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



Boat and truck storage . . .

boats and trucks in the yard

Sometimes I arrive at the cabin to find no place to park. There are drift boats, dory boats, and prams that my friends have staged in the yard, plus their respective vehicles. This is actually a very nice view to behold. Thanks to my friends for keeping me company.

Have a good enough day my friends.

Jay Nicholas – October 2017

Thanks to my friend Kevin


Jay Nicholas Echo Bad Ass Glass Review eKevin is my neighbor in Pacific City. Kevin takes very good care of me and makes sure that I don’t overdo my exertion when he takes me out on the ocean in his most excellent Breaker Dory. He provides some of the best classic rock on the speakers while we cruise and fish the ocean. His fish finder is awesome! Kevin taught me how to chum properly  – instead of just hacking a handful of bait as far away from the boat as I could manage. Kevin, serves up great lasagna and all sorts of left-overs when I’m too tired to eat anything but microwave dinners and cereal (almost all the time because I never cook). Kevin knows how to fish. He is relatively new to fly fishing and fly tying but he is a fast learner. The only thing Kevin likes better than catching fish is making his guests feel comfortable on his dory and helping them catch fish. He has a great dog, Cody, who barely tolerates me because i feed him occasionally. Cody will protect me from all the other dogs in the neighborhood no matter how big they might be.

And since I’m feeling like there’s more to say—I may be repetitive but I need to say this: Kevin takes me fishing in his Breaker Dory. Kevin does all the prep and clean up before and after we fish – making sure that I don’t over do it  – knowing that I can no longer tolerate the level of exertion that he first saw me put into my fishing when we first met back in 2012.And when i say all the clean up I mean all of it including the fish filleting and packaging.  Kevin got to know me when I fished pre-dawn to well after dark – day after day after day.  Kevin has been kind and hosted my friends by taking them fishing on the ocean in his dory, and these trips have been a great joy to my friends. Kevin knows how to find rockfish, lingcod, silvers, and tuna on the ocean. Some of my fondest memories were days when it was just me and Kevin fishing in his dory. Some of these were tuna days, some were sea bass days, and some of these were silver salmon days.

Kevin is a friend who I know I can count on for anything — asking for nothing in return. He is the king of guy who is always looking around to see if he can help people in some manner, I guess this is the firefighter’s spirit showing.

Thanks Kevin.

Jay Nicholas – October 2017

Dave Stewart – “Steelhead Fly Fishing Interview with Jay Nicholas”

I’m baaaaaaaack!

Jay Nicholas steelhead interview by Dave Stewart

Here is Dave Stewart on the right asking the tough questions at my cabin last week.

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 6.11.31 PM

(Hey there, the image above is not the link to the interview, it is a screen shot of Dave’s most excellent website!)

Goodness where on earth has the time gone? So much has transpired since my last post that I’m a gonna spit out a flurry of posts (ha ha, maybe you are probably thinking) in the next few weeks.

For starters, here is a link to an audio interview recorded by my friend Dave Stewart.

Totally awesome topics in the interview indlude the following:

  • Why you shouldn’t start fly fishing for salmon
  • Tips on finding steelhead
  • Understanding spey lines (and how to avoid destroying the economy)
  • Rio Fly Lines has a cool app that helps you select a new spey line to match your rod (click here)
  • How the non slip uni knot will increase your time in the water (Click Here for a short video)
  • Jay’s Top Flies for steelhead fishing (summer and winter)
  • Fly tying magic and our caveman connection
  • Tying Atlantic salmon flies
  • How to create your own original fly patterns

Dave will soon post the video of the interview, but if you are fly tying and have your iPhone or computer nearby, you can listen along to this audio masterpiece just for fun.

My thanks to Dave for creating this small audio recording for the historical record.

Best to you all

Jay Nicholas – September 29 2017



Great reception at Royal Treatment Fly Shop


Monday morning, and I’d like to share a great reception I had up in West Linn a few days ago. Joel invited me to do a presentation and tie flies for folks looking for a respite from the Typhoon that was sweeping the valley on Saturday. The turnout was great, many regulars and all very kind people.

I had an hour to talk about hatchery and wild anadromous fish on the Oregon Coast – but that ended up being an hour and a half with questions still rolling when Joel dragged me out to the tyer’s table. Where people were already jammed around waiting for me to begin tying.

Bad photo, great crowd learning about salmon and steelhead on the Oregon Coast.
Bad photo, great crowd learning about salmon and steelhead on the Oregon Coast.

Although the photo at the top of the page shows my comet – boss box, I tied tuvbe flies for winter steelhead and managed to product about 4 flies in the next two hours. Rob Perkin kindly went on a lunch run and brought me back a delicious bowl of Mushroom soup to keep my blood sugar sustained.

Another back-lit photo at the Tyer's table on Saturday. I had a great time with all the questions from folks gathered.
Another back-lit photo at the Tyer’s table on Saturday. I had a great time with all the questions from folks gathered.

I had a chance to re-connect with old friends and meet several new friends who are, like me, dedicated fly tyers. About the time the Typhoon winds rolled into the valley, I packed up my gear and headed down I-5 to return to my family. Gusty but not too bad a drive. My supply of winter steelhead marabou tube flies is growing and I sure hope we have a good run with good conditions to swing fish this season.

Here is an example of a Marabou Tube Intruder - the kind of fly I've been tying lately.
Here is an example of a Marabou Tube Intruder – the kind of fly I’ve been tying lately.

Here is an example of the flies I have been tying the last week or so. Thank you Joel, for the invitation to present at Royal Treatment. Thanks to Nick and Josh also – it was great to see you taking care of customers at the Shop.

My best to you all and thanks for your kind notes and phone calls.

Jay Nicholas, October 17th, 2016

7 PM Presentation in Salem tonight September 8th 2016


Wow, where has the time gone? I’m counting down the hours until 7 PM when I’ll be showing my saltwater fly fishing video at the Santiam Fly Casters meeting at Pringle Hall in Salem. The venue is one block south of the Parkway on Church St. I am REALLY looking forward to meeting new friends and connecting with old friends at the meeting. I’ll talk about how much fun saltwater fly fishing is and how accessible it is too. Dwight Klemin told me to expect 50+ people at the meeting and that sounds like a fun crowd that should include a few hecklers to spice up the evening. Thanks in advance for the opportunity to be there!

Jay Nicholas, September 8th, 2016

Little Steps in the right direction – August 18th 2016

6 Chinook Clousers - a new day's work.
6 Chinook Clousers – a new day’s work.

So I’ve progressed from not being able to tie a single fly to being able to tie a half dozen a day and I see this as a very positive movement in the right direction. I can now sit for ten or fifteen minutes at a session and painstakingly craft a single fly that should take 3-4 minutes under what I once considered “normal” conditions. There are other positives too. Far more positives than I’ll bore you with. Thanks to all my friends who trust that we are each as we need to be right now, whether relaxing, working, waiting, or fishing. Speaking of fishing, I’m nearly ready to wet a line. Hummmmmmm, it’s a small step but pretty positive. Maybe not a marathon session, maybe just a few casts, but I’d like to have a hook on a string in the water soon. Over a hundred degrees predicted for the Valley today. Might need to head for the coast soon.  Blessings to all of my friends who are supportive in so many ways. I’ll be speaking in Salem on September 8th and hope I see some of you there. I’ll be ready to rock!

Jay Nicholas, August 18th 2016

What’s Up – August first, 2016 . . . . .

Too much going on to go into very much detail, but here are a few quick snapshots. In the middle of a bout of depression, I’m fighting by exercise and pharmaceutical interventions. The side effects suck but I’m keeping busy and exercising to get the old body moving and see what happens next. Damn the depression —  full speed ahead.

My life is perfect.  My brain chemicals are the pits, but the new meds allowed me to quit gnawing and clipping my nails for the first time in years. Go figure. Sleep? Huh?

on to the fun stuff….

JWN Streelhead Scan 0 copy

  1. I need to re-scan sketches for Modern Steelhead Flies book with Rob Russell. Should have finished this last week, but maybe this week.

Jay Nicholas Michael Gorman SRC Flies


2. Michael Gorman donated flies for me to include in a new book that I started last week: Sea-Run Cutthroat flies and flyfishing. His flies pictured above work for summer steelhead too and will be individually featured in this book.

Jay Nicholas puget sound SRC flies

3. Blake Merwin of Gig Harbor Fly Shop donated flies for the book too, Puget Sound beauties, that I will provide photos and recipe for each.


4. I am waiting on a guest Foreword for my new edition of an Intruder Book: Advanced Intruder Strategies. Greg Senyo is taking time out of his busy schedule to pen the foreword – thanks tons Greg! Almost there man!

5.  Matthew Supinski is writing a foreword for a new edition of Book of Revelation. Again, thanks tons Matt. Soon.  Soon.

6. Expect a Kickstarter campaign in November to fund printing of my 600 + page, 220,000 word Salmon Journal, with over a hundred full color plates, art and flies. OMG this will be amazing. Hard cover. Two volumes. Probably in the 200+ buck range for this set but a collector’s edition that has actually been edited by a professional (not just me) who understands and respects the beauty of the run-on and incomplete sentence.

7. There is more, but suffice to say, I am blessed in many ways by family, cats, friends, and life. Fishing has taken a back seat lately. My trip to the Umpqua was a disaster. Legs too unsteady to wade. Oh well, thus the exercise program and then I’ll try it again in a few months.

8. On the blessings side, an evening and morning with Frank and Jeanne Moore was a long missed joy. I fed the trout in the pond, sat at the table with my dear friends, and talked about family, fishing, and life.

9. It is amazing how much of a struggle it can be to write coherently when I’m in the midst of a depressive bout. Words all muddled, the order of the flow is all jumbled up, and I try and try again to re-organize it all, succeeding a little in four times the duration it should be expected to take. Oh well, the draft of the SRC book is improving and my team of supporters working with Al James has my Salmon Journal to polish with my guidance and support.

10. letters and notes from friends tell me I’m not alone — we all need to remember that we have friends and that we all struggle in our own way, and we all need to do the best we can every day and it will get better if we swim upstream …..

May you all find peace and goodness in little things today, and every day you read this

Jay Nicholas, August 1st, 2016 (anticipating my next fishing trip too)

Someone will be skating this week!

Jay Nicholas Steelhead Skater a

Jay Nicholas Steelhead Skater b

Nothing fancy here. A simple to tie dry fly for summer steelhead. Inspired in part by Brett Jensen and the Klamath Skaters he designed for Aqua Flies. I’ll skate this fly today and the next several, hoping to get crushed by chrome.

Jay Nicholas July 17th, 2016

Retro Shank Intruder

Jay Nicholas Retro Steelhead Shank Intruder a

Gosh I’ve been way to busy lately with far to little time to tie or fish.

So I grabbed my vise, moved the keyboard and wrapped this fly out — hoping to fish it somewhere in the next few weeks. Just this one fly and now back to work. More soon.

Jay Nicholas Retro Steelhead Shank Intruder b

Jay Nicholas Retro Steelhead Shank Intruder c

This fly is tied on a vintage Eagle Claw 1197-b size 2 hook. A dinosaur to be sure, but it will penetrate and swim with a lot of motion.

May we all find willing fish on our next venture to the river.

Jay Nicholas – June 29th, 2016

Post Script: by request, here is the recipe for the June Thunder Retro Shank Intruder.

“Blue Thunder”

This hook is a size 2 but the main point is to use heavy wire so a long shank heavy wire with hook cut off and a small stinger would be preferable to this one.

Tail: none, the hook is gold.

Butt: Senyo’s Pink Lady Fusion Dub.

Butt collar: Kingfisher Blue hackle to please, this is hen neck.

Body: Lagartun or Hareline Flat Braid, blue holo.

Shoulder dubbing ball: Senyo’s Fusion Dub Smurf.

Shoulder Collar: Fish Hunter Purple Spey Marabou.

2nd collar: Black Craft Fur spun in loop.

Flash: Mirage Lateral Scale. Shoulder: Pro Sportfisher Jungle Cock Natural.