2019 Introduction to Fly Fishing Class Schedule

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Introduction to Fly Fishing. We have been introducing anglers to basic casting skills for almost 30 years now. Inspired by the original casting classes held by Les Eichorn, Bob Guard and Mel Krieger this 6 hour class will have interested anglers on their way to fly casting mastery. Basic tackle discussions, casting, knots,entomology and fly presentation will be covered. All tackle, textbook is included and we maintain a one instructor to 5 student ratio. Four hours of the course will be on water casting. Cost is $55, all equipment is provided, sign up at the shop or call 541-342-7005 to sign up.

Class Schedule for 2019 : Classes on two dates are Friday evening (6-8PM) at the shop and Saturday at Alton Baker Park (9am-1pm). Classes on three dates are Wednesday (shop 6-8pm), Thursday, and Friday evenings Alton Baker Park (6-8pm).

March 29,30

April 26,27

May 17,18

June 28,29

July 24,25,26

August 21,22,23

September 6,7

November 1,2

 

Private Spey Casting Lessons - with the Caddis Fly Shop staff are available upon request at $55 per person. Your instructor will get you going with all the basic casts, fundamentals for spey casting, and casting from both sides of the river. These lessons are tailored for both the beginner and advanced spey caster. Contact the shop at 541-342-7005 to set up your lesson!

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Oregon Wildlands Act Update

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Conservationists across Oregon held their breath at the close of 2018, as the Senate nearly passed a public lands package that would have created the 30,000 acre Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, designated over 250 river miles under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, protected the Chetco River from in-stream mining, and established a 100,000 acre Wild Steelhead Special Management Area on the North Umpqua in the name of renowned conservationists Frank and Jeanne Moore. If you didn’t catch the drama as it unfolded on the Senate floor, Zach Urness at the Statesman Journal has a good summary here.

With Senate leadership promising to bring the public lands package back for a vote in January, the need remains for passionate anglers, hunters, hikers, and outdoorspeople of all stripes to keep the pressure on our elected officials. Please take a few minutes to call or email Senator Wyden and Representative DeFazio’s offices to thank them for their leadership and let them know how critical these public lands protections are for all Oregonians!

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Women’s Winter Steelhead School on the North Umpqua February 15-18, 2019

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Here is the link to a complete description of the event: Women’s Steelhead School

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Fly Gear Review from The South Island

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I have been fortunate this early season to get some time on the water fishing with my family. During this early season “trouting” at Cedar Lodge I have been able to put some new gear through its paces.

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Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots

I have about 20 days on the water now with these boots. I have absolutely loved them! The new Patagonia River Salt by Danner is designed for fresh and saltwater use. The boot is light, comfortable and it’s “MegaGrip” Vibram sole has given me all the grip needed on for the trail and river bottoms of the South Island.

In my view the key features of this boot that separate it from other wading boots that I have worn are the 1000 denier uppers, and the midsole that gives super support and stability. Danner makes boots for the US military with a similar upper, you can crank down the laces on the upper easily, and the “high and tight” ankle support has made a huge difference in comfort for all day walking. The ankle support is tremendous and you don’t get the feel of a “clunky” wading boot when you are walking or rock hopping. The midsole construction provides a solid footbed feel that offers both support and comfort. At this stage the midsole is the best I have worn in a wading boot. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised as this boot is built by Danner in Portland Oregon and they have been doing it right for a long time.

The River Salt is not cheap at $449 and its bigger cousin the Foot Tractor is even more at around $500. The construction of these boots suggests they are going last and last. If you get twice as long out of these boots, which I expect you will, and have considerably more comfort and stability then there is no question in my mind they are worth the investment.

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Thomas and Thomas Avantt Rod

I am frequently going back and forth from a five weight and a six weight rod in my fishing in New Zealand. Water size and fly size can dictate the rod selection for sure, but I am frequently trying to just have one rod that does it all. Often six weights are just too much to accurately present a small dry fly with 5x at distance. Of course fighting a 3-6lbs fish with a six weight is often a better call than a 5wt. The Thomas and Thomas Avantt 9ft 6wt has been the perfect New Zealand six weight for me. It has the power to cast in the wind, cast larger flies and make those presentation casts with lighter longer leaders. The rod is not ultra stiff, but it has the power when needed. We do get some wind down here and the Avantt has been a solid performer when turning over longer leaders in the 30-55ft zone. The Avantt is great looking and has a traditional grip and butt(no fighting butt on mine). I realize a five weight is a far more popular trout rod in for the western states but if you have trip planned in South America, New Zealand or are fishing for some larger lake cruisers anywhere have a look at the 9ft six weight Thomas and Thomas Avantt.

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Patagonia Snap Dry Shirt

The Patagonia Snap Dry Shirt is a stretchy wind resistant, DWR coated fishing shirt that is super comfortable. I got to row in this shirt a bit before I came down to NZ this fall in Oregon. The shirt was great in terms of freedom of movement and just enough insulation to keep you warm. This spring in New Zealand the shirt has been outstanding with a light layer under it. The DWR coating has worked well in a brief shower and the tightly woven nylon/poly/spandex blend really protects you from the wind. The pocket design is similar to the Patagonia Sun Stretch shirt, vertical with zippers, perfect for fly boxes or phones.

Howler Brothers Shoalwater Tech Pants

Howler Brothers website calls the Shoalwater Tech Pant “amphibious”. I have to agree. The Shoalwater is comfortable on the track or when crossing rivers. They dry quickly with just a little time out of the water. When you need to sneak up on a fish the rugged stretchy fabric protects you and gives you the freedom of movement that most fishing pants lack. If you have a fresh or saltwater wet wading adventure in your future check out the Howler Shoalwater Tech Pant.

Cedar

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Jigged Prince Variant Fly Tying Video

In this video, Greg ties a Jigged Prince Variant nymph. Effective anywhere trout may live. “I’d use this fly as an attractor or for prospecting when all else fails.”

He recommends tying it in sizes 12-16 with a 60° bend jig hook and a slotted tungsten bead tied in different colors combinations for different fisheries and to create contrast with the fly as it drifts through the water column getting the attention of the trout. He also ties it in reverse style or upside-down (goose biots) because of the nature of the jig hook.

Use of a Gamakatsu J20 jigged hook or something similar with a 60° hook-eye bend with a slotted-tungsten bead is key to these flies “nymphing” effectively. The hook faces upwards during your drift lessening your chances of snagging on the bottom and you want to fish these types of flies deep and often times near the bottom. Tungsten beads give you the weight necessary to get the fly in the zone as quickly as possible and the weight to feel it on your rod for ultimate sensitivity.

Greg uses this fly on his European-nymphing setup as a terminal fly or a dropper, but you could also use it under an indicator or under a dry fly for a dry-dropper setup.

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Jigged Prince Variant

Hook – Gamakatsu J20 # 10-16
Thread – Veevus 6/0 olive, brown or similar
Hackle – UV Select CDC Olive
Tail – Olive Goose Biot
Body – Veevus Holo Tinsel Red/brown
Rib – Brassie copper brown ultra wire (optional)
UV Cure – Deer Creek Diamond Fine Flex
Wing case – White Goose Biot
Thorax/head – Black Ice Dub
Bead – Copper slotted tungsten 1/8 or 5/32

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Tips for Tying Jigged Nymphs Part. 2

Here is part two in our video serious on Jigged Nymphs. The additional videos discuss tools and materials related to tying successful jig style fly patterns. Enjoy!

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Tips for Tying Jigged Nymphs Part. 1

Jay has been diving deep into tying “Jig Style” nymphs. In this video he gives some basic tips to help you tie them. More tips to come in following posts.

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Jigged Green Caddis Fly Tying Video

In this video, Greg ties a very simple yet effective Jigged Green Caddis fly, which could be used in freshwater fisheries throughout the world. Any trout fisherman should have a selection of caddis nymphs available in their fly box.

He recommends tying it in sizes 14-18 with a 60° bend jig hook and a slotted tungsten bead in variations of chartreuse, green, and olive.

Use of a Gamakatsu J20 jigged hook or something similar with a 60° hook-eye bend with a slotted-tungsten bead is key to these flies “nymphing” effectively. The hook faces upwards during your drift lessening your chances of snagging on the bottom and you want to fish these types of flies deep and often times near the bottom. Tungsten beads give you the weight necessary to get the fly in the zone as quickly as possible and the weight to feel it on your rod for ultimate sensitivity.

Greg uses this fly on his European-nymphing setup as a terminal fly or a dropper, but you could also use it under an indicator or under a dry fly for a dry-dropper setup.

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Jigged Green Caddis

Hook – Gamakatsu J20 # 10-16
Thread – Veevus 6/0 Black
Hackle – UV Select CDC Olive
Tail – none
Body – Whitlock SLF caddis green
Rib – Brassie copper chartreuse ultra wire (optional)
Wing case – none
Thorax/head – Black Ice Dub
Bead – Black slotted tungsten 1/8 or 5/32

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Rust Belt Arcana

Hey folks, Oregon Fly Fishing Blog’s Matt Stansberry has a new book out, Rust Belt Arcana about wildlife of the industrial Upper Midwest. The book just topped The Nature Conservancy’s list of favorite books of 2018.

Stansberry brings a curiosity for the world around him, whether he’s catching fireflies with his kids, contemplating a museum fossil or searching for injured birds around city skyscrapers. He eschews the easy answers here, and each short essay relies not only on his field observations but also interviews with scientists and insights from tarot readings.

It shows that even common nature – the opossum under the crawl space, the bluegills in the pond – have unique stories and lessons to share, if only we pay attention. A gem of a book.

Here’s an excerpt of the book, a chapter about steelhead fishing in the Lake Erie tributaries.

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I hold a ten-foot graphite wand in my right hand, and I begin a motion overhead, creating lemniscate loops, expertly casting lines and offerings over the riffled surface of the water.

To the uninitiated, my actions seem strange and arbitrary. But every choice, every movement, is based on years of practice, instinct, and ritual.

I am looking for a connection, an acknowledgement or response from nature. I am imposing meaning and causality on a random world. I am deciphering the hidden relationships between rainfall, the current’s swirl over a boulder, the amount of sediment in the water, and the likely behaviors of animals unseen.

I’ve been a fly fisherman almost my entire life, which is to say a liar. The lie is an act of creation. A deception creates an opening, a crack between worlds—prying a space between what is perceived and accepted, and what might be imagined and possible.

In the tarot tradition, the Magician blurs the line between hero and con man. Every serious angler I know falls somewhere on that continuum.

You can pick up a copy here. And help Matt out with a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

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Oregon Wildlands Act Needs Your Help

As you’re reading this, we’re closing in on the end of the 2018 lame duck session of the US Congress. The lame duck session of Congress is that period following an election, but before newly elected legislators assume their roles and outgoing members bid farewell to their offices. This is a time when both parties try to push their priority legislation over the finish line.

Despite the noise coming from DC these days, Congress has a historic opportunity to pass a public lands package that includes numerous bipartisan bills that are priorities for hunters and anglers – we’re counting on Congress to deliver for America’s sportsmen and women. Part of the public lands package coming together would protect some of the most iconic watersheds in Oregon. The Oregon Wildlands Act, introduced by Senator Ron Wyden as S. 1548, would protect some of Oregon’s most valuable salmon and steelhead fisheries by designating more than 200,000 acres of land as wilderness or national recreation areas and adding more than 250 miles to the Wild and Scenic River System in the Chetco, Elk, Rogue, Molalla, and Nestucca River systems.

Salmon, trout, and steelhead rely on the cold, clean water provided by intact lands, free from development, mining, and industrial scale logging that has degraded watersheds in other systems up and down the West Coast. Wilderness and wild and scenic designations are the best tools we have for protecting watersheds and ensuring habitat remains intact for fish and other wildlife.

This bill would be good news for anglers, anadromous fisheries, and all who care about our public lands. We need your help to push the Oregon Wildlands Act over the finish line! The fate of this bill will be decided today, and you can help by picking up the phone and calling the legislators listed below and urging them to pass the Oregon Wildlands Act.

“Hi, I’m [NAME] from [CITY]. I’m calling to urge [Rep or Senator XXXX] to pass the Oregon Wildlands Act.”

Including a short reason why the rivers and watersheds protected in the Oregon Wildlands Act can help bring your message home. Whether you’re an angler, hunter, hiker, or birder, your elected officials need to hear from you and your voice will make a difference in passing this bill!

Representative Peter DeFazio- 202-225-6416

Representative Suzanne Bonamici- 202-225-0855

Representative Earl Blumenauer- 202-225-4811

Representative Greg Walden- 202-225-6730

Senator Ron Wyden- 202-224-5244

Senator Maria Cantwell (Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman) – 202-224-3441

Posted in North Umpqua River Fishing Reports, Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Fly Tying Demo Saturday, Dec 15, at the Caddis Fly Shop

Fresh from the estuary in November 2018.

Fresh from the estuary in November 2018.

This is a short note to invite all who aren’t out fishing on Saturday to drop by and say hello on Saturday, December 15th. I will be in the shop to visit with friends, demonstrate the new Aquaflies Ultra Rig Kit, and tie a few Jigged Nymphs and discuss some aspects of these effective flies.

I hope that you will be able to join me, but in case you are elsewhere, I wish you all good health, fishing, and fly tying.

Thank you for a wonderful 2018, and may 2019 be another great year for everyone.

Jay Nicholas

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Jigged Hare’s Ear Fly Tying Video

In this video, Greg ties a simple Jigged Hare’s Ear European Style Nymph Pattern. Simple, yet proven again and again for trout species around the world.
He recommends tying it in sizes 12-18 with a 60° bend jig hook and a slotted tungsten bead in variations of brown, tan, and olive.

“Sensitivity is key while fishing Euro style nymphs with a nymphing rod.” Light rod tips and heavier flies allow the Euro fisherman to gain that sensitivity and feel the slightest grabs. Greg uses an Echo Shadow II 2100-4 with an Airflo European Nymph Fly Line and a Euro-Style leader setup while trout fishing. He uses a tungsten beaded fly for his terminal fly (bottom fly) and dropper (no weight or slightly weighted) off the tag end above the terminal fly. You could also drift these jig flies under an indicator, or a dry fly for a dry-dropper setup on rivers and lakes. “I would use these on many if not almost all still-water fisheries too,” Greg says.

Use of a Gamakatsu J20 jigged hook or something similar with a 60° hook-eye bend with a slotted-tungsten bead is key to these flies “nymphing” effectively. The hook faces upwards during your drift lessening your chances of snagging on the bottom and you want to fish these types of flies deep and often times near the bottom. Tungsten beads give you the weight necessary to get the fly in the zone as quickly as possible and the weight to feel it on your rod for ultimate sensitivity.

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Jigged Hare’s Ear

Hook – Gamakatsu J20 # 10-16
Thread – Veevus 6/0 brown or similar
Hackle – UV Select CDC Dun
Tail – Pheasant Tail
Body – Whitlock SLF Medium Hare’s Ear
Rib – Brassie copper brown ultra wire
Wing case – Natural Pheasant Tail
Thorax/head – Whitlock SLF Dark Brown
Bead – Gold slotted tungsten 1/8 or 5/32

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Holiday Gift Guide Video 2018 Version 2.0

In this video, Tim Etlick with the Caddis Fly Shop goes over a few more gift ideas for the 2018 Holiday Season. Enjoy!

Here is a list of the above items:

Fishpond Thunderhead Roll Top Duffel

Fishpond Thunderhead Lumbar Pack

Howler Bros Mansfield Shirt

Howler Bros Paradise Unstructured Snapback

Howler Bros Snap Back Trucker Hat

Hareline Chicone’s Material and Fly Prep Station

Patagonia Insulated Fjord Flannel Jacket

Tacky Flydrophobic SD Fly Box

Hareline Fly Tying Material Kit

Trout of North America Calendar

Trout of North America Poster

Fishpond River Rat (Drink Holder)

Fishpond Eddy River Hat

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Fishing Glossary, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Rewriting the Story of Spring Chinook

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From the Wild Salmon Center

New research findings from a team led by UC Davis, and including WSC Science Director Matt Sloat, is upending our understanding of spring Chinook.

Samples of spring Chinook from ancient fishing spots in the upper Klamath — some sites dating back to 3100 BC — combined with new DNA science, show spring Chinook derived from a single genetic mutation. Once lost, these ecologically and culturally important populations can’t easily be recovered.

Read the full article here: Spring Chinook

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Salmon fly fishing | 1 Comment

Best pins for tying balanced leeches – Short Video Instructional

The Balanced Leech and Balanced Minnow fly pattern is a new one for me and I’ve had fun working on these flies lately.

One of my key issues has been finding out which pins do and do not work for these flies.

Generally, the pins I found in the jewelry making department do not work – because they are too flexible and will bend when any pressure is applied, as in if you ever catch a fish!

The two types of pins that seem to work well are

1. Dressmaker Pins 20-gauge steel.
2. Escutcheon Pins 18 gauge brass plated steel

I purchased the first pin from the sewing department of a local store and the second pin from my local hardware store.

Overall, the 18 gauge is about the heaviest I would want to use and it works for larger flies on size 4 and bigger hooks with larger beads.

The dress maker pins in 20-gauge work great on size 6 and smaller hooks with smaller beads

There may be other options in addition to these but I wish someone had told me this much before I bought five kinds of jewelry pins to experiment with.

Have fun and I hope this helps.

JN

We published the Balanced Leech video earlier this year and did not include the “pins selection” video. In this post both videos are available.

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies | 2 Comments