7 Videos Added to YouTube Channel

I had a busy weekend and one positive outcome was adding seven videos to my Youtube channel.

One of these is a review of the most basic fly tying tools.
Two are instructional fly tying videos; one featuring my friend Garren Woods.
Four are part of my new River Story Series; These videos provide an opportunity to tell a story or share some ideas while I’m tying a fly. These videos are more about the events than about the fly tying — although I do tie a fly, I say little about the tying techniques and focus on the story.

I hope you find something interesting in these latest postings, and encourage you to browse them at your convenience. Thanks and have a great week!

Jay Nicholas – January 29 2018

River Story Series — Larry Cullens’ Comet. This video features Jay Nicholas tying a Chartreuse Comet and relating a story about his friend Larry Cullens fly fishing for Chinook on the Rogue River in about 2004.

Garren Wood’s Adams Parachute. video is rather long and conversational — it contains a lot of good information shared by my friend Garren Wood. The Adams Parachute is an extremely effective fly and this rough water version is well worth your time to tie and fish.

Basic Fly Tying Tools – 1. This short video introduces the most Basic Fly Tying Tools. This is strictly for folks who are interested in beginning fly tying. Future videos will show some basic fly tying vises.

River Story Series — California Bill’s Special Clouser. This is a short video feature that I’m calling rilver stories told from the fly bench. This is an opportunity to share a short story bout fish, fishing, and people while I’m tying a fly in the background. I hope you find something entertaining here.

River Story Series — Henry Hoffman. This video is another in my new River Story Series – I relate my recent meeting with Henry Hoffman while tying a traditional Boss Steelhead fly. This fly is still effective in summer and winter fished on the swing in rivers from the coast to the interior in places like the Deschutes, John Day, and Grand Ronde. I hope you enjoy the short story.

River Story Series — Three-Day Chinook. This is another of my River Story Series -— Three-Day Chinook. In this story, I relate the time back in 2003 when I fished with Bob Borden, Ryan Borden, Jeff Hunter, and Darian Hyde. It was a very slow time and I managed to catch the one fish of the trip by luck alone, I tie a Flame Boss while telling this story.

Trout Tube Streamer Fly “Slender Minnow” Red & White. This video features a tube streamer that is tied with trout in mind, resident and sea-run. That said, I think this style of fly has great potential for summer and winter steelhead in clear water. I fashoned this fly after the style that is well established in Eurpoe for sea run brown trout and Atlantic Salmon. I chose a red/white color cast for this fly because of the universal appeal of the colors.

So it’s come to this?


My week was pretty good. Presentation to the Rainland Fly Club in Asoria Thursday evening, Hosted by Henry Hoffman. Henry was tying flies for Poulson, a Portland Oregon Distributor in the mid 1950s. Henry was paid $1.15 per dozen for trout flies, and $1.30 for weighted steelhead flies. Met some very nice people with an amazing history tying and fly fishing since 1950!

Friday morning I had breakfast with Mary,  John, and Jack Harrell. It was great so see them and catch up with news about a new puppy in Pacific city and. new cat in Corvallis.

Saturday was very good one in Corvallis, with my teenager Courtney speaking at the nationwide women’s march and me tying flies at Royal Treatment in West Lynn. Did  I mention that I’m proud of Court, because I am. The folks at RT were warm and welcoming as usual, with many familiar faces in the gathering. One young couple was accompanied by their black cat in a backpack carrier. They showed me a photo of the cat wading a stream when they were fishing.

Arrived home Saturday and got the mail. an unmarked envelope was addressed to me. Lisa held it up and asked if I knew who it was from. “Nope. Go ahead and open it—probably an advertisement of some sort.

Well, the letter above is what she read to me.

Lisa looked at me and said, “is this some sort of sick joke?”

I read it and read it and read it again.

I shared the letter with a very few friends.

Here is reaction from two: Trey Combs and Tomonori Higashi.

From Tomonori Higashi (in Japan)
Ha!! When you stand out from the crowd you start to receive such things… seems very universal. In past I tried to please everyone that I know and that I don’t know, but I now know it is impossible. I accept the bare fact that some people hate me simply because I’m visible. Hating someone at heart is natural, but if you send the bad vibes out, it causes bad karma to start! I’m not a serious Bhuddist, but I kind of believe it.

So, please stand strong, you are doing good to the sport and fishery!

From Trey Combs
What a creepy letter. You likely have an idea who wrote it. “Anonymous,” whether hiding behind a mask, or under a hood, or gutting someone on the internet, is what cowards do. Hey, I would turn the letter over to the police.

I can imagine the dialogue at the police department.

Me – I received this anonymous threat against me, my family, and anyone close to me.

Detective – So, you are being threatened for doing what?

Me – writing a book.

Detective – a book about what?

Me – About fishing.

Detective – and what is in this book?

Me – Fishing stories.

Detective – And this anonymous person is angry about what?

Me – That my writing about some of the places I fish will attract more people to fish there. He likes to fish there too, and he is afraid that there will be more and more people going to fish there and crowding us out.

Detective – Really? For this the person threatens you and your family?

Me – Yes.

Detective – And this is normal for fishermen to do this sort of thing?

Me – speechless.

Detective – do you have any idea who this might be?

Me – Maybe. I hope not. It makes me ill to think that one of my friends would actually threaten my family.

Detective – Well?

Me – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


I’ll close here and wish you all the top of the morning.

Jay Nicholas, January 22, 2018



Jay Nicholas’ Ten-Year Echo Fly Rod Review – 2018

Jay Nicholas Echo fly rod review

I was looking through my photo library recently and noticed an image of me playing a chinook with an Echo II Spey rod. This was in 200, and I’m as sure as I can be that I’d already fished this rod for summer steelhead in 2008 and possibly earlier too. My conclusion was that I have been fishing Echo fly rods for at least a decade. Not bad.

I decided that I’d try to figure out how many Echo fly rods I’ve fished over the last ten years. Some things I remember quite well and some things are a little on the fuzzy side. But here is the list I came up with—25 rod models at least and most certainly amounting to at least fifty individual rods of various line weight designations.

Spey Rods
• Echo II Spey rod
• Echo Dec Hogan
• Echo Dec Hogan II
• Echo TR Spey
• Echo TR 2017 rev.
• Echo Glass Spey
• Echo King

Switch Rods
• Echo Glass Switch
• Echo Switch
• Echo 3 Switch
• Echo Switch SR

Saltwater rods
• Echo 3 SW
• Echo 3 SW 2916 rev.
• Echo Boost
• Echo Boost beach
• Echo Bad Ass Glass
• Echo Prime
• Echo EPR

• Echo Ion
• Echo Ion XL
• Echo Base
• Echo 3 FW
• Echo Shadow PE
• Echo Edge
• Echo Ion

Specialty Rods
• Echo Pin

During that time, an Echo rod failed me a total of ZERO times. Nada. Zip. Never. Not once.

I have put 3 wt. to 12 wt. Echo fly rods to the test. Of course, the test of a 12 wt. rod is quite different from the test I applied to a 3 wt.—but test these rods I did. I’ve caught black rockfish, lingcod, coho salmon, chinook salmon, chum salmon, sea-run cutthroat, dorado, jack crevalle, black skipjack, northern pikeminnow, rainbow trout, brown trout, summer steelhead, and winter steelhead on my Echo fly rods. Not an impressive list compared to the fish caught by many professionals, but since I’m an average fly fisher beating around my home waters, this is a fair assortment of the fish we have in the Oregon rivers, lakes, and nearshore ocean. I do note that I’m missing smallmouth bass and carp, so anyone who wants to help me with those beauties just get hold of me and let’s see if we can schedule something.

General remarks:

Casting performance: good to superior. These fly rods, in ever model and line class, have either the Tim Rajeff magic or the Timmie blessing. None of these Echo fly rods are knock-offs or copies of someone else’s rod design. I find that I cast well with these rods, and doubt that anyone would find them lacking, expect of course the world class caster who is able to extract the last 5% in a cast.

Blank color/finish/appeal: beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I generally find Echo fly rods appealing, some more so than others. I’m not hot for the TR Spey rods and the old Ion left me cold also – but the new ION is very nice and the Bad Ass Glass is awesome. Face it, color is less important than performance.

Component quality: I’ve never had an issue with the quality of Echo fly rod componentry. That said, these rods must be shaving a little off the high end components on rods like Sage, Winston, Scott, and Loomis. All I know is that I’ve never had a complaint about Echo components.

Thread wraps: again, I find these colors pleasing and subtle, not fancy, but entirely durable and dependable.

Cork: I have had issues with cork handles on Echo fly rods—rarely—but no more so than I’ve experienced with high-end fly rods. My only less than pleasing experience was with an Echo 3 SW rod of about 6 years ago. The handle just seemed less durable than usual. I have had the same experience with Winston and Sage and I assume that any rod maker can get a less than perfect batch of cork. Overall, I rate Echo on par with any rod maker.

Rod Tube: Quite satisfactory. I have seen higher quality rod tubes on rods that cost 2X or 3X higher. Personally, I’d rather get a decent tube and have no need for a highly engineered tube.

Rod Sock: Again, Echo socks are satisfactory, sometimes superior to socks on high end rods. I think my personal favorite is the Winston Rod Sock.

Warranty Service: Superior. No question about this, Echo delivers the fastest and lowest cost warranty service.

My advice to anyone who is considering purchasing an Echo fly rod?
• You will find a rod that is durable and totally dependable to cover every imaginable fishing circumstance, except maybe whale fishing.
• You will find that each of the Echo fly rods will cast as well or better than many rods at twice the price.
• The key differences between Echo rods and more expensive rods is usually in the components and the high-end rods might be a little lighter and might perform a smidge better in the hands of expert casters.
• At my average casting skill level, I’ve not found Echo rods lacking in any aspect of performance.
• In my opinion, Echo fly rods are “over-engineered.” By this I mean that Tim Rajeff has built-in a safety cushion to each rod. If’ I’m right, this is likely the reason that Echo fly rods are so darn tough.
• I would ALWAYS take Echo fly rods on destination fishing trips because I don’t want to take the chance of having a trip ruined by fly rod failure. If I pack an Echo to go on the trip I’ll most likely be packing it back home at the end of the trip.
• Warranty service (for rods I have broken by my clumsiness) is UNSURPASSED in the industry. Simple. Trust it.

Ok, this is enough for now.

I welcome any questions about specific Echo fly rods if I may be able to help.

And let’s not get carried away. While I trust my Echo fly rods faithfully, I also have a soft spot in my heart for a few other rods too, especially a few Burkheimer, Winston, Scott, and Sage rods that have earned forever status in my tackle bag.

Jay Nicholas, January 2018

My friend Dave Stewart

Jay Nicholas Dave Stewart 1

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.

Jay Nicholas Dave Stewart 4Jay Nicholas Steve Jacobs 1Jay Nicholas Dave Stewart 2Jay Nicholas Steve Jacobs 2Jay Nicholas Deschutes 2009 1

My gosh, this was a great trip. Thank you all.

Jay Nicholas January 15th, 2018

Bucktailing Silvers with Ed and Rob

Jay Nicholas Echo Boost Beach review 2

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.

Jay Nicholas Echo Boost Beach review 1

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.

Thank You Henry Hoffman

Henry Hoffman Stamped Envelope

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