Spey Casting Exercise Using a Dog Chuckit™

In this video, Greg uses his dog’s Chuckit™ to help improve one’s bottom hand while spey casting.

“Many people have tools to improve and practice their spey cast at home. I use my dog’s Chuckit™ everyday and really focus on my bottom hand to execute the cast.”

Spey Casting Resources:

Skagit Master Spey Casting DVD Series
Rio’s Modern Spey Casting DVD

Individual Instruction Classes Available:
(541) 342-7005

Posted in Classes and Instruction | 2 Comments

Get Summer Fly Patterns “Cheaper by the Dozen”

Check out some great deals on summer fly patterns at caddisflyshop.com and at Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene. We are offering these staple patterns at the great price of only $12 per dozen while they last. Check out the entire listing here: SALE FLIES

Patterns available include:

Sale flies
Soft Hackle Wets

Sale flies
CDC Transitional Dun

Sale flies
Caddis Poopah

Sale flies
CDC Green McKenzie Caddis

Sale flies
Rusty Biot Spinner

Sale flies
Vitamin D Nymph

Sale flies
Green McKenzie Caddis

Sale flies
Kaufman’s Stone Nymph

Sale flies
Orange Elk Hair Caddis

Sale flies
Parachute March Brown

Sale flies
CDC ELK Hair Caddis

Sale flies
Damsel Nymph

Sale flies
Sparkle Duns

Sale flies
March Brown Nymph

Sale flies
Ugly Albert

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New Airlock Strike Indicators for 2020

In this video, Chris introduces Airlock’s new strike indicator for 2020.

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Jay’s Three Salt Alaska King Salmon Fly Tying Video 2020


In this video, Jay ties an intruder type Alaskan King Salmon Fly.

This fly is meant to be fished on the swing, but you could use this stripping for peacock bass, tiger fish, muskie, and other large predators. With variations of colors and sizes you could get creative.

What with the Three Salt? “A salmon or steelhead that has 3 seasons of growth in the ocean.” -JN


Jay Nicholas March 2020

Alaska King Salmon Fly

Tube: Pro Sportfisher 40/40 Flexitube Clear
Thread: Lagartun 150D Chartreuse
Butt: Cactus Chenille Charteuse
Rear Station: Marabou Chartreuse
Lady Amherst Chartreuse
Saddle Hackle Chartreuse
Body: Lagartun Flat Braid Chartreuse
Weight: Pro Sportfisher Raw Wt. XL
Front Station: Cactus Chenille Chartreuse
Marabou Fl. Blue
Craft Fur Chartreuse
Krystal Flash Chartreuse
Marabou Silver Doctor Blue
Pro Sportfisher Gen. 3 Jungle Cock
Cone: Pro Sportfisher Pro Cone Chartreuse
Zap a Gap

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Good News for Wild Fish!


From The Conservation Angler

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Takes Action to Protect Wild Steelhead and Salmon

No Angling Sanctuaries Established to Protect Wild Steelhead Resting in Three Columbia River Thermal Refuges.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will protect wild steelhead and salmon using the cold water refuges at the mouth of Eagle Creek, Herman Creek and the Deschutes River where no-angling sanctuaries will be established to protect heat-stressed migrating wild salmonids this summer.

Thank you to all who supported our efforts to establish these critical wild fish sanctuaries!

The Conservation Angler is grateful for your encouragement and personal advocacy.

David Moskowitz, Executive Director

Background on Cold Water Refugia and Wild Steelhead

Anglers have known for decades that wild steelhead and salmon have relied on cold water refugia (CWR) during their upstream migration in the Columbia River. Bill Bakke, then director of the Native Fish Society, had been advocating for the protection of heat stressed wild steelhead and salmon during summer hot water conditions since 1998. It was not until 2018 and again in 2019 that ODFW was moved by public advocates and the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission to close the mouth of the Deschutes River to fishing when the Columbia became too hot.

The Conservation Angler led the science-based advocacy before the Commission which urged the reluctant department staff to act. TCA appreciates the support of the Wild Fish Conservancy, Native Fish Society and Trout Unlimited who backed up our work at every turn.

ODFW was unable to ignore a critical US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft report released in October 2019. That report highlighted the critical role that CWR played in the migration of wild salmon and particularly, wild steelhead. The EPA Report presented essential scientific evidence that the CWR were extensively used by heat-stressed wild salmon and steelhead – however, these fish remained vulnerable to targeted sportfishing efforts that significantly reduced the meaningful biological benefit of the thermal resting areas.

These No Angling Sanctuaries will be effect for two summer months (July 15 thru September 15) and are part of the 2020 Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead sportfishing regulations announced on May 18. ODFW also announced that development of a permanent Thermal Angling Sanctuary rule is underway.

While it took ODFW 20 years to protect ESA-listed wild salmonids threatened with extinction during their migration to spawning grounds throughout the Columbia and Snake Rivers, The Conservation Angler sincerely applauds ODFW and the Fish & Wildlife Commission for taking critical action in 2020 to protect low returns of ESA-listed wild steelhead and salmon seeking relief in the cold-water refuges.

Yet more remains to be done.

Washington has not established No Angling Sanctuaries at thermal refuges both below and above Bonneville Dam. However, WDFW did modify specific angling rules that they believe will prevent the targeted angling on wild steelhead resting in CWR at the Wind, Little White Salmon and Big White Salmon Rivers. The Conservation Angler will monitor the effectiveness of these modest rule changes in these areas this summer season.

Establishing no angling sanctuaries in these cold-water refugia for ESA-listed wild steelhead are only half the battle, as the EPA Report on CWR predicts that the Columbia River will be a lethal migration corridor for salmonids by 2040, if not before. All of us will need to join the on-going fight for source protection immediately.

For more scientific and policy background on Cold Water Refugia, checkout this Blog Post on our website.

Contact: David Moskowitz, Executive Director * theconservationangler@gmail.com * 971-235-8953

Posted in Oregon Conservation News | Leave a comment

Hendricks Bridge County Boat Ramp Closure

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Hendricks Bridge Boat Launch will be closed from June 8-Oct 1st for improvements. Anglers who want to float downstream from Hendricks are advised to put in at Taylor Boat Launch at 40945-41483 Deerhorn Rd, Springfield, OR 97478. One could also put in at Deerhorn Bridge for longer run.

Fishing has been excellent on the McKenzie of late. Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones, Pale Morning Duns, Green McKenzie Caddis and Green Drakes are must have patterns for fishing the McKenzie in June.

Posted in McKenzie River, Oregon Fly Fishing Tips | Leave a comment

Jay’s Pro Sportfisher Squid Tube Fly Video

In this video, Jay ties a Squid Tube Fly using Pro Sportfisher Predator tubing, EP Invader & Fair Flies Predator Brushes.

An effective fly to imitate a squid for salmon, rockfish, and lingcod for coastal fishing or you could use it to swing your favorite steelhead run as well.

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Thread: Danville 210D White
Pro Sportfisher Flexineedle Predator Size
Tube: Pro Sportfisher Predator Clear
Tube: Short Section Pro Sportfisher Large Clear
Cement: Loc Tight Brush On
Tentacles: White Saddle Feathers (8-12)
Waist: Fl. White Medium Chenille
Head: Fair Flies Predator II Brush White & Orange
Head: EP Invader Brush 2.5″ Hot Pink

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

Jay’s Seal Bugger Jig Jigged Leech Fly Tying Video

In this video, Jay ties a Seal Bugger Leech pattern on a jigged hook. A good pattern to try for alpine lakes.

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Hook: Gamakatsu Jigged barbless size 10
Bead: Mottled Slotted Tungsten Bead Red
Glue: Loc-Tite Brush On
Thread: Veevus 8/0 Olive
Wire: .015 Lead Wire
Tail: Marabou Olive
Body: Spirit River UV2 Seal X Olive

Posted in Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Summer Trout Spey Fly Video by Jay Nicholas

In this video, Jay ties a beautiful and effective summer trout spey fly that could be used for trout or steelhead.

With different color combinations and hook sizes you could easily adapt these flies for the fishery of your choice. Tight lines.


Summer Trout Spey

Shank: Aquaflies Return Eye 27mm
Trailer Wire: Berkley Fire Wire
Hook: Gamakatsu Octopus Black Sizes 4-6
Thread: Lagartun Black 150D
Hot Butt: Angora Goat Fl. Orange
Rear Collar: Hen Pheasant Natural
Body: Lagartun Flat Braid Peacock
Underwing: Angora Goat Fl. Orange
Wing: Ostrich Olive
Collar: Grizzly Marabou Soft Hackle
Adhesive: Zap a Gap

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

Redington’s Run Reel *New 2020*

In this video, George Cook discusses Redington’s new Run Reel Series available May 2020.


Sizes 3/4, 5/6, 7/8

Redington’s Run Reel:
-Die Cast Construction
-Sizes 3/4, 5/6, 7/8
-Available in Matte Black, Burgundy, Pewter colors
-Interchangeable Spools that work with Redington’s Rise Reels


Interchangeable Run Spools work with Redington’s Rise Reels

Posted in Fly Fishing Gear Review | Leave a comment

Late May 2020 Fishing Report


Rivers and lakes around the state are turning on and fishing opportunities about. Here are few options and fly suggestions for the next couple of weeks.

The McKenzie is at ideal water levels and a variety of hatches have fish looking up more each day.
Pale Morning Duns, Green McKenzie Caddis, Brown Caddis, Golden Stones, Little Yellow Stones, Possie Buggers, and a variety of jigged nymphs.

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The Middle Fork of the Willamette is also fishing very well. Black Canyon and Hampton boat landing are now open. Dan Craft is running shuttles (541-600-5094). Water conditions are really nice on the Middle fork right now. If you are wading look to stay above the North Fork of the Middle Fork. Similar flies to the Mckenzie.


Crane Prairie Reservoir has been great on the warmer days. This past week was not has hot as the previous but we have some really nice warm weather ahead. Chironomids, balanced leeches, black buggers have been productive.

The Lower Deschutes is full on with the salmon fly hatch from Maupin to Pelton Dam. With the heat this is likely to be a fantastic week for the Salmon Fly Hatch. Larimers Golden Stone, Norm Woods, Crowd Surfers, Emma’s Stone, Clarks Stones. Mayflies to have are PMD’s and Green Drakes.

The Metolius River is seeing Green Drakes below the Hatchery and as things warm the hatch will likely move up river. If you are heading to the Metolius have some Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns and Golden Stones. Nymphing with small dense jigged nymphs like Dally’s Tailwater, Frenchie and Tungsten Jigged PMD’s are good subsurface patterns.

The John Day River has seen its peak flows and is on the drop. Best patterns are most going to be wooly buggers, Jay Breaker, Diamond Lake Special (brown crawfish colored bugger) and larger poppers.

It’s a great time to be fishing all around the state, get out there and enjoy.

Posted in Eastern Oregon, Fishing Reports, McKenzie River | Leave a comment

Review of Fly Tying Cements, Adhesives, and UV Resins: Part 2 – Everything but Solarez

As promised, Part 2 of our review will deliver the highly opinionated thoughts and observations regarding the very wide range of products available to us fly tyers for use during the process of crafting our works of art and devices that we hope will entice great and small fish to bite.

I organize these fly tyer‘s products in categories as follows.

1. Petroleum based cements
2. Water based cements
3. Loctite family of adhesives
4. “Zap” Super Glue family of adhesives
5. Non-Solarez brand UV cures
6. Epoxy type of cements
7. Unique Fly Tyer”s Cement Products

Jay Nicholas Hard as Hull with 3M tacky base

Photo caption. Note two things here. First, the 3M Poster Tack that I use to keep my glue bottle from tipping over. Second, the way I use a find needle squeeze bottle held in a tiny little hole in the top of my Hard As Hull Hareline Penetrator cement.

Now, let’s begin the review.

1. Petroleum-based Head Cements
Hard as Hull Cement – all purpose head cement. This is my go-to for larger traditional flies, and especially for my steelhead wet flies. It is not a good choice for small dry flies as it too viscous.
Hard as Hull Penetrator – This is a fine choice for all wet, dry, and nymphs with heads that do not need to be shiny or glossy. I will sometimes mix standard hard as hull with this penetrator to the in-between viscosity that is a little glossy but still soaks into the threads well.
Hard as Hull thinner – If you tie with a petroleum-based cement you must have this thinner. Otherwise your cement will be too goopy to be of any use rather in short order.
• Dave’s Flexament – This cement is a miracle if you tie with materials like turkey feathers for wings, because you will be able to brush this flexible thin cement over the wing segments so as to make them resistant to splitting apart when you add pressure with the thread tying the wing into place.
Soft Tex 3.5 oz jar (flexible, never cracks) – This is sort of like Dave’s Flexament on steroids. It stinks to heaven but you can brush it on big streamers for saltwater and pike-musky flies to help keep the wad of materials from getting tangle and fouled on the hook. Some tyers dip the front 1/3 of their big streamers in the jar and some brush it onto their streamer wings but only around the foreword portion of the fly. Not for the faint-at-heart, or those sensitive to the fumes, please use this goop with proper ventilation. It is a very old product that remains viable because it is so useful. The Flex UV products can do what Sof-Tex can, but at greater cost.

Fritz Von Schlegel - My goodness, this is another long stranding petroleum based cement, but it is very dependable, the built-in applicator is unique, and the cement works well on the vast majority of flies from the vary largest down to about a size 12. Smaller than this and you will probably slop cement all over the fly instead of on the head only.

2. Loon Water-Based Head Cements
Loon Soft Head Cement – Perfect for building/painting popper bodies made of foam or cork.
Loon Hard Head cement – create shiny black heads on steelhead patterns, building up a chironomid body, building mass and durability on stonefly nymph bodies

3. Loctite Adhesive Products
All of the Loctite gel family of products are my go-to adhesive for either temporary or permanent placement of eyes on my flies. Depending on the pattern, I may only use the gel to secure the eyes; or I may add a coat of UV cure over the eyes after placement with Loctite.
Loctite Ultra Gel Control – slowest gel
Loctite Extra Time Control – slow dry time
Loctite Liquid Control – modest dry time
Loctite Gel Control Bottle – slow gel
Loctite Brush-On Super Glue – thinnest fastest dry time; similar to Zap

Jay Nicholas Super Glue with 3M tacky base

Photo caption. Note the 3M Poster Tack that I use to keep my glue bottle from tipping over. This is the best investment you will ever make and it is available from most craft and office supply stores.

4. Zap Products (Super Glue)
Fly Fishing Zap-A-Gap – medium, micro-tip applicator
Zap CA Super Thin – thin, micro applicator
Fly Fishing Zap Gel – blister pack, 0.1 oz tube use to stick on eyes, mend holes
Fly Fishing Zap Goo – 1.0 oz gel, stick on eyes & mend holes
• Zap Gel – non-blister-pack
Zap CA Plus 1 oz Green Bottle – Medium viscosity, , micro applicator
Zap CA Plus 1 oz Pink Bottle – Thin viscosity, micro applicator

5. Non-Solarez UV Resins
Loon UV Products: these are all dependable, high quality UV Resins. Fly tyers are prone to be “brand loyal” and prefer Loon over Solarez. I have used both and can vouch that both are excellent resins

Loon Thin UV Clear Fly Finish Large Bottle
Loon Thin UV Clear Fly Finish ½ oz bottle
Loon Thick UV Clear Fly Finish Large Bottle
Loon Thick UV Clear Fly Finish ½ oz bottle
Loon Fluorescing UV Clear Fly Finish

Pro Sportfisher UV Products
Thin Flex UV Resin

Deer Creek UV Products
Diamond Fine Flex black UV Resin

6. Epoxies
Z-Poxy 5 Minute – a true old-time epoxy requiring mixing two materials; sets in 5 minutes
Zap Quick Set Epoxy will set up in less than five minutes
Flex Coat Rodbuilders Epoxy Glue 4 oz – Probably the best general use rod building product for one guide or a dozen.

Jay Nicholas Liquid Fusion Urethane resin

7. Unique Fly Tyer’s Cement Products
Tear Mender –This silly stuff is the very BEST adhesive for gluing rabbit strips for Double Bunny & MOAL Leech flies. I do not know how we got by without this. Oh yeah, now I remember, we used Zap. This stuff is far better for bunny hides.
Crystal Clear Liquid Fusion similar to epoxy, but thinner and takes longer to harden; dip fly heads in this or brush on wings to prevent hook fouling, use sparingly.


While you do your level best to digest this vast treasure trove of information about what we refer loosely to as “cements,” you can look forward to the next installment, which will be locked onto the Solarez family of UV resins we have come to depend on so often these days.

Thank you. Be well.  I hope you can tie flies that will last you through the year. Or perhaps one season, or at least the month after we start fishing. Each of us can only tie as fast and as creatively as we can.

Jay Nicholas – May 2020

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

Support the John Day Steelhead Project


Steelhead anglers across the Pacific Northwest have likely already heard of the John Day River. With its headwaters on the western slopes of the Blue Mountains in Northeast Oregon, the John Day flows approximately 284 miles before emptying into the Columbia River upstream from the Columbia Gorge. The John Day is the longest undammed river in Oregon, and the third longest undammed river in the continental United States. It’s also home to ESA-listed steelhead.

The John Day Steelhead Project is raising funds for a collaborative research project between the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, graduate students at Oregon State University, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and other partners seeking to better understand John Day steelhead migration patterns and how Columbia River dams may be impacting the health and abundance of these fish.

Read more about the research below, then checkout our crowdfunding thank-you packages which include the opportunity to adopt one of the fish tagged during this research and track its movement up and down the Columbia, limited edition John Day Steelhead Project t-shirts, hand tied flies from Wild Steelhead Initiative Manager Dean Finnerty, and your chance to win a trip with staff from Wild Steelheaders United at an upcoming staff retreat on the Olympic Peninsula, where you’ll spend two days and one night fishing and telling stories around the campfire with the WSU crew. Dates are TBD.


The John Day River supports the most robust population of wild steelhead in the Columbia River basin. Despite its relative health, preliminary data suggests about 60% of the adults each year migrate past the mouth of the John Day River and go upstream past McNary Dam (74 miles upstream).

Some fish are traveling over a hundred miles and passing dams on the Snake River. Those fish must then swim back downstream and pass-over the dams again. The travel distance, stress and other potential factors could be reducing the reproductive fitness of adults that over-shoot the mouth of the John Day and migrate upstream past dams.

This study will implant adult steelhead at Bonneville with acoustic tags that can track the movements of adult steelhead and get a rigorous estimate of how many steelhead are passing by the John Day, how many return back to spawn in the John Day, and whether or not those fish reach the spawning grounds. This information will allow managers to determine the extent of the problem and then they will try to devise solutions.

Questions to be answered:
1. What proportion of steelhead continue migrating upstream past McNary and other dams?
2. How long do those steelhead remain up there?
3. What proportion fall back downstream and return to the John Day?
4. What proportion of those fish ultimately reach the spawning grounds?
Implications: Answers to these questions will provide information that is critical to managing wild steelhead in the John Day and will help managers determine what actions need to be taken to remedy the behavior and improve resilience of the population.

Posted in Oregon Conservation News, Oregon fly fishing links | Leave a comment

Egg Sucking Bling Brush Fly – Jay Nicholas

In this video, author Jay Nicholas ties another variation of a classic salmon and steelhead pattern using new materials such as Bling Rabbit Strips and Flash Blend Baitfish Brushes from Just Add H2O.

This fly could be tied in a variation of colors and sizes and used for steelhead, salmon, bass, panfish, you name it.

Join Jay and Chris Daughters as they discuss their years of experience dealing with materials and the many possibilities that these materials could be used for.

New Materials Linked Below.

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Variation with New Helix Flash

Hook: Ahrex PR320
Thread: Veevus GSP 150d White
Eyes: Double Pupil Lead Eyes Yellow/Black
Tail: Bling Rabbit Strip Black/Pink 1/8″
Body: Just Add H2O Flash Blend Baitfish Brush
Head: Carded Chennile Pink Md.
Zap A Gap

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

Caddis Fly Shop Covid 19 Update May 16th, 2020


The Caddis Fly Shop/Caddisflyshop.com will return to normal store ours today 10am-5pm M-S and 10-3 Sunday. We will limit the number of people in the shop at one time, in order to maintain social distancing. We encourage online orders, call in orders for quick pick up and efficient shopping excursions. Let’s all get to “Phase 2″ and “Phase 3″ as soon as possible!


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