McKenzie River Trust Fall Events – 2018

Salmon photo by Arlen Thomason

The McKenzie River Trust has a ton going on this fall and it’s a great time to participate with your local land trust. Check out a complete list of events HERE.

The McKenzie River Two Fly Tournament is October 5,6 this year and we want to invite participants and the public to our Friday night pizza pre tournament event. Ten percent all sales at the shop Friday October 5 will go to McKenzie River Trust.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Jay’s Bull Trout Olive Sculpin Fly Tying Sculpin

In this video, Jay ties a Bull Trout Olive Sculpin. You can swing this fly, or fish it under an indicator.


Jay’s Bull Trout Olive Sculpin

Hook: Umpqua #4 S506H Jig
Thread: Danville’s 140D Olive
Eyes: Double Pupil Lead Eyes
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush On
Tail: Rabbit Strip Olive
Body: 3” Craft Fur Sand/Olive
Flash: Krystal Flash Peacock
Wing: Angel Hair Copper
Brush: Sommerlatte’s UV Foxy Brush Rootbeer/Orange

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

Fall Fishing on the McKenzie









Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River | 1 Comment

Albacore Offshore Pacific City, September 15th 2018

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Jay Nicholas Oregon Albacore Fly Fishing 2018 aJay Nicholas Oregon Albacore Fly Fishing 2018 b

Jay Nicholas Oregon Albacore Fly Fishing 2018 d

This will be a very brief report.

The essentials:
Date: 9/15/18
Dory: Fly Meister Breaker Dory
Capt: Kevin FergusonAngler Guest: Jay NIcholas
Distance offshore: ~30 + miles
Sea Surface Temp: ~ 62-63 Farenheit
Weather: Sloppy rough, South wind, lots of rocking and rolling
Albacore boated; enough to make for a very enjoyable day
Albacore size: these were the smallest tuna we’ve ever encountered, still very much fun, especially on #10 rods
Rods fished: Echo Bad Ass Glass #10 and #12
Reels Fished: Hatch Finatic #9 & #11 (gen ? – old as dirt)
Lines fished: Airflo and Hatch Big Game Depthfinder (400 and 500 gr)
Leader: Rio Fluoroflex #25; Hatch Professional Fluorocarbon #25
Flies fished: Hollow Deceiver (9-10 inch); Mexican (5 – inch red, yellow, and green tube)
Fishing note #1: we only saw two tuna bust the surface, and these were 50 ft ahead and 30 ft off the port bow (we hooked up a quad seconds later)
Fishing note #2: we hooked all tuna on the troll, flies produced 2/3 of fish hooked
Fishing note #3: only one hookup was a single; the rest were from double, triple, quad, and one quint
Fishing note #4: we had as many tuna lost as we boated, many tangled lines, and a lot of fun
Fishing note #5: we had one incident of (redacted)

I am grateful to have been the guest of my friend Kevin, who singlehandedly executed the trip preparation and clieanup.

Thank you Kevin, the day was a great joy I’ll not forget.

Jay Nicolas, September 18 2018

Posted in Oregon Saltwater Fishing | 1 Comment

Great Willamette River Clean Up – Saturday October 6th 2018

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The Great Willamette Clean Up is a river-wide, community day of action. Volunteers participate by canoe, kayak, SUP board, raft, motor boat, drift boat, bike, and foot to free our river of trash and debris while improving habitat and community spirit along the way.

Cleanup sites are posted throughout the basin, and are searchable via on-line registration. Several regions host post-cleanup celebrations that include lunch, local frothy beverages, raffles, gifts and “trash-talk.” You won’t want to miss this! Click HERE to register.

2018 GWCU Poster FINAL

Posted in Lower Willamette, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing, Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Jay’s Black Death Dragon Tail Fly Tying Video

In this video, Jay goes over a relatively new product from Hareline Dubbin – Mangum’s UV2 Dragon Tails. These come in two sizes (small and large) and they are great for predator fish in both freshwater and saltwater environments (Bass, Pike, Muskie, Tarpon, Roosterfish, etc). Jay has used these to fish for Black rockfish and Lingcod. They add a lot of action to your fly and without adding a ton of weight. The full 7″ length is great for hooks 3/0-5/0, whereas with smaller hooks, we recommend you cut the tail back a bit. Enjoy!

Jay’s Black Death Dragon Tail

Hook: SC17 2/0
Thread: Black 210D Flat Waxed Danville’s Thread
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush On
Tail: Black Dragon Tail
Brush: EP Craft Fur Brush Black on Black
Fibers: EP 3D Fibers Red
Eyes: Hareline Eyes 3D Holo Super Pearl 5/16

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Striper Fishing in Duxbury Mass. – Sept 13, 2018


My first striped bass experience could not have been more fun. Despite a bit of rain, my old pal Pete Scott had us in fish for most of the day. We started a bit slow, learning the strip and sink rate, changing a few flies but we got into fish, and then we really got into fish on the surface with poppers. It was an absolute blast catching 18-23 inch stripers on the surface. We found birds, and fish busting bait, then it was just a matter of getting your fly near the packs of willing stripers. It was an absolute kick. Today was the pre fishing day for tomorrows Duxbury One Fly Tournament. Another report to come.




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Posted in Fishing Porn, Fishing Reports | 1 Comment

October Caddis Emergence Developing in the Willamette Valley

If you are headed out to fish the McKenzie or Willamette River systems this fall don’t be without some adult October Caddis patterns. Here are our favorite four styles of October Caddis dry flies.

J’s October Hi Tie Caddis is a triple winged mid sized high floating caddis pattern. It’s not as large as the naturals flopping around in September and October but it’s highly effective.

Hi tie October caddis

Morrish’s Foam October Caddis has been a favorite for years. Despite it’s bushy look and large foam body this fly floats pretty low on the surface. The Morrish is large enough to support a small nymph for hopper dropper rigs and fishes just fine all by itself all fall.

foam October caddis

Kingrey’s Better Foam Caddis is another favorite. This plump offering works very well throughout the hatch. It’s not the biggest offering, rather it falls in-between the Hi Tie and the Morrish in terms of size. Twitch this pattern along the surface of flat runs and watch for explosions.

kingrey's foam October caddis

The CDC Orange McKenzie Caddis has a CDC hackle palmered over it’s foam body. It floats flat and has good movement. This pattern can fish well swung and skated.

cdc orange caddis

Posted in Fishing Reports, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Leave a comment

Petition to End Harvest of Wild Steelhead on the Southern Oregon Coast


On Friday, September 14th, Oregon Fish and Wildlife commissioners will hear testimony from petitioners who have asked to put an end to the harvest of wild steelhead on the Southern Oregon Coast. The petition was filed earlier this summer by a group comprised of some of the most well-known fishing guides in Southern Oregon.

Current ODFW fishing regulations allow anglers to harvest one wild steelhead per day, up to five per year on coastal systems including East Fork Coquille River, Illinois, Chetco, Elk, Pistol, Rogue, Sixes and Winchuck rivers and Hunter and Euchre creeks. These watersheds are some of the last remaining places in the lower 48 where wild steelhead can be retained by anglers.

ODFW staff is opposed to the rule change, and instead favors the development of a South Coast Multi-Species Management plan, much like the Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan that was adopted by the Commission on June 6, 2014. That plan covers the area from the Necanicum River in the north to Elk River in the south.

Staff and a counter petitioner argue that South Coast steelhead are healthy enough to sustain a wild harvest fishery, that the economy of the South Coast would be negatively impacted by the proposed rule change, and that “the decision to reduce or eliminate harvest of wild winter steelhead may lead to powerful environmental groups petitioning the agency for further protections such as reduction or elimination of hatchery programs, reduction or elimination of open seasons on specific streams, and/or restriction on angling methods and gear”

In many ways, this petition to end wild steelhead harvest brings back memories of a similar regulation change that occurred on the North Umpqua River back in 2008. OFFB founder Matt Stansberry did an excellent interview with our own Jay Nicholas at that time that covers much of the intricacies of the rule change and the fisheries management concepts behind it.

Looking to the North Umpqua for historical guidance, would any readers suggest that the economy that the North Umpqua supports has been negatively impacted by eliminating wild steelhead harvest? On the contrary, fishing on the North has flourished and it remains one of the most popular winter steelhead fisheries in Oregon for both guides and recreational anglers alike.

On the North, Winchester Dam provides ODFW staff the opportunity to monitor wild steelhead populations in real time, by counting each individual fish that swims up the fish ladder at the dam. In contrast, monitoring of steelhead populations on the South Coast is extremely underfunded (as it is everywhere else in Oregon) and ODFW staff is forced to rely on infrequent creel survey data, redd counts, and juvenile surveys to get an idea of how populations are faring. If we’re going to allow wild steelhead harvest, it should only occur with rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the health of populations on a watershed scale.

Finally, how about those “powerful environmental groups” that could use this rule change as leverage to attack hatchery programs on the South Coast? This petition was filed by and is being supported by fishing guides across the state, and garnered over 700 supporting signatures over the past few months. They’re requesting this rule change because they saw how much the fishing (and as a result, the flow of clients) has become on the North Umpqua since wild steelhead harvest was terminated. To suggest that this is a ploy by environmental groups to end every hatchery in Oregon is a red herring to stir up fear amongst the small group of anglers out there who want to kill a wild fish. Ending wild steelhead harvest is what’s best for the fish, the fisherman, and the coastal communities who benefit from the dollars anglers spend on gas, hotels, restaurants, and tackle. Oregon is the last best place for steelhead fishing in the lower 48, and if we want to keep it that way, we need forward-looking, science-based management, and a new level of reverence for just how special and rare the wild steelhead runs we have in this state are.

Development of a South Coast Multi-Species Management Plan would be a huge step forward for these fish, but in the interim, we need proactive management that will protect wild steelhead and ensure they remain for our enjoyment and the enjoyment of future generations.

What you can do

Show up to the ODFW Commission meeting on Friday, September 14th in Bandon (8:00 AM at the Bandon Community Center, 1200 11th St SW, Bandon, OR 97411). There will be opportunity for public comment if you sign up to testify at the start of the meeting.

If you can’t make it to Bandon, write to the ODFW commission

( with your support for the petition to end wild steelhead harvest on the South Coast. Your email doesn’t need to be formal, but it helps to offer a personal tie to the steelhead you’re writing in defense of (i.e.- you fish there, your uncle owns a grocery store there, you hope to take your grandkids fishing there in the future if we don’t mess it up first!).

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon Winter Steelhead Fishing | 2 Comments

Fall Fishing Improving Daily – McKenzie and Willamette River Reports

middle fork of willamette steelhead fall 2018

The Willamette system is producing some decent steelhead action of late. Anglers are having to work for their fish for sure, but they are out there. Swinging favorites like Moal Leeaches and Muddlers has been effective. You can see from the fish counts below that more fish began trickling over the dam in late August. Hopefully the uptick in numbers continues into September. Regardless, as water temps cool fish activity will increase. The Trout fishing in the lower Middle Fork and even into the mainstream of the Willamette is also improving. Rainbows and Cutthroats are looking toward the banks for migrating October Caddis Pupae and short wing stonefly nymphs and adults.

August fish counts

Posted in Fishing Reports, Lower Willamette, McKenzie River, Middle Fork Willamette River fishing | Leave a comment

David James Duncan Essay – Hearts Like the Mountains


This is a fantastic adapted essay by David James Duncan, stay with it all the way till the end, there is some good news amidst the beautifully written sadness.

“Giving control of the Interior West’s salmon recovery to BPA and the Army Corps was like giving control of the nation’s drug rehab programs to meth cooks.” -David James Duncan

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Bahamas for a Benjamin – Bonefish the Bahamas for $100!



Bonefish the Bahamas with your best friend for only $100!

Thanks to the Native Fish Society’s Board Chair, Paul Fortino, Fish Head Expeditions, Abaco Lodge, Nervous Waters Fly Fishing, and The Fly Shop two lucky anglers will enjoy 3 days of bonefishing and 4 nights at the famous Abaco Lodge in the Bahamas!

Get ready for bruiser bonefish that will test your gear and challenge your skills as you explore the “Marls of Abaco” on Great Abaco Island near March Harbor! Nervous Waters’ expert guides will join you every day as you explore some of the largest and most productive flats fishing in the world.

On your return to Abaco Lodge you’ll be greeted by five-star accommodations. Imagine stepping off your flats boat to be handed an ice cold cocktail and delicious appetizers. Dinners are gourmet and locally sourced…did we mention that all meals and drinks are included! Every night you’ll retire to your spacious and plush air-conditioned room.

From the moment you step off the plane in the Bahamas the caring staff at Abaco Lodge will make this the best trip possible!

How does it work? Native Fish Society is selling raffle tickets for $100 each. We’ll draw the lucky winner on September 14th and they’ll get ready for the time of their life!

Dates: November 4-8, 2018

Purchase your tickets online by clicking HERE or call (503) 344-4218.

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, steelhead, and trout, not to mention your fishing mojo.

*Does not include travel to Bahamas, flies, gratuities, and VAT tax.

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

September Trout Unlimited Meeting Announcement


Please join The Redsides Trout Unlimited Chapter 678 at out next meeting.

When: Monday September 10, 6pm

Where: New location: Claim 52 Kitchen 1203 Willamette

This first meeting of the season will be a meet and greet time to share your summer fishing tales.

There will be door prices.

Terry Turner of Oregon council TU will fill us in on TU activities in the state.

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

Cast a Wider Net: Is Fly Fishing the New Yoga?


From the Robb Report, By Sheila Gibson Stoodley On August 30, 2018

Are you ready to trade in your yoga mat for a fishing rod and waders? Women are embracing the sport of fly-fishing like never before, and they’re doing it for some of the same reasons that yoga retreats took off.“Today, it seems to be more important to women to be able to unplug and be immersed in nature,” says Christine Atkins, from The Orvis Company and a co-leader of the 50/50 On The Water project, the outfitter’s campaign to increase the number of women fly-fishers to 50 percent through offering women-only classes, events, and trips, and fostering a sense of community. “The adrenalin piece of catching a fish is nice, but there’s so much more to it. It’s pretty meditative.”

Women are the fastest-growing demographic in fly-fishing, thanks to the introduction of better gear, the rise of digital media delivering captivating images, and efforts by entities such as Orvis. According to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), 31 percent of American fly-fishers are women, which reflects a double-digit jump over seven years.

Regardless of how quickly fly-fishing reaches equality on the water, the women who love it will see it as much more than a hobby. “Fly-fishing is such a personal experience,” says April Vokey, the Canadian founder of the 11-year-old guiding operation Fly Gal Ventures. “I like it because I can personalize it to what I need at that time. If I need to reflect and reconnect with myself, I find an intimate trout stream or a misty lake accessorized by calling loons. If I need invigoration and excitement, I raft the whitewater of wide, rugged British Columbia rivers in search of silver steelhead fresh from the ocean. But mostly, if I need to find myself, fly-fishing allows me to do so while trekking through the bush in search of fish, animals, foliage, and experiences… it’s the perfect symbolism.”

new zealand fishing lodges

There are several opportunities to learn fly fishing, from Orvis’s all-women fly-fishing trips to Belize (the next one is planned in October 2019) to private guides at luxury resorts, including The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, which employs women fly-fishing guides. “On vacation, it’s the perfect time for them [women] to step out of their comfort zones and experience something brand new or improve a current skill that they don’t get to do every day,” says Alison Lewis, an executive at the resort.

“We have had women at the lodge who have never cast a fly rod before, and with some instruction, have success on the first day,” says Shauna Daughters, owner and operator of Cedar Lodge, on the South Island of New Zealand, who notes that the resort is planning a women’s fly-fishing week for March 2019. “One of the wonderful things about teaching women is they are very good listeners, and novices don’t come with any bad habits, so it’s really fun to watch their success.”

from The Caddis Fly Angling shops casting instructor Lou Verdugo

We continue to see an increase in women in our Intro to Fly Fishing Classes. Over the past few years women’s attendance has increased by 40%. Women are leading the way in our classes and enjoying the benefits of fly fishing. They get it, its not the just the catching, but the whole experience!

Posted in Fly Fishing Travel | 1 Comment

Steelhead Fly w/Pink Aqua Flies Intruder Eyes Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay ties an Intruder style Steelhead fly using the OPST Shank Chuck Tool and a few new products from Aqua Flies including their Round Eye Shanks (which come in several sizes), Swing Hooks, and Intruder Eyes. This is an extremely effective Steelhead pattern with a lot of movement and flash. The Willamette has picked up for steelhead recently and this is a great color scheme to try.


Steelhead Fly w/Pink Aqua Flies Intruder Eyes

OPST Shank Chuck Tool
Aquaflies Return and round eye shanks
Aquaflies AquaTalon Swing Hooks Size 2
Fire Line, Wire or Mono
Danville’s 210D blue
Loc-Tite Brush On
Ice Dub UV Purple
Blue Marabou (Silver Doctor Blue)
Grizzly Saddles
Flash: Smolt Blue Ripple Ice
Blue Marabou (Royal Blue)
Black Marabou
Aquaflies Intruder Eyes Pink

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