Salmon Fisher’s Journal is a go!


Wow, thanks to 108 backers, we met our goal on the fifth day of the Salmon Journal Kickstarter Campaign. This means that we will be able to deliver the goods (books) early in 2018 if not sooner.

On behalf of our volunteer production team, I thank everyone who has already backed our work. The early achievement of our goal is both stunning and heartwarming to all of us.

But please don’t stop now!

A ton of the supporters who have backed out project to date are names that I don’t recognize, and this tells me that there are many friends and long time supporters, both within and without the community of dedicated fly fishers, who have not yet turned their attention to supporting publication of the Salmon Journal.

Achieving our goal has already assured that we will be able to deliver a great product, but by exceeding the goal, we might be able to 1) bump the delivery date, 2) double-down on the book’s specs, and 3) add a companion, soft-cover edition containing text and images that we cut to condense the original manuscript.

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So, on the dawn of day 8 of our 30 day Campaign, we are sitting at 104% of initial goal.

I’m asking for your help reaching out to people who haven’t acted to back us yet, or people who have not yet heard about the opportunity to back this project.

Finally and again, thank you all very much. Publishing the Salmon Fisher’s Journal in true “coffee table” style has been at the very forefront of all my book writing and publishing to date. I’ve saved the best for last. We’re where we need to be to deliver.

Securing more backers now is a delightful bonus that will up our game — and that will please everyone associated with the project. This is angling literature history. Thank you all for being part of the dream.

Jay Nicholas, July 15 2017

Sea Run Cutthroat Book Published (at last)


Well, they say that all things must find their own time, but finally, finally I managed to put the polish (Ok it is a Jay polish that must assuredly still include some novel spelling and punctuation) on my sea run cutthroat  book.

The book title is Sea Run Cutthroat: Flies and Flyfishing. This book (100 pages) includes a short chapter on Puget Sound fishing by Blake Merwin of Gig Harbor Fly Shop and a foreword by Puget Sound Guide Leland Miyawaki. The emphasis of the discussion regarding anadromous cutthroat life history and fishing is, naturally from my perspective, the Oregon Coast, but I wanted to reach out and include some fly patterns and discussion of the Puget Sound fishery since it is to very different from the SRC fisheries we pursue here in Oregon.

This 8.5″ x 11″ book  contains half-page photographs of 60 great sea run cutthroat flies, along with each fly’s tying recipe and tying notes. I also offer my perspective on the Oregon distribution of SRC, their life history variation, catch and release fishing, best tackle, SRC boats, SRC flyfishing tactics,  SRC fly styles, and the history of Oregon’s fishery and SRC hatchery programs.

The Puget Sound chapter by Blake Merwin and the flies he so generously contributed to this book help broaden the reach of the discussion by providing a glimpse into the rich fishery for SRC that has deep roots in Puget Sound. Oregon’s fly fishery for SRC has its roots that extend back a century and I included a quote from that era illustrating that these fish were as finicky then as they can be now-a-days.

Leland Miyawaki’s foreword is a generous invitation to explore the book and dig in, saying:

“There’s a lot of meat in Jay’s book, particularly when he discusses fishing Oregon’s rivers and their estuaries. So unless you’re fishing our Washington estuaries, Jay’s book is a revelation and, in the end, a total godsend. And about those fly patterns, whoa! Like I say, there’s a lot of meat in this book.”

This book is available now on Amazon, and will shortly be available at Gig Harbor, Royal Treatment, and the Caddis Fly Shop.

I would be pleased to ship a signed copy to anyone who contacts me directly, and note that delivery of signed books will probably be delayed until the week after Christmas.

My thanks to many friends who have encouraged me to create this book and catalog some of the very best flies one can fish for SRC (there are some great Puget Sound coho flies in here too).

Thank you always for your support and patience.

Jay Nicholas, December 7th, 2016

Advanced Intruder Strategies is available to order now!


Finally finally finally. Got it published on Amazon Books. If you would like a signed personalized copy, let me know and I’ll order a batch and ship them out in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the book will be available for quick delivery directly though Amazon. Your own local Fly Shop may contact me and I’ll provide signed copies for their customers and ship to their shop with a little notice.

Trey Combs says, “On a personal level, Jay’s book is a companion volume to my Field Guide to Western Birds: fly fishing as comfort food, something I visit daily and consume in small bites, a new fly to think about and one day tie.”

Advanced Intruder Strategies features over 40 new Intruder like flies in a wide variety of styles on tubes, shanks, and traditional hooks.

Greg Senyo says, “Tie until your fingers hurt, and smile as you do, because this book is a labor of Jay’s love of fly tying and fishing . . . . . ”

Thanks to my friend’s encouragement and support as I have worked on this sequel to Intruder Essentials.

This book digs deeper and broader to explore the family of flies that have so loosely been labeled in one form or another as Intruders. You will find articulated shank flies, articulated tube flies, Mohawk style flies that I refer to as half-Intruders, and a nice selection of flies I refer to as Micro Intruders.

Each of these flies has passed my exhaustive testing and earned approval in both swim tank and on the river in the winter of 2015/16. Has every fly actually earned a grab? Of course not, but I’m confident that each fly is a winner, and these are flies that I carry and fish routinely.

Thanks to my many readers for your support.

Jay Nicholas September 24th, 2016

Article & Book Reviews by Frank Amato

Jay Nicholas & Frank Amato a1

The latest edition of Flyfishing and Tying Journal (Winter 2016) has two articles written by my new/old friend Frank Amato. Long story short, Frank and I barely escaped meeting throughout our respective careers, not easy, since we both followed each other’s professional work for decades. We finally met and fished with Capt. John Harrell in the dory Gold Comet, and had a great time in Pacific City with John, his dad & mom Jack and Mary.

Jay Nicholas & Frank Amato e

Frank joined me fishing before he interviewed me about the books I’ve self published. The catching was as much fun as the fishing and Frank took home a cooler packed with sea bass fillets and cooked crab that he enjoyed and shared with his co-workers and friends.

Jay Nicholas & Frank Amato a

Frank, a respected  book author and publisher, had taken note of my crazy assortment of self published books related to flyfishing, fly tying, and conservation, and asked to interview me as part of doing a review of my work. Wow, what an honor.

Jay Nicholas & Frank Amato c

Frank and I sat on the front porch of our family cabin at Pacific City and talked about our similar history in Oregon, and found we had far more to share than our time allowed.

Jay Nicholas & Frank Amato b


From Frank’s review—I quote.

“In figuring out where Jay’s Professional and fishing life fits into the literature of our sport I am most reminded of Roderick-Haig-Brown. In my estimation Jay’s contribution to the science and art of salmonid fly angling and conservation through his books, science, and angling life most reflect the ideals of the legendary Haig-Brown.”

Thank you, Frank. The self-publishing world is tough, as is the traditional practice of book publishing. It is an unexpected blessing to have you find my work in the vast field of fishing related books and to take a liking to it.

JN – December 11th 2015

New Book on Estuary Chinook Flies is Close

Jay Nicholas Oregon Chinook Flies draft cover.
Jay Nicholas Oregon Chinook Flies draft cover (out of focus!)

That’s one of the key reasons that I’ve been rather quiet of late, working on – among other things including fishing – final edits to my latest book, featuring the estuary chinook flies of 24 Oregon salmon anglers.

Quite an undertaking and tons of work and fun at the same time.  A photo journal of over 200 flies typically fished in the estuaries and lowermost reaches of coastal rivers, this is not a how-to fly recipe book.  Nope.  It is an artistic impression of the working flies stuffed into the boxes of anglers obsessed with the pursuit of king salmon, principally targeting fish that are fresh from the sea in places spread out along the reach of the Oregon Coast.

This is the pile of Chinook flies submitted by 24 oregon anglers for the book.
This is the pile of Chinook flies submitted by 24 oregon anglers for the book. I know this photo does not show much, just a pile of envelopes and fly boxes that people sent their flies in, but the contents are stunning!  Over two hundred Chinook estuary flies to drool over that are pictured in this about to be published book.

I have been working on photographing these flies, tying to make the images appealing without emphasis on being able to see each  hair on each fly set against a pale blue background. So, I decided to photograph each fly set against a photo I printed out – a photo of something related to our fishing passion.  Naturally.  Here is an example below.  This is a photo of a fly by Rob Perkin set against a Jack Harrell photo of me getting close to netting a spring chinook.

One of the Chinook estuary flies that will be featured in Oregon Chinook Flies.
One of the Chinook estuary flies that will be featured in Oregon Chinook Flies.

The book will feature a foreword by Rob Russell, who by the way is in the final throes of completing a book Rob and I are doing together (I’m not sure if I should be divulging too much so let’s leave it here for now). In case you don’t know,  Rob is uniquely qualified to address many aspects of estuary fishing for Chinook salmon, from the flies, the culture of the fishery, on to the fish themselves, Rob’s experience-set is one that I respect greatly.

Meanwhile, in the world of self-publisjng, I have been enlisting the support of several friends to help find typos and bloopers in Oregon Chinook Flies, and their help is greatly appreciated, as is their willingness to allow me to feature their flies along with a short bio of each tier/angler.

Marked-up draft copy of Oregon Chinook Flies.
Marked-up draft copy of Oregon Chinook Flies.

My computer is full to the brim at the moment with images and drafts, so it is past time to do some house-cleaning and get this book out the door very soon.  This has been a joyous project and the results will, I think, be of interest to all who pursue kings on the flies.  This is your chance to get a peek into your fellow Chinook hunter’s fly boxes, without needing to be sneaky about it.  How many have a chartreuse comet?  Is the Clouser a common fly in these boxes?  What about Intruder style flies and tube flies?  What are the most fished color themes?

All that, and more, will shortly be revealed.  Will it be enough?

Hardly, I expect.

Give me two weeks, with luck, and thank you as always for your patience and good will.

Jay Nicholas, August 3, 2015

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