Renowned Oregon salmon bio blogs from the brink

As some of you may know, unabashed butter biscuit eater Jay Nicholas decided to freak us all out with some coronary issues this week. Here is an update about Jay…

Seems like he didn’t do a very good job of exercising, dieting, and managing stress. Silly boy. First indication came on a steelhead excursion to the North Umpqua. In between swimming and skating Muddlers, he found that he had to stop now and then to rest. Pain in chest. Funny tingling feeling in backs of both arms. Difficult to breathe. He thought it was simply an artifact of way too many hours sitting on his butt in front of a computer and falling in the river every other hour.

Few days later, mowing the lawn, he had to go to all-stop for several minutes. Same deal with the symptoms. (Of course, he didn’t tell Lisa about any of this.) Then Saturday night, the “who me?” guy couldn’t walk more than a hundred feet without having to stop and rest.

Naturally, he wanted to go home and tie a few more Muddlers before going to bed, but Lisa and Jackson drove him to the ER, in spite of his protests. Sunday was a day of electro-cardio harassment, treadmill stress tests (note: these suck when you are out of shape), and shooting of radioactive poo into veins. All tests resulted in med technicians and doctors doing much mumbling with concerned looks on faces, head shaking, and tut-tutting. Monday dawned gloriously in an operating room surrounded by bandanna wearing, tattooed med techs and a gleeful doctor air-guitaring to the likes of Metallica and AC DC.

When asked how much pain meds he wanted, Jay opted for the dumb-as-a- post dose, and proceeded to watch the TV screen.

Doc started by inserting an aluminum rod tube, jamming a four-weight Winston up the right femoral artery, squirting dark Guinness up into the artery and taking home-videos. Note: this artery insertion site is waaaay too close to the pubic region. Don’t ask.

Much more tut-tutting and oh-my-Godding followed the home video session. Jay was entertained by med techs dropping IV tubes on the floor, computers reminding people that the memory was full and no more home video could be recorded, more insertion of IV tubes to compensate for “No IV access is available, doctor”, “oops, wrong hole”, and a Van Halen finish in the background.

Shortly following these hi-jinks, Jay was on the receiving end of a 5122-4 Dec Hogan stuffed up the artery, inflation of two steelhead- size Thingamabobbers in the heart vessel, and the grand finale — stuffing two Intruder-style tube flies up into his heart. All this stuffing, inflation, and insertion was purportedly to counter-act arterial obstructions. Jay thinks it was because Doc needed to finance a fly fishing trip to Kamchatka.

Presto. Done. The burly med tech delivered Kung Fu chop to Jay’s right femoral artery, pulled out twenty seven feet of tubing, and closed the artificial orifice. Doc said, “looks like you dodged the BIG one this time”. There are several smaller obstructions in arteries that are more difficult to access with Thimgamabobbers and Tube flies. These other obstructions are likely to be addressed at a later date, hopefully moments before death occurs. Jay is hoping a) to receive a pro-discount on any future action and b) to have such corrective action occur during non-salmon season.

Note: Hospital food is great, roommates starred in “Night of the Living Dead”, and the rates are better than Motel Six.

Tuesday, after continuous hourly blood sucking and various bodily invasions, Jay was handed a gunny-sack of heart medication and shoved out the door with a “try to stay alive long enough to pay the bill”.

Wednesday, Jay, Lisa and Jackson are stuck between hilarity and horror while they read the side-effects literature supplied with the medication. Jay is home, has showered, shaved and watched X-Men. He has tied eight Golden Brown Muddlers. Lisa and David hid Jay’s most cherished Butter Biscuits, so he is VERY grouchy. There is much talk about lifestyle changes and rehab. Jay swears the doctor said he could “go fishing” in two weeks, but Lisa, David, and Jackson ain’t buyin’ it.

Jay is already on the computer, and he has several saltwater fly lines and deer hair (Lisa loves that stuff) strewn around the den, dreaming about an offshore adventure casting to marauding Silvers on the surface.

Lisa says, “We’ll just see about that.”


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5 Responses to Renowned Oregon salmon bio blogs from the brink

  1. Rob R says:

    Fishing is way better for one’s heart than sitting in front of a freaking computer!

    And regarding Jay’s clogged vascular system, I would argue that a part of the problem is too much catch and release. Eating fresh fish is one of the best things you can do for your heart and blood vessels. Jay needs to go on a fish-heavy diet!

    Let’s go the the Pacific Ocean and do some shopping!!

  2. Nate says:

    Seriously Jay… get better and we’ll be ready for you when you are!

  3. jay nicholas says:

    Rob, Nate, Rich, Matt, Misch, H-man, Guido, Dale, Guy, Lou, Chris, Jon, Jamie, Jarrod, Bill, Russell, Grant, Jack, Jerry, Jonathan, Ed, Kevin, Kelly, Steve, NWBill, Liz, Dylan, Paula, Rick, grant, Zack, Sara, Mark, Steve,, Rob, Devona, Jenny, harry, Rob, Lance, Alan, bob, Marcos, Darian, Charlie, Marlin, and EVERYONE who has called to wish me well — LISTEN UP. I went for a walk today and feel BETTER than i have for years. Fish look out!

    Thanks for all your good vibes, wishes and prayers to the great salmon in the sky.


  4. Lance Conragan says:


    glad to hear you’re still with us. Ping me when you’re ready for some Fall King’s on the same river Jack lives along side. Be more then happy to shuttle you about on the 15′ tidewater sled I keep parked in town there now.

  5. jay nicholas says:


    Jack? Jack who? I only fish for trout in the fall. You must have me confused with someone else. Ha ha. Be callin’ soon. thanks for your good wishes.


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