Native Fish Society – Homewaters Roundup on August 19th

homewaters-roundup-nfs

A Guaranteed Good Time for A Good Cause!

Join the Native Fish Society Thursday, July 19th, 2018 at the Miracle Barn in Bend, OR for a great evening of fellowship, festivities, and a live auction benefitting Oregon’s native fish and wild rivers. Admission includes a delicious dinner from Tate & Tate Catering, local craft brews, a speciality cocktail and the finest Willamette Valley wines from Lange Estate Winery & Vineyard, A to Z Winery, and Yamhill Valley Vineyards.

Don’t miss this great Native Fish Society gathering in Central Oregon!

To purchase tickets call Native Fish Society HQ at 503.344.4218 or click this link to purchase tickets online: Homewaters Roundup

Thursday, July 19th 2018 5:00pm – Thursday, July 19th 2018 9:00pm

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Purple/Orange Fly Tying Video

In this video, Jay ties an Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Fly using a Purple and Orange color variation. This fly can be cast, stripped, and swung for Summer and Winter Steelhead.

Jay's Ultralicious Steelhead Tube (Purple and Orange)

Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Purple/Orange

Tube: Pro Sportfisher Classic Tube Medium blue
Hook Guide: 40/40 Tube
Thread: Veevus 8/0 Orange
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush On
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Lead Eyes Black with Fl. Chartreuse and Black
Body: Lagartun Carded Flatbraid Fl. Blue
Bump: Wire Free Synthetic Fox Brush Black
Strip: Black Barred Purple Rabbit Strip
Flash: Ice Wing Baitfish
Collar: EP Senyo’s Chromatic Brush Midnight
Collar: UV2 Marabou Hot Orange
Hook: Owner #2
Hook: OPST #2

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

New Hollow Fly Tool – Nicholas’ Review and test run

The JAWN Hollow Fly tool.

The JAWN Hollow Fly tool.

I guess I’s say it is a blessing and a curse (just a little curse) that there are so many new fly tying products entering the market these days. I watched a very good Ted Talk recently that noted something close to 200 varieties of salad dressing available at the local grocery store. This huge selection is in some respects good and in some respects not so good because it can lead to indecision and paralysis.

Count me in.

During a recent conversation with Chris, he asked if I had yet tried the new JAWN tool.

“Nope,” I said.

“Let me know what you think of it if you do,” he said, “it’s supposed to help tying hollow flies”

Two days later, I sat at my bench with a pile of bucktail and flat wing saddles at my side, tying my first hollow fly ever.

First three flies were pretty darn good looking, then things went downhill, then got better, then got worse, then – – – – –

As we know, this is the normal process anything we begin tying an unfamiliar fly style, especially a style that requires new skills, proportions, materials and so forth.

Of course I am quite familiar with bucktail where Clousers are concerned, but I had never tied with bucktail in the lengths and methods involved with hollow flies, and flatwing style streamers were also new to me.

Coincidentally, I had been struggling recently, in a fly tying sense, trying to find a fly that I wanted to tie and tie and tie. Given that my Clouser boxes are full, my summer steelhead wet fly box is full, and I have more than a few steelhead Intruders stashed around the den, I wandered, looking for inspiration.

Well, thanks to the new JAWN tool, I found the new fly inspiration.

JAWN tubes in hand.

JAWN tubes in hand.

JAWN tool review.
* I like it and it works as intended.
* The tool set has thee sizes of plastic tube, each tube has a different size opening at each end yielding six size options.
* This tool replaces the pen tube and is used to push back the material (often bucktail or craft fur) during the process of tying a hollow fly.
* Can you just use a pen cap? Of course you can.
* But the JAWN offers sizes that are difficult to find in pen caps, and it has a slot along each tube that allows its use with jig hooks, something not possible with pen caps.
* The opening of each end of each tube has serrations that allow the tyer to re-distribute the material before tying a thread dam to prop the material at each stage of the fly.
* This tool is suitable to tie on relatively small (steelhead size) to giant (Musky and Pike) size flies. I have only used the second smallest size so far, but the variety of size applications is great.
* I have only used this tool with bucktail so far, but I know it works with Craft Fur and should work with a wide variety of materials.

JAWN tool instructions.

JAWN tool instructions.

Hollow fly fresh from vise.

Hollow fly fresh from vise.

Big fly, yes?

Big fly, yes?

Here is what a Hollow Fly looks like when fresh from the vise.

Run it under hot water in the sink and hang it to dry.

Run it under hot water in the sink and hang it to dry.

Here is what the fly looks like after soaking under hot water.

Now I hang the wet fly to dry.

Two of my early attempt to tie Flatwing Hollow Flies.

Two of my early attempt to tie Flatwing Hollow Flies.

Here are two finished Hollow Flies that I am looking forward to fishing in less than a week.

And yes, I found my inspiration.

I will be following with a video as soon as possible, but I wanted to share these ideas as soon as I could.

This tool is very useful, but the reader tyer should be advised that this tying style will test your ability to work with bucktail, and it will require patience and practice to select the best bucktail and correct proportions. I am having a grand time working with these flies. I can see possibilities fishing the estuary for chinook, the ocean for albacore and salmon, and those are only my personal starting points. Hollow flies are super effective fishing for fresh and saltwater species around the world – so I’m told – and the next few months are likely to find me building new boxes stuffed with various sizes and; color combinations of flies tied in this manner—with and without flatwing saddles.

Jay Nicholas – July 2018

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Spend a week on the Babine River this fall for just $100!

native-fish-society

BABINE FOR A BENJAMIN

Spend a week on the Babine River this fall for just $100!

The one and only Babine Steelhead Lodge has generously donated a week of steelhead fishing on the Babine River for 1 angler to support the Native Fish Society’s work protecting and restoring wild, native fish across the Pacific Northwest.

Keep in mind there are more 20+ pound wild steelhead on the Babine River than any other river in the world! That’s right, more than any other river in the whole darn WORLD!

Dates: August 31 – September 7, 2018

How does it work? Native Fish Society is selling tickets for $100 each. NFS will draw the lucky winner on July 10th and they’ll get ready for the time of their life!

To buy your tickets call 503.344.4218 or fill out the form at this link: https://nativefishsociety.org/events/babine-for-a-benjamin

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Making sense of Integrated Shooting Head Fly Lines

fly lines review

I probably fish a wider variety of fly lines than the average fly fisher—in fact—some of my friends call me a fly line freak.

The range of high quality fly lines available these days is STAGGERING. As an industry associate I never-the-less find myself dazed and confused at times where the entire range of fly lines is concerned.

This blog is my blunt attempt to inject a little clarity regarding what I call integrated shooting head fly lines.

Here is how I would define an “integrated head” fly line: Remembering that a shooting head is usually a short heavy head of approximately 30 ft that we loop onto a slender running line. An integrated head line lacks the loop-to-loop connection between the short head and the running line—these are full fly lines usually of 90 to 110 ft long. Integrated head lines are generally referred to as Weight Forward lines, meaning only that they are heavier in the front portion of the line in contrast to a double taper fly line that is symmetrical in it’s profile.

I distinguish integrated shooting-head fly lines from other weight forward (WF) lines by the relatively short, relatively heavy weight of the front section of these fly lines.

First I’ll compare head length of these lines listing them shortest to longest:

20 ft
Wulff Ambush float and intermediate

26 ft
*Cortland compact float and intermediate

30 ft
* Outbound Short Hover

32 ft
* Airflo Beach   (33 ft)
* Airflo Spey Switch Float
* Rio Coastal Quickshooter XP

37.5 – 38 ft
*Rio Outbound
*Airflo sniper
*Rio Direct Core Flats Pro Stealth

Now I will distinguish the fly lines with clear heads or tips:
* Rio Coastal Quickshooter and Quickshooter XP
* Rio Direct Core Flats Pro Stealth (6 ft clear tip)
* Wulff Ambush Intermediate
* Cortland Compact Intermediate
* Airflo Beach lines have some clear head alternatives

Ability to deliver heavy flies in wind versus ability to deliver a fly precisely and delicately. Please note that this comparison is based on my opinion and far from expert casting ability.
* I found that the Outbound Short and coastal Quickshooter seemed best lines in wind and casting large flies.
* The Wulff Ambush excelled at casting poppers and streamers with the fewest back-casts at modest range.
* The Rio outbound, Airflo Sniper, Airflo Beach, Airflo Spey Switch Float, and Rio Direct core Flats Pro Stealth line seemed superior at
delivering flies precisely and softly.

Float comparison of these fly lines: All the floaters actually do so, noting that I fish estuarine waters that range from full saltwater to full freshwater.

Sink rates of the intermediate lines: All clear intermediate heads and tips sink at roughly 1,5-2.0 IPS and I could not discern a difference across the brands of lines I fished.

The exception is the slower sink rate of the RIO Outbound Hover fly line, making this a superior line if you want to fish sub surface but rather shallow.

 

Here are some key features of individual fly lines to consider when choosing an Integrated Shooting Head fly line. Each of the lines listed here are  fly lines I fish and recommend highly. As is usually the case these days, I’m expect that other good lines exist that I am not yet familiar with.

 

Rio Outbound fy line

RIO OUTBOUND:
37.5 ft head; 330 gr (WF8F/I); tip is not clear; suited to cold & temperate climate; about 1.5 IPS sink

 

 

rio-in-touch-fresh-outbound-sh-8

RIO OUTBOUND Hover:

30 ft head; 280 gr (WF8H); head is not clear; suited to cold & temperate climate; very slow Intermediate sink rate

RIO COASTAL QUICKSHOOTER:
32 ft head; 250 gr (WF8I): head is clear: suited to cold & temperate climate; about 1.5 IPS sink

RIo Coastal Qulickshooter XP fly line.rio quickshooter XPRIO COASTAL QUICKSHOOTER XP:

32 ft head; 330 gr (WF8I): tip is clear; suited to cold & temperate climate; about 1.5 IPS sink

Rio Direct Core Flats Pro Stealth fly line.

Rio Direct Core Flats Pro Stealth fly line.

line-profile-directcore-flats-pro-stealthtipRIO DIRECT CORE FLATS PRO STEALTH:

38 ft head; 240 gr first 30 ft (WF8F); 6 ft of tip is clear intermediate; suited to tropical to temperate climate;

 

Airflo Sniper Intermediate fly line.

AIRFLO SNIPER Intermediate:
37.5 ft; 330 gr (WF8F/I); head is not clear: suited to cold & temperate climate; about 1.5 IPS sink

Airflo Spey Switch Fly Line

 

 

AIRFLO SPEY SWITCH float:
32 ft head; 250 gr (WF8I) AIRFLO SUPER-DRI 40+; Full Floater; head is not clear (I add clear polyleader): suited to cold & temperate climate

 

airflo beach fly line

AIRFLO BEACH:
32 ft head; 250 gr (WF8I); head is not clear; suited to cold & temperate climate

 

Wulff ambush short fly line.

WULFF AMBUSH:

20 ft head; 290 gr (WF8F); floating head is not clear; suited to cold & temperate climate

 

Wulff Ambush Intermediate fly line.

WULFF AMBUSH INTERMEDIATE:

20 ft head; 290 gr (WF8F); Intermediate head is clear; suited to cold & temperate climate

 

Cortland Tropic Plus Compact fly line.CORTLAND COMPACT FLOAT:

26 ft head; 290 gr (WF8F); floating head is not clear; suited to cold & temperate climate

Blitz_LightblueClearCORTLAND COMPACT INTERMEDIATE:

26 ft head; 290 gr (WF8F); Intermediate head is clear; suited to cold & temperate climate

SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS SONAR TITAN CLEAR TIP:
33.5 ft head; 280 gr (WF8F/I); head is clear; running line floats; suited to cold & temperate climate

 

I hope you find something of interest here.

Jay Nicholas 2018

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Jay’s Bull Trout Jig Crawdad Fly tying Video

In this video, Jay ties a Bull Trout Jig fly in a Crawdad color variation. This is a great fly to use with a trout spey setup, swinging near a fallen log or boulder garden.

bull-trout-jig-crawdad

Jay’s Bull Trout Jig Crawdad

Hook: Umpqua #4 S506H Jig
Thread: Danville’s 210D Black
Eyes: Double Pupil Lead Eyes Large Black/Chartreuse
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush On
Tail: Black Barred Rabbit Strip Orange Variant
Brush: EP Foxy 3” Black/Orange
Legs: Barred Grizzly Legs Orange/Black
Flash: Copper Angel Hair
Brush: Senyo’s Chromatic Brush Olive/Sand

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

Protect the Yellowstone River Permenantly

Check out this beautiful film from SAGE Fly Fishing.

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

Urgent: Tell ODFW to Protect our Metolius River wild fish!

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From the Native Fish Society

Dear Members and Supporters,

The Metolius River in Central Oregon is the crown jewel of the upper Deschutes Basin and a place of exemplary ecological value in the state of Oregon. It is also ground zero for an exhaustive wild Chinook, sockeye, and steelhead recovery effort. These fish swim hundreds of miles up the Columbia and the Deschutes to reach the Metolius where plentiful spawning and rearing habitat await them. These struggling anadromous populations remind us that we are duty-bound to act on their behalf to restore sustainable runs. Long story short, the Metolius is just too special to not receive all of the protection that we can reasonably and sensibly provide it.

But existing angling regulations are leaving our Metolius wild fish vulnerable. They are difficult for the public to interpret, contribute to ongoing ecological damage, and are detrimental to the health of our wild fish. The Native Fish Society is urging the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to make changes to the 2019 angling regulations to protect the Metolius, our wild fish, and the communities that depend on this special river.

Please join us in sending an email to the ODFW Director and Commission that oversees the Department. Tell them to amend Oregon’s recreational angling regulations to extend the fly fishing only boundaries, require the use of single, barbless hooks, and ban the use of external lead weights.

The Metolius should be the shining example of how we manage our most cherished and ecologically significant river systems. Do your part today and send your letter of support to the ODFW Commission and Director Melcher. Simply follow the link, fill in your pertinent contact info, click the “Submit” button, and your message will be sent. Please send your message by 5 p.m. Pacific time on July 12, 2018. Feel free to customize the letter.

Thank you for your continued support of the Metolius and our wild fish!

Here is that link again: PROTECT THE METOLIUS

Adam Bronstein, NFS Metolius River Steward
Jennifer Fairbrother, NFS Campaign & Columbia Regional Director

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Jay’s Trout Tube Streamer (w/ Pine Squirrel) Fly Tying Video

In this video, Jay ties us a Trout Tube Streamer using Pine Squirrel and a Sommerlatte’s Foxy Brush. This is a fun fly that is easy to cast and won’t hold a lot of water. But it will also get down to the right depth because of the drop weight. This fly works great in running water and although Jay hasn’t tried yet he thinks this might fish well in still water as well.

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Jay’s Trout Tube Streamer (w/ Pine Squirrel)

Tube: Nanotube Sink
Guide: Pro Hook Guide Medium
Pro Drop Weight Sm Black
Thread: 10/0 Veevus Black
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush on
Polar Chenille Medium UV Copper
Ice Wing Gold
Micro Pine Squirrel (Crawdad Orange)
Sommerlatte’s Foxy Brush Root Beer/Orange
Cone X-sm Black/Red
Hook: Size 2 or 4 depending on fish size!

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

Ahrex Fw 581 Wet Fly Hook – Barbless – Review

Several wet flies tied for sea run cutthroat and summer steelhead on  AFW 581 Barbless Wet Fly hooks.

Several wet flies tied for sea run cutthroat and summer steelhead on
AFW 581 Barbless Wet Fly hooks.

This is another Ahrex fly tying hook that I have been working with for several months tying and fishing wet flies.

Available in sizes that span the range from 4 to 10, I appreciate the wire, the barbless feature, the very slightly downturned eye, the finish, the curve the hook, and the overall proportion that enhances the finished flies I tie on this hook.

Very nice indeed.

Jay Nicholas – 2018

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Ahrex NS150 Nordic Salt Curved Shrimp Hook Review

Nicholas Shrimp Flies tied on Ahrex NS150 Nordic Salt Curved Shrimp Hooks.

Nicholas Shrimp Flies tied on Ahrex NS150 Nordic Salt Curved Shrimp Hooks.

I have been tying and fishing one of my shrimp patterns on the NS150 Nordic Salt Curved Shrimp Hook for several months and am quite impressed with the hook’s overall performance as well as the esthetics of the hook and the fly I can tie on it.

The wire is the proper diameter, the point super sharp, the barb low and easily smushable, and the finish is salt water resistant. Sizes 4 to 10 cover all the bases I’m focused on.

Great Hook!

Jay Nicholas – 2018

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Ahrex NS 115 Nordic Salt Deep Streamer Hook Review

Summer Steelhead fly  tied on NS115 by Jay Nicholas.

Summer Steelhead fly tied on NS115 by Jay Nicholas.

I have been tying and fishing a hook that is new to me but well established in Northern Europe for some time.  While there are many styles of Ahrex fly tying hooks that we can provide — from tiny dry fly and scud patterns to tube fly hooks, wet fly, nymph and streamer hooks in the mix.

Overall, I am very enthused with the hook styles, finish, point sharpness, small barbs, barbless styles, and so forth that the Ahrex fly tying hook portfolio brings to the fly bench.

My basic approach to Ahrex – like any other fly tying hook – is to focus my tying on specific hooks to explore with flies that I enjoy tying and evaluate how the product shapes up. This post is on the Ahrex NS115 Nordic Salt Deep Streamer Hook — one of the first Ahrex hooks I have been tying on.

Regarding the NS115, I give it very high marks, and this in some respects is related to my sadness over the absence of the TMC 700 hook from the production line. The TMC 700 is a down eye, limerick bend hook with a slightly long shank and a very sharp point.

The NS115 has an eye that is so very slightly downturned, is black nickel finish, and is properly hefty to ensure that my wet flies swim true.

Jay Nicholas Summer Steelhead flies tied on Ahrex NS115 hooks

I’ll close by saying that I have a very high opinion of Ahrex fly tying hooks and consider many of the models I have tested to be on par generally with Gamakatsu, TMC, and Daiichi  hooks.

Jay Nicholas – 2018

 

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Gamagatsu SL12S Wide Gap Big Game Hook Just got better

Top row: Gamakatsu SL12S 1X Short Big Game . Bottom row:  SL12S.

Top row: Gamakatsu SL12S 1X Short Big Game .
Bottom row: SL12S. Sizes from left start with #1/0 and extend to# 6

Fact is, I couldn’t imagine an improvement on the trusted Gammie SL12S Wide Gap hook. This hook, in sizes # 2, 1/0, and 2/0 has ben my number one choice for salmon clouser hooks for over a decade or so. The bend is perfect, the barb is perfect, the point is sharp, the wire is just right, and the eye is right sized too.

So what fly tying hook  could be better than my old standby?

The same hook in a slightly shorter, slightly heavier wire, with the addition of a few sizes!

Yes, we now have access to the Gamakatsu SL12S 1X Short Big Game Wide Gap Hook in NS Black finish.

This hook is
* slightly shorter
* slightly heavier wire
* nickle silver black
* same eye
* same bend
* same small barb
* same proven hook and hold ability

AND — this hook series adds sizes 4 and 6 to the list of available sizes.

I’m pleased to see this hook available in stouter wire, and smaller sizes, especially for saltwater fly applications. This new heavy version of an already great hook will be especially effective on baitfish patterns that must swim true when retrieved at moderate to fast speeds. The heavier weight will keel the fly better than the lighter wire version of this hook style.

These are available on our drop down menu at the Caddis Fly Shop. 

And yes, these hooks swim flies true and perform well in the water.

 

JN – summer 2018

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Hook Style Matters – Really

TMC 7999 top center. Daiichi 1530 lower left. Ahrex NS110 lower right. All of these hooks are size 4.

TMC 7999 top center. Daiichi 1530 lower left. Ahrex NS115 lower right. All of these hooks are size 4.

Yup. Contrary to what a person might think, different hook styles and manufacturers exhibit characteristics that are quite different, and these differences have a HUGE influence on the appearance of a finished fly tied on each specific hook.

The flies above, all superior summer steelhead enticers, are tied on different hooks. I prefer one over the other two (but only by s small margin that is based on appearance rather than performance. Which hook I prefer is irrelevant, what counts most is deciding which hook you might prefer. All of these will perform nicely—and please excuse the matter of my forgetting to pinch the barb.

Saying that a fly is tied on a #4 ho0k is not very helpful without knowing what hook model is preferred. Take a look at the row of #4 hooks pictured below and imagine how different a Silver Hilton or Comet would look and possibly (perform) if tied on each of the hook styles below.

Features that can vary considerably between hook models include at least the following—and it is best to become familiar with these hook properties and how your finished fly will function when it is tied on the end of your tippet:
hook shank length
barb height
length of the point forward of barb
wire diameter
shape of the point
shape of the wire (round vs forged)
shape of the eye (up, straight, or down eye and blind — versus tapered return)
shape of the bend

These are all size 4 fly hooks. Well imagine that!

These are all size 4 fly hooks. Well imagine that!

The size 4 hooks pictured above are as listed below (left to right):

Daiichi 530
TMC 777 SP
Gamakatsu SL 12S 1X Short Big Game
Gamakatsu B 10-S
Gamakatsu SC 15
Ahrex NS 110 Nordic Salt Streamer
Ahrex NS 115 Nordic Salt Deep Streamer
Gamakatsu SL 11-3H
Gamakatsu 11S-3H
TMC 7999

I will follow with future blog posts that feature some of the hooks I have discovered recently and the flies tied on same.

My best to you all:

Jay Nicholas – mid-2018

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Postcards from Gui Allen in Baja 2018

My friends Gui Allen and Jim Buckley just returned from their annual venture to La Ventana at Gary Bulla Saltwater Adventures in Baja. I still hope to return there either later this season or next year, but for now, I’d like to share a few photos from Gui’s camera. A very good time was experienced by all and the sardinas are back?

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We are standing by at the Caddis Fly Shop to fill any of your tackle, fly, and accessory needs if yu are heading out on any destination fishing adventure.

Best Regards

Jay Nicholas June 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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