International Fly Fishing Reports: Tokyo and New Zealand

Tokyo Harbor

tokyo harbor fly fishing

Customer and avid angler Michael Beech sent us this photo from a recent business trip to Tokyo

He writes:

All on the surface. They call them sea bass. Found in schools feeding on bait fish. Exciting fishing in the early morning. Interesting landscape. Start at 4am back in the hotel by 11.
Thought your clients might be interested any time they have a stopover in Tokyo.

Michael used Trout and King Fishing Tours as his outfitter.

New Zealand Micro Steelhead


John Taunton Clark who gave us a Newby Switch Post was back at it on the Tongariro River with some of Jay’s creations.

I’ve just got back from a few days on the Tongariro River, catching some NZ ‘micro steelhead’. In one of my orders, Caddis kindly sent me a couple of Jay Nicholas’ tube flies, which I used on my trip. The flies worked (but you knew that). The attached photos show an example of my catch with the fly visible. I was using my Dually #6, Surge reel, with the RIO Switch Chucker and ten feet of Airflo T10 CCT. All good fun. Must confess that at the start of my trip the river was low and clear, and my best fishing was using the single-hander for upstream nymphing. I got most fish on green or pink jelly caddis patterns – fitting.


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Summer Fly Patterns 2: Mercer’s Missing Link

Summer fly favorites

Mercer’s Missing Link may have become my new favorite dry fly! While it was originally designed as a dying caddis pattern for the Sacramento River in northern California it seems to catch fish everywhere. It imitates caddisflies very well but will also imitate a Blue Winged Olive in size 16 and 18, and a Green Drake in size 12. As previously discussed in my first Summer flies post, the design attributes of this fly are critical to it’s success.

Summer fly favorites

The elk hair wing of the Missing Link is visible. The hair wing is not to sparse considering it’s size, meaning it’s a very good floater. It’s tied on a strong but light wire barbless hook also contributing to it’s excellent visible floatation. The wings of the Missing Link , zlon/antron “down wings” help the fly float upright virtually every cast. It’s “parachute style” wrapped hackle also aids in the flies visible floatation. It’s thin flashabou body and peacock ice dub thorax offer just enough flash to make the Missing Link it an attractor as well as an imitator. Give the Missing Link a try on your next trout fishing trip anywhere you may be!

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Cedar Lodge in Fly Life Magazine

Fly Life Magazine, a fly fishing publication focusing on Australia and New Zealand, recently published a feature on Cedar Lodge.

fly fishing nz cedar lodge

The fly fishing in the region was spectacular, the scenery sublime and the lodge beautiful. The entire experience of flying in and out of remote valleys and fishing waters where there was no visible sign of human activity was overwhelming. The sense of the wildness, pristine waters and difficult trout marry into an experience that makes fly fishing here so special.

Check out a PDF of the article here:

Flying High — Fly Life Magazine

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GLoomis Demo Day: July 26

Gloomis 2

Set aside Saturday, July 26, Alton Baker Park, 2-5pm for the Caddis Fly Shop Gloomis Demo Day. We will be hosted by Josh Linn, national flyfishing manager for Gloomis. Josh lives in Oregon and is a renowned two handed authority and instructor for single and two hand techniques. His home water is the Sandy and Deschutes where he guided for the last 10 years. His experience ranges from fishing internationally in Russia for atlantics to Central America chasing the various saltwater species available.

Accompanying Josh will be Steve Choate. Steve Choate is the first American to enter the world Spey Casting Competition at the British CLA Game Fair in 2002 where brought home the gold from the International Open Spey Casting Championship at Broadlands on the River Test. Since then he has become a highly sought after design consultant for such companies as Scientific Anglers and G. Loomis. Steve has taught and competed in spey casting events and had the pleasure of fishing anadromous fish all over the world. Steve’s home waters are Oregon’s Deschutes and Washington’s Skagit rivers. He has also fished many of the international two handed destinations of British Columbia, Chile, Argentina, Scotland, Russia, and many places in between.

Gloomis 1

Chad Normoyle our Gloomis representative will also be on hand with various raffle prizes. Chad says he is bringing the latest in Spey, Switch, and Single handed rods from Gloomis. The latest innovation in rods is the brand new NRX series. If you have a specific line you wish to try out on one of these great new rods, please either bring it down or ask us before July 25 and will arrange to have it on hand. Or, you can just bring your reel and line down and demo the rod. To help you make a buying decision after you cast a Gloomis NRX fly rod the shop will give you a FREE RIO or AIRFLO fly line to match your NRX rod!

Also, for the angler who can cast the furthest, Chad will be giving away a FREE NRX 590-4LP. The rod will be shipped to the lucky winner at the conclusion of the event.

We look forward to having you and hope you can join us on July 26 at Alton Baker, 2-5pm. We will be in the pond area of the park.


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Reflections from a Montana Adventure

Back in January, two of my close friends and I decided to plan a trip to Montana during the upcoming Summer. None of us had ever been, and we wanted to see if Montana really was all that we had heard it could be. It most definitely did not disappoint!

The three of us had a general idea of what we wanted to do once we got up there, but we took it day by day and spent a spectacular week fishing 7 different rivers across Eastern Idaho and Southwest Montana.

The journey began at Silver Creek in Idaho, a world famous spring creek that calmly carves its way through stunning country. With a consistent gentle current and shallow water, light tippets and small dry flies were the name of the game. We spent one day at this creek, and had an amazing time.

Casting to Sippers on Silver

Small PMDs and sparse, low-riding caddis imitations were tied onto our 5X fluorocarbon tippet during the early evening;however, as the sun began to set, we were joined by swarms of Brown Drakes, and the slow, sauntering current that once was took the form of a riffle simply from the myriad ripples of rising browns and rainbows. We scrambled to tie on flies in the dying light and managed to hook, but not land, a few of the phenomenal fish that call Silver Creek home. Definitely a place I will be returning to in the future.

We continued East and spent the next two days fishing the Madison River. If you have yet to visit the Madison, you must go. Not only for the truly world class trout fishing, but for the sightseeing. The Madison River Valley is simply breathtaking.

Sun setting over the Madison River Valley

With the salmonfly hatch still going off in the Upper River, we concentrated our efforts there. During the morning and afternoons, we fished the Chubby Chernobyl with a Jigged prince nymph dropper. And, in case you wondering, the jigged Prince rips just as hard up there as it does in our neck of the woods!

Madison Brownie fell for the Chubby

Once the sun began to set, the caddis hatches were unbelievable. During these evenings, my friends and I brought one rod down to the river rigged up with a Size 14 Elk hair caddis, and worked up the banks doing “One fish Switch.” The rules are simple: If you have the rod, you fish until you either hook one or whiff one. The rod was switching hands about every other cast.

Evening Caddis spreadin' their wings

One Fish Switchin'

doubled over!

From there, we explored the Ruby, the Beaverhead, and the Big Hole rivers with our few remaining days. For the most part the narrative stayed the same: beautiful browns and rainbows on caddis, PMDs, and some stoneflies as well. I came to realize that the reason why Montana is the real deal is because you can’t really go wrong- Pick any river, Im sure you love it.

Recollecting on the trip, I realized that the best part wasn’t necessarily the fishing. It was meeting up with two of my best friends who I don’t get to see much anymore due to our busy schedules, and spending a week without a care in the world and not having a clue where we would be fishing the next day. However, I always knew that whatever we did, it would be phenomenal, and that is why I will be returning soon, Montana.

Tight lines


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Echo Glass Fly Rod Review

This is a very brief report on the Echo Glass fly rod I have been fishing for the last several months.  In short, I REALLY enjoy the rod.  This is not a long range casting rod like my 9 foot, E3, four-weight rod.  That is my cannon.  This Glass is a five-weight rod and at seven feet 10 inches, it reminds me of the rods I fished as a high school kid.

I think I have already mentioned that the Echo Glass rod makes little fish seem large.  It really does.  I have caught trout in the 8 to 18 inch range on this rod and find that it is very fun to fish.  My son Jackson fished the rod too, and he is a very inexperienced caster who managed to get the fly our far enough to catch fish.  I found the AIRFLO Elite line in a WF5 to be an excellent  match, but managed to cast reasonably well with an Elete WF4 and an Exceed WF4.  I spends much time fishing 7-10 wt fly rods with whatever lines I may happen to have handy that I have become a little too casual about properly matching lines to lighter rods.  With the Glass series, I think it is important to pay attention.  The 5 wt AIRFLO Elite line was superb, as was a 5 wt RIO Gold line.  I think that the actions of the Glass rods, much like the actions of light Cane rods, is such that a proper line match becomes far more important than with the high modulus fast action graphite rods I have fished so much over recent decades.

Main point with the Glass, was to slow down my casting stroke, and make sure the line was behind me before making the forward cast.  The rod’s softness is so different from the speeds generated by high modulus modern graphite that it is important to remember that the Glass will be moving the line slower too.  So if everything slows down – all will be well.

Here are a few additional thoughts on the Glass.  Would this be my first choice for a lake rod or an estuary rod for that matter?  Not really.  This rod will get the job done, but its casting range is better tuned to close range and precision – there are times fishing a lake or large river when one would want to make very long distance casts.  Although I made the Glass work on longer casts, it is not an ideal tool for these scenarios.

For small streams, though, the Glass would be wonderful.  Short distance , accurate presentations to trout of all sizes are the perfect home for the Echo Glass.  And under the right conditions, big rivers like the Deschutes would also be a great place to fish this Glass fly rod.  I remember tactical situations where big Deschutes trout would lay under a bush slurping stoneflies dropping onto the water.  This limber, pleasing-to-cast fly rod would be a great choice for fishing up-close and personal to big trout and having a great time fighting the fish.  Same goes on locales like the Upper Williamson River or the Malheur River or the Upper McKenzie and the Metolius around Camp Sherman  too.

Fishing from a drift boat, casting dry flies or soft hackles, at close to moderate range, the Glass would be a very nice alternative to the high tech high speed marvels we have become accustomed to fishing.

Jay Nicholas – July 2014

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | 2 Comments

Summer Flies Part I 2014: New Jigged Fly Patterns

We have recently added highly some effective and unique flies to our offering at The Caddis Fly and A new series of Steelhead dry flies, more jigged style nymphs, and more colors to a “new to us” but very proven dry fly. I make particular note of these flies because they are unique in their look, but also in there designed performance. We have had them out on the water and they are fantastic fishing flies. Through their design they achieve performance that catch you more fish.

This post is part one of three and covers the jigged style nymphs, I will cover the other patterns in future posts.

First the Tungsten Jigged Copper John. The Copper John has long been one of the best selling nymph fly patterns in the West so the look of the fly is extremely proven. It’s the Jigged Style of this fly that makes it unique. Using a tungsten bead and a 60 degree angle super sharp jig style hook this fly plummets to the bottom. It rides hook up under a dry fly or indicator reducing bottom snagging and increasing fish hook ups. We have been playing with jigged nymph patterns for a couple of years now and they are very effective. One of the keys to the design is keeping the pattern slender, dense and heavy. The Copper John suits the slim, dense, heavy profile beautifully.

Summer fly favorites

Two other tungsten bead jig style patterns that have been deadly of late are the Jigged Prince and Jigged Possie Bugger.

Summer fly favorites

We are looking at some low flows this summer and getting a smaller fly down in fast deep water is an effective tactic. Try some of these jigged style fly patterns on your next outing.

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Post Cards from Pacific City, Oregon – 2014

Life is good here on the Oregon Coast.  One day might involve a leisurely outing from 10 to 1 at Lake Hebo, fishing for trophy size hatchery trout.  The next could involve fishing the estuary on an easy outgoing tide for early sea-run cutthroat trout.  The next could involve a grueling 6-8 hours grinding it out on the estuary in hopes of hooking a spring chinook; some days with a grab and many days without the hint of a living fish at the end of your line.  Then there are the days in the ocean when the Black Rockfish are almost always in the mood to eat a fly, plus the possibility of a lingcod.  Some days there is open season for Coho salmon, and hooking these fish on buck tail flies, either trolled or cast is a blast and a half.  Recently, we found the Black Rockfish on the surface, where they remained feeding for close to 4 hours.  We fished floating lines and un-weighted tube flies inches under the surface, watching Blacks take our flies like sea-runs or tarpon within twenty feet of the boat.  There are so many opportunities and options, and so little time to explore.  Please enjoy the following images of a few moments in the daily routine at PC.

Jay Nicholas – july 2014

PS: if you fish coho during a selective season, make sure your barbs are pinched.  Thanks.

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Coming Up Caddis: Deschutes River Report

You may not know me. I’m new to the Caddis Fly Shop family. Chris hired me to help with writing product descriptions and general upkeep. I am extremely lucky and thankful to be able to blend my passion for fly fishing with work and still get paid for it!

Anyways, my dad and I had the good fortune of floating the Deschutes last week from Warms Springs to Trout Creek. The Caddis flies were out in force and since it was the middle of the week the river was practically empty save for a few rafters and guides.

Our first few stops saw my dad hooking into with a couple smaller redsides. He was using a small X-Caddis pattern, and the fish went after it with gusto.

Fishing below Luelling River Retreat with our pontoons!

At one point we were separated. I was further up, fishing in front of the Luelling property, and my dad was 200 yards downriver. I floated down to see how he was faring, and he immediately waved me over. He’d seen three large torpedoes cruising close to the bank. He had been nymphing but after one of them smashed a Caddis adult, he switched to a dry. After four or five casts I asked to grab some of his 5x tippet since I had run out. He turned to grab some and I saw a mammoth fish smash his size 16 X-Caddis.

“Woa!” I yelled and he set the hook without even looking.

We saw him jump once, and then the leviathan was off to the races. Directly downstream from us was a tree and it took all my dads skill to keep the rod between a two-foot gap in the branches. I ran downstream. If he continued to run or if he got caught in the tree, our only chance would be for me to maybe somehow grab the line and coax him into the net without breaking him off. It was a long shot, and I knew it.

My dad recovered some line and the fish was at my feet. I saw the line had caught on an underwater branch. It’s over, I thought. He’d brake off and return to the depths.

Miraculously, the fish decided to run upriver, which untangled him from the branch, but danger still threatened. Since the rod was between two sets of branches, my dad couldn’t lift it to get leverage.

“He’s coming up,” I yelled to him. He reeled like crazy.

This monster hit a #16 olive body X-Caddis!

I got right above my dad and held the net ready. Soon the fish slipped right in with his head and tail sticking out of the 18” long net. He measured longer than my elbow to fingertips with a beautiful purplish-red stripe down the side of his body. We snapped a picture and set him loose. Our hearts still thumping in our chest we watched him swim away, our faces plastered with idiot grins.

The next day dawned cloudy and threatened rain. It was humid and thunder seemed possible. We broke camp and I tried nymphing above Grassy Camp. Thankfully my luck had changed from the day before and I hooked into a few small ones and a nice sixteen incher. They all had taken a size 18 CDC Pheasant Tail.

I managed to get this guy to net thanks to a #18 CDC Pheasant Tail Nymph!

We stopped at Frog Creek where my dad proceeded to catch monster after monster all on an #16 olive body X-Caddis. I couldn’t get a fish to move even though I was using a size 16 olive body Elk Hair Caddis. However, just above Frog Creek a massive fish smashed my #16 Parachute Adams, but after a fight in strong current he got off. When I recovered the fly I saw he’d bent the hook almost straight!

We missed the brunt of the storm, and only had to sit through a minor shower and a tiny bit of thunder. All too soon it was time to take out. It’d been a great trip with beautiful weather and even better fishing! I can’t wait to go back next week!

Heading towards takeout at Trout Creek. Can't wait to go back!

Summary: Slim body Caddis patterns were the name of the game this trip. My dad killed it with a #16 olive body X-Caddis, but a similar sized Missing Link Caddis would work too. Best places were behind overhanging trees and the soft current next to fast moving water. I had some success with a similar sized Parachute Adams, but a more imitative Caddis pattern was much more successful. For nymphs #18 CDC Pheasant Tails worked well for me in tandem with a larger Sparkle Pupa. I didn’t get many bites on the Pupa, but it was good as an anchor fly to get the PT down farther under an indicator. Nymph patterns seemed to work best early in the day, and in shady spots in soft water.

Bryan Robinson

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McKenzie and Willamette River Fishing Report

mckenzie river fly fishing summer

Let’s be honest 90+ degree temperatures are less than ideal for trout fishing in the Willamette Valley. We just don’t see this kind of heat this early in the year very often. Combine the heat with a lack of snow melt and we will be begging for rain before you know it.

The main-stem McKenzie and Middle fork of the Willamette are fishing fair in the morning and evening as you would expect. Between 2pm and 6pm things get a little rough. Pale Morning Duns, smaller caddis and Parachute Adams are taking fish reasonably well but overall there is a real lack of insects out on the river lately.

Here are two strategies in response to the “lack of hatch” I have been employing lately that have been fairly effective. First, simply tie on your favorite attractor pattern, could be wulff or a stimulator. Make it something mid-sized a #12-16 a dry fly you really have confidence in. Some of my favorites are, Ramsey’s Goofball, Hippy Stomper, Half-Down Golden, Purple Parachute Adams or Lady-Di. Fish these dries in riffled water, “bubbly” rocky pockets and shady edges. The second strategy is to scale down you “hopper dropper” or nymph rig with smaller more slender patterns. Instead of a fat Possie Bugger in a size 10 go with a Copper John in a 16 even a Jigged Copper John (new and killer). If you fish two flies off an indicator make sure one of them is much lighter and slighter in profile.

fly fishing the mckenzie river

The insects that are out are smaller, and the water being on the low and clear side has me shrinking tippets as well. It’ time to fish 5x and 6x tippets. Lighter tippets will help with presentation and you will catch more fish! Good luck out there, enjoy the wet wading!

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Why we loose fish – sometimes

We fish and fish, and sometimes we hook a fish.  If that fish happens to be a spring chinook, it is a dear prize and we then proceed to do our best to land the fish.  We may release the fish or we may kill it, depending on the regulations, location, personal preferences, and all of those issues, but we would normally like to be able to make a conscious decision regarding the kill or release – at least I like to make the choice.

Sometimes, though,  the fish, or fate, or circumstances, or our own actions results in the fish’s early release.

Usually, we don’t know why, unless it was some ridiculously dumb mistake that we recognize.  More often, fish lost are a mystery.  After a short or long period in play, the fish simply comes un-buttoned, and we do not know why.

Recently, I netted a hatchery spring chinook and was able to see just how close I had come to not netting said fish.  The springer was held by a slim thread of skin, after running around the pool for many minutes, being well into my backing, being tangled up in kelp, with my fly line so fouled with the green stuff that I was forced to lay my rod down and let the fish swim free under the boat while I picked kelp off the line and out of the rod tip.

How many times do we loose good fish because they were hooked like this one, and the hook either fell loose from the skin or the skin broke.  We can’t be sure, but this is just food for thought, and perhaps reason to not feel like it is necessarily anyone’s fault when the fish says adios before we want it to.

If a fish is hooked like this one, (well into the bone of the maxillary) we are far more likely to land it than if hooked like the other noted.  Just sayin’.

And while on the topic of chance encounters, the photo above is of the smallest Bullhead I have ever caught on a Clouser or on any hait or lure for that matter.

And on the topic of close calls – Kerry Burkheimer please note – I was backing down at the ramp recently with my two favorite short two hand Burkies on the rack, when i heard some undefinable noise.  I got out to find that the leader on one rod had caught on a tree and I was about 6 inches short from breaking one of my precious rods.  Normally I would have backed down another several feet until the sickening sound of shattering graphite caused me to stop.  Not this time, thankfully.

Hope you found a smile or a glimmer of recognition in these photos.

And – I hope to see you on the river soon, or the ocean or estuary, or in the coffee shop or whatever.  Be well.

Jay Nicholas – July 2014

Posted in Fishing Reports, Oregon Salmon fly fishing | 5 Comments

Luck of the Draw – First Springer on the fly

Sometimes everything goes right.  I met a young man recently, new to the Oregon Coast, who saw me fishing and started to ask questions about what, how, when, and even why.  I offered help on lines, gave him a few flies and pointed him to the river.

Less than a week later, I saw him walk down to a place where there are often twenty or thirty people fishing spinners and bait, but at the moment it was vacant, and so he stood there in sandals and made a few casts.  Shortly after, he hooked a spring chinook – when others had been fishing days without so much as a glimmer of a bite.

A fellow in the parking lot shouted, hey the fly guy got one on! He went to his truck and got a net and it shortly came in quite handy.  So Jamie got his first springer – on a fly.  From the bank.  With a lot of applause and onlookers, as is the case with anything that goes on in Pacific City.

Way to go Jamie. The only way to catch a fish is to throw your fly into the water.

Jay Nicholas – July 2014

Posted in Fishing Reports, Oregon Salmon fly fishing | 4 Comments

Fly Fishing Gear – Stuff that works

Chris asked me to shoot him a few notes, casual observations on some of the gear I have been fishing as of late.  Naturally, I chose to report on the gear that I have come to depend on day after day – stuff that just plain works.  I’ll keep these remarks brief and the gear is not listed in any particular order, but I can promise that each  and every of these products has earned my confidence.

First up – my team of Hydro Flasks in various sizes and configurations.  It may seem silly in this day of the ever-present water bottle, but these are exceptionally tough, keep my water or diluted Gatorade or diluted vitamin water cool in the hottest days.  The Caddis Fly Shop carries different sizes and some have the traditional water bottle style tops, which my family loves, but i prefer the wide open top myself.  These are great and part of my everyday, hit-the-water gear.

Hatch Fly Reels – I currently fish Hatch Fly Reels in No. 5, 7, 9 and 11.  The NO. 5 are my favorites for trout on rods of 4 to 6 wt and have caught little hatchery catchables, sea run cutthroat trout, and full grown steelhead on these reels.  Excellent gear in all sizes – the 7 fishes Kings, the 9 fishes kings for me and tarpon for Chris, and the 11 is my Albacore reel.   Superior drag mechanisms and a great feel and man oh man they are tough but smooth.  Plenty of great reels out there, but none finer, far as I’m concerned.

StreamWorks Night Hawk Pliers – again, there are many excellent pliers on the market today, but these are what I consider a mid-price option without equal buck for buck.  The little red button turns on a light in case you are rigging in the pre dawn, holding your place in the anchor line.  I string one set of these pliers on my wader belt and clip one into my Simms Contender Rain pants if I’m just wearing boots instead of waders in the boat.  The stretchy lanyard may seem irrelevant but it is essential when handling a lot of BottomFish and reaching over the side of the Dory to un-hook fish in the ocean.    Great Pliers at a great price.

Rising Nippers – I have used a lot of great nippers over the years, and there are a few fancier nippers than these out there  - the perfect models for gifts and top-of-the-line expenditures.  For day-to-day use, and considering that I tend to throw at least one set of nippers overboard each week, I choose the Rising Nippers as my constant companions based on both price and performance.

Up until recently, I used the normal size nippers, but Bryson suggested the giant size model a few weeks ago.  My first reaction was that the normal size was plenty OK with me but that sure I agreed to give the new large size a try.  Guess what?  These are SUPER!  Easy to hold on to, and far harder to throw overboard.  My first giant Rising Nippers have made it two weeks and that is a record for me.  Highly recommended for your next set of nippers.

Patagonia Bag – heck, this simple patagonia black hole bag is my constant companion on day trips.  They make these larger but the basic small size is just right for me.  I load it the night before with whatever and grab it in the morning.  Not waterproof.  Not fancy,  it does not replace a true waterproof bag like those offered by Umpqua or the Patagonia Great Divider but this is a simple and effective to use companion that I use all the time.

Buff Fishing Sun Gloves – you do not need to go to the tropics to need sun gloves.  These are great gloves, fit well, sturdy, functional, and look sharp too.  My hands get terribly sun burned without these, and I highly recommend you consider these or any of the good quality sun gloves we carry by Simms or Patagonia.  Sun damage is no joke.

Patagonia Sun Hoody – as usual, there are other good sun hoodies out there on the Shop Floor, but the PATAGONIA and SIMMS models are the ones that I wear all summer long.  Sun Screen and a ball cap only can do just so much, and the sun hoody REALLY helps keep the sun off the side of my face you know, the reflections off the water.

RIO Striper Line – these are wonderful integrated head sink tip fly lines.  With a 26 ft (hope I remember this right) sink tip, these lines are great in the ocean as well as in the river and estuary when I am fishing salmon.  I have fished the striper lines on 4 wt, rods clear up to 12 wt rods and I can report that they cast well, are very durable, sink fast, and are generally a joy to fish.  When I want to go deep, but not as deep as I would with a T-14 Custom Cut RIO Outbound or AIRFLO Sniper line, I reach for the RIO Striper line.

SIMMS Boot Foot Waders – I’ll keep this short.  it takes me about fifteen seconds to wader-up with these superior boot foot waders.  Bet you can not match either the speed, simplicity, or comfort  that these SIMMS bootfoot waders  deliver.  I fish in my boat, in the dory, from the beach, and from gravel bars that are not too slippery.  I prefer the lug soles but they come with the felt sole option as well.  Fantastic!
Steve Farrar’s Blend – not gear exactly, but this material is absolutely wonderful and I use it for a ton of my saltwater and estuary flies.  If you have not tried it, I highly recommend that you do.
Fluoro Fiber – it takes but a tiny little pinch to add HUGE color to any of my streamers, Clousers, and Bucktail flies.  Again, if you have not tried this material I highly recommend it.
Cliff’s Bugger Beast – plus the Bugger Beast Junior (the two on the left of the Mud Room Shelf.  Sure glad that the width of the room was perfect with no waste for 8 Beasts and two junior beasts.  And they are all full of salmon and bottom fish flies.  These fly boxes are fantastic and well worth the investment to protect your flies.
RIO Hard Alloy Leader Tippet – or Alloy Hard, who really cares, this is wonderful leader material for my saltwater fishing.  At first i was put off by the fact that it is relatively thick and stiff compared to leader that I was most familiar with in my trout, steelhead, and salmon background.  But when I ventured into the Ocean to fish for Sea Bass and Ling Cod, plus silvers and kings, I found that I preferred this tippet for my entire leaders over the thinner more limp stuff.  I tend to tie leader butts with the 25 lb Hard Alloy, and then use either 20, 16, or 12 Lb for the tippets.  All depends on the species most likely to be encountered.  This material is far thicker than you might expect, and it holds up well to the teeth of bottom fish and has amazing ease of tying knots.  I find that in the ocean, the fish are relatively not leader shy, but a lot of the fish have tough teeth, and this material is far more durable when it is being chewed on repeatedly.  Not my first choice for the North Umpqua or the Deschutes, but for the Ocean – I highly recommend that you give this material an honest shot to earn your confidence as it has mine.
SIMMS Contender Jacket and Rain Pants – From fit to function, these are fantastic rain gear choices.   I have worn this gear under the foulest of conditions in the estuary, on the river, and in the ocean and can report that it is truly rain proof.  I have collected rain water in the pockets but when I peeled down – I was dry under the Contender.  Minimum frills and sleek pockets and fit  are characteristic of the Contender.  Thank you SIMMS for great gear.
RIO GRIPSHOOTER Running line – some people call it running line, some call it shooting line, but it serves the purpose of allowing your shooting head to fly out and carry a dressed-up hook to where fish live to eat.  I have been fishing the GripShooter for close to a year now and love it.  Slick shooter is still loaded on my reels if i am going to fish fast sinking shoothig head fly lines, but for floaters or Intermnediate shooting heads, and especially for floating heads like one fishes on two hand and switch rods, the Grip Shooter is perfect.
GRIPSHOOTER is a mono running line with a factory loop on the front end, and with the forward 14 ft coated with slim floating fly line.  This is called the handling line and it does handle nice when casting with single and two handers.  Choose your strength and improve your fishing for any species from trout to steelhead and salmon with GripShooter.  Remember  how unpleasant those triple surgeons loop knots were going through the guides?  The factory loops on Grip Shooter are delightful in comparison.
AIRFLO XCEED Super Dri fly line – This is a new Airflo fly line i have been fishing for trout, both residents in lakes and sea runs in the estuary for several months.  The line floats like crazy, shoots like crazy, and is supple and I have been really pleased with its performance.  Lots of great fly lines out there, but I can tell you that this Airflo line and the Elite as well, are a pair I have fished and found entirely dependable.  Top notch performance.
Clear Cure Goo - plus the super mag Cure light – I used a ton of this stuff last summer and then put it aside.  Now I am back on the ocean again, and back to squeezing the black bottles of Cure Goo.  This is great stuff for flies that imitate baitfish and lord knows what else,  like Deceivers, and coho buck tails, and albacore flies and any fly that uses eyes and yep, I am up to my elbows in the goo once again.  Highly recommended for better than epoxy.
Pro Sportfisher Nano Tubes and XL Hook Guides – yes I tie a lot of tubes for use in the ocean.  Yes the Nano Tubes are longer than the standard tubes.  And yes, if you intend to use larger hooks than about a size 2, you need the XL hook guides.  I have even taken to use the XL guides for size 2 hooks on my steelhead tube flies in a form where I will use my scissors to nip- off a little part of both ends and the hook guide becomes more useful than I find the large size.
That’s it Chris, a quick run down on some of the gear I fish almost every day.  Hope to see you out on the river/estuary/ocean.
Or in the parking Lot at the Boat Hole.
Jay Nicholas
July 1014
Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Crane Prairie Fly Fishing Report 2014

2014-06-30 13.11.57

With some nice weather coming, it became too much of a lure for one more shot at lake fishing. The lake of choice: Crane Prairie. If you have been fortunate enough to fish Crane, without a doubt, you have had to deal with “the wind”. I have had the infamous Holloway boys tell me “you should see Crane without the wind”. Well, it finally happened! No wind, and just perhaps a slight breeze to eliminate the total reflection of the mountains.

We launched at Rock Creek and headed out to Osprey Point. The lake level is still quite high and the fish appeared to be scattered.

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As we headed out, damsels were flying around everywhere. We immediately reached for damsel nymphs and started slow retrieves. We were not disappointed.

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We landed enough fish the first few hours to lead us to believe, “this is going to be one of those days!” Well, the day sort of ran out of gas? As the air temperature got warmer, the fishing slowed. We did land some nice fish but not “mongo”.

2014-06-30 14.39.42

So, here is the deal….when Crane has “the wind”, fish may be rising, chasing bugs, and you may see them. That’s the good news. When Crane has no wind, you see every freaking fish chasing, splashing, gulping, swirling all over the damn lake. Yes, even “mongo” doing cannonball swirls always just outside your casting range. Extreme frustration!

But, hey, looks like our Oregon summer is underway and all we need to do is just get outside and enjoy what surrounds us. Enjoy the summer!


Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report, Fishing Porn | Leave a comment

Trout Unlimited monthly meeting, Monday, July 7th

The Redsides – July Meeting

Monday, July 7th,
The Stellaria Building
150 Shelton Mcmurphey Blvd., Eugene
Large community room

At 6:00 PM, The Redsides will hold their monthly board meeting in the small community Room of the Stellaria Building, 150 Shelton Mcmurphey Blvd.,
Eugene, OR 97401.

At 7:00 PM, Jeff Ziller, head biologist for the South Willamette district, ODFW will give a presentation that will cover the results of last year’s Martin Creek TU project and some work being conducted in the mountain lakes with a couple of stocks of rainbow trout.

This meeting will be in the large community room of the Stellaria Building.

See you there!

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment