Aquaflies news, reviews, and light thoughts to ponder

Doug Brutocao was recently my guest at our family cabin in beautiful downtown Woods, suburb of Pacific City, where he and Joe fished for salmon while I chased fruitlessly the elusive sea run Cutthroat in no fewer than three nearby coastal rivers.Doug and Joe caught a few salmon – kings and silvers if i remember correctly – with a grueling hours to fish statistic.

SALMON REPORT EARLY OCTOBER 2019. If you are one of the lucky anglers in the right place and time you’ll go home smiling, thinking that this season’s run if just great or at least perfectly fine.

Jay Nicholas Friend Jim with Chinoojk

Jim Terborg brought this fine chinook to the net last week and his smile tells us all we need to know about the fishing this season.

News and Reviews on Aquaflies.

First the news: a new series of tube flies for steelhead and salmon fishers has been released and is available through the Caddis Fly
Angling Shop, and these are a magnificent addition to the already excellent offering in the Aquaflies catalog.

Here is one of the new tube flies, Jason Osborn’s Sputnik Tube, this one in purple.

Jay Nicholas Sputnik Tube Intruder

And here is a screen shot of the entire sputnik line up – I am impressed with these flies and highly recommend that tyer and angler make sure to carry at least a few of these on the water in the fast approaching season(s).

Jason Osborn's Sputnik Tubes by Aquaflies

New Product
release by
equal;oies: Doug is in the process of bagging and labeling some NEAT NEW Shrimp eyes that are flourescent. Ive seen a pile of these on my dining table in Woods and can vouch for the quality bling they will shortly bring to our tier’s bench.

Here is my iPhone photo of the new eyes, and we should have them in the shop very shortly.

Jay Nicholas Aquaflies Flourescent eyes

And while we’re at it, I’ll add the note that Aquaflies offers a really deep bench of traditional flies, all tied to what I believe are the highest industry standards of materials, craft skills, and proportions.

Here are but a few as teasers, and kindly remember that the Caddis Fly Angling Shop can provide virtually every Aquaflies product on short notice.

Jay Nicholas Aquaflies Traditional Steelhead

Uh OH. I just realized that it is 7:19 AM.

I’m going fishing. Now. Putting a period at the end of this sentence.

Wishing each of you a good day, whether you are fishing, working, or simply making your way through your day.

Jay Nicholas, October 11, 2019

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Oregon Salmon fly fishing | Leave a comment

Snook Brush Tuxedo Fly with New Materials From Hareline

In this video professional fly tyer and blogger Jay Nicholas ties a simple snook fly called the Snook Brush Tuxedo Fly.

Incorporating materials from Hareline including the new Bling Rabbit Strips, Helix Flash, and Just Add H2O’s Flash Blend Baitfish Brushes Jay gives his input and years of experience discussing these new materials and how to work with them.
just-add-h20-flash-blend-baitfish-brush-5 magnum-bling-rabbit-strips-11
Hook: Ahrex PR 320
Thread: Veevus GSP 150D White
Glue: Zap A Gap
Tail: Magnum Bling Rabbit Strips
Helix Flash
Body: H2O Flash Blend Baitfish Brush

Tool: Hareline Finger Dubbing Brush
Super Flush Cutter Pliers

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fly Fishing Glossary, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

12th Annual Two Fly Wrap Up


This years “Two Fly” event was the most profitable yet raising over $13,000 for the McKenzie River Trust. The event is not possible without the generous and priceless donation of the guides photographed above. These guys give up their day, to give back to the river.

From right to left: Troy Leady, Chris Daughters, Clay Holloway, Matt Ramsey, Ty Holloway, Kyle Smith, Kyle Duke, Justin Helm and Lou Verdugo, Matt Oneil(not in photo).



Guides filled plastic bins with water in order to measure fish. Matt Ramsey suggested this method last year and it worked really well. Fish are really mellow in the water filled bin, they go from net to bin, you pin them down briefly for the shot and then over the side they go with very little handling.


We mixed it up this year making the tournament “dry fly only”. Without a doubt there were a few less fish caught, and the overall inch totals were down a touch, but participants enjoyed the change for the most part. The change accomplished its intention with guides spread out over the entire course of the McKenzie, and one boat even floated down into the Willamette.



Justin Helm with Team Holloway


It was a spectacular fall day on the river. The Two Fly will be held the first Saturday in October each year. If you would like to participate please add your name to the McKenzie River Trusts’ mailing list here:

Additional sponsors were:

Patagonia – Two fly shirts were provided by Patagonia as well as project grant dollars.
The Caddis Fly Angling Shop
Ninkasi – Beer and Saturday night facility
North Fork Public House
Koffler Boats



Friday night Pizza at The Caddis Fly – Thanks to Mazzi from Hideaway for bringing his portable wood fired oven.


Clay Holloway with Team Shipman – 3rd Place finish


Matt Ramsey with Dick Matteri and Laura Parrish – 2nd Place Finish


Ty Holloway(baby Kaya) with Bob Mosqueda and Shoshana Cohen – First Place


Saturday evening at Ninkasi – Thanks so much to Ninkasi for their continued sponsorship of this event.

Thanks so much to all those who participated. Your support of McKenzie River Trust is good for fish, our local drinking water and much much more.


Posted in Fly Fishing Contests | Leave a comment

Orange Pearl Steelhead Nymph Fly Tying Video

I have been tying a lot of jigged nymphs lately, because practice helps increase technique skills and an eye for judging proportion, and I created this video to showcase the Orange Pearl jigged Steelhead Nymph. This is another smallish (size 10) jigged nymph that that find effective whether you are fishing in local waters close to Eugene or in Great Lakes Tributaries.

This jigged nymph may be fished with or without a traditional indicator, as you wish.

Enjoy! JN

Orange Pearl Steelhead Nymph

Hook – Barbless jig #10
Thread – Danville’s 6/0 Fl Or
Bead – 5/32 metallic orange
Lead free wire – .020
Tail – Fl orange Fluoro Fiber
Body – Veevus Large Pearl Tinsel
Wing case (ha ha) – Large Veevus Pearl Tinsel
Hot spot – Thread

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

Jay’s Albacore Cast Fly Tying Video 2019

In this video, albacore guru and fly fisher Jay Nicholas ties an effective and easy Albacore Cast Fly.

The albacore cast fly is designed to be light-weight to cast easy, but can also be fished trolling. Match the bait fish with different colors and sizes and hang on.

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 10.43.53 AM

Hook: Gamakatsu SL12 1/0 & 2/0
Thread: Danville Clear Monofilament
Belly: SF Blend Bucktail White
Back: SF Blend Bronze Back or Bleeding Back
Eyes: Fluorescent Fly Eyes 5/16″
Cement: Loctite, Zap a Gap, Hard as Hull

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, Oregon Saltwater Fishing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Fly Friday – 10% of Sales Today go to the McKenzie River Trust

thumbnail copy

Stop by and check out some great deals on sunglasses, Simms and Patagonia Bags, closeout rods and much more. Today we will donate 10% of our sales to the McKenzie River Trust as we kick off Two Fly Weekend.

Posted in Fly Fishing Contests, Shop Sales and Specials | Leave a comment

Wyden Announces Statewide Effort for Wild and Scenic Rivers


On anniversary of Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, Senator asks fellow Oregonians to nominate new rivers and streams for protection

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today announced he is taking nominations from Oregonians through Jan. 20, 2020 for rivers in the state that deserve addition to the national Wild and Scenic Rivers list.

“Whether you are a whitewater rafter, an angler or simply an Oregonian who believes strongly in protecting the river or stream that provides safe drinking water to your community, I want to hear from you,” Wyden wrote in an open letter to Oregonians seeking river nominations for new wild-and-scenic river legislation he plans to introduce . “Now is your chance, once again, to speak up for your favorite rivers and highlight the outstanding values that make each river worthy of protection.”

Submissions can be sent through Jan. 20, 2020 to

With today marking the 51st anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, Wyden noted the proposed new rivers that would be part of his upcoming Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation builds on legislation included in what Congress passed in February that added more than 250 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers in Oregon.

Wyden said he is proud Oregon now has 2,173 miles designated in the Wild and Scenic Rivers system, but that the total remains a small fraction of Oregon’s 110,994 miles of major rivers and streams.

He said Outdoor Recreation Industry statistics show that recreation supports 172,000 jobs in Oregon and generates $16.4 billion in economic activity statewide.

Here’s a sampling of what Oregonians are saying about Wyden’s call for wild-and-scenic river nominations:

Clatsop County Commissioner Kathleen Sullivan:
“Oregon’s rivers are critical to the health of our communities and our way of life. I applaud Senator Wyden’s efforts to protect our rivers for future generations.”

Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson:
“I wholeheartedly support Senator Wyden’s effort to consider more Wild and Scenic River designations for Oregon. This will be a boon to our outdoor recreation economy as well as to the health of salmon and steelhead runs and clean drinking water.”

Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla
“I grew up where the Siletz River meets the Pacific Ocean, and I farm the Willamette River’s floodplain. Salmon are in my blood. Water is our farm’s lifeblood. I am grateful that Oregon’s Senator Wyden is working to protect more rivers, so that our community can have salmon, have water, have life

State Rep. Pam Marsh
“Wild and Scenic Rivers are the heart and soul of southern Oregon’s recreation economy. Not only do they give our communities clean water, they bring people from all over the world that spend money that ripples throughout our economy. Thank you to Senator Wyden for stepping up to protect a legacy of clean water and a strong recreation economy.”

Ninkasi Brewing Company co-founders Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd
“Protected water sources are a critical ingredient for fine craft beer, and they help drive the recreation industry in our state. Ninkasi Brewing Company is grateful for Senator Wyden’s leadership around safeguarding Oregon’s iconic rivers, and it is clear why he has been dubbed the Wild and Scenic Senator.”

Chad Brown , U.S. Navy Veteran; Founder and President, Soul River Inc.
“Senator Wyden’s leadership to champion and protect Oregon’s rivers is an affirmative action! A warrior mission for veterans and our next generation to have the opportunity to benefit from what nature provides our souls. Thank you Senator Wyden for your strength to protect Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Rivers for us all.”

Patrick Kruse, Founder and R&D Director, Ruffwear
“Ruffwear is based in Bend, Oregon, because of its access to wild places. Many of our employees and customers spend time kayaking, rafting, and fishing, and we consider Oregon’s rivers as part of who we are. The Deschutes River flows right through Bend, a natural icon of our town’s culture and integral to its economy. We applaud Senator Wyden’s effort to add Wild and Scenic Rivers to our great state, and appreciate his thoughtful nomination process to get there.”

Zach Collier, Owner of NW Rafting Co:
“I appreciate Senator Wyden’s leadership and relentless dedication to protecting the rivers of Oregon. The Wild and Scenic River protections he has championed are critical for my outfitting business and Oregon’s recreation economy.”

Amy Stuart, Crook County, retired Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist:
“As a retired fisheries biologist of 31 years, I know that protecting rivers is key to maintaining healthy fish populations. I’m encouraged to see Senator Wyden working to better protect Oregon’s rivers and fish.”

Chris Daughters, owner of the the Caddis Fly Angling Shop, Eugene:
“As the owner of the Caddis Fly Angling Shop in Eugene, my family’s livelihood depends on Oregon’s rivers and the fish that live in them. Salmon, trout, and steelhead all need cold, clean water to thrive, and protection from dams, development, and mining is crucial if we hope to preserve the outstanding fishing opportunities we have in this state. Senator Wyden’s call for public nominations for new Wild and Scenic Rivers is a gift to both current and future generations of Oregonians and will help ensure that our state remains a destination for anglers, hunters, hikers, and boaters for many years to come.”

Erik Fernandez, Oregon Wild, Bend
“Oregon Wild members across the state applaud Senator Wyden’s effort to consider protection of additional Wild and Scenic Rivers. It’s good news for clean drinking water, fish and wildlife, and recreation.”

Dave Lacey, Owner of South Coast Tours
“South Coast Tours and its guides support the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and all the conservation minded visitors that those designations bring to the south coast of Oregon. We value our wild rivers so much that we call the southern Oregon coast ‘The Wild Rivers Coast’ where there are more Wild and Scenic Rivers concentrated than anywhere else in the lower 48. Thank you Senator Wyden – we support further designations and rely on those wild river experiences to make us competitive in the tourism industry.”

Michael LaLonde, President & CEO Deschutes Brewery
“We take pride in our namesake, the Deschutes River, and continue to do what we can to respect and honor it. Protected, free flowing rivers in Oregon sustain our business and fulfill our employees. We applaud Senator Wyden’s effort to add more iconic and protected Wild and Scenic River designations to our home state.”

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Fall Fishing on the McKenzie October 2019

McKenzie fall2020


Cooler temperatures over the weekend kept the larger October Caddis and Short Winged Stoneflies from being overly active, but Blue Winged Olive hatches have been occurring daily. The warmest parts of the day have been the most productive on the Mckenzie and Willamette Rivers. Swinging flies on the lower McKenzie has picked up and the upper river hopper dropper program remains solid. This week looks really good for weather, get out and enjoy the fall.

Best flies:

Parachute Blue Winged Olives
Carlson’s Olive Haze
Mercer’s Missing Link
Parachute Adams
Hi Vis Parachute Adams
Goulds Half Down Golden
Orange Elk Hair Caddis
Assorted Soft Hackle Wets

McKenzie fall2020


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

Video: Fly Fishing for Deschutes River Steelhead in “Desert Dries”

From Catch Magazine:

“Steelhead are NEVER known for being easy to catch. In fact, the more difficult they are to catch, the more valuable each fish becomes. There is a certain satisfaction in catching a steelhead on a skated dry fly. It feels like a big accomplishment to catch one of these fish in the most pure and sportive method possible. That challenge is the very reason angler Jeff Hickman began fly fishing in the fist place. It was not to catch fish easily. He wanted to learn how to catch fish in the most challenging ways possible. In this video, angler Jeff Hickman uses his jet boat to access the roadless Lower Deschutes River with his guide and friend Barrett Ames. These desert steelhead, most of them just straying out of the mighty Columbia River, are very tuned into the surface and will aggressively rise to a skated dry fly.

As a videographer and an angler, I know that some of my favorite times on the river have been spent with Jeff Hickman, owner of Fish the Swing. In fact, no matter the weather or the location, Jeff has the magic ability to find fish, tell a story worth sharing, or do both simultaneously. Last fall, “Desert Dries” came together just as I’d hoped. It tells the real story of steelhead fishing, where most of the time spent on the river is in pondering life questions while waiting for the steelhead to hit. Here Jeff fished the Burkheimer 6128, Scientific Anglers Deliverance Spey with floating tip and Bauer RX6 Classic Spey Reel in conditions that were typical of the Upper Deschutes in the fall. Revealing the remains of Columbia River Gorge’s tremendous and devastating wildfires, the charred and barren landscape made for interesting hiking and challenging filming.Thanks to Bauer Fly Reels, Fish The Swing, Eddie Bauer and Scientific Anglers for their generous support of Catch Magazine.”

To check out more from Todd Moen and Catch Magazine, please click here.

Posted in Eastern Oregon, Summer Steelhead | Leave a comment

New Fly Tying Materials and Tools from Hareline Dubbin


Jay and I spent Saturday working with some of the new materials and tools now available from Hareline Dubbin. Most of them are listed on this page. We created some videos highlighting many of these new materials we will post soon. There are some really cool items like all new innovative Loon tying tools, flashy dubbing brushes, storage options, Bling Rabbit and Forked Bling Tails.(pictured above) and much more.

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

Protect Oregon Coast Springers


From: the Native Fish Society

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Yesterday, alongside Umpqua Watersheds and the Center For Biological Diversity, Native Fish Society submitted a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect Oregon’s coastal spring Chinook under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The delivery of the eighty-seven-page document was the culmination of yearlong effort by NFS Staff, River Stewards, Native Fish Fellows, and our partners to build a sound argument on behalf of spring Chinook that is grounded in the best available science. However significant, it is not so much an achievement as a step toward curtailing the habitat destruction, human exploitation, disease and predation, increasingly diminished stream flows, and weak regulations that have driven the native spring Chinook of the Oregon Coast to the brink of extinction.

Though the Oregon Coast’s wild runs of spring Chinook have been in decline since the fifties, NMFS rejected a listing petition in 1994. The agency acknowledged the springer’s peculiar life history and unique habitat needs, but contemporary genetic data seemed to suggest that spring and fall Chinook could be managed as a single species. If spring runs disappeared, the agency reasoned, fall Chinook would simply replace them. In 2017, a University of California, Davis study proved otherwise. We know now that the spring life history in Chinook salmon is caused by a mutation in a single gene. If lost, it will not re-evolve.

Spring Chinook were once present in every Oregon Coast stream with a major estuary. We hope this petition will be remembered as a significant stepping stone in a process that not only protected the remaining wild spring Chinook of the Oregon Coast, but also restored their natural abundance. The story is already gaining traction with media outlets. Oregon Public Broadcasting, KATU, and Courthouse News have all run stories on the plight of the springer and the fight to save them.

Having taken an important step toward protecting Oregon Coast spring Chinook, I want to thank our partners at Umpqua Watersheds and the Center For Biological Diversity, NFS Fellowship Program Director Conrad Gowell, NFS River Steward Program Director Jake Crawford, the NFS River Stewards on the Oregon Coast, and our members for their sustained effort and continued support.

Now we need need your help. Share your stories and photos of wild Oregon Coast spring Chinook with us; send our press release to your local City Council, County Commissioners, Watershed Council, and members of the media; become an NFS Member or make a donation to Native Fish Society on behalf of Oregon Coast spring Chinook.


Mark Sherwood, Executive Director

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Salmon fly fishing | Leave a comment

12th Annual Two Fly Kicks off October 4th – Spots Still Available


We still have a boat available for this year’s Two Fly Tourney October 4th eve and 5th day. Register here: TWO FLY BOAT

This is the 12th annual event to raise funds for the great work the McKenzie River Trust is doing for your river. Over the years the tournament has raised over $100,0000 for the trust.

This year we have some fantastic sponsorships from Patagonia, Richardson Caps, North Fork Public House and Koffler Boats. We have had prizes donated by Echo Rods and Tim Keller Nets.

Each boat will be looking for the best three fish total length score of rainbow and cutthroat trout. Each angler is allowed to score with two flies.

If you have questions regarding further details of the event reach out to me at


Posted in Fly Fishing Contests, Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events | Leave a comment

Fly Fishing Gear for Albacore Tuna

Jay Nicholas Albacore Fly 2019

Of course this is only one example of the gear I have been fishing offshore Pacific City in 2019.

The last 6 seasons have provided an opportunity to fish many rods and reels for albacore. In a future post I will list several rods and reels that have performed well, but for the present, I’d like to list only one example by noting the outfit that caught most of the tuna that bit my trolled fly a few days ago.

Fishing with Ed Bowles and Jack Harrell, in the dory Last Cast, we were less than 20 miles offshore, fishing 64 degree blue water, trolling 3″ bucktails.

Our tuna numbers were on the low side, but we had a most enjoyable day and found enough cooperative albacore to make the day pleasant, especially considering that we were – for a time early in the morning – adrift, with life jackets snugged tight, me with a fire extinguisher in hand, Jack coaching Ed, and Ed couched near the transom with tools in hand and the stench of gasoline in the air.

It turns out that the problem wasn’t the fuel filter. It was a gas line pinched under the floorboards but only when Ed shifted his weight to the exact position.

We arrived on the tuna grounds well after the other dorys, but considering the dilemma of the morning our day was most successful.

Here is but one example of an albacore fly fishing tackle rig that has performed very well for me.

Ultra Dependable Tuna Gear
(Just one example)

Rod: Echo Bad Ass Glass 12 wt.
Reel: Hatch Fly Reels (9 and 11)
Fly Line: Airflo Depth Finder Big Game 400-600 gr
Leader: Hatch Fluorocarbon #20 – #25

Meanwhile, have a wonderful time on the water and at the fly bench.

Jay Nicholas
September 2019

Posted in Oregon Saltwater Fishing | Leave a comment

Beautiful Fall Weather on the McKenzie and Willamette – A great week of fishing ahead


It’s been a strangely damp fall thus far, but the future cast is looking pretty sweet. The McKenzie and Willamette Rivers are fishing really well. The Middle Fork of the Willamette is down to 453 CFS below Hills Creek giving wading anglers unique access to the river. The McKenzie bounced up but has come back down. Hatches are still good with daily emergences of Grey Drakes, Blue Winged Olives, October Caddis and Short Winged Stones. Fishing has been superb with tungsten jigged patterns mid day when the bulk of the insect hatches are going strong. Early in the day the fish seem to remember the larger stones and October caddis and evening brings on the smaller mayflies.

Have fun out there!


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

Jay’s Carp It Bomb Fly

In this video, Jay ties an effective warm water carp fly. Designed to ride hook up to reduce snags & fouls this fly could be used for bass, crappie, and of course carp.

Using two new tools, Loon’s D Loop Tweezer and Hareline’s Finger Dubbing Brush, Jay creates custom brushes using many different materials and fibers to give the fly motion and liveliness.


TMC 800S Size 8
Chicone’s Stealth Chain
Hareline Fine Black Barred Marabou Feathers
Chicone’s Crusher Legs
Cohen’s Carp Dubbing Olive/Orange
Grizzly Micro Legs
Whitlock’s SLF Dubbing Sculpin Olive

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