoration on the McKenzie River.


This is your chance to fish with some of the best guides on the river at the best time of the year to catch big wild trout. And all funds go to help protect and restore our resource.

The event starts on a Friday night October 2nd, with a group of anglers, conservationists, and family gathering around your favorite fly shop, buzzing with fishing chatter and local Ninkasi beer on tap. Mazzi’s portable woodfire pizza oven in the parking lot, kids piling ripe local vegetables, sausage and cheese on fresh tossed dough.

A representative from McKenzie River Trust will talk about the work that organization was doing. Good work, taking care of the land around our river and putting it back into the floodplain, repairing broken, nearly invisible systems that are integral to the river’s survival into the coming decades.

The rules are simple: Anglers fish in teams of two. Each picks two flies. Take photos of them, don’t lose them. Fish 9am to 5pm. Guides are judges, tape your biggest fish and take a digital snapshot. Your three biggest fish might add up to a win. Prizes TBD this year, but past winners have walked away with gorgeous fly rod and reel outfits, resort accommodations, and other fly fishing gear.

Special thanks to the guides who sacrifice a day’s pay in the best part of the year to give back to the resource.

Cost is $750 per boat, or $375 per angler. Register at this link: TWO FLY. Contact the shop for further details 541-342-7005. Space is limited, so sign up now.

Posted in Fly Fishing Contests | Leave a comment

Steelhead Science for Anglers

From Tracy Penell, for Trout Unlimited:

A few weeks back on the campus of the University of Washington, Trout Unlimited’s Wild Steelhead Initiative brought together scientists, conservationists, and anglers alike for a workshop exploring the current state and restoration potential of wild steelhead. As a novice steelhead angler and young professional in the world of fisheries, I was glad to have the opportunity to participate in this discussion amongst a group with such an exceptional breadth of knowledge. It was also great to just be connected to a community who is supportive and believes in the restoration of wild steelhead populations. I think this sentiment held true for any of the workshop participant regardless of their history with steelhead. Whether you’ve been captivated by steelhead since the days of Salmo gairdneri, or you’re a new member of the anadromous Oncorhynchus mykiss obsession, this workshop was worth it.

Tracy Pennell-- Steelhead(1)

The series began with a look into the life of a steelhead, breaking down the diverse life histories of this singular species. Each topic was introduced broadly, and followed up with a more detailed look at the issue from an angling and restoration perspective. The fundamentals of what makes a steelhead unique were discussed, ensuring a solid foundation on which to build upon throughout the day. Variables impacting steelhead survival, abundance, and sustainability were also examined. Contributors seamlessly transition from discussions on individual fitness and genetic heritability to adaptability and hatchery management; tying together elements from throughout the day and ensuring a connection of information across themes.

Speakers representing TU, NOAA, UW-SAFS and WDFW offered great insight to the most current research available, and discussed the benefits and challenges of various management strategies. The resilience of the steelhead was highlighted as the panel scientists expertly weaved together their research with a deep passion for angling, making for a rich discussion on science, management, and fishing. Yes, these scientists were also anglers.

Whether the information garnered from the Steelhead Science Workshop for Anglers serves as an introduction or a refresher, the time spent among the knowledgeable speakers and participants was invaluable. It is the hope of the greater fishing community that together we can go about the protection and restoration of this incredible species with the determination and resilience of a wild steelhead.

So yes, I totally think it was worth it and you should go to the event in Corvallis on June 27th.

Here is the Schedule of the event…

Steelhead Science Workshop for Anglers 2015

steelhead science for anglers OREGON

The primary objective of the workshop is to inform anglers about the state of the science regarding steelhead issues most relevant to their angling opportunity and experience, and to provide an opportunity for anglers to share their insights with, and ask questions of the scientists. We have selected some of the very best scientists to present because they are not only experts on their topic of interest, but also because many of them enjoy fishing for steelhead. The workshop will feature eight presentations by five scientists, each of which covers a particular aspect of steelhead science (see below for topics). Each presentation will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. The workshop will close with two short movies on steelhead. We believe that anglers will leave the workshop with a better understanding of steelhead science and how that science can be used to help develop sustainable fisheries.

We suggest arriving early because seating is limited to 100 individuals and entry will be based on a first come, first serve basis.

2:00 John McMillan, TU Introduction and opening remarks
2:05 Jason Dunham, USGS/OSU The story of O. mykiss, a fish both steelhead and rainbow trout
2:35 John McMillan, TU The diversity of steelhead and implications for resilience
3:05 Matt Sloat, OSU Adopting a life history: Why one fish becomes a rainbow trout and another a steelhead
3:45 Mark Lewis, ODFW Monitoring and estimating steelhead population size in Oregon rivers
4:15 John McMillan, TU Managing steelhead for sustainability: monitoring, harvest, and angling pressure
4:45 John McMillan, TU Hatcheries: Tradeoffs in harvest, conservation and productivity of wild steelhead
5:25 Neil Thompson, OSU An in-depth look into the potential causes of domestication in hatchery steelhead
5:55 John McMillan, TU Examples of wild steelhead success, where and why, and implications for moving forward
6:15 Steelhead movies, Trout Unlimited Two short movies on steelhead and conservation, including beer and pizza

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment

Random fishing thoughts in June 2015

Joe Koffler's RMTB Rocky Mountain Trout Boat sure makes a wonderful fishing platform in estuaries and not too rough rivers.

Joe Koffler’s RMTB Rocky Mountain Trout Boat sure makes a wonderful fishing platform in estuaries and not too rough rivers.

Rob Perkin releases a chrome wild spring chinook on a Comet.

Rob Perkin releases a chrome wild spring chinook on a Comet.

This is one of Rob Perkin's Chinook flies soon to be featured in yet another new book, Authentic Chinook Flies.

This is one of Rob Perkin’s Chinook flies soon to be featured in yet another new book, Authentic Chinook Flies.

Matt Stephens very first springer to the fly, on the fly!

Matt Stephens very first springer to the fly, on the fly!

 A slow day at the "Point" waiting out the bite at "slack tide."

A slow day at the “Point” waiting out the bite at “slack tide.”

Stan davis on the left with his dad Gene on the right.  My friends were fly fishing for Chinook long before I ever caught on to the madness. Gene is gone now, but his memory lives on.

Stan davis on the left with his dad Gene on the right, fly fishing for kings back in the early 1980s. My friends were fly fishing for Chinook long before I ever caught on to the madness. Gene is gone now, but his memory lives on.

The fish of five thousand casts, plus or minus a few hundred.

The fish of five thousand casts, plus or minus a few hundred.

Low tide?  Where are the fish?

Low tide? Where are the fish?


I fished this evening, making my requisite several thousand casts, with nary a grab in return.  Still, Ill be back tomorrow, lord willing.

I fished this evening, making my requisite several thousand casts, with nary a grab in return. Still, Ill be back tomorrow, lord willing.

I hope you find entertainment, solace, and inspiration somewhere in these photographs.  And I hope to see you on the water soon, just don’t think about taking my anchor point.

Jay Nicholas, June 2015

Posted in Fishing Reports | 2 Comments

Winners announced in Native Fish Society Keep ‘em Wet Campaign

Last winter, Native Fish Society launched the “Keep ‘Em Wet” campaign and photo contest to increase angler awareness about the negative effects of air exposure to wild fish.

Now don’t get us wrong, we’ve all taken fish out of the water to snap a photo, Native Fish Society staff members included. But the more we learn about these issues and take care of the fish we love the more healthy wild fish there will be to catch.

Below are the winning photos.

Mia Sheppard tails a beauty #keepemwet #nativefishsociety @miaflora2

A photo posted by Native Fish Society (@nativefishsociety) on

Jeff Hickman tails Steve Turner's fish on River X #keepemwet #nativefishsociety @fishtheswing

A photo posted by Native Fish Society (@nativefishsociety) on

Here are all of the submissions.

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ODFW trout fishing regulations public meeting tonight at 6:00 in Eugene

ODFW trout fishing regulations public meeting tonight at 6:00.

McKenzie River

These new regulations will affect *all* trout fishing in Oregon, not just the McKenzie. If you’re interested in what ODFW has planned for your home waters, attend one of the meetings and hear their proposals.

Please share with your friends – these meetings represent a fairly dramatic departure from the previous regulations development process, and they haven’t received much press.

Lane County Community College, Bldg. 17 Rm. 308, 4000 E 30th Ave., Eugene 97405.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Owyhee River Canyonlands Event in Eugene June 16, 2015


From red-rock spires to 1,000-foot canyons, Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands are unlike anyplace else in the state. Learn more about what makes this area special on Tuesday, June 16, when Owyhee Media and the Oregon Natural Desert Association present an evening with Dave Helfrich, Bonnie Olin and Corie Harlan. Through video, photography and storytelling, these presenters will take you on a journey through one of the most spectacular and least-known places in Oregon: the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Join us at 6 p.m. at Cozmic; 199 W 8th Street, Eugene, Ore., for “Helfrich & Highwater: An evening for Owyhee advocates and adventurers.” The event is $10. Doors open at 5 p.m. Seating is limited. Tickets at

At more than 2 million acres, Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands region is the largest undeveloped, unprotected expanse in the lower 48 states. Its red-rock canyons, vital rivers and diverse wildlife — including the largest herd of California bighorn sheep in the nation — are unlike anywhere in Oregon. This group of presenters will share what makes the Owyhee Canyonlands an unparalleled place worth protecting for generations to come.

An iconic drift boat guide and outfitter in the Northwest since 1947, Dave Helfrich learned the skills of boating and guiding from his dad, the legendary Prince Helfrich. Dave has guided on many rivers such as the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Rogue River, McKenzie River and the Lower Owyhee. A world traveler, amateur naturalist, videographer, conservationist, author of “The Owyhee River Journals,” and founder of Owyhee Media, Bonnie Olin is a speaker and passionate supporter for protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands. As ONDA’s Owyhee coordinator, Corie Harlan focuses on building and strengthening relationships with community members, landowners, elected leaders, volunteers and advocates who make the preservation of wild places – like the spectacular Owhyee Canyonlands – possible.

All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), a Bend-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting, defending and restoring Oregon’s high desert for over 25 years. Learn more at

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 2 Comments

Intruder / Popsicle Chartreuse Chinook Salmon fly on OPST Shank

Another fly in the series of “Semi,” “Almost,’” and “Nearly’” Intruders produced as videos for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. I am assured by my Alaska & BC expert friends that this is a good fly to swing for kings. Personally, I have caught kings in Oregon Estuaries on a fly very similar to this one.

The fly features an OPST Shank, and some of the EP brushes like the Sommerlatte’s Brush, plus liberal amounts of Extra Select marabou hackle. The colors are right and the size is right and it looks like a great bit Popsicle, right?

Intruder Essentials Cover

Intruder Essentials Cover

Reader/viewers who might like a solid reference to tying Intruders that meet my silly and self-imposed requirements may explore Intruder Essentials (foreword by Trey Combs). The book is potentially available from your hometown Fly Shop, by calling the Caddis Fly Shop, or on Amazon Books.

If you view this video, you will see a really nice Chinook salmon fly that most people would be perfectly content to call an Intruder.

Jay Nicholas

Eyes: Ballzleyes, large
Shank: OPST
Wire: Senyo’s Intruder Wire
Hook: Gamakatsu Octopus
Butt: EP Minnow Head Brush, Shaded Chartreuse
Butt topping: Black Ostrich
Butt topping: Grizzly Flutter Legs, Chartreuse
Butt Flash: Mirage Lateral Scale
Body: Flat Diamond Braid, Chartreuse
Thorax Base: EP Minnow Head Brush, Shaded Chartreuse
Thorax: Extra Select Chartreuse Marabou
Thorax: Extra Select Kingfisher Blue Marabou
Thorax enhancer: Black Ostrich topping over wing
Thorax enhancer: Mirage Lateral Scale
Wings: Blue grizzly saddle feathers (call or email shop for availability)
Head finish: EP Sommerlatte’s Brush, Red & Black


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