Six Superior Fly Lines to Fish Baja (Nicholas’ Review)

Ok, it’s really funny now that I’ve fished Baja for one week I’m now an EXPERT!

An SA Saltwater Hover Fly Line rips off the deck as a skipjack makes its first run in Baja.

An SA Saltwater Hover Fly Line rips off the deck as a skipjack makes its first run in Baja.

Really, not trying to overstate my knowledge, but I found several fly lines that I particularly liked fishing and that performed very well, so I thought it might help to share my impressions here.

Not in order of quality or usefulness, I fished and recommend these fly lines to fish Baja.

RIO Tropical Outbound Short fly line.
* short head
* loads rod quickly and allows me to make long casts with minimum false casting
* available in floating, Intermediate sink, and fast sink tips on a fully integrated line
* not the best choice if you are intending to pick up a long line to recast
* superior if you will retrieve your fly close to the boat or shore and then recast quickly
* this line shoots exceptionally well and handles well in warm climate

Airflo Chard’s Tropical Punch
* this is an agressive floating line
* most of the weight in the head is in the front 20 or so of the line
* this line allows you to fire off a long cast even if you have stripped your fly close to the boat or shore
* the front-loaded head means you do not need several false-casts to launch a rocket
* powerful enough to cast large wind resistant flies
* This line has sufficient rear taper to the head that you may pick it up and recast with considerable line out of the rod tip
* this line shoots exceptionally well and handles well in warm climates

Scientific Anglers Sonar Saltwater Hover fly line
* this is a slow sink intermediate head fly line suitable for warm and tropical climates
* I found this to be a great intermediate head fly line
* it is important to note the weight of this fly line head and decide how to match it with your casting style
* my personal preference is to fish the Sonar Hover WF-10 on my 8 wt Echo EPR rod (305 gr head)
* my personal preference is to fish the Sonar Hover WF-12 on my 10 wt ECHO EPR rod (415 gr head)
* these personal line choices reflect the fact that I often retrieve my fly very close to the panga and like to cast with quickly with minimum false-casts
* anglers who will pick up 30 feet of line and recast will probably not want to over-line their rods as is my preferance

Scientific Anglers Warmwater Sonic Sink 30 fly line
* this is a very easy line to cast, in spite of the long head
* I found that the 450 gr head was perfect on my 12 wt and the 400 gr was perfect on my 10 wt rod
* this line sinks fast and shoots a long distance
* the line handles very well in very warm water
* this has been my go-to fly line offshore Oregon fishing for albacore tuna

Airflo Big Game Depth Finder fly line
* 30 ft sinking head may provide the fastest sink rate when you really need to get your fly down to the fish
* 50 pound core is low stretch
* this fly line offers some very heavy heads to cast on rods over 12 wt and to get flies to great depth
* this fly line handles well in warm and temperate climates

Hatch Premium Fly Lines
* these fly lines are particularly well suited to warm and tropical climates
* Hatch premium fly lines are available in floating, intermediate, and fast sinking fully integrated heads
* these fly lines will perform with big fish and big flies
* these are agressive tapers built on heavy fly line cores

I hope this review is helpful to get started. Our staff at the Caddis Fly Shop will be pleased to offer additional support and recommendations regarding your fly line selection, and I will also answer any questions you might have.

Jay Nicholas May/June 2017

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Drink Beer and Protect Wild Fish Party – June 28th

Support the Western Environmental Law Center at a this special “beer release party” from 5-7pm this coming June 28th. WELC has been and continues to fight for wild fish habitat in Oregon and beyond. Come by and have a beer in support of the great work they do.


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

Metolius Magic

Central Oregon’s Metolius River takes pride in humbling anglers on a daily basis. The Metolius is a gin-clear, spring fed river that possesses few of the characteristics of a typical spring river. Rarely is it still or meandering; it chugs and churns and cascades its way East toward Lake Billy Chinook at a staggering pace, quickly getting bigger and wider and faster the further you go downstream from its stunning headwaters at the base of Black Butte.

The Metolius is all about your mindset. You don’t really go there to catch fish, but instead to enjoy a day on a magnificent river with gorgeous, crystal clear water at your feet and old growth ponderosa pine trees one hundred feet above your favorite fishing hat. That’s not to say there aren’t fish to be caught– wild rainbow trout, the prettiest you’ve ever seen, swim in these waters and are only fooled by light tippet and flawless presentation. Boasting far less fish per mile than rivers of similar size, the Metolius does not give up its bounty easily. When you do manage to catch a few fish on this river, it makes all of the previous days of no avail completely worthwhile.

June can be special on the Metolius. While we are getting closer and closer, summer hasn’t truly taken hold yet. In no time blue skies and temperatures in the nineties will be the norm. But June still clings to spring tightly and often refuses to let go until we close in on July. That means we still get a bit of rain, cloudy skies, and plenty of fish on dry flies.

Caddisflies, mayflies, stoneflies, you name it. They can all be hatching at once in great numbers on this bug-factory of a river. At the bottom of a pool you may find a fish feasting on small, olive caddis but at the top you could find a fish who wont touch anything but a Size 18 Pale Morning Dun. The Metolius is cool like that. What you really hope for on a cloudy day are the Green Drakes, the king of mayflies, to make an appearance.  That’s exactly what my closest fishing pal and I were after a few days ago. Pick an overcast day, have a box full of dry flies and a few green drake patterns at the ready and when 3pm rolls around, it just might go off.

We were lucky enough to have it happen.  Within minutes, as if someone had flipped a switch, there were hundreds of colossal green bugs fluttering gracefully around our heads and over the mysterious, dark blue surface of the water. Each insect in a biological race against time to mate and lay its eggs before an opportunistic fish makes it its lunch. We stood with our mouths agape as Green Drake after Green Drake vulnerably floated down a deep run only to be intercepted by a splash and the deep red stripe of a wild rainbow trout. For the next few hours the two of us passed one fly rod back and forth and laughed simply out of joy for the moment we were living in.  Its days like these that remind us of how fortunate we are to live in the places we do, and how nothing brings us happiness like the rivers we love.

FullSizeRenderAndy Archer

Posted in Central Oregon Fishing Report, Fishing Reports | 2 Comments

What is the best time of year to fish the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers?


Cloudy days in June when the temperature cracks 65 degrees are pretty hard to beat. Gray and Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns, Blue Winged Olives, Brown Caddis, and Green Caddis are present. The rivers are generally at “full” levels and the fish are looking up. The plethora of insects and the varied emergence period keeps fishing active all day.

We are at that point now and fishing has been nothing short of great. If you have yet to get out and enjoy it, do it asap!

Back to the title question of this post. It’s a question we get mostly in reference to guided trips, “when should we come?” When is the best time to come? My answer for years has been May 15 to July 15 and Sept 15 to October 15. Of course these are not absolutes and we do more guided trips in mid summer than any other time. Mid summer is when folks have time and the weather is ideal so it’s a great day out but the hatches and the numbers of really high quality fish are not the same.

2017 is a unique year. We have a ton of water. I don’t see us having the summer “doldrums” that summer low water can create. Increased habitat for fish and bugs, water temperatures that will stay cool throughout, and fishery that really hasn’t had intense pressure on it because of the tough winter and spring conditions equal a really great trout year!

Steelhead numbers are incredibly low. Last year this time in June there were roughly 12,000 summer steelhead over Willamette Falls. This year we have 1,000 fish over. Ouch. As stated earlier get out and enjoy this great trout season!


Posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Proven Spring Fly Patterns | Leave a comment

Trout Unlimited: Migration Celebration!

Join Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited for a casual evening of beer, food and fun to support OCTU’s conservation work in Oregon. The event is Saturday, June 24, 6-10pm at Portland’s Migration Brewing Company, 2828 NE Glisan St. FREE admission!


Plan to buy a few pints, enter our raffle and bid on silent auction items. Lucky winners will take home prizes like a guided fishing trip or a new fly rod! We will also feature several short conservation films and popular speaker John McMillan, Science Director for Trout Unlimited’s Wild Steelhead Initiative.

Money raised goes to support Trout Unlimited’s efforts to protect fish and their habitat across Oregon. If you don’t know about our conservation projects, this is your chance to find out more and help out our cause. We look forward to seeing you there!

RSVP here.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Nicholas’ ECHO EPR fly rod review

Strip set on a 10 wt Echo EPR fly rod.

Strip set on a 10 wt Echo EPR fly rod.

Just returned from fishing a week at La Ventana with Gary Bulla. I took my permitted four fly rods with me on the trip, including an 8 wt and 10 wt ECHO EPR in the Winston rod case. These EPR (extreme performance rod) rods had only been cast in my local park in Corvallis, but my years of experience and a few short sessions on the grass gave me confidence to place 50% of my fly rod quiver in ECHO territory.

Line run out after the hook set. Echo EPR.

Line run-out after the hook set. Echo EPR.

Fly line on the reel, now keep calm.

Fly line on the reel, now keep calm. ECHO EPR fly rod.

I’d racked up plenty of experience fishing ECHO 3 SW rods, ECHO Boost, and ECHO Prime rods in saltwater for species including black rockfish, lingcod, salmon, and Pacific albacore.

A big dorado gets air time on the ECHO EPR fly rod.

A big dorado gets air time on the ECHO EPR fly rod.

That said, I was not really sure what to expect from the EPR. The rod’s catalog description led me to think that this would be a stiff, harsh rod to cast. That is how many specialty saltwater rods strike me. But my brief pre-trip casting seemed positive and I decided to go all in, and took consolation in that I had two high end fly rods in my trip tube, so if the EPR turned out to be disappointment, I knew I had great fly rods to fall back on.

Good lifting power here with the EPR.

Good lifting power here with the EPR.

Lift now.

Lift now.

Keeping the pressure on.

Keeping the pressure on.

Well, from day one, the only motivation that led me to reach for a rod other than the EPR was the fact that I had different lines loaded on each rod, and sometimes I needed a sinking line or a line with a more gradual taper that allowed me to pick up a lot of line to re-cast.

After a little fiddling on the first day, I had floating and intermediate head lines loaded on the 8 and 9 wt EPR rods. The 8 wt had a Cortland Precision Tropical Compact 350 gr floater and the 10 wt had a 10 wt RIO Tropical Outbound Short Intermediate line. I also fished a Bruce Chard Tropical Punch floating fly line by AIRFLO and found it very pleasing at both short and long distance deliveries. One more line I fished on the EPR rod was the SA Sonar Sink Saltwater Hover fly line. This is a great intermediate fly line but it is far lighter than I prefer and so the best match for my 8 wt was the WF 10 and for my 10 wt EPR I preferred the 12 wt SA line. he circumstances of our fishing found us with fish that were often close aboard — and just as often the fish we were casting to were quite a long cast away. From one moment to the next, I found myself alternately making 40 ft casts and then 70-80 ft casts.

Fortunately, we only rarely found it necessary to cast into the wind, as we were usually drifting in the panga with the wind. Still, the presence of a stiff wind made the back-cast a challenge, so the compact head fly lines I preferred helped penetrate the wind on the back cast and then I was able to launch fairly impressive (for me) wind aided casts with only one or two back-casts.

I know I’m probably overdoing the discussion on the fly lines here, but still, I was impressed by the fact that both of my EPR rods were able to load well to make short casts and then wind up and launch really long casts downwind when the fish were breaking well away from the panga.

In fact, our captain often urged me to make casts far beyond where the fish were breaking, thus drawing my fly through the rampaging dorado or skipjack. It seemed more effective to strip a fly through the school than to land the fly in the middle of the school and then begin retrieving.

Here are some things I liked about the ECHO EPR fly rod:
* light weight
* nice oversized full wells cork rod handle, a real nice design for me
* composite cork ends at top and bottom of handle – this will pay dividends in the long haul
* very powerful butt that afforded great lifting power when fish buried under the panga
* fast tip – not at all stiff, that allowed me to load the rod easily and make short casts as well as long ones
* super sized guides and tip tops (there are some great casting rods out there with sadly undersized guides)
* high modulus graphite generates high line speed with low rod weight
* delivered big wind resistant flies mostly where I intended (the line can only go where your arm tells it to go)
* great looking rod (black on black on black with copper tip on guide wraps)
* solid reel seat, alignment dots on rod and reel seat, square rod case

Here is what I didn’t like about the EPR:
* nothing at all

These fly rods are, in my opinion, lighter and ultimately more versatile and powerful than the E3 SW, Boost, and Prime fly rods. All of those mentioned fly rods by ECHO are solid performers in the salt, but the EPR pounds out the fly line and battles hard charging fish in great form. Anyone who knows tackle and fishing probably shares my opinion that it is really difficult for all but a very small handful of experts to detect the fine points of different performance that exist among the range of high quality tackle we have at our hands these days. I’m first to state that I’m not among the few expert-experts. All I can do is tell you that I fished the EPR a lot in my 6 days in Baja. I fished these rods hard. I pushed the lines, flies, and fish hard. And I was entirely, totally, positively, fiercely admiring of these two rods.

Captain's hand on the leader.

Captain’s hand on the leader.

Further, from my perspective, the EPR performed to the same level as fly rods in the same class that cost twice the price. Those rods may have had slightly nicer reel seats, rod tubes — but I never felt that the more expensive fly rods gave me something in the way of performance that the EPR lacked. I will say, however, that some of my companions were more impressed to see that I owned high-end price-point fly rods. These rods gained me more attention and “respect” than my humble ECHO rods. That’s ok with me. I was there to fish, not show off my tackle. My bottom line is performance. If I need high-end tackle to get great performance, that’s where you’ll find me. In this case, I fished Hatch fly reels on both of my EPR rods, and they performed at the highest level. I also fished Nautilus fly reels on my High-end fly rods, with great performance, but that will be the subject of a different post.

My prize of the trip, a big bull dorado, came to the 8 wt EPR and a Cortland tropical precision Compact floating line. The fish took my ballyhoo fly close aboard and was over 200 yards into my hatch premium backing before Fedilito was able to get the panga under power and follow the fish. Many leaps and deep dives later, this fly rod had been well tested and proven in my mind. The tip was sensitive and absorbed the shock of repeated jumps and head shakes. The butt (of even the 8 wt) was exceptionally powerful and allowed me to lift the fish from deep under the panga.

I think this is enough said about my agreeable opinion of the EPR fly rod. Thanks Tim, this is another winner.

Jay Nicholas, May/June 2017

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Fishing Travel | 2 Comments

Upper Willamette Steelhead and Trout Strategies and Techniques


Presentation: Dean Finerty will give a presentation which will cover tips and techniques for trout and steelhead on the upper Willamette and Lower McKenzie systems.

When: 6:30PM Monday, June 12th
Where: Roaring Rapids Pizza Company, 4006 Franklin Blvd, Eugene

There will be a board meeting directly following the presentation. TU members are welcome to attend.
See you there!


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

Who We Are Series Post 10: Lou Verdugo

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.

This week we have a Caddis Fly Shop veteran employee. 


Who:  My name in the shop and in life is Lou Verdugo. My primary function is retail sales.

Time at Caddis: This year will be my 10th year at the Caddis Fly Shop

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

I moved here from Silicon Valley many, many, many years ago….with NO California equity!

How many years have you been fly fishing?

I have been fly fishing since I was 18.

What is your favorite rod and reel combo?

Today, a Sage X, 9′ 5 weight , with a Sage Click series reel.

Prior to today…9′ Sage Z Axis with Nautilus FWX, prior to that…GLoomis GLX 9′ 5 weight with Hardy Princes reel.

Favorite Nymphing rod: Sage 99 5 weight….produced no longer but a flat out Nymphing machine!

Favorite Streamer Rod: Winston Nexus 9′ 6 weight with Lamson Speedster.

Favorite small stream dry fly rod: Sage Circa 5 weight, with Sage Click series…very bamboo like…

Favorite sea run cutthroat fly rod Scott G2 8’8″ 5 weight with Bauer MPX2.

Lou Guide

Wet wade or float, and why?

Float…cause I have “The Beast”! 17 feet of cold, hard, Koffler built, aluminum. Love to run the big water (Deschutes) and the technicality of the Mckenzie. Wading only on the Deschutes or when necessary.


Dry fly, streamer or nymph–and do you tie them?

Prefer hopper dropper system for most streams. Nymphing only when necessary or the conditions warrant. I tie flies, my favorites are the stimulator and soft hackles…especially for the March Browns.

Where do you fish?

States: Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Montana, California, *Christmas Island, *Abaco Island, *Cuba: Cayo Cruze, Florida

Waters: McKenzie River, Willamette River, Cascade Lakes. Call Lou and ask–he’s been all over!

Spey or single hand cast? 

Single handed but I do have Spey equipment. I prefer single while steelheading on the Deschutes but remain committed to Spey when conditions are right.

Salt or Freshwater?

Salt! Nothing like it…challenges every part of angling ability…knots, casting, dealing with wind, equipment, tides, and finding the fish! 80 degrees air and water temp are not bad either….prefer bones, tarpon…I may go to the grave before I catch a freaking permit! The pursuit of the grand slam ….nothing like it…!


Lou Tarpon

What is your favorite part about working at Caddis?

Customers and new equipment….I have had the privilege of meeting many great people and who just happen to share a common passion…fly fishing! Also, to share in the first looks at many new products and innovations within the fly fishing industry. My colleagues also create an environment that’s often fun to work within.

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

Easy….approx. 65 pound Tarpon. Caught it near Key Biscayne on the way to Cuba. 10 weight Echo 3 salt, and Sage 6000 series reel, Sci Angler Tarpon Line with clear tip and a fly you would not believe! Captain Carl Ball and Jim T. by Cuba buddy, were present.

Lou Steelie

When you want to take the intimidation factor out of fishing, talk to Lou! He is our Fly Fishing 101 teacher and a great educator of all things angling. You will find him in the shop at the register or helping a customer talk shop on the floor Thursdays and Fridays. Some of our favorite fly fishing stories are those told by Lou, and he is ready to tell you all about what he knows when you call. Lou is a wonderful resource for Christmas Island fishing experience, and product know-how.

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:


Tight lines until next time!

The Caddis Fly Crew
Posted in Classes and Instruction, Fishing Porn, Fly Fishing Gear Review, Fly Fishing Profiles, Fly Fishing Travel | Leave a comment

Spring has Sprung – McKenzie River Fishing Great Top To Bottom


The McKenzie River’s flows have dropped into fine shape. This past week I was able to fish the very lower river, (Hayden Bridge to Armitage State Park) the middle river, (Finn Rock to Ben and Kay Doris) and the upper river, (Frissel Ramp to Hamlin). All three stretches were very productive. Each stretch varied in terms of bug life but each had good numbers of bugs and fish.


On the lower river we swung wet flies. Small brown caddis, Pale Morning Duns and little yellow stones were the most visible insects. The middle river’s flow had me using a larger dry with a dropper to get down in some of the quicker runs. Most of the fish we caught ate the nymph but we had many fish eat the Chubby Chernobyl on the surface. Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones, Brown and Green Caddis and Green Drakes were all present on the middle river. The “way upper” river is still really moving and lacked hatches until things warmed a bit mid morning. Caddis and Golden Stones began around noon and late afternoon “Grey” and Green Drakes were present and fish really looked up. Saturday we were lucky to hook and land a rare Bull Trout. This time of year you can see one of these beauties attack a hooked fish but to catch one on a dead drift is virtually unheard of. It was really great to see. Hopefully the Bull Trout of the McKenzie are having a better year than the Salmon and Steelhead!

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River | Leave a comment

Baja Fly Fishing Report – May 2017

This is a very brief report on a fishing trip I just made with friends Gui and Jim. We fished with Gary Bulla and lodged at Baja Joe’s. Gary is a great host; the panga captains are knowledgable guides and boatmen; our accommodations and meals were very pleasant; and our fishing companions were a wonderful group of enthusiastic, experienced adventurers.


Yes, me going out of state to fish. Unlikely, unexpected, and last minute decision. Anyway, there I was south of the border with fly rod in hand, hunting warm water species that broke the surface as they crashed baitfish and got my adrenaline levels through the roof.

The fishing was challenging, as fishing can always be. My casting left a little to be desired, as I plowed though several lines to find the rod-line matches that worked the best for me. I faced down many fish working the surface well within my casting range, and more often than not, delivered lackluster presentations. Some of my craftsmanship, however, met the high standards of the fish and I managed to connect often enough to conclude each day on the water with a smile.

One of several species we encountered is not generally considered as one of the glamor targets in the region, but dang, I really enjoyed catching skipjack.

I’ll be following this post with others that feature tackle selection (fly rods, fly lines, leaders) that are suitable for the conditions I experienced in the warm climate of Baja.

Meanwhile, here are a few photo images from our trip.

Game on!

Game on!

Clearing the line deck.

Clearing the line deck.

The first run.

The first run.

Baja Skipjack photographed by Gary Bulla.

Baja Skipjack photographed by Gary Bulla.

This rooster evaded my best efforts but chomped onto Chuck's fly.

This rooster evaded my best efforts but chomped onto Chuck’s fly.

The ballyhoo fly reigned supreme.

The ballyhoo fly reigned supreme.



Gui rocked the dorado.

Gui rocked the dorado.

I prepared for the sun each day.

I prepared for the sun each day.

Putting the load on an ECHO EPR rod.

Protecting a tippet late in the game – on an ECHO EPR rod.

Some fly rods are meant for hard times - like encounters with lines wrapped around props.

Some fly rods are meant for hard times – like encounters with lines wrapped around props.

Dawn on day 7 - time to head home to Corvallis.

Dawn on day 7 – time to head home to Corvallis.

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour. I had a great time and plan on returning as soon as I can. Trip details may be found at

Jay Nicholas – 2017

Posted in Fishing Reports | Leave a comment

You could spend a week steelhead fishing the Babine River for only $100!

From the Native Fish Society: Epic Waters and Babine Steelhead Lodge have 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.

babine steelheadweb

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: October 20-27, 2017

How does it work? Native Fish Society is selling tickets for $100 each. We’ll draw the lucky winner on June 15th and they’ll get ready for the time of their life!

To buy your tickets call 503.344.4218 or click the button below to purchase tickets online.

Purchase Babine For a Benjamin Tickets

What if you aren’t the big winner? Every penny we raise in this campaign will support our work protecting and recovering wild, native fish in their Northwest homewaters. So, no matter what, you’re giving a boost to wild salmon and steelhead, not to mention your fishing mojo.

*Does not include travel to Smithers, British Columbia, classified waters license and gratuity.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Peter Goes to Iceland

Peter goes to Iceland

Although limited to only one day, my flyfishing experience in Iceland was nothing but positive. It began with a web search and an inquiry to Go Fishing Iceland. I got an immediate response, and after a pleasant phone conversation with Heimir, and an assurance that his guides spoke English, I committed to a days fishing for Arctic Char and Brown Trout.

Peter goes to Iceland

On the morning of my scheduled trip, Ari arrived at our Air B&B to pick me up. The morning was rainy and very windy, Ari immediately suggested that I reschedule if possible, but was quick to say that if I wanted to go, he was certainly willing to take me. After taking into consideration my ability to cast into 40 – 50 mph winds, I quickly agreed to postpone. I was impressed with Ari’s command of the English language and his general air of quiet confidence.

Peter goes to Iceland

A week later, I again met Ari at the appointed time and place. We drove for about 45 minutes; paved highway, gravel road, through a gate, a less traveled road through a pasture finally stopping at the shore of a lake, the name of which I can’t pronounce. We then donned waders, boots, and a Simms jacket, then took off around the lake to it’s outlet, a river – the name of which I can’t pronounce – and Ari had me begin nymphing with an indicator and a #16 midge. At that point the river was fairly shallow with a sandy bottom. Before too long, I was in to my first Arctic Char. They are beautiful fish, and I was fortunate to get a few more before the day was over. Although we fished hard for Browns, the only one went to Ari’s streamer. Lunch time was a meal of typical Icelandic food, and some great conversation with Ari. He is a very personable, knowledgable, and professional guide whom I would recommend without reservation. In summation, a great experience.

Peter Cadigan

From the outfitter:
Very positive summary. I´m glad to hear you had good experience fishing with
Ari at the Holaa river

Thanks a lot for doing business with us. Be welcome to get in touch at any

Best regards

Heimir Bjarnason
Tour operator/Ferðaskipuleggjandi

Go Fishing Iceland
H Bjarnason slf
Hraunbraut 17
200 Kópavogur
tel: +354-551-2016, +354-866-9354

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

Featured Fly Tier: Bob Erickson



Bob and his wife live in a small, northern Vermont town called Craftsbury, spending much of his angling time at their camp in Rangeley, ME, home of the “best brook trout fishing in the lower 48″. As much as Bob loves fishing in Maine, it’s Alaskan fly fishing that has become his passion, particularly floating remote Bristol Bay rivers.

If you ask him, Bob will implore you, “If you haven’t floated a wild, Alaskan river, you should!”

One of the reasons he finds Alaska so great an angling destination is its spectacular variety of chasable fish species. Be it a hunt for dolly varden char, rainbow trout, grayling, chum or coho salmon, Bob’s felt their tug on his fly in Alaskan waters. Add on float plane flying, gravel bar camping, the wildly beautiful northern scenery and wildlife, and lasting friendships he has developed in this great state and Bob’s totally hooked on the Alaskan angling experience.

Tying flies for Alaska fishing trips has become a ‘business’ for Bob, which he has kept deliberately small to maintain the fun. Clients of Bob’s fly tying business include Alaska Fly Fishing Goods, Wild River Guides, Angler’s Alibi and many individual fly fishermen. Bob’s Facebook page can be found at alaskasignatureflies.

Fishing up north is one of the main drivers for innovation in Bob’s fly tying. “Although I’m convinced there is nothing truly ‘original’ in tying,” Bob says, “my Alaskan patterns are unique.”

Of the many flies Bob ties and fishes, his favorite pattern is the MegawattThe Megawatt has been fished hard and has seen many improvements over the years. What started as a Kilowatt clone has through its evolution turned into Bob’s #1 fly. Mainly a salmon fly, it has hooked big char, rainbow and grayling, and it is equally effective swung or stripped.


Bob’s stellar Alaskan streamer fly pattern, the Megawatt.


“Megawatt Mouth” 1


“Megawatt Mouth” 2

See how to tie this fly here.

List of Materials: Megawatt Fly

Hook: Gamakatsu Ninety Degree Jig 1/0

Thread: Danville 210

Eyes: Double Pupil Brass Eyes

Tail: Marabou and Flashabou

Body: Anadromous Brush

Wings: Flashabou

Bob’s materials come almost exclusively from The Caddis Fly Angling Shop. “Selection and service at Caddis are second to none. I thank Chris and the rest of the staff for their support. It means a lot,” Bob said of his Caddis Fly Shop experience. 

When you are affluent a fly tier as Bob, you see a lot of different tying techniques, and Bob believes today’s cutting edge fly tying can be found in the patterns of the top steelhead tiers. His breadth of experience comes from lots of practice and fishing his own ties on the river. The fly below, his first try at a sculpin, is a permutation of the classic Dali Lama. To add a personal flare to this fly Bob added fin feathers from a pheasant skin 


Bob’s Sculpin: “Really just adding the pectoral fins to a Dali Lama. Thanks to Mark Levasseur for the pheasant skin!”

Pheasant Skin or Dyed Pheasant Feathers

Alaska Brass Cone Heads

Thank you, Bob, for sharing your creativity and your passion for tying with us at Caddis. We are proud to support the innovation your Alaskan patterns embody in the tying community, and we can’t wait to see what fly you tie next in the mouth of your next monster catch!

If you are a tier who uses materials purchased at The Caddis Fly Angling Shop and you would like to share your ties with us (and our readers!) please email us at We’d love to see and share your work as a Featured Tyer!

For those of you on Instagram, follow the shop @caddisflyshop and please feel free to tag the flies you tie using material purchased at The Caddis Fly Shop with the hashtag #tiedwithcaddisflyshop. We’ll repost your flies to our feed to show off your fly tying style!

Tight lines and tight ties everybody.

-Maddy Bell-

*Photos provided by Bob Erickson

Posted in Fly Fishing Profiles, Fly Tying | Leave a comment

Who We Are Series Post 9: Hayden Vough

 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.


Who: Hayden Vough – Internet/Retail Sales, Picker/Packer Extraordinaire

Time at Caddis: I’ve been working here for about 8 months.

 Are you a Eugene local, or are you a transplant

I am not a Eugene native. I moved here last year from Napa, California for school!

How many years have you been a fly fisherman?

I’ve been fishing fly fishing since I was about 11, so roughly 9 years.

What is your favorite rod and reel combo?

I just got a custom Hatch 7-plus reel, with a 10′ 8wt G Loomis NRX single-hand rod. I’m excited, to say the least.

 Wet wade or float, and why?

If I had a boat then I would probably prefer floating; however, I do love wading and getting that much closer to the action.

 Dry fly, streamer or nymph–and do you tie any of them?

I don’t tie any of my own flies yet, but I want to learn how. Dry fly fishing has to be my favorite because you get to watch the fish rise to your fly!

 Spey or single hand cast?

Single Hand Cast

Salt or Freshwater?

The majority of the fly fishing I’ve done has been in freshwater, fishing for trout or bass.

What is your favorite part about working at Caddis?

The best part about working at the shop is that every person I come into contact with at the shop is a hobbyist, and wants to be in the shop atmosphere. I love the stories that are shared with me. On top of that, the other employees here are the nicest people.

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

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

Hayden is one of our most enthusiastic Caddis Fly Family Members, always bringing a positive attitude to the shop. He is currently a student of both fly fishing at Caddis, and Human Physiology at the University of Oregon. Taking every chance he can to learn more about angling, Hayden is eager to investigate the specs of a new reel or line and which rod they will pair best with. What’s more, he wants to share that knowledge with you. You can find him out on the shop floor helping a customer at the register or in the back of the shop picking and packing orders to ship.

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:


Tight lines until next time!

The Caddis Fly Crew

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New video: Together Against The Mines – A River Steward Story

New video from Native Fish Society: Just seven miles upstream from River Steward Dave Lacey’s home in southern Oregon a foreign owned mining company was quietly working to develop a nickel strip mine on public lands. The mine would sit in the headwaters of two important wild salmon and steelhead streams. Learning about the poor environmental track record of the hard rock mining industry (the most toxic polluting industry in the United States) Dave and the Native Fish Society’s staff embarked on a three year, Wild Rivers Campaign that ultimately sought to stop not one, but three proposed strip mines before they could irreversibly damage some of the wildest country, cleanest water, and healthiest wild salmon rivers on the west coast.

Together Against The Mines – A River Steward Story from Zangs Films on Vimeo.

Join the Native Fish Society as a member. Every member receives our bi-annual print Strong Runs Newsletter, with stories of grassroots conservation from around the Northwest and our monthly e-newsletter Redd It that allows you to stay up on our work, take action on key campaigns and find out about special events happening around the region. If you live the Pacific Northwest and want to safeguard your homewaters, contact us to learn more about the River Steward Program.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment