Fly Fishing Glossary review by Marty Sheppard

Fly Fishing Glossary: AKA Book of Revelation
Fly Fishing Glossary: AKA Book of Revelation

Here is a sample of the stuff that caused my unbiased friend, Marty Sheppard, to laugh out loud and blog about the Fly Fishing Glossary, also known as the Fly Fishing Book of Revelation.

If you click on the link in this sentence you will see what Marty posted on Metalheads about the book.  Thanks for your support Marty.

I quote from Book of Revelation.  Remember, you can order direct from Amazon or by contacting me here in the internet ha ha for a personalized copy – or contact your local independent fly shop and ask them to carry the dang book!

Improved Clinch Knot
The clinch knot is a great knot, period, end of story. Naturally, however, some attention-seeking angler decided to make waves and fancy-up on the original knot so they devised this so called improvement. I say nonsense. If you fish 15 pound Maxima Ultragreen leader with a size 12 Adams, you will never have a problem with the basic clinch knot breaking off on a twelve inch trout; therefore you have no need for the improved clinch.

See Frenzy knot.

Independent Fly Shop

In the good old days, independent, locally owned fly shops were sprinkled all across the country. Sadly, many have dried up, strangled by big box stores and the imaginary lure of lower prices. Some fly anglers practice the despicable behavior of spending hours, days, and weeks chatting with the employees in their local fly shop, soliciting advice regarding what sort of rods, reels, lines, and so on would be best for their intended fishing parameters. These slugs then make an Internet order from some monstrous soulless anonymous entity because they can save twenty-seven cents on a spool of thread. Then when they receive the wrong size fly line or their rod breaks in seven places and the reel is set up for upside down retrieve, they take the stuff into the local fly shop and ask for exchanges, free shipping for warranty repair, and a cup of coffee to boot. Truly despicable.

These are the same guys who spend half their day on the Internet chatting over how to save three cents on a 25-pack of hooks. Most of these fellows spend little time actually tying flies or fly fishing. For these types, the hunt for a few pennies savings is more thrilling than actually tying a fly or trying to catch a fish. Go figure. They have to resort to making up imaginary stories about tying flies or catching fish. Then these same guys bitch and moan when their local fly shop goes out of business because the owner’s profit margin dropped from thirteen cents per hour to less than seven cents an hour and his wife forced him to close the doors because the fly shop was clearly nothing but an excuse to throw cash down the toilet.

Then what? Ha, ha on these guys. No more local fishing reports from real people, no more in-town experienced advice on tackle selection, no one to steer you towards the best fly poo for your particular color of fly line. All they have is some distant voice on the phone or an imaginary chat persona on the Internet.

By the way, there’s nothing, repeat, nothing wrong with Internet sales, if they originate from an honest-to-goodness locally owned fly shop. There are indeed a few of these fly shops still alive, though their number is shrinking quickly. The long term benefits of supporting locally owned store-front fly shop is the relationships and community provided by a place where friends can hang out, drink coffee, and share stories. These are the equivalent of the old-time wood-floor hardware stores where you could buy nails by the pound and get three size-sixteen wing-nuts for five-cents a nut – most of those places are gone too.

So get yer ass down to your local fly shop and support their business, OK?

Incidentally, experience has conclusively proved that female fly fishers NEVER engage in this sort of behavior. Never. The moral standards of women are far too high to behave in such an unscrupulous manner. Thank you ladies.

Now for another term . . . ..

This term is typically employed in a complementary context to indicate positive, desirable, and tasty qualities. It can be confusing however, because a steak may be juicy and actually exude juice, a nine-hundred buck fly rod may also be referred to as a very juicy rod, whilst exuding no juice whatsoever. Flies may similarly be referred to as juicy (see Juicy Bug), Beef Jerky may be juicy, and a Saracione 4.25” fly reel is certainly juicy, even when sitting all polished up in a Man Room display case.

Rest assured that the term juicy is usually a good thing and explore the context to decide if any actual liquid matter is involved.

Rare exceptions to the overall positive connotation of this adjective exist, and one shall serve to make the point: juicy fart. This is indeed not good, especially when delivered within waders. Perhaps this is sufficient and the topic is now fully covered.


This is probably sufficient quotage for the time being.  Sales of Fly Fishing Book of Revelation have lagged behind my marketing hopes of selling one book a month, and I need to earn enough to buy another bag of cat food soon, so I’m pumping this in hopes someone out there will take pity or find the book’s crazy approach sufficiently attractive as have the 8 other readers who have given it a 5 star rating on Amazon.  I assure you that these are all upstanding citizens who are entirely unbiased in their acclaim for the glossary.

Have fun with this folks. This book contains of over 340 pages of serious, crazy, funny, true, fictional, and amazing information that you will never find in any other book about fly fishing, guaranteed.  Please do not let my therapist see this book…….

Best to you all,

Jay Nicholas, May 28, 2015.


Intruder Essentials for Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout

Intruder Essentials - Tying Tube and Shank Intruders for Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout.
Intruder Essentials – Tying Tube and Shank Intruders for Salmon, Steelhead, and Trout.

But only ginormous trout, please.

Just published my new book on Amazon and reception has been very good from the totally unbiased friends who have taken a peek at it.  You may see the book here at Intruder Essentials, or you could contact me for a signed personalized copy, or better still, contact your local brick, mortar and duct-tape FLY SHOP and ask them if they are carrying my full set of books yet.

This is a beautifully photo-illustrated guide for intermediate fly tyers who want to tie Intruders on tubes or shanks. Featuring 24 original flies, step by step photo illustrations, and materials recipes for each pattern. This book does not claim to cover the rich history of the fly style or the most effective fishing tactics, but is a great practical guide to tying Intruders that will entice salmon, steelhead, and trout worldwide.

Soft Cover 8.5 x 8.5” – full color with over 400  original color photographs – 72 pages $27.95

Here is one fly from the book, to give a sneak peek at the fly eye candy contained in  this book.

Intruder #1 from Intruder Essentials.
Intruder #1 from Intruder Essentials.


Each fly is accompanied by a series of 15 photos showing the stages of producing each fly, plus a materials recipe.

Photo Series for Intruder #1 in Intruder Essentials.
Photo Series for Intruder #1 in Intruder Essentials.

DSC_2654 DSC_2656 DSC_2657 DSC_2659 DSC_2660 DSC_2661 DSC_2664 DSC_2665 DSC_2667 DSC_2668 DSC_2669 DSC_2670 DSC_2672 DSC_2674


Intruder-style flies are the stuff to conjure dreams of great rivers and fresh-from-the sea salmon and steelhead.

I hope that Intruder Essentials will help encourage novice and Intermediate tiers to hit their fly benches and tie up a boat-load of these beauties.  The book can’t answer all the questions you may have about tying technique or fishing, but please feel free to correspond with me and I’ll be more than willing to try to help you along your own path to Intruder Truth.

I’ve been fishing a little lately, and it has been good from timetotime, even in the low water.  Most of the steelhead I’ve been finding have sea lice aplenty, many are spooky and unapproachable, but a few are aggressive and grabby.  My oh my it has been wonderful.

Best to you all.

Jay Nicholas, March 12, 2015


Whatsup with Jay?

Ok folks yes I’ve been busy and yes this post may not have the benefit of punctuation but maybe that’s for the better anyway because some of the topic material may be found objectionable to some readers and if so well just please excuse me for my insensitivity but what follows is really true and so it ought to stand on its own merit anyway and well – pause for breath – I have been going like mad not insane really just like crazy or really busy I guess would be the best way to put it with rising and family and writing and trying to promote my books and if you are at all interested in adding to the quality of my family’s live please click on this link to my books to find  Jays books on Amazon and I thank you sincerely in advance so anyway one funny thing that happened lately was that I posted a photo on Facebook gosh I really do not like Facebook but feel compelled to use it now and then to avoid becoming a complete HERMIT and so the photo was from a moment with my family when I was not fishing and here it is …..

Jay with wife Lisa and young son Jackson Nicholas
Jay with wife Lisa and young son Jackson Nicholas

and a very kind fellow responded that I had beautiful children which is of course true but the lady in this photo is my WIFE not my child and our family had a good laugh and I sincerely hope the gentleman does not feel the slightest bit bad because this is not the first time I have been complimented on my beautiful daughter and new topic here I’ve been up at Royal Treatment Fly Fishing in West Linn Oregon at Joel’s kind invitation on one day making a presentation on saltwater fly fishing for sea bass lingcod silvers and albacore plus sharks and sea monsters I guess and tying flies also and here is a photo from …. one day

Jay Nicholas Intruders
Jay Nicholas Intruders
Jay tying Intruders at Royal Treatment Fly Fishing
Jay tying Intruders at Royal Treatment Fly Fishing

and that was a lot of fun and so usually I’m up very early each day writing and sometimes my cat  Boomer well he is really Jackson’s cat but he loves me second place will come and get loves on the desk in the mooring and here he is doing just that…

One of the Nicholas Family cats - Boomer
One of the Nicholas Family cats – Boomer

and yes I think I mentioned that I have been fishing quite a lot lately and the lingcod fishing has been really really really good compared to past years and this may just be timing probably or my vast improved skill set probably not but here is one of the beasties . . .

Jay Nicholas with Pacific lingcod offshore Pacific City Oregon.
Jay Nicholas with Pacific lingcod offshore Pacific City Oregon.
Pacific Lingcod on the fly in Oregon nearshore waters.
Pacific Lingcod on the fly in Oregon nearshore waters.

and yes I have been steelhead fishing more than usual this winter and no I do not have the luxury of fishing wilderness exotic places with only wild moose and wolves and grizzly bears and rich guided old men to fish with but usually I fish quite near civilization as it is called and you might think this is a staged photo but I assure you it is not on a recent day in March see I even capitalized the month to make it easier on you the reader ha ha i was casting to a likely steelhead lie or lay or station or pool or run or whatever language you may prefer and my fly hung on the back cast and I looked over my shoulder and here is the sight in the photos below . .

Backcast on barbed wire, Tillamook, Oregon.
Backcast on barbed wire, Tillamook, Oregon.
Back cast hazard in Oregon Coast Range.
Back cast hazard in Oregon Coast Range.

well I had to laugh at this one but on this same afternoon I had seven good grabs from steelhead and managed to get all excited and jerk my fly out of the fish’s mouth even after the fly disappeared and only rolled one fish and you would think that I had never had this happen before but I seem to have to relearn not to JERK over and over and over and it still made me laugh and when I went back to the cabin in the evening I stepped out of my SIMMS boot foot waters how’s ya like that ERIC for subliminal suggestive product placement. . .

Simms Boot foot Waders are awesome.
Simms Boot foot Waders are awesome.

and hung my waders at the cabin front door and took this photo because I just did and the very next day I fished in a SHOCKING manner by using my Echo PIN rod with Islander Centerpin reel and caught a couple of steelhead too because I failed to jerk my $@%^&^% out of the steelhead’s mouth when the bobber excuse me STRIKE INDICATOR went under and here are the fish both very nice hatchery steelhead  . . . .

Subliminal sales prompt that is likely to corrupt the soul of any fly fisher that succumbs to the suggestion and tries pinning so don't even start please once you go down that road there is no telling where you will wind up and if you can't afford rehab it might mean the demise of the steelhead runs on the coast.
Subliminal sales prompt that is likely to corrupt the soul of any fly fisher that succumbs to the suggestion and tries pinning so don’t even start please once you go down that road there is no telling where you will wind up and if you can’t afford rehab it might mean the demise of the steelhead runs on the coast.
Oregon coastal hatchery steelhead on Pin rod and STRIKE INDICATOR
Oregon coastal hatchery steelhead on Pin rod and STRIKE INDICATOR
Shiny bright hatchery winter steelhead caught by "pinning" when none of my fly fishing friends was looking to shame me out of it ha ha
Shiny bright hatchery winter steelhead caught by “pinning” when none of my fly fishing friends was looking to shame me out of it ha ha

so it is a fact that superior anglers evolve past the point where they just want to catch a steelhead once a season and become spiritually elevated to the use of two hand rods and only catch fish by SWINGING flies because the TUG IS THE DRUG and yes that is me and I am also the twelve year old kid who just wants to feel something pulling on the end of my line and so once in a while I pick up a PIN rod and skulk around and endure the taunts of people who want to make me feel guilty but I assure you this pinning is no easy thing and anyone who wants to write me off as unsporting is welcome to do so but as I age I seem to be devolving back to my roots and so along with diapers I may even resort to use of no i had better not even say it and no this doesn’t mean that I have abandoned the higher power of the swing because that is a TON OF Fun but really no more funner just different and in some places and times it works and in others it does not but when it does it is sweet . . .

Oregon coastal Hatchery winter steelhead on the swing to an Intruder no less on an Echo Glass Switch rod.
Oregon coastal Hatchery winter steelhead on the swing to an Intruder no less and an Echo Glass Switch rod.
Imminent releasification of hatchery winter steelhead that responded to a swung fly in order to preserve the genetic instinct to eat the offerings of anglers fishing two hand rods ha ha.
Imminent releasification of hatchery winter steelhead that responded to a swung fly in order to preserve the genetic instinct to eat the offerings of anglers fishing two hand rods ha ha.
Gosh these winter steelhead are beautiful. Yes they are indeed.
Gosh these winter steelhead are beautiful. Yes they are indeed.
Fresh from the sea lice on winter steelhead.
Fresh from the sea lice on winter steelhead.

so I guess I’m done for now I did use capitals for I and laced the post with photos and oh by the way I just published my latest book Intruder Essentials which is a dynamite rendering of 24 original Intruder-style flies with step by step photos and just the tiniest slice of discussion about the fly style and no Intruders are not necessarily the best or only fly a guy or gal should be fishing in all places times and circumstances but they do catch steelhead and salmon and they are darn fun to tie and dream about and the flies in this book are worth your consideration and will I assure you catch giant fish if given a decent chance which I proved this season by catching steelhead on all sorts of flies and non flies and you will too if you stick to it long enough and manage to be on the water on a few days like was when everything came full circle and I got actual bites from real fish that I did not jerk my hook away from and so let me plead with you to click on this Intruder Link and buy this book and while you are at it click on Book of Revelation to find an amazing glossary/novella/historical journal/memoir that will entertain you on and on in its weighty but light 344 pages and thank you very much and I wish all of you whether you are among the few who made it to this point in this blog post the best health and joy in life and maybe even a fish or so but don’t  you go thinking about poaching my water or pinning down the river ahead of me OK?

Jay Nicholas, March 10 2015 and I will be 66 on the 26th wow what do you know about that?

Fishing and life in January, 2015

January has been a great month so far and I expect 2015 to keep rolling along.

Jay Nicholas Sunk Koffler Boat a


My boat sank in December but my dear friend Jimmie salvaged it and with a little work at Greg’s marina in Garabaldi it should be back and good as new for the 2015 seson that is beginning to unfold.

Jay Nicholas Boat recovery process

Jay Nicholas boat being towed after salvage

Fortunately I have a second Koffler Rocky Mountain Boat just like this one, because this boat is still sitting at Greg’s pending repairs and such, and I needed my twin boat to fish the Town Lake last week.

Jay Nicholas ECHO GLASS Switch and SAGE Domain

Jay Nicholas Summer Steelhead Selfie

I caught some very nice hatchery summer steelhead on small wet flies fishing with Jack Harrell, (Pacific City Fly Fishing) usually with Jack doing the rowing and coaching me casting to the fish we spot.

A new ECHO GLASS Switch and SAGE Domain reel were a pure joy to fish and I may write more on that later but may be too busy fishing so for now, just know the #3  ECHO Glass Switch rod with the #8 SAGE Domain are a great pair.

I’m excited to say that I now have 8 books on Amazon, and will soon have number 9 published in the next week or so.  The next book will be Intruder Essentials: Tying Tube and Shank Intruders for Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout.

Jay Nicholas fly tying with Boomer

Jay Nicholas Steelhead Intruder

Here is one of our fine cats, Boomer, helping during production, and one of the flies that will be featured in the new book.

I’ll be up at Royal Treatment Fly Shop with Joel La Follette in February. This will be fun and I’m still working out of the hermit mentality I was in during so much of 2014.


February 14th: Fly fishing the Pacific

I’ll have about an hour or so to present photos and maybe some Go Pro footage of offshore fishing, talk about tackle and tactics, make up stories and pretend that I caught some fish, and generally have fun.  Ill tie flies that afternoon, concentrating on saltwater flies and trying to sell a few books to buy gas and replace gear lost when my boat sank.  Ha ha.

February 21st: tying Intruders 

I’ll have copies of the Intruder book, co-authored with Thomas Rangner.  Tom is a young man who brings fresh perspective to my decades of blah blah blah and he’s the dude who will be creating a DVD of Intruder tying hilarity to add to the Nicholas fishing book portfolio.

Speaking of portfolio, I have posted a few of my sketches and photographs on Fine Art America, and you can see these by clicking here.

Oh still thy beating heart! Now you can order a throw pillow with a salmon or a dory or a bent fly rod on it for a most reasonable price, not to forget canvas, framed prints and such forth.  No sales yet,  Probably a scam for all I know.  Greeting cards anyone?

Enough blatant commercialism for now.  Forgive me.

I’ll be fishing in the next few days again, maybe for freshies as the water drops back into shape.  Got me at least a hundred Intruders created as part of shooting the next book.

Wishing you all the best and I’ll be back soon.

Jay (18 January, 2015)

Not Dead Yet

Jay Nicholas Dec 2014 selfie on river

That’s right folks, I’m still here; just been busy as all get-out and fishing my tail-off, and tying flies, and writing, and – get this –  publishing some books.  Not real fancy official books like you would get in the media commercialized press, but straight from the head to the heart, to the hand,  to the book, with little editing in between to sanitize the content and ensure that it is in tune with whatever convention in style in the fly fishing industry military industrial complex this moment.

Books?  Yes indeed books.  In fact I have just published five books related to fly fishing via Create Space and these are available on Amazon as both print and Kindle e-Books.

Five down, one to go in the next two weeks and two to follow shortly in January and more in 2015 should good fortune and the luck of the draw allow.

Here are the five book titles published so far:

Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Book of Revelation

Fly Fishing Book of Revelation: the Ultimate, Irreverent, Illustrated Fly Fishing Glossary – this is a 340 + page spectacular coffee table book that takes on the definitions and legacy of over fourteen hundred give or take a few words, terms, phrases, and concepts related in some manner to fishing and fly fishing in specifically.  You will laugh, cry, burp, and roll your eyes as you read this book. Forewords by Misha Skopets and Randy Stetzer will hypnotize you into purchasing this book and that will be the beginning of the end. As with many of my books, there is an element of memoir to this one, and although this is featured as a fly fishing glossary, there are many elements of lure, bait and catfish noodling techniques referenced along with notations as to the ethics of fishing beads, jigs, center pin reels, and bobbers while pretending to fly fish ha ha. Are you an anger?  You’ll love this book.  Do you work with an angler, date an angler, are you married to an angler, is a parent or child an angler?  You’ll find insight to the inner workings of said angler’s mushy brains in this bold tome. Apologies in advance to any person, product, or angling practice that I may seemingly have offended ‘tween the pages of Book of Revelation.

Jay Nicholas Super Flies B:W edition

Super Flies: this is a 6×9″ black and white book featuring a genuine authentic Nicholas sketch of the 52 greatest trout flies, steelhead flies, salmon flies, sea-run cutthroat flies, and half pounder flies ever in the entire world especially in the waters that I fished here in Oregon starting back in 1962 or whenever that was.  This is the artist edition of Super Flies. Foreword by Rich Youngers, Oregon FFF Fly Tyer of the Year in 2006.

Jay Nicholas Super Flies - Cplor

Super Flies – Color: I started with the text for the previously noted book, deleted part of the text, added new text, switched around a few flies, edited some of my childish word usage, and replaced the artist renditions of each fly with genuine and original Nicholas Macro Photographic  representations of the 52 flies.  Most of these flies pictured are fresh from the vise in 2014 BUT tied in vintage style on vintage half century old hooks like Eagle Claw 1197-B, 1197-G, and Mustad lord save us in this new day of fancy materials and hooks and threads.  Close to 150 color photos of flies, fish, tackle and a few people grace this full color large format book.  And if you fished with me years ago I may have told a story about our trip that reported me catching more and larger fish than anyone else and also related how I personally invented most of the good fly patterns out there and you are naturally free to believe any of my drivel or simply be entertained or write a review contesting my account of the events as may please you upon such reading.

Jay Nicholas Sea Flies book

Sea Flies: this little beauty has a ton of color photos of 24 saltwater flies that I have tied and fished offshore Pacific City Oregon in the last three seasons.  Well, actually only 23 of the 24 are tested on live fish but the 24th fly is so promising and unique that I just had to include it in this book because I am convinced that it will be a monster fish catcher in 2015.  Jack Harrell wrote the Foreword for this book and Jack is the experienced fly angler, friend, and mentor who first got me to sea to fly fish the mighty Pacific ocean three years ago.  This book features flies that are assuredly superior in their ability to draw bites from salmon, black rockfish, lingcod, and albacore tuna.  Short and to the point, the photos and fishing stories laced with a little about these fine fish will entertain angler and tyer who aspire to fish the salt or who wish to see what other crazy salty anglers are up to these days.

Jay Nicholas Tarpon Sketch

Sketch: This is an over two hundred page thriller that has little text but contains the best of my sketch collection drawn from images I created between maybe 2008 and 2014.  Factual and fantastical flies, fish, and fishing gear are all here with titles and minimalist text.

I am working on making these available at your local fly shops but so far any anxious reader may 1) order print or e-Book directly through Amazon, or 2) contact the Caddis Fly Shop because I’ll be there on the front end of a statewide tour (ha ha ha  ha) on Dec 12/13 and 19/20 to accept pre-orders and personalize books with signature, a chatty note, and a Nicholas vintage-style fly in a little sealed plastic bag that you can save for posterity or fish – your choice.

After a year and a half of this website being inactive, I have no idea if anyone will even find this new post, but if you do, stay tuned please, I hope to continue producing fresh original books as long as I’m able and I have several more in me.

But this is plenty for now, I’ll follow up with more on the next books to be published shortly.

Thanks so very much to all of my readers for your patience and support. These books mark a very important stage of my life, and it feels great to get them out for others to enjoy.

Jay Nicholas, December 9, 2014

Salmon Conservation Glossary, March 14, 2011

Salmon Conservation Terms to know and love……..

Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, March 14, 2011

Introduction:  Lots of band-width lately on the topic of wild fish conservation. “There must be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief, there’s too much confusion, can’t get no relief” ——- so what the hey, my brain feels like I’m gonna explode.  How can anyone make sense of all the trash talk.  Yes, trash talk.  Factoids and figureoids and statistical relavancies and hyperbolic stock rectuitment relationships and no one to sort out which Boomer is the real Boomer and is Starbuck really the angel of destruction?

Never fear.  Here is Nicholas’  official salmon conservationist’s conservation glossary.  These terms are defined by me, personally, based on the truth, the best available rumor, and pure speculation.  Any disagreement with the views expressed here will be a relief.  Any agreement will be retrospected severely and such agreeable persons shall be sent to Triangle Lake to fish for Bluegill with K-7 Kwikfish.


Alleged surplus: the fish management (in Oregon, naturally, this means ODFW) agency knows darn well that there will not be enough salmon, steelhead, or carp to allow any fishery whatsoever, so it issues inflated run size predictions to justify said fishery.  This is  transparent naughtiness that creates declining baseboards and leads rather quickly to failed Iraq exit strategies.

Backroom deals:  all management decisions by state and federal fish agencies are sweetheart, good-old-boy horse-trades.  They (the management decisions) also smell bad.

Best available sciencemy science.

Collusion: insider trading, a common practice for all bureaucrats employed by state and federal fish agencies.

Credible information: a) believable, truthful, immaculate certainty; and b)  any information that supports a specific stakeholder or user group’s self interest and value system.

Crimes against the planet:  any fish management decisions/policies contrary to one’s value/belief systems.  See also best available science.  Note here that salmon, steelhead, trout, and carp management decisions by state and federal agencies constitute more egregious misdeeds than child slavery, starvation,  torture, and genocide around the world.  Worse than hanging chads too.  What would the world look like today if Big Al had been elected Prez?

Denials: all press releases, reports, and interviews issued by government fish managers are essentially denials of stuff that anyone knows to be true, and is not based on the best available science.

Declining baseline:  This occurs when one hires an inept carpenter to install carpet, wood, or such floor covering and is unable to get the baseboard parallel to the ceiling. Which should be easy to do but is not achieved, thusly creating the appearance that one has had too much to drink or is ready for the funny farm.

Ohhhhhhh.  Sorry, you meant baseline not baseboard.  A declining baseline is created by slyly adjusting downward any salmon escapement goal or estimate of salmon production potential.  This practice has resulted in state and federal fish agencies asserting that a run of 26.5 chinook salmon to the Columbia River basin would create a dangerous “over-escapement” and depress survival because of density-dependent mortality as predicted by a Reagan Stock Exchange Equation.

Desperate attempt: this describes practically any policy or action by a fish management agency to do anything.  These bureaucrats are so inept that they commonly resort to “desperate” attempts to complete such ordinary things as putting on shoes, making coffee, walking, answering the phone, or explaining why they have plotted the extinction of native wild salmon and steelhead populations throughout the region.

Documented evidence:  we know there is a clever conspiracy behind the vast majority of state and federal fish agency’s decisions; fortunately, there is documented evidence of this.

Dubious escapement goal: whatever the goal, it is obviously wrong, the books were cooked  to come up with this goal, which is either too high or too low, depending on your point of view.

ESA: Especially Suspicious Act.  This is a federal law that was established to a) steal property, wealth and suchsoever from private property owners; b) create the false impression that salmon, steelhead, tweety birds, salamanders and jock rash are likely to exceed the ocean’s productive capacity; c) keep fish biologists, lawyers,  and trust fund hippies employed; d) increase federal funding for NOAA; e) justify spending zillions of dollars on hatcheries; f) encourage offshore oil leases.  Sorry, I thought this was a multiple choice exam.

Escapement predictions:  the likelihood that any policy or management decision by a state or federal fish agency will escape moral criticism: specifically,   zero.

Extinction:  no more salmon, steelhead, trout, carp or whatever.  Extinction as planned by fish management agencies will be achieved in the immediate future, eventually, and might be actual or virtual extinction.

Failed management: any action that fails to do what it was supposed to do.  This is a tricky concept, because every fish management agency intends to act in collusion, fail to use the best available science, and achieve at least virtual extinction.  Get it?  if the goal is to do something bad but the agency fails to achieve badness, does it follow that it achieves goodness, uses best available science (if only by ineptitude), or so on?  Dude, is this like  a double negative?

Gross negligence:  any action by any state or federal fish management agency; a deliberate boo-boo.

Management failure: see Policy failure:  more stupidity and ineptitude going on here.

Misguided regulations:  these regulations will cause a calamity and the opposite result from the stated outcome.  Misguided regulations elicit less serious consequences than unthinkable alternatives or extinction, usually.

Mismanagement:  really really stupid actions, plus quite possibly some obfuscation to save face.

NOAA:  Acronym for a federal agency that is Not Ordinarily Accountable for actually recovering depleted and estranged Pacific salmon species.  The principal function of NOAA is to produce brochures and convene scientific woodworking panels and solicit public comment on the global climate initiative.

ODFW:  Oregon Department of Fish And Wildlife.  This state agency, modeled after the even worse WDFW, is charged with the responsibility to mismanage salmon, steelhead, and wildlife, so help me, until they are all gone bye-bye and we have only hatchery propagated anchovies to fly fish for.  Personally, I am tying anchovy flies this week, just to be ready.

Premeditated:  planned in advance.  State and federal fish management agencies are committed to premeditated implementation of failed management, collusion, gross negligence, and installing declining baseboards.  Government minions gather at their offices, feed from the public hog-trough, and make detailed plans regarding how to mess with someone’s heart, soul, and livelihood.  Every day, folks, it’s just how it is: premeditated.

Policy failure:  The agency messed up and made a stupid choice, sold out to the Legislature/Congress, or tried to save its ass.

Prudent management: action that supports one’s personal value/belief system.

Run size predictions:  A government assertion regarding the number of salmon, steelhead, trout, or carp that is expected to return from the ocean in a given year.  This number is predictably (ha ha) falsely represented as far higher or far lower than any sensible person knows to be the truth, depending (of course) on one’s value/belief systems.  For example, sometimes the government grossly overstates the number of salmon that will return from the sea, simply so as to permit fishers to drive the species, run, and so on, to extinction (see for example, immediate extinction).  Otherwise, the government will grossly understate the actual number of salmon that it knows darn-well that will return from the sea, for the diabolical purpose of bankrupting the good people who depend on fishing for their livelihoods, thus increasing incidents of domestic violence, alcoholism, drug use, hatchery budgets, and general societal despair.

Sacrifice river:  a river where one’s value systems are not being implemented fully.

The greatest management blunder in modern historySee crimes against the planet.

Unthinkable alternative: this will lead to the end of the world as we know it.  Cover the children’s eyes.  Head for the bomb shelter.  Kiss yer ass bye-bye.


Post Script

Sorry, dear friends; I just couldn’t help myself.   No intention of trivializing the genuine conservation challenges wild Pacific salmon face.  Just sick to the heart of seeing people eye-poking and overdramatizing.  If everything is the biggest-baddest crisis, where do we start to right the wrongs?

In a world where there is injustice and pain and suffering that far exceeds society’s willingness to “right,” how should we treat our rivers, our fish, our air, our recreation, and our human relationships?

War and mortal combat, has been the norm in many parts of the world, extending back decades, generations, millennia.  Time to leave the past in the past, and fix what we can of what we have left today.  If we can’t do it with our squabbles over fish management, wild salmon, hatchery salmon, protecting our rivers – – – what hope is there for us as we move forward in a world on the razor’s edge.

Pink Floyd said something like this:  “And I opened my door to my enemy, and I asked could we wash the slate clean.  But he told me to please  go and frack myself.  No we just can’t win.”

May we have the grace to find peace with our enemy, especially it he is us.

Jay Nicholas. March 14, 2011.

Idylwilde Flies to love at first sound, February 26, 2011

What’s in a fly name?

I’ve discovered that some Idylwilde King salmon and steelhead flies have such cool names that I love ’em at the mere mention of same.  Silly, I know, but it’s just so.

It occurred to me recently that I am just plain awful at naming salmon and steelhead fly patterns.  This recognition slapped me squarely when I was shooting a series of fly tying videos with Chris Daughters down at the Caddis Fly.  These videos featured some of my finest Sea-run Cutthroat, King salmon, and steelhead flies, tied on traditional shank hooks and Pro Tube-Fly tubes.

What’s this fly called, Chris asked, like he always does. In my usual manner, I said, I dunno, how about __________? (Insert some ordinary, non awe-inspiring name here)

Here’s an example. I have a series of summer steelhead and sea-run cutthroat flies that I have been adapting, tying and tuning for decades, literally.  The flies are effective and elegant, in my humble opinion, but what do I call these beauties, this series of great fishing, retro-style flies?  Steelhead Simplicity.  Cutthroat Simplicity.   Boring.  Never thought much about fly names in the past, though.  Now I realize that much appeal and attention is generated by a really exciting name.  The fly has to be good too, but all factors being equal, a great fly with an attention-grabbing name will receive more notice next to a great fly with a ho-hum name.

Same goes for some of my king salmon flies. All are entirely, start to finish, original patterns. Like the fly I call Nicholas’ Chinook Clouser. This was developed after years of on-water testing and was not influenced in the slightest by Bob Clouser or any of the flies he has developed. My Chinook Clouser has an exact count of bucktail fibers and only 3 strands of Smolt Blue Krystal Flash with one strand of Chartreuse Krystal flash, uses 95 Denier Lagartun White X-strong thread, and is tied on a #2 Gamakatsu Big Game hook.

The proportions and composition of my King salmon Clouser prove that it is an original fly pattern and justify the Patent I have applied for recently. When issued, these flies will be marketed at 39.95 each and are well worth the years of R and D that were required to develop the pattern. I have contacted Idylwilde regarding the possibility of offering this fly through their fine establishment. To date, I have not heard back from them. I am not worried, though. The folks at Idylwilde are busy, I know, and when they find my email and take a look at this spectacularly original fly, they will find it well worth the $27.99 surcharge i have requested, per fly, for the privilege of being a middleman for this Chinook-catching creation.

At least I think this is so.

Idylwilde offers some great flies. This is true whether one happens to be fishing for trout, bass, saltwater species or, naturally, salmon and steelhead.  Being as I am both a humble and world-class fly tyer myself (insert laughter here) I buy a fair number of Idylwilde flies.  I buy the little parachutes when I’m going trout fishing; and the big salmon and steelhead Intruders at times.  Why would a fly tyer buy flies from Idyllwild?  Because I’m not quite up to the task of tying little bitty trout flies these days.  Or because I don’t always have quite the right materials to tie that giant steelhead Intruder. Or sometimes, I’ve just plain run out of time the night before I’m gonna go chase King salmon or steelhead.

Beyond the great fly patterns Idylwilde offers, I love the fly names that these crazy, fishing obsessed people at Idylwilde come up with.  A few of their flies have ordinary names, like Idyl’s Bunny Tube, and their steelhead egg selection is a little short on name-glamour, but all in all, they have cornered a lot of really cool, really bad, really hot names for their steelhead and salmon flies.

Soooooooo, I thought I would share some of my favorite Idylwilde fly names with you all.  As usual, my methods of selecting these names for the fly-name-hotness-hall-of-fame are irreplaceable, irredeemable, irrepeatable and irreversible.  On any other day, I might make a completely different list of hotness fly names.

For now, though, here are some of my favorite Idylwilde steelhead and salmon fly names.

The great flies pictured above are not Idylwilde flies, and do not have cool names, but as they are my craftsmanship, I love them dearly all the same.

Today’s favorite Idylwilde salmon and steelhead fly names, listed in alphanumeric orderification.

Favorite Idylwilde Steelhead-Salmon fly names

  • Brass Monkey, Silvey’s
  • Chrome Magnet, Hickman’s
  • Comeback, Morejohn’s
  • Duck Turd, Hartwick’s
  • Fish Taco, Hickman’s
  • Flash Taco Hickman’s
  • Party Boy, Hickman’s
  • Poacher, Silvey’s
  • Pool cleaner, Silvey’s
  • Pumpkin Pie, Morejohn’s
  • Sid Fishes, Hickman’s
  • Trailer Trash, Morrish’s

Favorite Idylwilde Salmon-Steelhead Tube Fly Names

  • Hoser, Hartwidk’s
  • Silveyator, Silvey’s
  • Spot On Prawn, Morejohn’s
  • Tail Light, Silvey’s
  • Tempest, Morejohn’s

Favorite Idylwilde Surface Steelhead & Salmon Fly Names

  • Dragon Gurgler, Quigley’s
  • Five O’clock Shadow, Price’s
  • Mr. Hankey, Hickman’s
  • Mini Hankey, Hickman’s
  • Shade Chaser, Karnopp’s
  • Titanic, Paulson’s

Hope you had fun with these names. Personally, I am creating a list of hot salmon and steelhead fly names, saving them for the future application of some formerly dull fly names I formerly used.  The unveiling will be awesome.


In the meanwhile, good health, good fishing, and much kindness in your days.

Jay Nicholas February 26, 2011

What is a Stinger Hook? February 22, 2011

Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, February 22, 2011.

Not to worry,  fellow fly fishing addicts.  More questions and dictionary-precise glossary-definitions related to the insanity of fly fishing for salmon, steelhead, trout, carp, smallies, Atlantic Salmon, Tarpon, Bluegill, bonefish, boneheads, and Blue Sharks will follow, but not for awhile.  This is the last installment, until the next of blogosphere inquiries  inspires a rant.  Meanwhile, here goes.

    Q:  What do winter steelheaders eat? 

    A:  Following up on the recent post on stomach contents of winter steelhead, one blog reader asked what winter steelhead anglers eat, suggesting that such information not be based on direct examination of guts.  Nice call. Recently, the above digitally photographed food matter was observed near a winter steelhead fly fisher.  This is a bit of a reach to conclude that said angler would actually have eaten this grilled cheese, but hey, it’s possible, and at least as informative as the other answers posed to Blogosphere questions.

    Q:  What is a “Little Joe” pram?

    A:  This is an apparent reference to young Joe Koffler, son of Bruce Koffler, of Koffler (duh) Boats in Eugene Oregon.  Joe has never, in my knowledge, been referred to as Little Joe.  He is however, younger than his dad and they do make great fly fishing prams, so perhaps therefore follows the reference to a Little Joe pram.  Dunno.

    Q:  What is a Stinger?

    A:  The sharp poison-laced thingy protruding from the rear end of a bee, wasp, or similar bug likely to be found in the foot of one’s GoreTex waders each time one slips his or her toes into said waders in the morning before venturing forth to the river.  Also, a stinger is a fly hook that trails on a harness of string, Dacron, Fireline, Superbraid, dental floss, or barbed bite wire, for the express purpose of fooling a salmon or steelhead into thinking that it can get away with simply “nipping” at the tail of a swimming fly thereby getting the salmon or steelhead fly fisher all excited and drooling and such forth without getting an actual hook tangled in afore mentioned fish’s mouth.

    Q:  What does “Peril” refer to regarding steelhead fishing?

    A:  The well-known and oft fished Purple Peril steelhead fly has been around in many derivative forms and does indeed pose a “peril” to any steelhead within view of this fly.  Not that the fish will be caught; just that the fly might make the fish laugh so hard that it flops out of the water and the fly fisher pounces on it.  Also, peril is the condition faced by any human; man, woman, or child, once the steelhead fly fishing bug hits home.

    Q:  What are Plastic bead flies?

    A:  The nasty things you refer to are not flies. Plastic beads do not, under any circumstances, qualify as a fly.  Not even.

    Q:  What does Gape mean?

    A:  To let one’s mouth hang open in wonderment at some of the crazy questions people pose to the Blogosphere.  Also, the term gape refers to the distance, measured in angstroms, between the hook shank and the hook point.  For hook manufacturers like Tiemco, this feature is standardized and replicable between all the various hook models and sizes: as in, one can recognize a size 2 hook in any model, pretty much.  For Gamakatsu hooks, it seems that the hook designers were ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms because a #2 Glo bug Hook placed side by side with a #2 Tarpon hook will leave you scratching your head in wonderment.

    Q:  What is “Real” fly fishing?

    A:  Any fly fishing is “real” fly fishing.  So long as such practice is engaged with string, pole, and any fly, which excludes use of plastic beads, jigs, and pink rubber worms as  fly substitutes.

    Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, February 22, 2011

Top 10 Best Winter Steelhead Flies …. February 20, 2011

Jay Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary – the Blogospheric rant continues; February 20, 2011.

In case you are new to this blog, the following fly fishing questions are legitimate in the sense that they have really been asked by sincere persons on the path to salmon and steelhead worship, addiction, catching, releasing, scientific study, or passive observation.  The answers to these questions are the truth, the whole truth, and nuthin’ but the truth, unless they are complete fabrications, intended purely to amuse, baffle, or mislead.

The integrity of these questions is above reproach, the veracity of the answers is questionable.

Q:  What flies should one fish to catch big winter steelhead?

  1. These are the same flies one would fish in hopes of catching small winter steelhead.  By the way, don’t hold your breath, these so-called winter steelhead are an imaginary fish.

Q:  What are “strung out” steelhead flies?

  1. Distraught or disheveled steelhead flies.  Also, steelhead flies that were formerly soaked in shrimp oil but have been unable to bathe in the addicting glop for awhile and are suffering withdrawal symptoms are said to be “strung out.”  Also, steelhead flies that have a hook dangling from a string behind the fly.  This dangling hook is reputed to result in hooking and landing 99.9% of the steelhead that come within ten feet of said fly.  This claim is clearly preposterous, but still it sells a zillion strung out flies.  We never learn, do we?

Q:  What are the top 10 Best Chinook salmon flies?

  1. Gold Comet, #4
  2. Clouser Deep Minnow (Chartreuse/white), #4
  3. Gold Comet, #2
  4. Clouser Deep Minnow (Chartreuse/white), #2
  5. Gold Comet, #6
  6. Clouser Deep Minnow (Chartreuse/white), #6
  7. Gold Comet, #1
  8. Clouser Deep Minnow (Chartreuse/white), #1
  9. Gold Comet, #8
  10. Clouser Deep Minnow (Chartreuse/white), #8

Q:  What are the top 10 best steelhead nymphs?

  1. Bead-head rubber-leg Stone Fly, #4
  2. Possie Bugger, #12
  3. Copper John, #12
  4. Flash-back Prince Nymph, #12
  5. Bead-head rubber-leg Stone Fly, #6
  6. Possie Bugger, #14
  7. Copper John, #14
  8. Flash-back Prince Nymph, #14
  9. Bead-head rubber-leg Stone Fly, #8
  10. Pink Glo Bug, #8

Q:  What are the top 10 best summer steelhead flies?

  1. Green Butt Skunk, #6
  2. Muddler, #6
  3. Green Butt Skunk, #4
  4. Muddler, #4
  5. Green Butt Skunk, #8
  6. Muddler, #8
  7. Green Butt Skunk, #2
  8. Muddler, #2
  9. Green Butt Skunk, #10
  10. Muddler, #10

Q:  What are top 10 best winter steelhead flies?

  1. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #2
  2. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #4
  3. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #6
  4. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #1
  5. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #1/0
  6. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #8
  7. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #2/0
  8. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #10
  9. Black, Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #12
  10. Black Rabbit-strip, egg-sucking Leech, #14

Jay Nicholas, February 20, 2011 (in all sincerity)

Hickman’s Fish Taco …. February 18, 2011

Jay Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, February 18, 2011

Nah, we ain’t finished with this Blogosphere Q/A dump-fest.  Read on, kind fishing obsessed persons.

Q:  What is a Fish burger?

A:  See Fish Taco, Hickman’s

Q:  What is a Fishwich?

  1. A. See Fish Taco, Hickman’s?

Q:  What is a Fishstick?

  1. A. See Fish Taco, Hickman’s

Q:  What is a Hickman’s Fish Taco?

  1. A fly pattern ostensibly developed by Jeff Hickman.  In actualness, Hickman created this pattern based on sketches and fly pattern description recorded on  a rare 4,000 BC papyrus found in an ancient pyramid near the Nile River.
  2. Note carefully the photograph above with Jeff Hickman holding a fine winter steelhead buck, a so-called Fish Taco dangling from said steelhead’s jaw, and the nose of the true brains in the operation, at the left side of the photo.

Q:  When should one apply Shrimp oil to salmon flies?

  1. This is a dastardly practice and is contrary to the fly fisher’s code of ethics.  Never.  Not in a thousand years.

Q:  When should one apply Shrimp oil to salmon fleas?

  1. Anytime you can get the little buggers to cease their hopping around in order to apply said shrimp oil.

Q:  What are “acceptable” characteristics of steelhead?

  1. Look here.  The average steelhead fly fisher invests 34 grand in tackle and over three years to catch one of these dang fish.  As such, the smallest little fish of any condition that is actually of the steelhead classification of Pacific Salmon has acceptable characteristics to make afore mentioned fly fisher leap for joy.  This includes a spawned out summer steelhead caught in Freeway lakes or a fish that has been recycled from Foster to Waterloo Park twenty-three times already, and is therefore sporting twenty-three spaghetti tags, one to commemorate each ride in the tanker from the fish trap to the Waterloo boat ramp.

What does “Gone Fishing” refer to?

  1. This is the phrase that goes through any supervisor’s mind when an employee of the steelhead or salmon fly-fishing persuasion phones the office and claims that he or she is laying at home ill, stranded by the side of the highway with a bent crankshaft, or recuperating after changing the litter box.  Fishing fever is what the boss is thinking to him or herself during the conversation.

Q:  What are Steelhead Men?

  1. This is an archaic, gender offensive, and socially inappropriate reference to persons who fly fish for steelhead.  Correct contemporary usage requires substitution of steelhead persons, steelhead fishers, steelhead anglers, steelhead men and women, or steelheaders.  A wide range of phrases are available to refer to the poor souls who are steelhead obsessed.  Even though these individuals tend predominantly to be of the male species, a growing cadre of female humans are engaging in the same dangerous practice of fly fishing for steelhead and salmon.

Q:  What is the difference between steelhead and salmon?

  1. Practically speaking, there is no difference.  As far as fly fishers are concerned, both fish kinds are mythical and nearly impossible to catch.  Both require investments of insane amounts of time, energy, cash, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and hanging out with unsavory persons in a vain attempt to learn of secret fly patterns and secret fishing places. Steelhead?  Salmon?  Both salmon and steelhead fishing portend he death of any semblance of a normal life.

Q:  What is a Hot pink steelhead?

  1. A.  This phrase is slang reference to a really vigorous steelhead, as in “wow was that a hot fish! “ The phrase has, as is usual among steelhead fly fishers, been exaggerated time and again, as “smokin’ hot steelhead”, hottie steelhead”, “white hot steelie”, and finally the afore mentioned “hot pink steelhead.”  The derivative is unknown, but may be related with excessive LDS exposure.  Or LSD.  Whatever.

Q:  What constitutes a great day fishing?

  1. Any day fishing is a great day of fishing. But if you are reading this, you knew this already.

Jay Nicholas February 18, 2011