This is Dave Stewart and his dad, Doug Stewart, on the Deschutes in 2009.
I just wanted to let you know that Dave Stewart is busily engaged with his website Wet Fly Swing and has launched a podcast—all aimed at fly fishers and fly tyers.
Dave interviewed me for his podcast and you can find my interview online and at iTunes.
Topics in my podcast with Dave include:
How to find a place to fish for steelhead.
Don’t start fly fishing for salmon.
Support the economy by buying Spey lines.
Why fish a non-slip Uni knot?
Our primitive connection to fly tying.
On tying original flies.
Best summer and winter steelhead patterns.
The Rio chart to all Spey and switch rods and lines.
This is a link to my YouTube channel.
This is a link to my video interview with Dave.
Here following are more photos from a wonderful trip in 2009 on the Deschutes with Dave, his father Doug, and Steve Jacobs.
My gosh, this was a great trip. Thank you all.
Jay Nicholas January 15th, 2018
I had one single day on the ocean bucktailing for silvers. Ed Bowles hosted Rob Perkin and me in his genuine plywood 1972 dory built by Paul Hanneman.
Fishing was slow, but we had a great time as usual, caught a few black rockfish and even managed to boat a few silvers. One hatchery salmon came home for dinner, but several were released intentionally and unintentionally just before they were within reach. Pink tube bucktails were popular with the salmon, but they seemed to be feeding on crab larvae.
By the time I will have posted this note, the silvers we fished for will long have entered the river.
So it goes with all of us.
Jay Nicholas – October 2017
And yes, it is now January but I’m just catching up thank you very much.
I can’t remember when I last received an envelope with stamps like this. Thank you Henry, for making me and Lisa smile. I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.
Jay Nicholas – January 9, 2018
Sometimes I arrive at the cabin to find no place to park. There are drift boats, dory boats, and prams that my friends have staged in the yard, plus their respective vehicles. This is actually a very nice view to behold. Thanks to my friends for keeping me company.
Have a good enough day my friends.
Jay Nicholas – October 2017
I’m blessed with friends who seem to know me without knowing me—people who are ready to accept me with all the imperfections. Marty and Mia Sheppard joined me for the day – we fished the morning with my friend Kevin in his Breaker Dory. We had a great day and caught plenty of these sea bass.
And in the afternoon?
Well, I’ll get to that in another post.
Good day to my friends, I appreciate your good thoughts.
Jay Nicholas – October 2017
This qualifies as a genuine blast from the past. Bob Hooton, Bob Hooton, and I were fishing the Bella Coola River. Years ago. When we were a lot younger.
And my note that I was fishing with Bob Hooton and Bob Hooton is not typo. I was fishing with Oregon Bob Hooton and BC Bob Hooton on the Bella Coola River.
We fished 10 ft 6 in rods with a dink float and eggs for bait. We had very much fun and this is an understatement.
How is it that Bob and I have three steelhead laying in the water in front of us and who took the photo?
The three of us were drifting downriver and one of us was rowing and two were fishing. Don’t remember who was doing what. Two of us hooked up and the third dropped the oars and made the cast without anchoring—and made it a triple!
Someone pulled ashore, we all jumped out, and BC Bob took this photo before we released all of these fish.
This was in the early or mid 1980s.
My were we young.
Have a wonderful day.
Jay Nicholas – December 2017
I met Peter on my venture to Baja this year, where we shared fleeting conversation. Peter and I are interesting people. Different but …. we share an interest in people, human nature, and surprising opportunities to learn that life occasionally delivers to our doorstep. In this respect, we are not so much different. I like to fish. Peter likes to fish. Peter travels to Africa with his church mission in an effort to make life a little better for people less fortunate, I fish while Peter is on his mission. I think we’ve learned something of spiritual importance from our brief time together and I hope we have more opportunities to grow through our future friendship.
Take Care Peter, and thank you — and thanks to Karen for the brief time Lisa and I enjoyed your company a few months ago.
Jay Nicholas – October 2017
Good morning this is going to be one of my rare but occasionally to be expected unpunctuated rants that is a hell of a thing to read but is the only way I’m really able to say what’s on my mind and right now that is a lot and the very first thing I’d like to do is to let my friends and casual observers and readers know that my family is doing well and I’m fine which means that I’m functioning within design parameters and by this I mean that I live with a variety of realities that accompany my age, environmental exposures, and life experiences and this is a hell of a thing to explain but one way to think of it is that age is a mixed blessing for example in my case on one hand my physical and mental capabilities have clearly declined as I’ve aged especially in the last decade but on the other hand my life experiences continue to help me be more humble and better appreciate the many gifts of good will and native smartness that I have received from the people I meet but it also seems at times that each step towards being a better person is likely to be followed by a step backwards into selfishness and insecurity but oh well, I do think that there have been more steps forward than back so I guess all in all it’s good and this is as good a time as any to say that I’m on the verge of opting out of Facebook and that I’m already gone from that silly Linkedin and Instagram because quite practically I barely am able to attend to the most important things in my life hold it for a minute I realize that I am without a doubt failing to accomplish even 25% of the activities I want and need to these days so I’ve decided that one of the things I can do is to excuse myself politely and respectfully from so called social media because the clear fact is that although I post to Facebook it is an automatic feature performed by sliding a button here on my wordpress blog page and BOOM in less than a heartbeat my wordpress post magically and creepily appears on my Facebook page but I NEVER go into Facebook to look at anyone else’s page and I do NOT get my news from social media and I have no idea how many likes I get but the last time I checked it was a very small number and the idea of opting out of social media carries a little angst because I have several very good friends who routinely post to and communicate on social media and I hope that when and I’m 90% convinced that I will opt out that I do not loose contact with my dear friends but again I’ve been feeling absolutely overwhelmed and unable to multitask and consistently fall short on my social and practical obligations like for example I have not called Steve yes you know who your are and Mike but at least I have seen Steve a couple times in the last year but Mike who has given up on me long ago and even I can’t even remember how many years it has been since I’ve seen you but I am grateful for the days we rode out bikes around the Valley and carb loaded at Woodstock’s and coffeed at the Beanery and tried to chart out our life but those are only two examples of people I miss but on the other hand I have been delivered by chance into the circle of friendship with so many new people that have been kind and are wise and genuine lights in my confused life and while I’m at it yes as usual I’m continually blessed by my family at every step in life while I’m running around or glued to the computer or the fly bench and I love you dearly and want you to know once again like a broken record that you have heard many times that I’m at peace and will love you always but expect you all to darn well get on with your lives Ok that’s enough of that and y’all shouldn’t make more of this than it deserves and where was I oh yes I find myself all to often with someone standing in front of me with a smile on their face and talking to me as if I should know them and I look at their face and have to say who are you please remind me because as we stand here at this moment I have no idea where we met or any thing of the sort and this is embarrassing but the reality of my life and is unlikely nay there isn’t a chance in a thousand that this situation will change and I should be heading for the gym to walk but I feel like it is important to finish this rant so I will and I am so grateful excuse me if I’ve already said this for the many people who have given their genuine friendship and there is an overused word but I mean it in the best possible way and they have also been genuinely kind and understanding and so there and I’m sitting here working on this post with my desk a terrible mess of disconnected scraps of pater and notes on napkins and lists on 3×5 cards and printer paper folded in half in an effort to prioritize things to do but I do not seem capable of sorting through the lists and figuring out what I should be doing first and this is a clear example of one of many ways that something is deteriorating but by god I can still fish from dawn to dark if dawn is 7 AM and dark is 5 PM and focus every minute on where I’m anchoring and casting and changing flies and leaders and casting angles and such but I sure as heck fall short of being able to see the big picture and get my life organized and yesterday I asked Lisa if she could try to help me because I have a hunch that too much is falling though the cracks and oh by the way work on Salmon Fisher’s Journal is progressing albeit at a pace that is slower than I had hoped but my team has plowed though two full edits of the nearly 300,000 word manuscript and think that we need to wade though one more full edit but in the meantime my production team have continues work on design layout photo editing and all the tasks that will ensure that this book will be in total really fine and appreciated by everyone who has a two volume set and that I will be really proud of but I’m quite sure that we will not be able to deliver the final product until april or may instead of February as I stated originally bot I’d rather push the delivery date back instead of compromising on the quality so that’s that and a fact I’ve only discussed with a few people is that I was surprised to learn that the actual cost to print the book will be nearly twice the amount I had originally estimated because I totally misunderstood the printers quote and have since explored offshore book printers and that route would indeed being the cost per unit down but only if the number of units printed is significantly increased and ha ha I cant’t pay for 2,000 copies and by the way also don’t have space to store 1,700 copies in my garage so at the end of the days as they say our print run will be roughly 250 books and everyone who pre purchased a set should know that you paid less that it will const to print the books and that there is no margin for shipping either so now I got that off my chest and will get back to editing and design and take comfort that SFJ is well on its way to being real and tangible and the very best book my team and I are able to produce and we finally shipped out flies and sketches we promised months ago but better late than never and I might add that I’m downstairs in the den writing this post on a computer that has been shutting down on me and the house is very quiet with two sleeping cats, two sleeping grandkids, a sleeping son and daughter in law and my teen Courtney is sleeping at their apartment in town but is in our hearts always and it is just a hair shy of 6 AM and in an hour of so my family will be stirring but by then I will have finished this rant and oh wow I have not yet mentioned salmon fishing this fall so here goes my 2017 springer season was nearly a no show if not for roughly 5 days when the season was supposed to be over when Jack Harrell and I stumbled into several schools of shiny bright springers that we fished practically alone and my fall season was mostly occupied hosting new friends but very little time fishing alone as I typically prefer and on a few day when I could fish I was dismayed by the crowds gathered in places where I was accustomed to fishing alone or with at most three other boats but I did fish one day alone and caught one chinook shared with a friend I barely know who I finally this year remembered meeting over a decade ago at the Woods boat ramp when he was launching his fiberglass pram after fishing the Trask in the morning having caught a bronze buck still laying in the bottom of the pram and we talked and he gave me two of his chinook flies that by mere chance I still have today and I am sure happy that I finally realized that the fellow I met so long ago is Jeff and that we were both on the water one day this fall and he by the way caught a salmon too so he was able to take two fish home to his family my oh my how complicated but simple the world can be on occasion and then I finished the season with several consecutive days fishing mostly alone in areas mostly away from crowds and caught a few shiny salmon and thoroughly enjoyed myself and then had the joyful experience of hosting Trey and three of his friends from Japan and we all had a very fine three days together at our family cabin and fished a little and enjoyed albacore and salmon and salmon eggs and although is is highly unlikely that I will eat salmon caviar until they return to visit it was a wonderful experience to share the time with these fine people nd gosh right now I’m looking at my cat Boomer’s belly because he just flopped down on the desk in front of me and is asking for a tummy rub while purring loudly and oh by the way I have over a half dozen draft blog posts sitting here that I will most likely publish in the near future while I consider inactivating my Facebook account and working on SFJ and shooting fly videos for Chris Daughters and lord knows what else and if anyone has made it to this point please excuse me because I have no Idea if I have covered even half of the crap I wanted to talk about but this will have to suffice and Lisa I love you and to all my dear friends I’ll say top of the morning to you all and close here.
PS: this year in November of 2017 although physically and mentally I am in far less than optimum condition I would like to say that I am grateful because whatever condition I am in today is about a thousand damned percent better than I was in a year ago when I completely missed the 2016 salmon season and barely survived to see the dawn of 2017 thanks to a stupid stupid stupid anti-depressant ha ha ha ha that nearly killed me after sucking 90 percent of the life out of my head heart and soul but that was then and this is now and I’ve got a day ahead of me to explore and do the very best I can so that is exactly what I’m a gonna do.
I wanted to share a photo of two flies I was fishing in the ocean one day this summer with Kevin on his Breaker Dory.
I was fishing two flies on the same leader, as I sometime will. and was missing fish after fish. Most of these were Pacific black rockfish.
At one point I pulled in my line and looked at my flies. This is what a fly tied with Steve Farrar’s Blend looks like when it has been chewed on and spit out by a fish (of any species).
I should note that the practice of fishing two flies is very dangerous, even if it is fun. I have had grief on occasion when hooking two giant lingcod. or when a salmon gets wound up in the two hooks and breaks the leader. I’m often tempted but only yield once in a while.
By the way, these are very effective Clousers.
May you have a day filled with only goodness.
Jay Nicholas – October 2017
Kevin is my neighbor in Pacific City. Kevin takes very good care of me and makes sure that I don’t overdo my exertion when he takes me out on the ocean in his most excellent Breaker Dory. He provides some of the best classic rock on the speakers while we cruise and fish the ocean. His fish finder is awesome! Kevin taught me how to chum properly – instead of just hacking a handful of bait as far away from the boat as I could manage. Kevin, serves up great lasagna and all sorts of left-overs when I’m too tired to eat anything but microwave dinners and cereal (almost all the time because I never cook). Kevin knows how to fish. He is relatively new to fly fishing and fly tying but he is a fast learner. The only thing Kevin likes better than catching fish is making his guests feel comfortable on his dory and helping them catch fish. He has a great dog, Cody, who barely tolerates me because i feed him occasionally. Cody will protect me from all the other dogs in the neighborhood no matter how big they might be.
And since I’m feeling like there’s more to say—I may be repetitive but I need to say this: Kevin takes me fishing in his Breaker Dory. Kevin does all the prep and clean up before and after we fish – making sure that I don’t over do it – knowing that I can no longer tolerate the level of exertion that he first saw me put into my fishing when we first met back in 2012.And when i say all the clean up I mean all of it including the fish filleting and packaging. Kevin got to know me when I fished pre-dawn to well after dark – day after day after day. Kevin has been kind and hosted my friends by taking them fishing on the ocean in his dory, and these trips have been a great joy to my friends. Kevin knows how to find rockfish, lingcod, silvers, and tuna on the ocean. Some of my fondest memories were days when it was just me and Kevin fishing in his dory. Some of these were tuna days, some were sea bass days, and some of these were silver salmon days.
Kevin is a friend who I know I can count on for anything — asking for nothing in return. He is the king of guy who is always looking around to see if he can help people in some manner, I guess this is the firefighter’s spirit showing.
Jay Nicholas – October 2017