New Fly Tying Video Library

Here it is in late March 2017 — I’m embarking on a quest to create a new video library of (mostly) fly tying videos.  I probably have over a hundred videos on the Caddis Fly Shop YouTube channel for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog, but many of those are old news and I wanted to shoot a series of new videos that will reflect my current abilities, hair cuts, declining  vision, and ever thickening glasses. Not to mention new materials, fly styles, and my latest stories and opinions.

Here is the basic approach. Chris Daughters likes me to produce short, snappy, business-like videos for the OFFB. I prefer to produce long rambling videos that allow me to go on and on about materials, and fishing techniques and such forth, including all the mistakes and broken threads and non-cooperative feathers and the like.


So I’ve decided to edit many of these new videos down to a short business-like time frame for Chris, and then edit a longer (Director’s Cut) version for my own blog.

This has been fun so far. Finally, I’m learning how to edit video with transitions and audio. I even purchased a sound track to use at the beginning and end of these videos. I sure hope you can stand the guitar, because we’re going to be hearing it over and over again.

This pattern is the first in the fly series. I hope to shoot all kinds of fly tying instructional videos for this new library—but who knows how it’s going to go. So little time and so much to do.

Jay Nicholas, March 28, 2017


Back from Ashland Fly Shop 03/27/17

Jay Nicholas Ashland Fly Shop class a

Just returned home from a very nice visit to the Ashland Fly Shop and a fly tying class hosted by friends Will and Jon. We had 8 great tyers gathered around the table in the back room and this was an opportunity to explore the world of steelhead tube flies and tell some fishing stories too.  We tied three tube flies that are almost always in my sling pack when I’m on the water in the winter.

After the class I entertained our group with a movie: Fly Fishing Pacific City. This is a 50 minute review of the season in PC — with winter steelhead, black bass, lingcod, albacore, estuary chinook, town lake summer steelhead, and hatchery catchable trout — all part of a good year close to my family cabin.

Jay Nicholas Ashland Fly Shop class b

My thanks to the people who shared a Saturday afternoon tying flies, I wish you good times at the bench and on the river with your new creations.

Jay Nicholas

Straddle the Wire – a 2017 preview


OK, it is a little late to lay out my New Year Resolutions, and then there is the fact that I never figured out what, if any, these would be. Still, the year unfolding holds great promise, and this is finally the right time to share a few of my thoughts.

Much of 2016 was a down time for me. A deeper, darker down than I’ve ever survived. My life was good, my family well, my friends supportive. What’s wrong Jay, some of my well meaning friends would ask. How can I help, they would ask. Fine and I don’t know, I’d reply. Nothing was out of order in my life, except that an illness had settled in. An illness I couldn’t shake. I walked. I wrote. I tied flies and took photos of flies. I produced a book. All of these things were not achieved easily and none were comforting. My family held me close. The pit was so deep and dark that I couldn’t see light and held on to only thread of intellectual hope that I would survive.  My former plans for the future were replaced by a minute-by-minute process of placing one figurative foot in front of the other, trudging in circles.

Gradually, by imperceptible increment, the cloud lifted. The light returned. I’m back. I wake each day with enthusiasm for a long list of projects to accomplish, and there is never enough time to do what I’d like by the end of the day.

Thank you. This is a word of thanks to all of my friends who stood-by me, accepted that I’d eventually pull out of the darkness. You were right. Although I couldn’t feel it at the time, I held on to your friendship and good wished, just like I held on to my family, and kept a tiny measure of hope hidden away somewhere in my head, because I couldn’t feel hope in my heart.

Enough of that.


I’m back. I’ve been tying flies and fishing better than ever before. I have yet to catch a winter steelhead, but still hope to. Regardless, my flies are swimming well, my casting feels right, and I fish the swing with great anticipation. The fish will do whatever, but I’m enjoying the tying and fishing.

My family is thriving, and more than a little relieved, I’m sure, to have me back to my usual, normal crazy.

What’s on my list of things to accomplish in 2017?  Plenty. The two headline goals for 2017 are huge, all things considered.

  1.  Shooting fly tying videos (short videos for the oregonflyfishing blog and extended version videos for fishingwithjay. I’ve tied flies in front of a video camera for some 7 or more years, and I often meet people who learned to tie flies from these, people who are able to recount details of these videos far better than I can. Well, I’ve decided to dive into 2017 by recording and posting 20, 30, 40, or 50 new videos. The goals are fuzzy and I’m not sure what I can deliver, but as I draft this note, I’ve already shot a dozen videos, have edited 6 of these, am on the cusp of starting a YouTube channel for fishingwithjay,  and close to posting the first of these new vids. My hair is short now, and my age is showing, but I’m recording on a new camera and still prone to ramble on.  I’m looking forward to producing my own library of fly tying videos in a new and improved format, even though I won’t be tying anything smaller than a size 16. The first should be posted within a week, if all things go well.
  2. Publishing my salmon journal.  It’s time. My friend Al James enlisted a team of volunteers with the right skills to bring my dream to reality by the end of this year. Our team will bring focus to  the collective  expertise of a book designer, videographer, photo journalist/editor, proofreader, accountant, and project manager—culminating in a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to print and distribute the journal. The details about my fundraiser will be forthcoming soon and I’ll be depending on my friends to help me bring this book home.

Here we go. There will be a new look for my website too, thanks to Rob Perkin, just as soon as I figure out how to respond to the possible options he’s laying out for me.

Jay Nicholas with Lisa and Courtney

Here’s  me with my wonderful wife Lisa, and teenager Courtney, just last week.

Thanks again, to everyone who wished me to recovery. I know that many of my friends are dealing with their own health and personal challenges, and have all-the-while offered their love and support.  I wish I could ease your burden as much as you wished you could have eased mine. We will each begin this day, do the best we can, and prepare for tomorrow—as best as we may.

Jay Nicholas, March 14th, 2017