Your Input Needed on the McKenzie

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From the McKenzie River Trust

As many of you know, In 2016 McKenzie River Trust purchased 278 acres from Roseboro Lumber Company including the Finn Rock Boat Landing on the McKenzie River. As we work towards developing our conservation management plan for the area, we are seeking public input specifically regarding the boat landing, to help inform our plans.

This input will help us to plan, and seek to fund improvements to the landing and be sure that our next moves are guided by the businesses and community who utilize this free launch site. We would deeply appreciate your input!

To fill out the survey online visit www.mckenzieriver.org/recsurvey

Posted in McKenzie River, Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Great Albacore Flies will be put to the test on July 21st!

A selection of my best Albacore flies to fish offshore Oregon.

A selection of my best Albacore flies to fish offshore Oregon.

But not by me.

My friends will be charging out into the ocean offshore Pacific City at about 0445 hours this morning. I will have wished them all well, anxiously awaiting the return of the tuna fleet late in the afternoon.

This is a very quick post to show the type of flies that we have proved effective, and to show the general color themes and relative size of the flies my friends will be fishing.

Color themes: most have a blue back, but we have had success fishing flies with a purple and bronze too.

Size: these flies are as small as 3″ and as long as 7″Size: these flies are as small as 3″ and as long as 7″

Weighted vs unweighted: all are weighted except for the second and third flies from the left.

Troll vs cast flies: the two flies on the right are our trolling flies, the rest are our casting flies.

Reports indicate that the albacore are (at present) 25-35 miles offshore of Pacific City as I type, based on satellite imaging that reveals surface sea temperatures and chlorophyll densities. The tuna guys look at the images and set their course to the coordinates they think are most likely to be hospitable to the tuna.

Several dorys fishing out of Pacific City caught albacore recently, and ocean conditions look even better for the 21st.

Best wishes to you all — I hope to venture forth in pursuit of albacore very soon.

Jay Nicholas – July 20, 2017

 

 

Posted in Fly Tying, Oregon Saltwater Fishing | Leave a comment

Summer Water Conditions in the Willamette Valley

Summer on the McKenzie

Water levels have dropped, hatches have diminished and there are more folks out fishing than almost anytime of year. Sound like a great recipe for tough fishing? Well, it can be. High sun in the afternoon can be tough, trout tend to stay down and hide in the shade of big boulders in deep water. Even with deep nymphing tactics it seems that they have a period where they are “turning off” a bit. Your best bet is to fish early and late and look for the faster oxygenated runs. Despite a drop off in hatches there are still some smaller caddis and Pale Morning duns out. Try size 14-16 high floating caddis patterns in fast or shaded water during the day and look for better hatches in lower light conditions. You will still catch fish during the day with “hopper dropper” rigs and again look for that faster water where fish can get cover and food. If you do go deep use slimmer jigged patterns that descend quickly into the fast water. Enjoy the beautiful weather!

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

Smallmouth Bass Clouser with EP Craft Fur Brush

Most people who are regular visitors to Youtube and the Oregon fly Fishing Blog probably recognize that the Clouser is one of my best, most favorite, gotta have some fly patterns.

I’ll tie them with different materials, in different proportions, and in different color combinations to fish in rivers, lakes, estuaries and the open ocean.

This fly represents an opportunity to tie yet another Clouser – this fly in colors intended to be attractive to Smallies, with a hint of orange to imply a crawfish. The photo shows more orange and downplays the gray and brown hues present in the fly.

The EP Craft Fur Brushes are a fantastic way to finish off any clouser. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

July 2016, and the lower Umpqua  is teeming with smallmouth bass. This fly will attract the beasties if you give it a chance. John Day? Yes indeed. Willamette? Probably.

My best to you –

Jay Nicholas

Jay video flies may 2016

Smallmouth Bass Craft Fur Brush Clouser

Thread: Danville 210D White
Hook: Gamakatsu SL12s #2
Eyes: Tungsten Predator Eyes Med
Flash: Mirage Lateral Scale
Belly: Steve Farrar’s SF Blend Bleeding Grey
Wing Brush: EP Craft Brush Black/Orange
Wing Back: SF Blend Bronze Back
Glue: Zap a Gap Brush

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

Jay’s Baja Fishing Gear Check-List

Jay Nicholas Skipjack

This list might help folks prepare for a week-long venture to Gary Bullla’s destination fishing camp in Baja. It pretty much captures what I felt that I needed after reviewing my week long fishing trip in late May 2017.  So for what it is worth, here is the list I will review when embarking on my next trip. My thanks to Jim and Gui for helping me prepare for this trip.

Jay’s Baja trip list.

Personal documents: Passport, one credit card (notify issuer of your trip), cash for host, captain’s daily tips, bait boat daily tips, cook tip at end of week, maid tip at end of week, fee for transportation to/from airport to destination, cash for incidentals (clothing, drinks, etc). You will need to pay for carry on luggage at the flight check-in and a credit card works well for any items at the airport. I should remind folks that Airport food is expensive and (hummmmmmm) interesting.

Luggage:
Roller bag (checked luggage)
Rod tube for 4 rods (carry on if allowed)
Sling pack (carry on)

Tackle:
Rods: 8, 9, 10, & 12 wt rods (three anglers broke rods on this trip)
Good choices:
* Sage Salt,
*
Echo EPR,
* Echo 3 SW,
* Winston Saltwater B 3 X,
* Scott Meridian,
* Beulah Opal SW,

Reels: 4 each with at least 200 – 300 yds backing
Good reel choices:
* Hatch Finatic 9 – 11,
* Nautilus Monster,
* Bauer,
* Tibor

Spare fly lines (I broke two fly lines in a week and several other anglers broke or damaged fly lines also); this is a vital need because you can not count on purchasing fly lines locally):
* spare sinkers (two lines – one 450 gr and one 500 gr),
* spare floaters (two lines – one 9 wt and one 10 wt),
* spare intermediates (two lines – one 9 wt and one 10 wt).

Spare backing. Yes, although it is unlikely you will need this, there is none for sale at the destination, so be prepared just in case. Cortland Rio and Hatch are convenient options and you should have a good 300 yards with you.

How to load your lines on your rods:
* 12 wt rod: I initially lined my 12 wt rod with a 450 gr sinking line. I had a fish run into a cave in the reef and cut off about five feet (plus leader) of one sink tip. For the rest of this day I tied on my leader using a figure 8 knot just like when I was a teenager trout fishing. Our panga captain inspected my knot carefully, shrugged his shoulders, and let it pass. Back at Baja Joe’s, I spooled on one of my spare sinking lines for the next day.

*10wt rod: I lined this rod with a 10 wt intermediate tip fly line. When this line broke during the trip, I replaced it with another Intermediate line.

*9 wt rod: I lined this on alternate days with a floater and an intermediate line, in an effort to see if one was more successful than the other. I thought it was a toss-up but conditions changed so much from day to day that I was not sure.

*8 wt rod: I lined this with a floater equivalent to a 9 wt. I found that slightly overloading this Echo EPR rod was entirely effective for my casting style and the need to make casts from close quarters to long bombs with minimum false casting and wind.

Although I took an 8 wt rod with me, I did not load any 8 wt lines on reels and I did not take 8 wt lines as spares either. Sounds weird, perhaps, but I fished my 8 wt with a 9 wt line. All of my spare floating and intermediate lines were 9 and 10 wts.

Good line choices: Rio Tropical Outbound short; Airflo Bruce Chard; Hatch; Cortland Precision Compact, Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink warm water and Airflo big game depth finder.

Remember, you can over-line a rod but don’t count on underlining a rod and still being able to cast. The sinking line option is essential at certain times of the day depending on the fish behavior. Floating and Intermediate fly lines may be interchangeable most days.

Leaders: 9- 12 ft fluorocarbon leaders typically 50 lb, 35 lb, 25 lb. Be prepared to tie tippets of 20 and 30 lb.
Spare leader spools: 50, 35, 30, 25, 20 – all fluorocarbon material by Hatch or Rio.
Wire – 30 – 40 lb bite wire

Flies and/or fly tying materials: try to have an assortment and be prepared to tie something new to adapt for local conditions. Alternately, you may be able to purchase flies before you depart or purchase flies at your destination. Best figure this one out before you head to the airport!

Accessories:
* pliers on holster;
* Polaroid glasses; spare glasses; sunscreen;
* Buff gear
*  Buff gloves;
* small hip pack for wade fishing or to carry gear in boat;
* Omni spools for all spare fly lines;
* fly line lube and cleaner;
* Camera with spare memory cards;

Clothing (wear one pair pants, shirt, shoes etc)
* Tropical pants long (2)
* Tropical sun hoodie (1)
* Ball cap (1)
* Underwear/socks: one per day
* Nice shirt for evening after fishing wear (1-2)
* Nylon belt for pants and pliers holster (1)
* Flats booties (1) in case you wade fish
8 Deck shoes (1) for airport, casual, and boat

Miscellaneous:
* waterproof tape for line cuts and blisters;
* sunscreen;
* ibuprofen;
* personal medications;
* cell phone; charger, ear-buds (you can plug in your charger in Baja, and you will want a cable and earbuds to recharge and listen to music or watch movies aboard the plane.
* There is weak internet at Baja Joe’s to get email.
*I kept my phone of airplane mode all the time I was in Mexico, because I was told my phone would work but I would be charged huge fees by the minute for calls and cellular data use.
* personal toiletries;
* passport,
* ballpoint pen for filling out customs forms.

Camera, charger, spare memory card(s).

Special notes:
1. Mexico generally will NOT allow more than 3-4 fly rods and reels into the country without paying a fee.
2. The allowed number of rods and reels should be 4 but we were questioned about exceeding 3!
3. Fishing pliers, spools of flurocarbon leader, spools of wire, and saltwater hooks, flies, and fly tying tools are NOT ALLOWED in carry-on luggage. These must be packed on your checked baggage.
4. International medical evacuation insurance costs about 120$ for a week and is a good idea.
5. You can probably purchase additional tropical T-Shirts, Technical sun hoodies, and ball caps at your destination lodge.
6. You will NOT be able to carry rods on the plane when flying from Mexico to the US. Be prepared.

I hope this helps, the staff at the Caddis Fly Shop (and I) would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Jay Nicholas Baja Gear List

Jay Nicholas – late spring & early summer 2017

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | 2 Comments

Review of Two Great Saltwater Fly Reels: Hatch and Nautilus

Here is one of my Hatch Finatic 11 Plus fly reels in action offshore La Ventana, Baja.

Here is my Hatch Finatic 11 Plus fly reel in action offshore La Ventana, Baja. A large dorado is on the end of my line.

Having just returned from a fine week fly fishing Baja, I wanted to say a little, and I really mean a little, about the two fly reels that I fish most often these days. These are fly reels that I have great confidence in and highly recommend to anyone seeking to fish the highest quality, most reliable fly reels.

Note please, that there are certainly other very fine fly reels available these days, and I have fished several of these in the past. At present, however, the only fly reels I fish in the salt are the Hatch and the Nautilus. I consider these reels interchangeable in quality, durability, and appearance, and functionality.

I will also note (with surprise) that I just discovered an “old” review I wrote on Hatch fly reels for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog some years ago. Oh well, the story isn’t significantly different now.

Ask me to choose one brand of fly reel over the other and I would stall and change the subject. Fact is that I have fished both fly reels for years and found both to be trusted companions. I suppose if I had started off fishing different high-end fly reels I might feel the same about some other fly reel — but it didn’t happen that way, so here I sit with my stash of Hatch and Nautilus — and perfectly satisfied.

Hatch fly reels I fish at present:

Hatch Finatic 5.
* this is my trout fly reel, and I fish this for sea run cutthroat, half pounder steelhead, and even silvers in the ocean
* a superior fly reel at its size class
* I can fish summer steelhead with 5X tippets and depend on the drag of this reel to be super smooth and so light as to not overrun or strain the tippet – no small feat for sure

Hatch Finatic 7.
* now we are getting into the realm of the offshore saltwater species like silvers and pacific black rockfish
* a great fly reel for floating and fast sinking fly lines
* plenty of heft to fish spring chinook in the estuary

Hatch Finatic 9.
* this reel bridges the span between my estuary chinook fishing and the ocean albacore game
* plenty of backing especially the Hatch premium backing) to carry 300 yards plus a fly line

Hatch Finatic 11.
* now we are in the territory of the offshore species game and I fish albacore, and recently dorado and skipjack on this reel
* plenty of room for 500 yards of 30 lb dacron, or 80 lb power pro – plus a fly line
* this is my favorite fly reel for both estuary chinook (even though it is far larger than I need) and offshore saltwater environs

The Nautilus fly reels I am fishing at present include:

Here is one of my Nautilus fly reels in action offshore Baja recently - with skipjack on the end of my line.

Here is one of my Nautilus fly reels in action offshore Baja recently – with skipjack on the end of my line.

Nautilus Silver King CCFX2
* This is a very large diameter and narrower spool than you would usually expect to see, especially for example compared to a reel like the Hatch 11 fly reel
* the large diameter provides super fast line pick up on the retrieve

Nautilus NV eleven-twelve and ten-eleven
* I’m afraid these models may not be in production any longer, but they are trusted companions and will always be so

In conclusion, I fish both Nautilus and Hatch fly reels nearly exclusively. Ok, the exception is that I fish clicker Hardy fly reels when I’m swinging flies for steelhead. These fly reels are relatively inexpensive and have a nice screech when a steelhead makes a run. I fish these reels when a disc drag is not an essential part of the equation. When dealing with saltwater species – and decent size kings in estuaries – I stick with my Hatch and Nautilus.

For full disclosure, I was overtaken with nostalgia one year and fished Pfluger Medalist 1498 fl reels that were roughly 60 years old. I fished them a full salmon season. I never lost a chinook due to reel failure. That said, after that one season, I wen back to my modern fly reels with modern drag mechanisms.

May your days be filled with dreams of agreeable fish.

Jay Nicholas July 2017

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Middle Fork of the Willamette Water Levels Plummet

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Wading anglers will be pleased about yesterdays significant water level reduction out of Hills Creek Dam. Fishing was good all day subsurface with Jigged Mega Prince nymphs. We caught a few fish on Golden Stone adults as well. Small brown caddis and pale morning duns were hatching mid morning. With the bright sun the best dry fly fishing will be in the evening hours. Enjoy the lower water!

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

John Day River Fun in the Sun

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It was hot last week on the John Day river. The kids spent as much time swimming in the water as they did fishing in it. With low water and a plethora of insects on the water the smallmouth bass fishing was nothing short of ridiculously good! You could literally catch the fish at will. There is something really great about a floating line a stiff short leader and a popping bug. You don’t need to think much about it, just blast it to the bank or the rise, strip it a couple of times and strike.

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Posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel, Oregon fly fishing links, Oregon Warmwater Fly Fishing, Oregon Weekend Fishing Forecast | 2 Comments

Jay Nicholas Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Fund “Salmon Fisher’s Journal”

Update on July 15th!

We met our goal!

Thanks to 109 backers in the first week of our Kickstarter Campaign, we met our goal. Thank you to everyone who has already participated and those of you who will back this work in the next 22 days of the Campaign.

Meeting our goal ensures that we will be able to deliver this book as a coffee table quality, collector edition book — soon to become part of the angling literature.

I’m now trying to reach out to friends and supporters who have not yet pressed the back this project button.”

We have a full 22 days to boost the ultimate quality of the finished product as well as our prospect of  delivering ahead of schedule.

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For now, thanks to all of our backers — we did it in under a week.

Now we have three weeks to solidify the effort in our push for excellence.

I’ll have an update for backers each week as the Kickstarter continues to run the next three weeks, and appreciate your help reaching out to support the cause!

Jay Nicholas – July 15th, 2017

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The Kickstarter Campaign to fund the publication of my life’s work – Salmon Fisher’s Journal – is officially up and running.

This is the link to my Kickstarter page here: Salmon Fisher’s Journal.

I’ll take this moment to say thanks to the friends and professionals who volunteered to get this project as close as it is to becoming a reality.  We have my manuscript and all of the structure we need to transform it from “almost finished” into a shipping container of collector-quality books.

The Kickstarter page tells the story of Salmon Fisher’s Journal, includes endorsements from John Larison, Trey Combs, and Todd Tanner, and lays out opportunities to support publication of the book. You can make a straight donation. You can show your support and receive some of my Chinook and Steelhead flies. You can pre-order the book. You can pre-order the book and join me on a fishing adventure. You can order a super-limited, deluxe edition.  You can show your support and have your name included in the book as a FOUNDER or as a CO-PRODUCER. With your help, the dream will become a reality.

At the start of this fund-raiser, I’d like to say thank you to my friends who are pre-campaign donors, this book has been made possible through their generosity and encouragement.

I’m close now, but I need a little more help to secure the remainder of our funding. This is the book, the story I’ve been working on for almost two decades. Please help me make the final push to publish Salmon Fisher’s Journal

How can you help?

It’s simple. Contribute to the Kickstarter. Then share the story on social media. Then call your friends and spread the word. Reach out near and far. Help me find the supporters who will share my dream to bring Salmon Fisher’s Journal to print.

Once launched, this campaign will run for 30 days only. No funds will be collected or disbursed unless we reach the goal. I’m full of hope that we will bust the goal in short order.

Thank you, and please contact me if you have any questions.

Jay Nicholas

Posted in Fly Fishing Books | 2 Comments

Nicholas’ Review of the 12 wt Winston B3 Plus Saltwater fly rod

I’m going to keep this review short.

Winston’s reputation for superior performance, rod components, durability, and appearance is well established. I have fished the 12 wt Winston B3 Plus Saltwater offshore Oregon for Albacore and lingcod. I’ve now fished in offshore Baja with Gary Bulla for dorado and skipjack. I have fished intermediate and fast sinking lines on this 12 wt rod.

My  Nautilus fly reel and SA Sonar Sink fly line at work on the Winston B3 Plus Saltwater fly rod in Baja.

My Nautilus fly reel and SA Sonar Sink fly line at work on the Winston B3 Plus Saltwater fly rod in Baja.

Here is what I’ve found about this rod.

* the Winston B3 Plus Saltwater rod series is everything is is marketed to be – a superior level performer
* this rod is lighter than you can imagine for its respective line class
* the components, guides, reel seat, guides, rod wraps, and rod case are in every measure what I consider “top of the line”
* whereas I find most 12 wt rods less than pleasurable to cast, this 12 felt like a 10 wt when casting but had all the power I expect from a 12 wt when fighting fish and applying lifting power to fish buried under the boat

Winston B3 Plus 12 wt fly rod in action - Baja 2017.

Winston B3 Plus 12 wt fly rod in action – Baja 2017.

I fished two Winston fly rods alongside two ECHO EPR rods in Baja. My Winstons served me in most excellent fashion whenever I reached for a fast sinking 450 gr SA Sonic Sink warm-water fly line or a Bruce Chard Tropical Punch floating line. There were times when the largest dorado and the skipjack seemed more willing to take a deeply sunk fly over a fly retrieved near the surface. I found the Winston Saltwater B3 Plus rod cast the heavy sink tip SA line like a cannon (a phrase used to indicate that the cast is good) and was shockingly easy to cast repeatedly. I say this because some 12 wt fly rods feel very heavy in hand and are frankly a chore to cast more than a few times. Not so with this 12 wt Winston. This is a dream rod to cast, and in fact at several points during the week I mistakenly thought I was fishing my 10 wt when I was actually fishing the 12.

For a bottom line, I’d say that this Winston fly rod is ranked as among the best of the best in every respect from components to cosmetics to performance. If you want to fish the very best, this is a great choice in a fly rod.

Jay Nicholas May/June 2017

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Fourth of July Fly Rod Clearance – SAGE and Winston Rods at 25-43% Off

July means it’s time for the fly fishing industry to clear out the old and introduce the new. SAGE and WINSTON rods are now available for fantastic values. If you need a new rod, a backup rod, a rod for a trip, a gift…. you get the picture. We have some sweet deals!

SAGE SALT RODS – Regularly $850 now $510

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SAGE ACCEL FLY RODS – Regularly $650 now $350-$501

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SAGE BOLT FLY RODS – Regularly $650 now $350

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WINSTON NEXUS FLY RODS – Regularly $475 now $356.25

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Stop by the shop or order online while they last!

Posted in Shop Sales and Specials | Leave a comment

Who We Are Series Post 11: Chris Daughters

This series of posts is meant to introduce all of you terrific tiers and cool customers to our small, but fantastic team of anglers here at The Caddis Fly Angling Shop. Each employee answered a number of questions about their fishing expertise, their favorite style of fishing and fishing products. Each week we will publish another employee’s answers to these questions to let you know Who We Are. This series will hopefully give you a peak into who we are, how we fish, and who you are chatting with when you next call or email Caddis.

And finally, though you will find them here only half of the year, busy at Cedar Lodge November through April, we have to introduce Caddis Fly’s oldest employee and now owner, Chris (and family)!

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Who: Chris Daughters. Caddis Fly Shop Owner.

*Chris and his wife Shauna have two kids, Patsy and Cash, and they make up a fanatical fly fishing family.

Time at Caddis: Owner for 21 years, but with the shop since I was a kid.

Are you a Eugene local, or are you a transplant? 

I was born and bred Eugenian; I grew up fishing on the Mckenzie.

How many years have you been fly fishing?

35

What is your favorite rod and reel combo?

There is so much great tackle out there that is a really tough question. The season at Cedar Lodge I have really enjoyed casting the new SAGE X with the new Scientific Anglers MPX Amplitude fly line.  Bauer RX reels are phenomenal trout to saltwater.

Wet wade or float, and why?

During the season at Cedar Lodge (Nov-April) it’s all wet wading. Generally we have better success when you can approach the fish from shore. We cross river but don’t wade deep when casting.  Locally fishing out of my McKenzie boat will always be special to me as guiding made me realize you could get paid for doing something you love.

Where do you fish?  I love to travel to fish. Current favorites are the Bahamas, Cuba and New Zealand. Sight fishing is what it’s all about for me.

Dry fly, streamer or nymph–and do you tie them? Upstream I dry fly fish, preferably.  My son and I tie flies for trip prep, latest creations are nymphs for New Zealand.

Spey or single hand cast?  Both

Salt or Freshwater? Both. I love the salt when it’s cold in the northwest. isla de juventud permit

Where do you fish?

(The real question is where Chris hasn’t.)

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What is your favorite part about working at Caddis?

Interesting folks come through the door everyday, and its a fun environment. You work with like minded individuals working at something they enjoy.

When a fellow angler asks, “What is the biggest fish you have ever caught?” what is your answer? 

Not important to me. It’s about the places fishing takes me, not the size of the fish.

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Christopher Daughters is one of the most experienced and practiced anglers around.

Not only is he the owner of Caddis, but having grown up in Eugene and in the fly fishing industry, he knows the McKenzie and the Willamette like the back of his paddle, and the products he uses are ones he has watched go from innovative newcomers to the angling arsenal to household names and go-tos. If you need to know the difference between an older rod and its successor, ask Chris. If you want to know where to go on the McKenzie in October when the water is blown out from rains, ask Chris.

He’s a busy man, but Chris tries to get into the shop as much as he can. When he is in the states (May to October), he is either in shop or out on the water, guiding on the McKenzie or Willamette. If you plan far enough ahead (Chris is normally booked out for the season by mid-April) you can even get out on the water for a personal tour with Chris as your guide. Chris is a wonderful fly fishing mentor and he is always ready and willing to answer any question about fishing here or around the world.

And with that, you have met all of the Caddis Fly Crew members!

We thank you for reading oregonflyfishingblog.com and for your continued business and support at The Caddis Fly. You, our customers, are all as big a part of our little Caddis Fly Family as we are, and you are the biggest part of why Caddis is the resource that it is for tiers around the world. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the future!

Want to know more about the Caddis Fly? Visit our website’s About page at this link and feel free to call or email us any time at our contacts below:

(541)505-8061

caddiseug@yahoo.com

Tight lines until next time!

The Caddis Fly Crew

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Posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Fishing Glossary, McKenzie River, Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment

June on the Lower Deschutes

While it was once the prime time of the salmon fly hatch, June is now a transitional period when it comes to insects on the Lower Deschutes. However, just as the salmonflies begin to thin out, so do the crowds, and that is why June can be phenomenal on this desert oasis of a river.

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The story of our float from Warm Springs to Maupin last week is an interesting one. With rain and mild to warm temperatures in the forecast, we really did not know what to expect. Would there still be salmonflies in the upper river? Would the mayflies be out due to the forecasted conditions? Would we be lucky enough to see some green drakes? The answer is yes, to all of the above.

In terms of weather, we had stints of rain and mild temperatures, which would quickly transition to sun and warmth. It was very “fishy” weather, and extremely conducive to lots of insect activity. In the upper part of the river there were still fish willing to eat a golden stone dry, but I think that in the past few days that hatch has tapered off completely. Once we got below Whitehorse Rapid it was an assortment of bugs. Whenever the clouds would roll in and there’d be a sprinkle of rain, there were tons of PMDs and a few drakes fluttering around. Once the cloudy skies gave way to sun, the caddis would be out in numbers. It was fun, constantly-changing fishing that kept us on our toes the whole time, but there was no denying that the fish were willing to eat on top so long as you were able to determine what each individual fish was rising to. And of course, nymphing was producing fish as it so often does on this river.

Some of our favorite flies for June on the Lower Deschutes are the Peacock Caddis, X-Caddis, Sparkle Dun PMD, Sparkle Pupa, Clarks Stone, Outrigger Yellow Sally, Extended Body Green Drake, and the Jigged Tungsten Prince Nymph.

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And then the sun would make an appearance!

And then the sun would make an appearance!

The most memorable part of our float wasn’t the fishing. It was spending the duration of it with great friends and taking our friend Nick down the Deschutes for the first time. He was blown away, and rightfully so. In my opinion, there are few places as stunning as the Deschutes between Trout Creek and Maupin. It’s truly tough to beat a river trip with your best friends. If one of us was fishing up a riffle or tree line, the rest of us were wading along behind, wishing more to experience those times together than each of us splitting off and fishing solitary.

Nick's first taste of the 'bow and arrow' cast.

Nick’s first taste of the ‘bow and arrow’ cast.

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Nothin' better

Nothin’ better

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Whether you can carve out time to head to the Lower River this month or anytime this summer, regardless of the fishing it never ceases to amaze. As these consistent, hot days become the norm, caddis will become the standard fare down on this stretch and that can be some of the best dry fly fishing of the year, especially at last light. Cheers to Summer!

Andy Archer

Posted in Eastern Oregon, Fishing Reports | Leave a comment

Tying the Glass-Bead Wooly Bugger Trout Lake Fly

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This is one of my most favorite wet flies to fish for trout in lakes and for sea run cutthroat in the river and estuary. If you are an intermediate or advanced tyer you need not watch this video—just open your mind to the possibility of using glass beads instead of brass and tungsten, because these flies sink more slowly and sometimes that can be the ticket to success when fishing shallow feeding fish or in shallow water where a heavier fly will hang up on the bottom.

 

Hook: TMC 5252 or 5263 in sizes 8-14 (I prefer a #12 most of the time)
Thread: your choice but I’m liking Veevus black or red in 10/0 these days
Rib: Copper wire
Dubbing: I use a mixture that includes some Ice Dub to yield a brown over all effect
Tail: Brown wooly bugger marabou
hackle: Brown dyed grizzly
Bead: Glass in orange or red size large
Cement: Hard as Hull Penetrator

I know this is not rocket science, but this is really a favorite fly and I hope you enjoy fishing it.

Jay Nicholas
Spring Season 2017

Posted in Fly Tying | Leave a comment

Walk The Land Day – Join The McKenzie River Trust for a Day at Green Island

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All day on June 24th – Here is a link to the days events, maps, and details. – http://www.mckenzieriver.org/events/walk-the-land/

Event-flyer

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