Postcards from Pacific City – May 2018

Dear Friends: Here is what I’ve been up to recently in Pacific City.

Mikhail Skopets and Jay at the beach - Pacific City.

Mikhail Skopets and Jay at the beach – Pacific City.

1. My friend Mikhail Skopets visited from Russia for 4 days. He is NOT an oligarch and the only laundry we did was sheets, jeans, and socks. When we met four years ago, he had caught over a hundred fish species on flies. Now the number is pushing up against 150 species. His latest rip to PC added coastal cutthroat but failed again to add spring chinook. Maybe next time.


Mikhail Skopets in 2018 withPacific black rockfish on  a surface popper.

Mikhail Skopets in 2018 withPacific black rockfish on a surface popper.

2. Ocean fishing was decent and Mikhail caught many black rockfish. The bass were feeding heavily on crab spawn but they took our clousers and surface poppers well.

Part of the bounty from the sea at Pacific City.

Part of the bounty from the sea at Pacific City.

3. Thanks to John Harrell and Pacific City Fly Fishing, we not only caught many bass but also took home many Dungeness crab,

Jay and Jack relax while John fillets the rockfish and cook the crab.

4. My friends Ed and Guido visited one evening. The following morning dawned to bowls of empty crab shells, bits of rockfish, chips, salsa, bowls of solidified garlic butter, and a few designer beer bottles. Three hours devoted to cleaning the cabin while my friends were fishing. Ha ha.

Late seafood appetizers at the cabin.

Late seafood appetizers at the cabin.

Springer fishing is so slow that the Point is deserted – Joe and Mikhail are flyfishing in a place normally occupied by 20-40 gear anglers.

5. Springer fishing has been extremely slow. Evidence my friend Joe fly fishing alone from the Point at the Boat Hole.

6.  We fished Echo BAG Bad ASS Glass rods, Nautilus and Hatch reels, and Airflo Sniper Custom Cut Tip fast sinking fly lines. Great gear.

ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rods on left, loaded and ready to fish.

ECHO Bad Ass Glass fly rods on left, loaded and ready to fish.

Sorry we’re short on fish photos, but sometimes the camera person chokes.

The ocean should calm down very shortly and we expect very good fly fishing for bottom fish and crab. Springers? Yes, there should be a few also.

Best Wishes to you all

Jay Nicholas – late May 2018

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Jay’s Slender Trout Streamer (Blue Smolt) Fly Tying Video

This fly is inspired by flies that folks over in Europe fish for Sea Trout. These flies are characteristically long and slender and they tie these flies on really tiny tubes and use less material which gives it a nice slim and translucent appearance when you put it in the water. You could even use a micro tube for this. If you want to use this fly to fish for Steelhead and Coho Jay recommends using a size 4 or 6 hook.


Jay’s Slender Trout Streamer (Blue Smolt)

Pro Sport Flexineedle
Pro Classic Tube Medium Blue
Lagartun Carded Flatbraid Holo Blue
Gamakatsu Glo Bug #6
Pro Ultra Sonic Disk Metallic Blue Small
Loc-Tite Brushable
Spirit River UV Blue Buck-tail Fl. Blue
Krystal Flash Smolt Blue
EP Senyo’s Chromatic Brush Live Bait
Thread 8/0 Veevus White

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Product Review: Dubbing Assortment Dispensers

This short video is intended simply to remind tyers that this is a very attractive way to be prepared to tie a wide variety of trout and steelhead flies without agonizing over which colors to order.

I mention several of my favorite sin the video including

Dave Whitlock #1 and #2
UV2 Diamond Brite
Senyo’s Fusion Dub
Ice Dub Trout
UV2 Seal X

The following are some of my additional dependable assortments

Senyo’s Lazer Dub
Cohen’s Carp Dub

These boxes are easy to store and accessible on an instant notice. And unless you plan of tying ten dozen of a single pattern these assortments make huge sense.


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Deschutes Report: May 7-11, 2018




Hauled one of the Technical Men’s Conference (old dogs who have fished together for decades) from Trout Creek to Nena last week. It had been a few years, I believe his last attendance was before the tower at Pelton, his first words while pushing off for the week, “hey, the water is murky!” Aware of the controversy of “the tower” he was very surprised at the impact of water clarity.

Overall the salmon fly hatch was very apparent and well underway. Each day as we dropped lower down river the bugs were very present in the bushes. Oddly, Golden Stones were plentiful. Didn’t take a pic of the Californicas but they were in the bushes as well.Overall, fishing was a solid “good”. The reason not rated “very good”? The fish were not really keying on surface activity consistently. Yes, we were intentionally early to avoid the angling stampede of the infamous “aluminum hatch”.

Nymphing was the most productive during the first few days. After that a Clark Stone with a small 20 incher or anything like it was productive.

D 3 Bug

D 2 Redside

Overall, the Lower Deschutes is a special place with a unique experience. However, there is no question, there is a change in water clarity, water temperature, moss growth, and insect life. I urge fellow anglers to support he Deschutes River Alliance and its efforts. If you can’t give up some cash, keep informed to the impact of change on the river.

Aside from the controversy, at least, get outside and enjoy the Deschutes and the rest of Oregon! Look soon for a report on the Cascade Lakes….its time for those CRANEBOWS!

D 1 Sheep


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Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Tiger Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay shows us how to tie a Steelhead Tube fly using a Tiger Barred Rabbit Strip and Chromatic Brush. This fly can be tied with the rabbit strip tied in first and the collar wrapped around it, or vice versa. Jay shows us both variations. This fly is best fished on the swing and the weighted eyes will help get out down deep. Jay recommends using an OPST Swing Hook Size 2 or 4.


Jay’s Ultralicious Steelhead Tube Tiger Peach

Thread: 210D Shrimp Pink
Hook: OPST Swing #2/4
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush on
Eyes: Balz Eyes Medium
Tube: Pro Classic Medium Fl. Orange
Body: Hareline Mini Flat Fly Braid Peachy Pearl
Collar: Senyo’s Chromatic 3.0 Brush Live Bait
Flash: Pearl Ice Wing
Collar: Schlappen Shrimp Pink
Hareline Tiger Barred Rabbit Strips

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Lower McKenzie Fly Fishing Report – McKenzie Green Caddis Report

Lower McKenzie

We are enjoying one of those lovely springs on the lower McKenzie. I made it out yesterday afternoon from about 1pm to 4:30pm. Water conditions are ideal. There were brown and green McKenzie Caddis out, along with assorted light colored mayflies. Fish were eating the active McKenzie Greens on the surface in some of the faster runs and deeper slots.

Lower McKenzie River fly fishing

The dry fly fishing wasn’t red hot for me but you had the sense that it was going to get better as the light got lower towards the evening. My best tactic was swinging a Possie Bugger and a Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail combo. Fishing was good with both rainbows and cutthroats taking the swung flies aggressively on most occasions.

Lower McKenzie River fly fishing

Lower McKenzie River fly fishing

Check out these old school videos on tying green McKenzie caddis variations. There is something totally unique about this size ten fat “greenish gray” bug hopping around on the surface. The active caddis drives the fish to literally leap out of the water to grab it. It’s really a great surface take.

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Tuna Tuxedo (Yak Hair) Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay ties up a Tuna Tuxedo using UV Yak Hair. Jay first used this fly while fishing for Skip Jack down in the Baja and it’s been in his fly box ever since due to it’s versatility in the salt game world (Dorado, Rooster’s etc). Pay attention to your UV Cure application on the eyes when finishing the fly (Jay uses both Loon thick, and thin UV Cure).


Tuna Tuxedo (Yak Hair)

Thread: Clear Mono Danvilles
Hook: Gammie 3/0 SC-17
Belly: UV Yak Hair White
Back: UV Yak Hair Black
Eyes: 3D Super pearl 3/8”
UV Cure: Loon Thick
UV Cure: Loon Thin
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush on

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Time to fish offshore again in 2018


We have had a lot of rough surf conditions this season but the ocean seems to be calming down finally and it is clearly time to hit the beach with the dory and fly rods rigged and ready to fish.


Our friend Kevin hosted me and my long long long time friend Bob Hooton a few days ago. We fished a few hours before the wind came up and had a very entertaining time catching modest numbers of lingcod, black rockfish and cabezon. Bob and I fished the ECHO Bad ASS Glass rods, both 8 wts in nine and eight foot versions. I’ll have more to say regarding these rods after I’ve had more time to fish them but I can say that my immediate reaction is very favorable: they cast well and oh my goodness the bend in these rods makes ordinary size fish feel very large. Oddly enough, the big bend is accompanied with a very powerful butt section with great lifting power—all in all a pleasant combination.



Kevin skippered his dory and fished  expertly – showing off a cabezon here. These fish pull far harder than their size would suggest.

Bob and I fished SA sink fly lines. Bob Fished the Sonar Sink 25 Cold water and I fished the Sonar Sink 30 Cold water. Both of these lines performed well — the principle difference is that the Sonar Sink 30 has a longer section of sinking line on the head coupled with an intermediate running line. The running line on the Sonar sink 25 line is a floater. Consequently the Sonar sink 30 will deliver your fly a little deeper a little faster. While I do not dispute this technical fact, the two lines performed very similarly and both got our flies down where the fish wanted them. I’ll add that the traditional fly line vs fly rod chart suggested we should have been fishing a fly line with a head from about 200 to 220 gr, we were actually fishing 350 gr heads. Modern fly rods are very powerful and I often overline my rods especially when I want to minimize false casting and in this cast when I wish to get my fly deeper faster. Great fly lines, no question about it.


Ill note also that we fished flies freshly tied with UV2 Dragon Tails.  These flies look really wiggly and attractive in the water and the fish seemed to accept them quite readily.


All in all we had a great day of it and are looking forward to a repeat venture very soon.


My friend Bob at the end of our offshore.

Jay Nicholas May 2018




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Olive Silvenator (w/Pro Sport Flexi Bead) Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay demonstrates how to tie an Olive Silvenator Steelhead fly with a Gunsmoke Flexibead from Pro Sportfisher. This is a quick easy fly that can be fished for Steelhead and Trout.



Olive Silvenator (w/Pro Sport Flexi bead)

Orange Classic Tube Medium Orange
Thread: 8/0 Veevus Orange
Black Barred Rabbit Strip: Olive
Flash: Angel Hair
UV2 Strung Schlappen Olive
Pro Sport Flexi bead Gunsmoke

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Mckenzie Report: May 1, 2018

McKenzie afternoonGreat day on the Mckenzie yesterday. Had Justin from the shop up front. A nice overcast day brought out some fine fishing. Nymphing was the deal, with the exception of a nice one on a parachute hares ear. The Mega Prince stole the show along with the lucent hares ear bring the most hook ups. IMG_6490

With warmer and sunny days in the forecast, the fishing should improve. We saw a number of PMD’s and a few Green Drakes were out. The bug activity would come and go with the sunbreaks and slightly elevated air temps. The remainder of the week should be very good! Get out and enjoy the Mckenzie!

MegaDry Fly



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Salmon Fly Patterns for Spring Fishing 2018

In this video, Tim goes over some Stone Fly patterns to consider for the upcoming Salmonfly & Stonefly Hatch on the Deschutes River and other local waters with Stonefly hatches as well. Enjoy!


Tungsten Trout Retriever (Black Lab) #6
Tungsten Trout Retriever (Yellow Lab) #8
Pat’s Rubber Legs #6-8 Brown
Pat’s Rubber Legs #6-8 Black

Dry Flies

Crowd Surfer Golden #6
Norm Woods #6-8
Norm Woods Chubby #6-10
True Golden #8-10
True Salmonfly #8-10

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Jay’s Slender Trout Streamer Chub Fly Tying Video

This fly was inspired by flies used for Sea trout over in Europe. As you can tell from the name it has a very slim, minimalist profile. It looks very fishy and casts really easily. Jay prefers fishing this in running water over still water and would fish this mainly for trout.


Jay’s Slender Trout Streamer Chub
(Use with Size 8 or 6 Gamakatsu Glo Bug Hook)

Pro Sport Nanotube + (Large Weight)
Pro Hook Guide Medium Clear/Lavender
Thread: Veevus 6/0 White
Lagartun Carded Flatbraid Copper
UV Yak Hair Natural + Olive
Krystal Flash Peacock
EP Sommerlatte’s UV Blend Foxy Brush 3” Olive/Orange
Cement: Loc-Tite Brush on
Pro Cone extra small Black

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New Product Review by Jay Nicholas – Midge Flash

Jay Nicholas Midge Flash Caddis Fly Shop a
OK. Just because a material is new to me does not necessarily meant that it is NEW on the market or new to everyone.Ive known that Midge Flash has been around for some time, I tried it and was not particularly enthused with it so I let it lay.

Not until now. A recent dive into the currently available flash products has been driven by my desire to tie something fresh and new in 2018, and I randomly stumbled across Midge Flash.

Impressed? YES.

I’m now convinced that the Midge Flash I see today is different in some respect from the Midge Flash I saw and was not impressed with several years go.

Why? Don’t know.

Jay Nicholas Midge Flash Caddis Fly Shop b

Perhaps different dyes are being used, different base materials, or different dye temperatures or processes. For whatever the reason the Midge Flash I have on my desk right now is super good looking and I’ll be incorporating it into my steelhead, salmon, and trout flies very shortly.

Jay Nicholas- Early 2018

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Spring Fishing Report April 25, 2018

Spring fishing on the Mckenzie

The weather in the Willamette Valley has been all over the map lately. Depending upon the day fishing conditions have varied greatly as well. On bright days with air temperatures in the 70s we are seeing snow melt slow the afternoon fishing. Despite tons of caddis adults on the water fewer fish than you might expect are rising to them. The lower reaches of the river have been the least affected by this “mid day melt” period.

Nymphing has remained consistent with a variety of deep dredging tactics working well. Mega Princes, Possie Buggers, stonefly nymphs, Pheasant tails, various Euro style nymphs fished deep are all working well.

The March Brown Hatch has hung on nicely but for the most part it’s all over. Green McKenzie Caddis, Golden Stones and even Giant Stoneflies are present on warm afternoons. Look for the Green Caddis to really get going in the later parts of warm afternoons in the coming weeks. The March Brown hatch was one of the best in years let’s hope the Green Caddis is also solid.

Water levels remain ideal and both the McKenzie and Middle Fork of the Willamette are fishing really well.

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Jay’s Trusty Trout Streamer Fly Tying Video

In this video Jay shows us how to tie a minimalist trout streamer using Orange Pastel Bucktail. This fly imitates a small Baitfish or a Caddis Nymph. It can be fished under an indicator or cast, stripped, and swung.Old school bucktail patterns were in your grandfather’s fly box for a reason, they work. Enjoy!


Jay’s Trusty Trout Streamer

Hook: Alec Jackson Covert Nymph Nickel #7
Thread: Danville’s 210D Black
Lagartun Carded Flat Braid Red
Collar and Tail: Hareline Pastel Bucktail Orange
Cement: Loc-Tite brush on

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