Jay’s Swing Jig Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay ties a Jigged version of the Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Fly. This fly is tied on a #2 Jigged hook using the same color combination of black and blue and includes Double Pupil Eyes. It is fished best swinging for both summer and winter steelhead. The benefit of using a jigged hook versus a Tube Fly is that the hook will ride up so you’re less likely to snag and this fly actually has a little less material than the tube version. If you’re not experienced in tying tube flies yet this is a great alternative. This is a proven color combination that has worked well for Jay and other anglers.

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Jay’s Swing Jig (Fl. Blue)

Hook: Umpqua S506H Jig #2
Thread: Danville’s 210D Fl. Blue
Eyes: Hareline Double Pupil Black/Chartreuse
Tail: Rabbit Strip Black Barred Fl. Blue
Collar: Senyo’s Chromatic 3.0 Brush Midnight
Body: Lagartun Carded Flat braid Holo Fl. Blue
Collar: SD Blue Saddle

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Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Fly Tying Video

Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube (Fl. Blue) is a vibrant Summer and Winter Steelhead fly that can be fished in any water. The weighted eyes help this fly sink faster and the loose rabbit strip gives this fly lots of action. Swing this bad boy through your favorite run next time you go out and watch your reel scream. Happy tying.

Jay's Ultralicious Steelhead Tube

Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube (Fl. Blue)

Tube: Pro 40/40 or Pro blue classic tube
Thread: Danville’s 210D Fl. Blue
Cement: Loc-Tite brush on
Eyes: Balz Eyes medium chartreuse
Body: Lagartun Carded Flat braid Holo Fl. Blue
Rabbit Strip: Black Barred Fl. Blue
Collar: Senyo’s Chromatic 3.0 Brush Midnight
Collar: SD Blue Saddle

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Photos from the South Island – Cedar Lodge Heli Fly Fishing Lodge

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New Zealand’s South Island offers anglers and photographers some unreal subject matter. Brier Kelly who is super solid photographer and angler recently visited us at Cedar Lodge. I thought I would share some of his shots from his recent trip. You can follow Brier on Instagram at brier_kelly. I was fortunate enough to guide Brier and his mom Lynn a couple of days and got lucky with Brier’s camera myself. Enjoy!

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OWRD Grants Support Sprague and Crooked Rivers

Four water projects in Oregon have won nearly $6.3 million from state regulators, including two projects with a major impact on fish.

The Opal Springs Fish Passage Project is a collaborative effort to secure upstream fish passage at Opal Springs Diversion Dam, on the Crooked River just upstream from Lake Billy Chinook. The dam, owned and operated by Deschutes Valley Water District (DVWD), largely blocks steelhead and Chinook salmon from reaching more than 100 miles of historic spawning habitat. OWRD awarded $1.5 million for this project.

This project stems from a broadly supported 2011 settlement agreement between Trout Unlimited, Deschutes Valley Water District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish fish passage at the Opal Springs Hydroelectric Project.

Crooked River Canyon in central Oregon

Also, Trout Unlimited was approved to receive $2.7 million to replace an irrigation canal on the Sprague River watershed with two 36-inch diameter pipes. The unlined ditch lost some 35% of the water conveyed through it to seepage. The new pipes will prevent this loss and allow 90 percent of the water savings to be dedicated to instream flows.

You can read TU’s press release on the new projects here.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Daily Special Fly Tying Video

Justin Helm demonstrates how to tie a versatile tube streamer using some of our favorite fly tying materials. This pattern can be adapted to trout, steelhead, bass, salmon and more. Using a variety of color combinations one can make a pattern to fit the species and situation desired.

Daily Special

Daily Special

Tube: Pro sportfisher Microtube Black 32mm
Weight: Pro sportfisher Raw Weight Medium
Wing: Rabbit Strips Grizzly
Dub: Senyo’s Laser Dub Sculpin Olive
Flash: Ice Dub Minnow Belly
Collar: Extra Select Craft Fur Medium Brown
Cone: Pro cone Medium Orange

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Happy Holidays From Cedar Lodge New Zealand

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

We had a fantastic start to our spring season on the South Island. We experienced low water and good fishing for November and much of early December. The second week of December brought on some mixed spring weather with some freshening showers and tougher days but overall it’s been a much better fishing and season at Cedar Lodge.

Xmas fun nz 2017

This is our first Christmas break without a major project around the lodge and we have been enjoying a more traditional “kiwi Christmas”. BBQ’s, swimming and of course fishing. It’s been really nice.

Xmas fun nz 2017

Xmas fun nz 2017

Xmas fun nz 2017

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

Spring 2017 cedar lodge

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Jay’s Olive Brush Bugger Fly Tying Video

Jay demonstrates how to tie a wooly bugger style fly on a Pro Sportfisher tube. By using an EP Foxy Brush as the hackle the fly becomes super durable and quick to tie.

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Jay’s Brush Bugger Olive

hook guide: medium lavender/green
Tube: pro nanotube sink – 4
Tail: Olive UV Marabou
Flash: Krystal Flash Peacock
Weight: Pro Drop Weight
Body: Speckled Chenille Lime/Olive
Collar: EP Foxy Brush 3.0 Olive/Brown
Cone: Ultra Sonic Disc black
Hook: Glo Bug C14S

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Nicholas’ Shamen Fly Tying Bobbin Review

Jay Nicholas Shamen Bobbin 1
Fly Tying Tools Review: Shamen Bobbin

I have tied flies with many, many bobbins over the last five decades. Complicated and simple, inexpensive and pricey.

In general, I prefer bobbins that are on the less technically challenging variety, and appreciate high quality, durability, adjustability and feel in the hand.

I have used so many bobbins over the years that it is impossible to even recall specifics of many, but I’m quite sure that I have not been impressed with every new bobbin that comes along just because it is new or shiny.

The Shamen bobbin is one of the relatively new members of the bobbin family that I have tested and appreciated.

The model I have tied with is a standard size. A midge size is also offered and I assume that I would rate it highly as well.

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Solid features of the Shamen Bobbin:
• Good fit in hand – very comfortable
• Easy to load the new thread spool
• Provides a secure hold on the spool
• Durable – I have many hours, days, weeks, and so forth with this bobbin in hand
• Easily adjustable thread tension! This is a BIG plus.
• Dependably adjustable thread tension – got to say it twice, it is so important.
• The tension is adjusted by means of the “screw” mechanism and it is SMOOTH.
• Adaptable to very fine and very stout thread
• Ceramic thread tube means no thread fraying

Please don’t assume that this is the only bobbin I keep on my desk. There are many very dependable fly tying tools available these days, unlike when I was learning to tie flies back in the early 1960s.

That said, I’m heartily endorsing this Shamen bobbin as a trustworthy companion at the fly bench.

Jay Nicholas, late 2017

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Fishpond Submersible Packs

Most of you are Moldy Chum fans, but if you haven’t been over lately you need to check out their in-depth analysis of Fishpond’s Thunderhead Submersible packs.

If you typically fish with your phone or a camera handy, you are taking a big risk. I’ve soaked phones, favorite point-and-shoots, and even my digital SLR once… And the replacement cost for those was far more than a convenient, waterproof gear bag.

Now Fishpond has really upped its game by introducing a waterproof, submersible pack made from post-industrial recycled material. They took home some major awards at the IFTD this year. Here is a great video summarizing the product line:

From the Moldy Chum review: If you haven’t seen one of these packs in person yet, make sure to head over to your local fly shop and check one out. It’s an obsessively designed product that will provide years of great use on your local stream or in the harshest waters on the planet. And if you’re still trying to figure out what gear to add to your holiday wish list, you won’t regret putting this pack at the top of the list.

You can pick up the various models at the Caddis Fly Shop.

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel Bag

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Washington Cancels Atlantic Salmon Farming Lease

From the Seattle Times:

Cooke Aquaculture Pacific has lost the lease for its Atlantic salmon net-pen farm in Port Angeles and must shut down and remove it, said Hilary Franz, state commissioner of public lands, who terminated Cooke’s lease.

The farm, operated by a series of owners since 1984, currently holds nearly 700,000 Atlantic salmon. Franz said the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would work with other state agencies to enforce an orderly shutdown and complete removal of the farm.

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Check out a great informational source on the dangers of farmed salmon in the Northwest at Our Sound Our Salmon

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Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 1 Comment

The Best Travel Fly Tying Vise – Great Last Minute Christmas Gift

The Morsetto Airone Travel vise from Stonfo is a great choice for anglers who tie on the fly. Pun intended. Thanks to its special design and to a series of articulated joints it can be folded and placed in a 4in by 6in box. No assembly/disassembly required. It uses the same interchangeable jaw as the Stonfo Elite Vise and the head has adjustable angle, height and 360 degree rotary action. The rotary tension is adjustable and can lock at any angle. The accurate machining and choice of materials provide exceptional performance to this small, portable vise.

This unique fly tying travel vise will make a great gift for the fly tier.

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Seasons Greetings from the Metolius River

“The colors are gone. It’s now a tableau of black and white and shades of gray. The water is inky black with a silver screen of snow reflected on its surface. There are little mists rising. Yet, even in the midst of the worst storm, right at the water’s edge there is a little band of green where the grass is as bright as if it were spring. This little oasis never goes away because the water temperature, still at 48º F, fresh from the headspring, warms the ground, leaving a little patch of land that never knows winter.”
-John Judy, Seasons of the Metolius

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Late fall and winter can be a marvelous time on the Metolius River. The crowds thin out, as most people are unwilling to wade waist deep into the river when the air temperature is barely breaking the 20º F mark. And you can hardly blame them; it is cold out there right now. Frozen guides, frozen fly lines, and frozen hands are provided at no extra charge when you spend a day on the Metolius this time of year.

The fishing remains a challenge, as always, on this perplexing and humbling stream. The fish certainly react to the brisk air temperatures, as do the bugs, primarily because there is less sun striking the surface during the increasingly shorter days that define December. Typically they wont move as far for a fly, whether that is correlated to the ambient temperature or their biological clocks beginning to shift toward an urge to move into the upper river to spawn in the coming months, who knows. That being said, you can still have some awesome afternoons full of beautiful, willing fish right now.

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The past few outings have proven that. Concentrating our efforts during the afternoon hours when the sun is on the water and the outside temperature is more bearable, rainbows, whitefish, and a few bull trout have been eating a variety of nymphs. There have also been small mayflies fluttering around in the back eddies, and if you get a period of sunshine on the water, the trout have been feeding on the surface as well.

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Mayfly nymphs are a good choice this time of year on the Metolius. The most important thing is that your setup is heavy enough to get down to the fish in the deep, turbulent water in which they often hold. Pheasant Tails, Possie Buggers, and Morrish’s Anato May are good places to start in combination with a heavier stonefly for the depth charge. In terms of dry fly patterns, small Thorax BWOs and small Parachute Adams are the ticket.

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If you’re looking for an opportunity to get your fix, remember that the spring-fed Metolius remains an option 365 days a year. Keep your eye on the forecast, as warmer temperatures will bring heightened insect activity and more eager trout.

As always, the mantra of my mates and I when we venture to this river is be prepared for absolutely anything and be prepared to catch absolutely nothing. The joy of the Metolius comes from standing on the bank, the sun warming your face, the old growth trees towering what seems like an infinite height above your head, and Mt. Jefferson looming ever present in the distance. An elk bugles upstream, mergansers soar downstream, and here you are situated in the middle of it all.

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Andy Archer

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report | Leave a comment

New Options for an Old Favorite: UV and Pastel Bucktail by Spirit River and Hareline

Spirit River UV2 Bucktail

Spirit River UV2 Bucktail

Fly Tying Materials Review: Hareline Pastel and Spirit River UV2 Bucktails.

I am a regular and frequent user of bucktails and am always on the lookout for variations or specifics when it comes to acquiring bucktails to tie my salmon Clousers.

I recently learned that Hareline is now offering UV2 Bucktails (Spirit River) and Pastel Colors in Bucktails.

Hareline Pastel Bucktail.

Hareline Pastel Bucktail.

Both of these new options are promising and I naturally added to my bucktail inventory by adding several colors of these two products.

Here are but a few of the pastel bucktail colors by Hareline.

Here are but a few of the pastel bucktail colors by Hareline.

As far as the Pastel Colors go, I really appreciate the subtle muted colors and will have freshly tied Clousers featuring several of these colors when spring Chinook season rolls around in 2018.

Here are a few of my favorite Spirit River UV2 Bucktail colors - many more options are available.

Here are a few of my favorite Spirit River UV2 Bucktail colors – many more options are available.

I have already been playing with a selection of Clousers tied with the Spirit River UV2 Bucktails. These colors are vibrant and sure to draw the salmon’s attention. With these two options (UV2 and Pastel) available, I will be able to more fully stock my fly boxes with Clousers that meet my preferences for different water conditions.

Jay Nicholas Pastel Bucktail 5

Naturally, fly tyers who are specializing in bass, musky, panfish, and so forth will be intrigues to look over these bucktail options for their tying preferences.

Tarpon flies? Bonefish flies? Permit flies? I’m betting that these will all be home for UV2 bucktails and Pastel bucktails, so the trout, steelhead, and salmon fly niche is not the only place where these tails will provide great color options to the adventurous tyer.

Jay Nicholas, late 2017

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 1 Comment

Jay’s Crafty Bird Fly Tying Video

Jay demonstrates how to tie a Sand Eel pattern using an EP Craft Fur Brush. The Sand Eel is a killer baitfish imitation for fresh and estuarine waters.

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Crafty Bird

Tube: Nanotube Sink 4
Cone: Pro Cone XSmall Red/Orange
Flash: Ice Wing Pheasant Tail
Hook Guide: Lavender Medium
Hook: Glo Bug #6
Overwing: Ostrich Olive
Weight: Drop Weight Medium
Body/Wing: EP Craft Fur 3″ Brush Sand/Brown
Thread: Veevus Thread 6/0 – 10/0

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Safina: Pebble Mine is a Death Wish

On a day after the president just enacted the the largest reduction of public-lands protection in U.S. history, we need to again take up the fight against the Pebble Mine. You may have thought it was dead, but it is not.

July 26, 2010 Stunning wetlands

From the L.A. Times:

For more than a decade, a Canadian mining company, Northern Dynasty Minerals, has wanted to gouge one of the world’s largest gold and copper mines into the heart of the watershed, putting its rivers on a centuries-long poison drip. The company has failed to move forward with the project, known as Pebble Mine, due to intense and sustained opposition. It has also been burdened by proposed restrictions recommended by the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency — the result of a four-year review.

But President Trump’s EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, has rejected his agency’s review and moved to withdraw its proposal to impose restrictions on the mine, thereby reviving the company’s prospects for federal permitting. Pruitt is poised to take this action imminently, showing a flagrant disregard for the public’s overwhelming opposition.

Now, in what could very well be the most important land-use decision in North America in our time, an essentially eternal supply of food is pitted against an essentially eternal supply of poison.

The fly fishing industry has been fighting this tooth and nail, but you can get involved directly here.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | 2 Comments