Watcha Up to these days, huh?


1.  Went fishing and my friend Jim caught a beautiful hatchery spring chinook and a Kwikfish about half as long as the boat and Bandit wasn’t with us and it was great to be on the water with Jim after who knows how long an intermission man did I miss that dog and no, I didn’t really get a grab but I did get a jiggle which I took for a cutthroat trout but who really knows and then there was a sort of but not quite pull or almost a sort of something at the end of my swing that just might have been a salmon but I doubt it not like those solid how could that fish not have been hooked oh my gosh now I am excited no not even enough to get the adrenaline pumping but it did generate at lease five minutes of well it could possibly have been a salmon but I wouln not want to overstate it and….

2.  I went to eat a forbidden hamburger in Tillamook like I always order which is just the meat and ketchup on the bun and no cheese or anything else please and yes I got the fries too and then I got my meal and was eating the fries and drinking my caffeinated need to stay awake for the drive home and had not opened my burger box when all of a sudden I became aware of someone yelling at someone else behind the counter and it was the manager ripping up more than one person because there on the counter was a all meat ketchup only burger that some customer had returned because they wanted the mushroom cheese bacon burger and they sure didn’t want a meat and ketchup only burger that was for sure and then the criticism flowed completely around the staff back behind the counter about how there had been too many misakes and so and so was not happy and I was pretty sure that Mr. so and so was the manager because he was like all dressed up and looking angry and the hired help was scurring around with frowns on their faces and then withoug even opening up my burger box i walked back to the counter to smile at the scared little face standing quivering there and I said something like it was Ok and everyone makes mistakes but this scared person whispered about not wanting to get in more trouble with the manager and then there elapsed maybe 4 minutes of yelling and harassment and I just went back and sat down and finished my fries which I would have done anyway because I am a save the meat and ketchup on a bun for last anyway and then after a while it got like really quite and the slicked up manager came out all smiles and so forth and handed my corrected burger with his apologies and I was tempted to ask him to lay off the staff because I was pretty sure that they were doing as good as they could but no I just smiled at him and said thanks but it has been bothering me ever since and I wish I knew if saying something to him would have made him treat his staff better or if he would have been even meaner the next time and who really knows and man it is sure a high pressure job to work the counter at a fast food joint and …

3.  I tied a Silver Hilton with a grizzly hen cape, a Langtry Stone with a #2 Cree cape, and a Chinook Prawn with ingredients so secret that I have already forgotten what I used but here are the photos anyway and let me tell you that no matter how many flies a person may have tied in their lives it is tough to sit down and get it right after a many too many hiatus from the bench and the first version of each fly sucked so bad that I refused to photograph them and man is it strange in the new era of almost impossible to get saddle hackles like just a few monhs ago we could have any rooster feaher in any color we wanted but not now no sir indeed and try to get saddles for out Intruders but ha ha ha and like a Pik-yer-Poket must be about a 90 buck fly now just for the feathers and I remamber when I used to take these feathers for granted but now now not never again and what will the world be like if the women and men decide to wear cross cut rabbit in their hair gosh that would be crazy and then we would really be DOOMED as fly tyers and maybe I should stock up on pink and purple and black and blue rabbit strips and now that I think about it has anyone noticed how difficult it is to get Osrich these days and I think I am going to see if I can stock up on hen capes for my steelhead and Chinook collars before they dissappear too and …

4.  I watched a video I shot with Chris Daughters on how to tie one of Brian Silvey’s most awesome steelhead flies and my fly looked puny next to Brian’s but heck it was unrehearesed and Chris wouldn’t let me re-shoot the video and I know the fly would have cagught fish anyway and I do need to get in the groove again and ….

5.  Our two new family Kittens, Boomer and Baby Rollo are about twice the size when we got them 3 weeks ago these cute little creatures with each their own personalities are perfect examples of what love and constant attention and patience and hugs can do for people if they ever receive it but there are one heck of a mess of people who never in their whole life get treated with the love and patience and respect that these two cats have been and I am going to need to work extra this month hell every month to buy cat food not to mention Jackson being 12 and what on earth will College cost when he is ready to go and I sure hope I am still here then but probably by then I will be back to normal whatever normal is for me ahhhhh what the heck anyway, I’ll focus on the cat food first and then a few tackle items and maybe a WaterMaster and finally take some fishing destination trips like I honestly have planned and……

In conclusion:  does anyone know what this photo (below) shows?   Do you?

Thanks for all the encouraging notes my friends have sent me.  They mean more than I can express.   I just received my official diagnosis:  weird.  Textbook.  Quirky too.  Sustainable.  Count on periodic lapses into sputtering and drooling and definitely bingeing on various subjects including fly fishing, fly tying, and lord knows what.

BTW, it was wonderful to throw a shooting head on a 9 wt after 6 months.  Next up:  an honest grab!

Jay Nicholas, 23 May, 2011

9 thoughts on “Watcha Up to these days, huh?

  1. Love seeing the Langtree Stone Fly – Which leads me to a deep question, what came first the Stimulator or the Langtree?

    1. Tim: Not a doubt in my mind, the Langtree (Langrty) stone was first in line. The Stimulator represents a very smart marketing (wish I had thought of that) of a basic fly pattern, taking it to color, material, and size combinations as far as the mind could expand. I believe the original was developed by Judge Langrty, but I am not sure of the spelling, and probably in the Salem Oregon area. Maybe you could help me do some research on the old Judge? The original used baby yellow yarn, twisted tightly to make both segmentation and resist soaking up water. The original rear palmer hackle was simply tied in by the butt at the rear of the fly and wound forward over the body. I now use a dubbed body, tie in the hackle by the butt AFTER tying the body, wrap hackle to rear of fly, and counter wrap with fine copper wire to make the whole body tough as nails. Seriously, do you remember any more details on this pattern? JN

      1. I never met Virgil Langtry (I mis-spelled above) that I know of, but he was a Oregon Supreme Court Judge from 1969 – 1976. This means he was appointed by none other than Tom McCall. Makes you wonder if the two of them ever fished the Deschutes together.
        What I remember about the fly was that the body was actually the easy part, it was the head that gave me fits: to get the taper just right and wrap the hackle down and still get a neat tight head. Of course old Wayne laughed plenty at my early attempts which made me try even harder.
        What else I remember is going to Trout Creek mid-day when I was first starting out w/ a fly and watching all the anglers cast about w/ large stonefly imitations – with no luck. I tied on my Langtry Stonefly walked between two guys and with my third cast caught a very healthy redband. Landing this fish and then two others – I thought this was pretty easy fishing. It was only years later I realized how really lucky I had been that day that the fish were keying in on the Golden Stones.

  2. Nice to see a fresh post.

    Here is a topic you might address on the blog if you are searching for topics ( or to me if its not blog material and you are so inclined):
    The latest Hood river study on steelhead parentage (Mark Christie et al) indicates significant contribution from non-migratory fish, and others have observed the spawning of nonmigratory males with adult female steelhead.

    I don’t say resident trout, because that is the question. I think about the lake Washington where sea lions have erradicated the winter run at the Ballard locks. The Cerdar rive was a substantial producer of steelhead at one time, but now has a thriving population of resident rainbows. The Hood river study indicated that a portion of the returning recruits were from two resident parents. So my questions are wht don’t we see at least a continuing trickle of steelhead into the ballard locks from resident origin (may be we do and I am ignorant) or similarly more wild fish returnig to the Elwah from up river resident production?

    Could it be that one of the many varied life historys of steelhead is a resident form that is genetically distinct from “resident” non-geneticaly anadromous trout?


    Any thoughts would be interesting and appreciated. Given the squabble over steelhead introductions back into the upper Elwah, I was wondering if there might be some merit to crossing the locally adapted Chambers Creek stock that has been used in the system (females) with resident males from upriver. I believe there will be additional hatchery steelhead introductions – we are an impatient species, which is too bad as it is a rather unique opportunity. But given the proscription for out of basin transfers, it was one option that I thought might be better than just using straight Chambers creek based stock.


  3. Nice flies as usual, Jay. History on the Langtry is fascinating… I worked for Randall once upon a time. Wouldn’t want to be the one to imply the Stimulator is a blatant rip-off of the Langtry. It’s safer to say that fly-tying, like art, is derivitive.

    Um. Shower drain, minus the grate?

    1. Peter: nice try on the shower drain. Hint: this is a key component in the science and art of building hign-end fly rods located in a humble shop in Washington. And I’ll add the hint that this orifice goes straight down, no curves or bends, but doesn’t lead anywhere but Montana.

      And on the origin of the Stimulator by some unknown fellow, I certainly agree that fly patterns are highly evolutionary and build on all the known and unknown patterns over time – modified or re-discovered. Speaking of which, i, personally, have just invented a completely new and innovative steelhead fly. It has a Kingfisher Blue tail, black chenille body, silver oval tinsel rib, black collar hackle, and white wing. The wing is white craft fur. Some innocent stream-side observer said it looked a lot like a Skunk, but ……..

  4. I need to get up to Kerry’s and check it out firsthand…

    It could be said that the majority of traditional steelhead patterns are a variation of the Skunk, which is a variation on the Atlantic salmon “Black Bear” pattern, but I worry less about lineage and more about proportions, movement, profile & contrast and tend to follow my whimsy. I like your Blue-tailed Skunky bug. I’d be tempted to add a spot of fl. flame floss over a tinsel tag, just under the tail and maybe ONE strand of micro-krystalflash folded over as an underwing… Hmmm – guess I’ll be doing some tying tonight.

    Inspiration is where we find it, eh? Follow your muse, my friend.

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