Fly Tying in the USA – and Beyond

boots on step

Photo caption. My wading boots on the porch in PC last summer.

March 15th, 2020. I woke to two realities today

1. Covid-19 is making its way around the USA as it has elsewhere around the world, disrupting plans, and lives in a degree that ranges from slight to devastating.
2. Life goes on.

This post is my inarticulate effort to salute the human spirit and offer a note of hope where much is needed.

While the storm builds, I wanted to share a glimpse of what our fellow fly angler – fly tyers are up-to around our North American continent.


Photo caption. not all the fly tyers in Florida are tying snook flies.

One might think that Oregon fly tyers are only tying trout and steelhead flies, Florida tyers working only on snook and tarpon flies; and New Jersey tyers singularly specializing on flies for striped bass and bluefish.

Nope. It turns out that we fly anglers and fly tyers are a very adventurous lot. Where we live really doesn’t say much about what type of flies we tie or what kind of fish we are enamored with.

fancy streamer

Photo caption. Some of our comrades are crafting beautiful streamer flies like the fly above.

My notes here are gleaned from our shop orders, YouTube videos, and fly tying blogs that I have looked at in the last two days. This is real, and real-time.

Alabama: Someone is on the path to refine their fly-casting skills, because they’re ordering up books and DVDs to assist the effort.


Pacific salmon. A prize to dream about here and a prize in the desert.

Arizona: I know this is desert territory here, Someone here is working with Lagartun flat-braid & tinsel, trailer wire, OPST Shanks, and Aqua-Talon to create wonderful steelhead and salmon flies.

little trout

Photo caption. Small stream trout are as much a prize as a giant salmon, or carp!

California: These materials and small hooks whisper of trout fishing, small fish perhaps, or at least spooky fish that eat really small buglets. The story is far from clear, because we have wet and dry fly hackles that could work for panfish and trout,




bass bug

Two photos above. some of the tyers in Georgia are tying chironomids and some are tying bass bugs.

traditional wet fly

Photo caption. traditional soft hackles are a fly that many people enjoy mastering.

Louisiana: Someone here must have some travel plans, because everything in this order speaks boldly to steelhead and salmon; combination of tackle and fly trying materials is the same stuff I’d like to stock up on for fishing the Oregon Coast, BC or Alaska.


Photo caption. Steelhead on their spawning migration.

Minnesota: Someone is stocking up on tons of Krystal Flash and Glo-Brite Floss; are we perhaps preparing for ice-out in a steelhead river?


Photo caption. Why yes, I am fly fishing.

Nevada. Well looky here, someone is tying up balanced leeches, maybe to fish Pyramid?


Photo caption. What do carp eat? Carp flies of course.

carp flies

North Dakota: while some folks are tying flies with Squirmito Squiggly Worm materials, and fishing with 7X fluorocarbon leaders, there are some dedicated anglers tying up this season’s supply of carp flies.

Oklahoma: Someone loves Steve Farrar SF Blend and they’re stocking up. There’s obviously some streamers being tied up here and in among the usual white and Chartreuse there are some fun colors like misty blue and bleeding perch.


Photo caption. Pike like big flies, right?

nicholas bauer fly

Photo caption. Gotta love these flashy giant flies.

Ontario BC: No doubt about it. Someone is tying up pike flies this winter. Ahrex Predator hooks; Fair Flies Brushes; UV Bucktail, and Flymen Fish Masks tip the story.

soft hackle

Photo caption. The bead head soft hackle fishes all over the world.

Oregon: Well what do you know? Someone very close to my home is tying up their season’s supply of McKenzie Special bucktails and bead head soft hackles

Pennsylvania: Someone here is tying streamers, streamers, and more streamers; with some Clousers thrown in the mix. Their flies range from moderate to downright bad-ass, tied on anywhere from #2 to #6/0 hooks, and there are some articulated shanks and big glue on eyes too. No doubt that that these flies are intended for big predatory fish.


Photo caption. Small trout flies were once on my skill set, but not these days. Still, i might give these a try this summer.

Tennessee: Someone in the Tennessee hills is fishing for spooky trout, perhaps, or in clear water, or in little tiny streams. The clue? They’re stocking up on small #18 & #20 dry fly hooks, dry fly hackles, fine dubbing, and leader tippet in sizes down to 7X.

Washington: Someone tying flies in Eastern Washington, is going fishing in the ocean where it’s a lot warmer than the ocean offshore our coast; their quarry is bigger and badder than the rockfish, lingcod, and albacore I’m familiar with. GTs? Tarpon? Roosterfish? The possibilities are endless. Shure wish I could go!

Nathan P Intruder

Photo caption. The ever present Intruder . Illustration courtesy of Nathan P.

West Virginia: I would have guessed mountain brook trout or bass, or maybe even spot. Not even close. Someone way out east is tying flies and dreaming about steelhead and salmon. This tyer is laying materials on their desk just exactly like I would have at the ready out in my garage: Pro Sportfisher tubes, marabou, ostrich, fox tail, 1/0 stinger hooks, and Aquaflies Intruder eyes.

I’ve probably gone on far too long.

We fly tyer-anglers have plenty to dream about, and if we have time, we have many many flies to tie, either because we will be fishing them soon, or because we are fascinated with the craft and want  expand our skill set.

Wherever you are, on behalf of Chis and our staff at the Shop, I  wish you safe journeys.

Jay Nicholas March 16 2020


P.S – We at The Caddis Fly like everyone else are taking this crisis day by day. March 16 we remain open with normal business hours and are doing are best to process orders and help customers. If this changes we will provide an update on all social media channels.

Posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo | Leave a comment

Willamette Report : Spring 2020


We fished from Armitage to Crossroads. I was accompanied by two members of the Men’s Technical Conference, seeking the March Brown hatch. The sun may have been out, but we were a bit surprised at the “cool breeze”!

We did not see a major hatch event, however, by mid afternoon….the fish were looking up! The Western March Brown and Sparkle Dun were the top producers. With some rain over the weekend and sunny days for next week….the fishing/hatches should only get better on most waterways.



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Flash Back Friday & Look Forward on March 13, 2020

Good morning all you OFFB Blog readers. It is early, dawn just breaking, and I thought a few light hearted images might be in order. Times are interesting these days, but as anglers and fly tyers there are new adventures and new flies to look forward to in the future.

So I flung open my photos library and found ….

Jay NIcholas good memories ;Caption: now here is an egg fly that I have fished in low fall flows when the summer steelhead are stacked in behind spawning chinook.  You could bobber-dog this fly and perhaps add a bead to keep it down. Need I say more? Great Lakes – of course.

Jay NIcholas good memories 4

2010: Now here is my good buddy Kerry Burkheimer in 2010 waxing all poetic about rod building while sitting in his factory across the mighty Columbia river from Oregon.

Jay NIcholas good memories2

Caption: Now here is a sweet little sea run cutthroat fly tied in 2010. Don’t you think this fly or a variation tied as a scud or a bead head Euro Nymph thingy wouldn’t be killer on the Deschutes or McKenzie, or in Montana or So Cal or Georgia?  Yes indeed we have friends who chase trout in Georgia.

Jay NIcholas good memories3Caption: now for pure entertainment this is a sketch I drew from a photo of a McKenzie Redside from 2010. The red band across the trout’s flanks were startling and bedazzling. This trout, of course, is a female, a hen, as you can tell from the rounded forehead, the plump shape, and the slightly distended vent.

Ok: it is grey outside so it’s time to upper the curtains, flip on the fly tying lamp, and start winding something or other around a hook. Or maybe I’ll sort flies by the year i tied them or by wet versus dry – salmon versus steelhead, and so forth.

I’m gonna call a friend today too, and promise to hit those Stillwater in Eastern Oregon and central Washington. Yes, I’d better get some of those flies tied too.

Top of the morning to you all.






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FFF Fly Tying EXPO Cancelled in 2020



The event that we have all come to look forward to has sadly been cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.


The 32nd annual Northwest Fly Tier and Fly Fishing Expo scheduled for this weekend at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center has been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, chairwoman Sherry Steele said Monday afternoon.


A link to an article in the Democrat Herald explains more about the decision. Everyone we know who has been looking forward to this event is disappointed but sympathetic.


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Kaufmann’s Hare’s Ear CDC – Fly Tying Video

In this video, Greg ties a Randall Kaufmann variation to the Classic Hare’s Ear with CDC.

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Hook:TMC 3761 sizes 10-16
Bead/Lead: Optional
Thread: Uni 6/0 Brown
Tail: Natural Hare’s Ear Mask
Rib: Gold Flat Mylar
Abdomen: Natural Hare’s Ear with Black Haretron
Wingcase: Peacock or Kaufmann’s SLF Dubbing
Thorax: Natural Blended Hare’s Ear
Legs: Natural CDC

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Jay’s Mexican Flag Predator Deceiver Fly for Golden Dorado & Peacock Bass Fly Tying Video

In this video, Jay ties his Mexican Flag Dorado Fly a deceiver style pattern for dorado and peacock bass.

Follow step by step instruction for these large flies with Jay’s commentary and years of experience.

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Hook: Ahrex PR320 4-6/0
Thread: Veevus GSP 150D White
Cement: Loctite or Hard as Hull
Tail: Strung Saddles (6-8) Forest Green & Red
Flash: Mixture Holographic Flashabou & Magnum Flashabou
4 Hollow Stations: Alternate Green, Yellow, and Red Bucktail
Finishing Bucktail: Green Bucktail
Eyes: Pro Tabbed Eyes or Jungle Cock Sub
Copic Marker

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

Rio Palena Lodge Chile – Trip Report

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My family and I and five friends had the pleasure of visiting Rio Palena Lodge in Chile this past February. Rio Palena Lodge is one of several properties owned by Eleven Experience. We had a great time fishing the numerous waters near the lodge and enjoying the incredibly well appointed property.

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The varied waters of Chilean Patagonia contain rainbow, brown and brook trout amidst stunning scenery. Rio Palena has the resources to get anglers to the best waters. Deluxe NRS Rafts, Hyde Power Drifters, a Helicopter, 9 Toyota Hilux trucks, and 2 Mercedes Sprinters. Our group experienced all of the “travel to options” and all of the “fish to” options. The staff and the efficiencies of getting anglers to the water were fantastic. Anglers were often transported to boats in the water ready to go. When the day was done we went back to the lodge in a van while the boats, shuttles and gear were sorted out behind the scenes. I felt this maximized fishing time and relaxing at the lodge time.


We caught some of our best fish in Lago Yelcho. Rio Palena Lodge has unique access to the lower Futaleufu River and then into the lake.


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The Lodge is on the Palena River which offers several “floatable” beats all season.



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Utilizing a helicopter anglers can visit lakes with boats and smaller waters in the area. We had a fantastic combo day were we visited Palena Lake and a small stream loaded with Brook Trout.



The lodge facility is absolutely stunning and is no expense has been spared in making the rooms, fireplaces, bars, hot tubs, sauna, steam showers, music system, outdoor dinning areas and more, very enjoyable.

One of the coolest design features of the lodge (and there are many) was the “fishing locker room”. Anglers are assigned a wooden “locker” in a beautiful open room in the basement of the lodge. In the locker are your boots, waders, life jacket, rain jacket, water bottle, sun screen etc.. You are able to keep all your fishing gear in your locker so it’s ready each day. No need to deal with wet gear in your room. A boot drier is in each locker, the room is dry enough that by morning all of your gear was dry for the next day. In addition to all your gear the locker room has a coffee maker, mini fridge, music system, snacks and restroom.







On our final night at the lodge the staff and local gauchos put on an Asado ( South American BBQ). A short walk from the main lodge is a delightful outdoor dining area that has a stand alone bar, picnic tables, performance stage, BBQ pit, earthen empanada oven, grilling area, and dining enclosure. The food was excellent and the evening finished with karaoke, good times were had by all.






For information on booking Rio Palena Lodge call 541 342 7005 or email me at


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Parallel Perch Fly Tying Video – Rob Hrabik

In this video, Rob Hrabik of Yosemite Outfitters ties a variation of Tom Loe’s Parallel Punk Perch.

A highly efficient fly anywhere trout live, Rob fishes this fly under an indicator, on the strip, as a streamer, and as a Euro nymph point fly. With a “balanced” fly you are less likely to snag bottom, but increase hook sets. Tom Loe once said balanced patterns were, “the most significant improvement in fly design in over a decade.”

Follow along as Rob shows you how to rig the bead and create amazing dubbing loops with simple materials such as Ice Dub and Simi Seal.


Parallel Perch
Hook: Daiichi 4640 Size 14
Pin: Sewing/Upholstery Pin Size 17
Bead: Tungsten Black Nickel 3/32″
Thread: Uni 6/0 Tan
Tail: Ginger Maribou
Pearl Krystal Flash
Body: UV Pearl Ice Dubbing
Grey/Olive Simi Seal Dubbing
Collar: Red UTC 70D
Glue: Zap A Gap

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Yakoda Supply Drifter Gear Transport Bag

In this video, Chris discusses the new Drifter Gear Transport Bag by Yakoda Supply.


Yakoda Supply Drifter Gear Transport Bag

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Yakoda Supply Utility Pouch

In this video, Chris Daughters reviews Yakoda Supplies new Utility Pouch. Made in the USA.


Yakoda Supply Utility Pouch

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Yakoda Supply Fly Tins

In this video, Chris introduces Yakoda Supply Fly Tins.

Two different styles with or without tweezers. Made in the USA.


Yakoda Supply Fly Tin with Tweezer
Yakoda Supply Fly Tin

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Early Spring Mckenzie Fishing Report


My girlfriend and I decided to play hooky from work on Thursday (thanks, Greg) on the first over 60° day of the year. We fished the upper Mckenzie from Blue River to Silver Creek.

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Most of the fish we caught were on nymphs, fishing the dark green water; drop-offs, shelves, and deep pools. I fished a mega prince and possie bugger combination in the #6-10 range, 7-8’ under the bobber most of the day, which is a sure fire way to hook some fish.

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A minor blue wing olive and small caddis hatch started to materialize around 2 o’clock with sporadic march browns coming off as well. There were a few fish coming to the surface, falling prey to our smaller BWO offerings. We caught plenty of beautiful redsides with whiteys also being abundant…

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Essential flies to have in your box for the next few weeks will include:

Parachute Western March Brown

March Brown Spider

Tilt Wing BWO

Jigged 20 Incher

The river is lower than usual for this time of year, which creates great early season fishing. Weather this upcoming week will improve insect activity with slightly warmer nights and overcast days. Time to get out there!


Justin Helm

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | 6 Comments

Spring Guide Special March 2020

mckenzie river rainbow trout caddis fly shop

Each Spring we are reminded of how fortunate we are to have the Lower McKenzie and Willamette rivers within such close proximity to the Eugene area. When conditions align, there is potential for exceptional trout fishing.

Current water conditions and weather are ideal to get out for an early look at the lower McKenzie and Willamette rivers. Let’s hope this continues through the spring. Our spring guide special will continue through the end of March.

If you would like to experience what the Lower River has to offer in Spring, take advantage of our half day special. The special includes 5-6 hours of fishing, and all tackle is provided. Anglers need only to bring lunch and beverages. The price for this “best part of the day half day” is $375 for one or two anglers.

One of the great things about this early season excursion is the varied tactics you will experience with one of our guides. Indicator nymphing, euro nymphing, swinging and dry fly fishing can all be done in the span of a few hours. It’s a really cool time of year.

Call the shop for a reservation. 541 342 7005

Posted in Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Oregon Weekend Fishing Forecast, Shop Sales and Specials | Leave a comment

Reminder – The Orvis “50/50 on the Water” Film Tour – March 3rd 2020

When: Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 7 PM – 9 PM

Where: WildCraft Cider Works 232 Lincoln St, Eugene, Oregon 97401

Come and be inspired to get out on the water: The Orvis “50/50 on the Water” Film Tour features 12 fly-fishing films by and about female anglers! You’ll leave the event inspired and energized by the 90+ minutes of storytelling, which highlights anglers and fisheries from around the world. The 50/50 on the Water campaign aims to inspire more women to get out on the water and discover the joys of fly-fishing. By breaking down some of the barriers that keep women from enjoying time on the stream, we can add new perspectives and bring new voices into the sport. And if we are going to protect what we love through conservation efforts, the more voices the better.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, this event is sponsored by The Caddis Fly Angling Shop in partnership with McKenzie River Trust, REI, and Wildcraft Cider Works.

Register for this free event here: “50/50 on the water”

You can also register here: 50/50 Facebook

Sliding scale donations accepted at the door.

Posted in Fishing Porn, Fly Fishing Travel, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events, Oregon fly fishing links | Leave a comment

2020 NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo – March 13 & 14, Albany Oregon

When: March 13th & 14th | 9:00am – 5:00pm

Where: Linn County Expo Center, Albany Oregon
Admission: $10 | FFI Members and Youth 18 & Under: FREE|
Veteran admission is $5.00 This year. Parking is free


The EXPO is on Instagram!

WE are looking forward to a very nice show here in 2020, with an opportunity to re-connect with old friends, make new friends, learn from the collective knowledge of hundreds of fly tyers, and get some great deals on gear and materials.

expo 1

Friday Evening Banquet prices and details (get on ‘em soon!)
Fly Tying exhibitions
Fly tying classes
Youth Fly Fishing Workshop
Fishing classes
Casting Games
New Casting classes events
raffles and Auctions
Vendor Booths
Author Signing Booth

The Northwest Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo is the largest show devoted entirely to fly-fishing.   Come to the Expo and be part of the crowd of fly tyers and fly fishers building their knowledge and seeing old friends.

The tyer schedule has been posted.  The schedule allows you to search for your favorite tyer to see when they are tying.  Tyers can also be sorted by named and table that they are tying at –  This year includes 4 Buz Buszek Fly Tying Award Winners, 15 Stan Walters Memorial “Tyer of the Year” award winners and many other great tyers. Check out the featured tyers here –

Learn from 200 fly tyers

There will be 72 tyers tying at anytime across three time slots each day.  Attendees will be able to watch tyers tie a variety of styles including trout, steelhead, realistic, and Atlantic salmon flies.  Some of the best fly tyers in the world attend the show and volunteer to demonstrate their skills.  For a schedule of tyers visit –


Explore over 50 exhibitors

There are range of exhibitors each year the Expo.  These include book publishers, fly tying shops, rod and reel manufactures, and artists.  There is a casting pond where you can try out different rods while you are at the show.  Many of the exhibitors have show deals that are only available during the show.


Daily casting demonstrations

Learn from some of the best fly casters demonstrating their skills.  A schedule will be posted during the expo and everyone is welcome to watch the demonstrations.


Fly tying, fly fishing, and casting classes

If you want a more hands-on approach to learning check out the classes being offered.  The fly tying classes let you follow along with the instructor as you tie a fly(s).  You can explore different styles and materials.  The fly fishing classes will introduce you to new techniques and locations.  The casting classes are a great opportunity to get 1 on 1 instruction.

Friday March 13 Class Schedule

SaturdayMarch 14 Class Schedule

You can click on the class and reserve your spot.  Sign-up quickly because classes have limited admission.

To Donate Auction/Raffle Items or learn more about this event, visit our web site or contact 2020 Expo Chair: Sherry Steele Email: ; 541-549-2072



Volunteer to help out for a short shift and get in the expo free plus receive a packet of “stuff”,Badge, 2 Beverage Tickets for the food court, Expo Pin, and 4 Raffle Tickets. Visit our web site to sign up  This is a 30.00 value.

This is going to be a very fine gathering in 2020, and everyone involved in organizing these event has made a commitment of their time and energy to support our craft, hoping to pass the collective knowledge and skills of thousands of years experience on to those who follow. YouTube is a wonderful new toy and a legitimate means of learning. But there is something magic that happens at theEXPO and similar events were people gather and exchange ideas face to face.

Thank you for considering attending tis event in 2020 – we hope to see you at the EXPO.

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Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo, Oregon Fly Fishing Clubs and Events | Leave a comment