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

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

Just 4 Guys Casting

I’ve started experimenting with my cellphone taking slo-mo video of friends casting. This makes perfect sense since we are not catching much. Problem is that my phone has poor quality video at slo-mo.

Anyway, I edited this short 3 minute movie that features a few river scenes and images of my friends and I casting on the river. Please don’t expect great quality video. We are just 4 guys having fun while hucking our flies across the run, hoping for a grab.  And please don’t expect great casting style from me — my friends do better — but we all had fun.

I’ll be experimenting with a different camera shortly, trying to get better resolution in future casting videos.

Thanks for your patience.

Jay Nicholas, winter season 2016/17

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

Micro Tube Intruder for Chinook

Jay Nicholas Chinook Tube Intruder

Bare bones this morning, just a photo and note that this fly is a well proven Chinook salmon attractor when fished in estuarine waters.

Courtney just finished editing a video that features tying this Intruder and I’ll deliver it to Chris today, to be posted shortly, along with the usual materials list. May you find salmon and steelhead receptive to this and whatever flies you may be fishing soon.

Thank you all for your good wishes and positive spirits.

Jay (May 23, 2016)

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

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
Hoax
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

Paradox
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 . . . ..

Juicy
Adjective
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.

 

Steelhead Gurgler/Skater with EP Critter Brush

This is another chapter in my latest infatuation with Gurgles, this here steelhead skater. Hold on.  I typed in Gurglers and auto correct gave me Gurgles! I used black foam and super glued the doubled front end because this allows me to stand that front surface almost straight up and wow that makes it push water like so very nicely. Pictures are worth the thousand words but here is the recipe followed by photos. Hook Gamakatsu B10 S size 2 Tail: Elk Mane from Hareline Dubbin + Mirage Lateral Scale Body: EP Wooly Critter Brush, Black/Red Foam: Black thin .002 foam from Hareline Dubbin Thread: Danvillie’s 210 D black or grey

Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush.
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush.
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush - all size twos.
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush – all size twos.
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush - oooops, I forgot the flash in the tail!
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush – oooops, I forgot the flash in the tail!
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush - bird's perspective  view.
Steelhead Gurgler with EP Wooly Critter Brush – bird’s perspective view.

These flies wake across the river quite nicely, I fished them several evenings last week on the Nestucca and rose one late winter steelhead in a tailout at dusk.  Casting an ECHO DEC HOGAN II 6.5 spey rod rigged with Airflo Scandi Compact 450 gr line + Airflo Floating Polyleader and 6 ft straight #12 Hatch Professional Fluorocarbon tippet. Brush on Zap a Gap applied to the doubled over front “bill” of this fly seems to help it stand upright and improve the water pushing power of the fly. I’m looking forward to fishing this fly as the summer steelhead begin trickling into the river, and I bet a downscaled version will get the sea runs going too. Hope you find something fun here and the inspiration to tie your own. Jay Nicholas, May 2015.

Nicholas’ Anchovy Gurgler

Underside view of Anchovy Gurgler.
Underside view of Anchovy Gurgler.

Nicholas’ Anchovy Gurggler

First, I know it is silly to claim this fly as “mine.”  So many thousands of fly tyers have tied Gurglers before I even knew about the pattern that surely someone must have tied a fly pretty much like this, but wait! Maybe they did not have the advantage of the Mirage Lateral Scale and the EP Senyo’s Chromatic Brush and the EP Minnow Head Brush to tie their fly so maybe this is actually an original creation.

Whatever.

This fly rocks the Pacific black rockfish when they are on the prowl for big baitfish scattered among crab spawn.  I thank John Garrett’s coaching via Facebook because when he was tying Gurglers I noticed the V shape he cut in the fly’s back (I had always just cut the foam straight across but this looks so very much nicer).  This is glued to the back with brush on Zap-a-Gap, but sometimes I do not glue it down to create a little higher profile, not that It is noticeable to the fish, but I like both the glued and non glued versions for their different looks.

Side view Anchovy Gurgler.
Side view Anchovy Gurgler.
Bass perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler.
Bass perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler.
Seagull perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler!
Seagull perspective view of Anchovy Gurgler!

Hook Gamakatsu SP11-3LH Saltwater size 1 or 1/0

Tail: White bucktail under Fl. blue buck tail + Mirage Lateral Scale
Body: Senyo’s EP Chromatic Brush, Blueberry 1.5”
Gills: EP Minnow Head Brush bloody Red
Foam: Blue thin .002 foam from Hareline Dubbin
Thread: Danvillie’s 210 D white or fl blue

Are the bass super discriminating regarding the profile of a surface fly they will take? Probably not.  Still, I love this fly and it catches fish.  I hope beyond hope to catch a king salmon on one of these someday.  Who knows.  Maybe.

New Camera Captures Image of Anchovy Gurgler at 28.3 MP.
New Camera Captures Image of Anchovy Gurgler at 28.3 MP.

This here is an image of the Anchovy Gurgler shot with my new camera, whoo-hoo!

Hope you enjoy this post and tie up some gurglers for whatever fish you are chasing.

Jay Nicholas

April 2015