Sea-run Cutthroat Fly Sketch…

Jay Nicholas cuttroat fly sketch 082516

This simple ink sketch is my closer on five days of Sea-run cutthroat flies. You may choose to fancy up your wet flies or keep them simple, and they will all be effective if you can find these beautiful fish in a taking mood. Two friends lately have found the fish – but they were so spooky in low clear water that there was no chance for any interest on the fish’s part. One of these days will dawn cloudy and drizzly – and that will be my cue to head out for Sea-run cutthroat fishing.

Meanwhile, I’m tying a little, sketching a little, and dreaming a little.

Jay Nicholas, August 25th 2016

Sea Run Cutthroat fly: Day FIVE

Jay Nicholas Sea Run Cutthroat Fly 5

I’m closing with the fifth fly I tied five days ago, a 3XL version of the Dead Chicken shown in Les Johnson’s Sea-run Cutthroat book. The hook is a size 8 the body is bright yellow uni yarn, and the hackle is long stiff grizzly from the base of a rooster cape.

I’m likely to be pretty quiet until I show up at the regular meeting of the Santiam Fly Casters in salem at the Pringle Park Hall at 7 PM on September 8th.  I will have a chance to spend a little time with Dwight Klemin at dinner at the Ram Pub before the event and that will be really nice. I’ll speak and show amateur videos on saltwater fly fishing, and also talk about sea runs and salmon fly fishing too.

I’m really looking forward to the event and re-connecting with many old friends.

Jay Nicholas 24 August 2016

Sea Run Cutthroat fly: Day FOUR

Jay Nicholas Sea Run Cutthroat Fly 4

I transformed the Dead Chicken from Les Johnson’s Sea-Run Cutthroat book by using a 3XL hook, switching up the hackle and making the hackle a little wider. Coastal cutties love yellow bodies , red tails, and natural brown hackle. Simple, effective, and fun to tie. Enjoy this fly on day four. JN –  23 August 2016. (note: the body is UV yellow ice dub, very subtle, and the rib is fine silver Lagartun oval – you will Probably need to use the feathers located at the very base of a rooster cape in order to find hackles this long – you may also substitute pheasant rum feathers to get long fibered feathers for this fly)

Sea Run Cutthroat fly: Day Three

Jay Nicholas Sea Run Cutthroat Fly 3

Day Three is another simple wet fly that sea-runs eat like candy ha ha. Seriously, these drab wet flies are seriously effective. I’ve dressed this one with a red tail. The hook is a TMC 2499 SP-BLB size 8 – a very nice hook that does not require barb-pinching. The body is chocolate brown Ice Dub and the hackle is olive dyed grizzly. The hackles on this fly are down-sized from the wide spider-style that I used on the flies on the first two day’s patterns. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes not. This is a fly to present to fish that have previously rejected a larger sized fly.

Jay Nicholas; 22 August 2016

Sea Run Cutthroat fly: Day One – thanks to David Wang

Jay Nicholas Sea Run Cutthroat Fly 1

Here you go David Wang – I will post one fly each day for five days – all will target sea run cutthroat trout, but all are also suitable to swing for summer steelhead on warm autumn evenings and cool mornings. No recipes. Nothing fancy. All tied on #8 hooks.  All wet damp flies. No rationale or hype. Just five flies that I hope to fish in the next month.

This is not something I would normally do, but out of respect for David Wang, Frank and Jeanne Moore, Mia Flora Sheppard, and my many fellow tyers, I sat down this morning to tie all five flies. It was not simple. Then came the photography. Naturally I forgot how to do that part and had to re-discover the process like always.

I do not have someone to nominate for this task/honor to continue, but will leave this to anyone to take up if they are willing and able to do so.

The days are pushing over a hundred degrees here in Corvallis lately. A cramp in my left shin is hampering my walks. Four more weeks ahead to get off the stupid stupid stupid anti-depressant meds. I should be ready to fish by then. Meanwhile, here is Fly One. I’ll take Courtney and Lisa to Farmer’s Market this moring for a few hours shortly. My best to everyone on this Saturday.

Jay Nicholas, August 20th 2016

Little Steps in the right direction – August 18th 2016

6 Chinook Clousers - a new day's work.
6 Chinook Clousers – a new day’s work.

So I’ve progressed from not being able to tie a single fly to being able to tie a half dozen a day and I see this as a very positive movement in the right direction. I can now sit for ten or fifteen minutes at a session and painstakingly craft a single fly that should take 3-4 minutes under what I once considered “normal” conditions. There are other positives too. Far more positives than I’ll bore you with. Thanks to all my friends who trust that we are each as we need to be right now, whether relaxing, working, waiting, or fishing. Speaking of fishing, I’m nearly ready to wet a line. Hummmmmmm, it’s a small step but pretty positive. Maybe not a marathon session, maybe just a few casts, but I’d like to have a hook on a string in the water soon. Over a hundred degrees predicted for the Valley today. Might need to head for the coast soon.  Blessings to all of my friends who are supportive in so many ways. I’ll be speaking in Salem on September 8th and hope I see some of you there. I’ll be ready to rock!

Jay Nicholas, August 18th 2016

What’s Up – August first, 2016 . . . . .

Too much going on to go into very much detail, but here are a few quick snapshots. In the middle of a bout of depression, I’m fighting by exercise and pharmaceutical interventions. The side effects suck but I’m keeping busy and exercising to get the old body moving and see what happens next. Damn the depression —  full speed ahead.

My life is perfect.  My brain chemicals are the pits, but the new meds allowed me to quit gnawing and clipping my nails for the first time in years. Go figure. Sleep? Huh?

on to the fun stuff….

JWN Streelhead Scan 0 copy

  1. I need to re-scan sketches for Modern Steelhead Flies book with Rob Russell. Should have finished this last week, but maybe this week.

Jay Nicholas Michael Gorman SRC Flies


2. Michael Gorman donated flies for me to include in a new book that I started last week: Sea-Run Cutthroat flies and flyfishing. His flies pictured above work for summer steelhead too and will be individually featured in this book.

Jay Nicholas puget sound SRC flies

3. Blake Merwin of Gig Harbor Fly Shop donated flies for the book too, Puget Sound beauties, that I will provide photos and recipe for each.


4. I am waiting on a guest Foreword for my new edition of an Intruder Book: Advanced Intruder Strategies. Greg Senyo is taking time out of his busy schedule to pen the foreword – thanks tons Greg! Almost there man!

5.  Matthew Supinski is writing a foreword for a new edition of Book of Revelation. Again, thanks tons Matt. Soon.  Soon.

6. Expect a Kickstarter campaign in November to fund printing of my 600 + page, 220,000 word Salmon Journal, with over a hundred full color plates, art and flies. OMG this will be amazing. Hard cover. Two volumes. Probably in the 200+ buck range for this set but a collector’s edition that has actually been edited by a professional (not just me) who understands and respects the beauty of the run-on and incomplete sentence.

7. There is more, but suffice to say, I am blessed in many ways by family, cats, friends, and life. Fishing has taken a back seat lately. My trip to the Umpqua was a disaster. Legs too unsteady to wade. Oh well, thus the exercise program and then I’ll try it again in a few months.

8. On the blessings side, an evening and morning with Frank and Jeanne Moore was a long missed joy. I fed the trout in the pond, sat at the table with my dear friends, and talked about family, fishing, and life.

9. It is amazing how much of a struggle it can be to write coherently when I’m in the midst of a depressive bout. Words all muddled, the order of the flow is all jumbled up, and I try and try again to re-organize it all, succeeding a little in four times the duration it should be expected to take. Oh well, the draft of the SRC book is improving and my team of supporters working with Al James has my Salmon Journal to polish with my guidance and support.

10. letters and notes from friends tell me I’m not alone — we all need to remember that we have friends and that we all struggle in our own way, and we all need to do the best we can every day and it will get better if we swim upstream …..

May you all find peace and goodness in little things today, and every day you read this

Jay Nicholas, August 1st, 2016 (anticipating my next fishing trip too)