Short Video on the ECHO OHS Rod

My dear friend Jeremy cut the footage together for this short video that captures a few memories of a day this winter season swinging flies for steelhead the the ECHO OHS (one hand spey) rod. As noted in my review of this rod, I prefer to fish this rod in classic two-hand style and find that it performs flawlessly and makes monster casts feel effortless when fished with an AIRFLO Skagit Scout head.

The video does not show my super powerful D Loops or give justice to how far I was casting, but trust me, it was AWESOME.

My best to you on this day May 5th, 2017

Fly of the Week: Blue & Black Fish Taco Steelhead Tube Fly

Keeping with my goal of producing roughly one post for each week, here is the latest installment. This is a steelhead tube fly very much fashioned after Jeff Hickman’s Fish Taco. I have tied this fly with a blue/black color theme but I’ll reiterate my advice that most steelhead and salmon flies are not intended to be tied EXACTLY as illustrated. Part of the fun and creativity is that each tyer has the freedom to diverge, adapt, and modify flies as you see fit.

If you view this video you will see that I am learning how to edit video, and will probably decide that I have a long way to go in developing my skills.

Thanks for your patience – I hope you find something entertaining here.

Jay Nicholas
Winter season, 2017

ECHO OHS fly rod: two-hand casting excellence in the tightest quarters

Echo OHS Fly Rod a

Just a quick notice that I’ve written a review of this very fine new OHS fly rod by ECHO for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog—after fishing this rod a full ten days this winter season. Tim Rajeff coached me into the proper wt. Airflo Scout head and tip to load the rod properly for two-hand casting, and I love fishing this rod in everywhere from close quarters to wide open runs.

Rather than a full repeat of the review, I’ll include a link to the OFFB here, and publish both posts simultaneously . I realize that my reviews make almost no mention about the OHS rod’s cosmetics and hardware. These rods are built very much like the Echo 3 Switch Rods with emerald green shaft and anodized aluminum reel seats. The rod includes the option for shorter and  longer butt handles—I fish the OHS exclusively with the longer handle (it screws into the reel seat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here are a few OHS rod and line matches if you will strictly be casting two-hand style, as I normally do.

ECHO OHS 6 wt. — 270 gr Airflo Scout8 ft Airflo T-10; or OPST 96 gr tip.

ECHO OHS 7 wt.  — 330 gr Airflo Scout10 ft Airflo  T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 gr tip.

ECHO OHS 8 wt. — 390 gr Airflo Scout10 ft Airflo  T-10; 10 ft Rio T-11; or OPST 96 /132 gr tip.

If you plan on using the OHS rod as it was originally intended (single-hand casting with a haul to load the rod properly), it is fair to suggest that you subtract 60 gr from the recommended head weights listed for each rod above.

Jay Nicholas winter steelhead 2017.jpg

Swinging for winter steelhead on the upper river has been a scratchy proposition for me this season. One friend fished about 6 days and caught 3 fish. Another friend fished close to two weeks and has hooked (and lost 5 fish). My count for 10 says swing fishing is three fish lost and one to hand. A challenging but successful season in my mind.

I loved the light-in-hand feel of the 7 wt. OHS rod.  It is shockingly light compared to most 7 wt switch rods. When I finally hooked a steelhead that held onto my fly (on the last day of the upriver season) I had my hands full of excitement with a nice 12 pound (I swear) hen. We all have different perspectives, but I felt that the 7 wt is entirely powerful enough to fight the fish.  At least it worked out for me. If you have doubts, I’d suggest that you reach for the 8 wt.

 Two-hand casting with this 10 ft. 6 in. rod is so pleasurable that I don’t even dabble at developing my single hand casting style—I’m satisfied to classify the OHS as a mini spey rod—realizing that I’m missing out on half of the rod’s performance capabilities.

I’ll also reiterate that these rods are ideally suited to small and modest sized rivers. They will cast a country mile, handle in the tightest quarters, and I would recommend these short (10 ft 4 in) rods in a very wide range of fishing habitats. For places like wide open runs on the Sandy, Clackamas, or Deschutes, I would often reach for a longer Spey rod. Even on these larger rivers, I have fished specific places where trees and brush complicate casting with longer two-hand rods. These make a perfect place to swing the OHS rod without stress or strain. Wow, another excuse to buy more tackle.

My best wishes to you:

Jay Nicholas

Great Day to catch up with Chris Daughters

Jay Nicholas with Chris Daughters 04:16

Far too much time has passed since I’ve had an easy going afternoon with Chris. Just back to Eugene with his family from New Zealand, Chris invited me for a float to check out his home waters on the McKenzie yesterday. We floated. He rowed, shared a half sandwich, and I fished wet flies from about 1 – 5.

Jay Nicholas McKenzie Trout Flies

Chris made about five casts with a dry fly, hooking about five trout. I managed to catch a few fish too, mostly cutthroat, with a few rainbow and many hatchery steelhead smolts in the mix—entirely on wet flies.

Jay Nicholas McKenzie wild rainbow trout 04:16

I drove home at day’s end and promptly fell asleep watching YouTube instructional videos on Macro Photography.

Jay Nicholas Olive Dub Bugger

Up this morning at 3 AM, I tied a few flies that might tempt a fish or so on the coast soon.

I wish everyone good health and eager fish to tug on your lines.

Jay Nicholas, April 21st, 2016

Swinging for Steelhead Upriver on my Birthday eve

Yep. I was Matt Stephens’ guest fishing upriver yesterday, my birthday eve and Matt’s birthday, swinging for winter steelhead on the Nestucca River.  Wonderful day, fun with a great guy, we found a few willing fish, I fell down twice but didn’t get hurt or soaked, and the grab on the swing is soooooooo nice when it comes.

One kelt grabbed a fly on a short cast, with only the Flow Tip and ten feet of the Switch head out of the guides; and one hen intercepted a fly swinging deep in a tail out on a very long cast; and one fish climbed on in fast water at the transition zone where the fast flow met the slow.  Matt caught the big hen, all were released, and we were pleased as heck to have had the day together fishing beautiful water and finding grabby steelhead.

Today I celebrate 66 years on the planet, with my family and friends.  May each of you find something good today and every day.  Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and support.

Jay Nicholas Echo Swing Day a

Feisty kelt hammered a fly in close than ran into the rapids, seeming like a twenty pounder!

Matt Stephens birthday 2015

Matt Stephens, birthday boy.

Matt Stephens with steelhead on the Swing.

Matt’s nice hen up for a quick photo and back into the water.

Jay Nicholas Nestucca Winter Steelhead

Hen from a tail out swing.

Matt Stephens on Birthday 2015

Matt making the cast.

ay Nicholas Echo Swing Day d

Not fancy, just effective.

ay Nicholas Echo Swing Day e

Echo Glass 7 wt TH resting.

Jay Nicholas morning at Woods Cabin a

Sunshine in Woods.

Jay Nicholas morning at Woods Cabin b Jay Nicholas morning at Woods Cabin c Jay Nicholas morning at Woods Cabin d Jay Nicholas morning at Woods Cabin eWhat a nice way to begin the day.

Jay Nicholas, March 26 2015