7 new Nicholas Fly Tying and Fishing Videos!

Seven new videos posted on my Youtube channel.  Tons of good stuff going on. Thanks to Will at Ashland Fly Shop for organizing a fly club presentation and tube steelhead tying class last week. Thanks to Jon Hazelet and his family’s hospitality. Thank you all and I hope you find something entertaining here. Many more ideas to follow up on. JN – March 2018.

5 videos related to fly fishing for Lingcod and tying lingcod flies.
3 videos related to my recollections about the Metolius back in the 1960s – 1980s.

3 new Nicholas YouTube videos!

This has been another great week for video production adhere is a quick list of what’s new on my Youtube channel.

Tips for tying a summer steelhead fly with chenille. This material is still a great fit with our most productive flies.

Intruder fly tying discussion. This is a thirty minute video that features a general discussion about Intruders, especially those tied on ProSportfisher tubes. The fly is a great one and I try to mention features of these flies and the intention of tying, materials and so forth. This is not the full story but it is a start and I hope it entertains and informs a little.

Olive and Orange Tube Intruder based on Jeff Hickman’s Fish Taco.

Cream Balanced Leech. A hot new pattern useful in many waters, and most recently popularized on Pyramid Lake – fished under indicators.

Thanks for your kind notes and feedback, I hope you will have fun with these videos.

Jay Nicholas, February, 2018

2 Nicholas videos posted to YouTube

This post is to let readers know that I’ve released another new pod of videos on my YouTube Channel.

Each of you has different levels of experience and interest, so the best approach is to browse the list and decide if any are in the ballpark of your playpen.

Fly Tying Discussion – Intruders I. This is a 33-minute video in which I discuss the thinking and techniques of tying Intruders. This is hopefully the first of several that will follow.
* General composition
* length
* waist
* intention
* materials
* use of flash
* platforms
* weighting

Fly Tying Discussion – Chenille body techniques on a summer steelhead fly
Chenille can be applied in many ways to achieve different effects on your flies, this video shows several of the finer points I’ve learned over the years when tying with chenille.

Thank you all for your good wishes.

My YouTube channel is located here. I crrently have 33 videos posted and have ten nearly edited and ready to publish in the next month.

Jay Nicholas – February 2018

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.

Steelhead Simplicity — still strong in 2017

Jay Nicholas Jon Hazelet summer steelhead

Some ten years or so past, my friend Jon Hazelet taught a spey casting clinic on the Mckenzie River for the Caddis Fly Shop. As I spoke with Jon at the end of the day, I opened up one of my fly boxes and picked out a dozen or so of my favorite summer steelhead flies, several color varieties of the Steelhead Simplicity.

Yesterday, on July20, 2017, Jon sent me this photo and a short note.

“Just caught my first summer steelhead of 2017 ten minutes ago. Remember giving me 10 or so flies years ago after the first Caddis Fly Spey class I did? Thanks buddy for the good mojo!”

Thanks for your note Jon. You made me smile. The Steelhead Simplicity will be featured in Modern Steelhead Flies (Stackpole Books; Rob Russell and Jay Nicholas, due to be published in fall 2017) as an example of the humble roots  of the innovative and specialized range of steelhead flies that are being fished today across the range of the species.

The modern steelhead angler now has the opportunity to fish excellent patterns that had not even been imagined 50 years ago.

I still have a few, probably less than two dozen, of the flies that were in the box that held the flies I gave to Jon. I’m really-really happy that those flies are still producing.

My best to you all –

Jay Nicholas (21 July 2017






Ballyhoo Fly (fished in Baja last week)

This is NOT a high quality video, but I think most tyers will be able to get the gist of how to tie this fly. I shot this on a Go Pro camera that insisted on focusing on my shirt instead of on the fly.

The point of this pattern is to imitate the ballyhoo fish shown below in an image I downloaded from the internet at imagearcade. My thanks for this image.


As you can see, these are large baitfish and may easily be 5 – 6″ long, so your flies should be similarly proportioned.


Hook – Gamakatsu 811-s size 2/0 or 3/0
Thread – clear mono or white
Belly – white material such as SF blend, Yak hair, varieties of sea hair
Lateral line – Hint of grey
Back – light olive, mackerel,  or tan
Top of back – (optional) a few strands (perhaps 6?) in black or peacock

I fished flies like this in Baja out of Gary Bulla’s in La Ventana last week and had a great time under difficult fishing conditions of wind and short supply of  baitfish. Several people in our party caught nice roosters but I did not. I did however catch dorado, skipjack and small jacks.

My week was most enjoyable owing to a combination of very nice fishing companions, experienced panga captains,   comfortable accommodations, wholesome meals, and Gary Bulla himself, a gentleman/host who is enthusiastic, experienced, and held in the highest regard by his guests, staff, and panga captains.

I will follow with posts on the adventure and gear as time permits.

My best to you and thanks for all of your good wishes.

Jay Nicholas May 24 2017

Tying a Sardina Fly with Jay and Guy

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This is the director’s cut of a shorter video posted on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. Thanks to Guy Allen who has tied and fished this fly to perfection and is always prepared to fish some version of the pattern on his yearly trip to Baja.

So. Last minute, I decided to join Guy and Jim on their adventure to Baja. I had a great time and some blog posts will follow when I get time to write them. For the week we were there, the sardina caught a few fish but the ballyhoo fly was better because there were not very many flat iron herring around. Still this is a pattern one would be foolish to omit from their Baja fly box.

I hope you enjoy the discussion as Guy and I explore the tying and fishing of this great saltwater fly.

Jay Nicholas, spring season 2017

Beyond Fake – Faux Bucktail Clouser

Jay Nicholas Faux Bucktail

Chris Daughters asked me to check out the new Faux Bucktail and shoot a video to introduce this material to consumers. I picked out a few colors and it sat on my bench for over a month, with me looking at and wondering if I really wanted to mess with the stuff. It looks so picture perfect. Each fiber is the exact same length and each fiber has a perfect sharp tip. I could tell that the material would not compress and flare like the natural, and that didn’t make me happy.

Eventually I gathered courage to test drive the material.

My first dozen flies were not entirely satisfactory and I was beginning to doubt the stuff. I should note that I was also trying to tie some odd patterns and not my usual flies, so that probably influenced the outcome of my experiments.

Eventually I let go of the exploratory patterns and settled in to tie my signature bucktail fly, the Clouser Minnow. Although the result is a slimmer fly than I am accustomed to tying, the results are quite pleasing. Plus—I am convinced that my new FAUX Clousers will stand up to chewing by black rockfish far better than natural bucktail clousers have in the past.

Anyway, I invite you to check out this video, the long version of one that I recorded for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. See if you like the fly I’ve created and then decide if you want to try the new material or stick with the usual stinky natural bucktails!

Me? I sincerely hope I’m out in a dory sometime in the next few weeks to fish these new found materials.

My best to you

Jay Nicholas – Spring 2017

The Most Perfect Glass Bead Bugger . . .

You will ever fish. 

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.53.09 PM

Yep, that’s right. 

This is the long version of the video on tying this fly complete with much conjecture and rambling. The short version will be posted very soon on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog.

I hope you enjoy this extended edit of the video. This is a fly that has caught hatchery and wild rainbow, sea run cutthroat, and summer steelhead on many occasions. Tie and fish it with confidence and vary the color of the glass bead to suit your preferences.


Thank you all for your patience and good wishes.

Jay Nicholas, Spring Season 2017

A Purple/Black Steelhead Tube Fly for the Weekend

Yes, I realize that I’ve already published two videos this week, but I’m on a mission to create fresh content for my blog and my YouTube Channel, so consider this a bonus post.

The fly featured here is a purple-hued rabbit-strip steelhead fly tied on a tube. My thanks to Brian Silvey for his inspiration. Most of the flies that look roughy like this are related to his rabbit strip fly. We just can’t help ourselves, can we. I’m quite sure that I will feature more rabbit strip flies similar to this but tied with different color rabbit and hackle collars.

The fly is so simple that I will not list materials but will refer you to the short version of this video at the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog.

The video posted here continues my pledge to post the abbreviated (land the plane, Jay) on the Caddis Fly Blog while posting the long, rambling, story telling version on my personal blog.

One way or another, I invite you to browse the world of fly tying and see if you can find ideas and techniques of interest.

My best to you all.

Jay Nicholas

April 2017