Yes. Finally. The time has come to make the final push from the high-elevation camp to summit the mountain. I have a plan in place to finally publish Salmon Fisher’s Journal.
I’ve dedicated fifteen years to writing, on top of nearly six decades of fishing to complete the manuscript, assemble the photo images, and ink the sketches. My all-volunteer team of professional creatives have dedicated nearly two years in pre-production mode. I’ve received financial, product, and moral support from a long list of friends who are formally or informally associated with the fly fishing community.
With the support of professional book designer, photo editor, videographer, and project manager—we are ready to launch this Kickstarter Campaign. Our goal, the remaining funds needed to print and ship the book have been whittled down to $18,500.
My Kickstarter goal is the amount I need to transform the Salmon Fisher’s Journal from manuscript proof to a collector’s quality, two volume set of books that tell the big story of Chinook salmon. This story is wide ranging, more comprehensive than anything ever written about the species and the fly fishery. Really.
I characterize Salmon Fisher’s Journal as — too much and not nearly enough. I say this because no one, ever, has laid out the story in this depth, and yet after reading over 500 pages and two hundred thousand words—you’ll likely be wanting more. Such is the nature of tackling a topic so deeply fraught in passion, culture, mystery history, and technicality.
With this plea, I’ll conclude.
Kindly visit our Kickstarter Page for Salmon Fisher’s Journal as soon as you can. Make a contributing to the cause. Make a donation—pure and simple, with flies, or with an original ink pen sketch. Order one or several books on a pre-order basis. Reserve a book and go fishing with me. Be a Journal FOUNDER or PRODUCER and be recognized on the title page of the book.
Enough said. Thank you.Act now. Share this with your friends, family, and anyone who cares about the culture of fly fishing for anadromous salmon and steelhead.
I just returned from a very enjoyable week fishing with Gary Bulla in Baja, La Ventana and Baja Joe’s to be more specific. Gary runs a great show for fly anglers of all skill levels and his panga captains are gentlemen as well as fly fishing mentors.
I put together a short clip of highlights from the week, of course I failed to record some of the hottest action during the week plus, I lost one of my cameras at the end of day 6 of the trip. Oh well, stuff happens don’t it?
In short, I did not catch a rooster, but I came close. Really close. I was told that you can’t retrieve too fast for the dorado and roosters, but I now question that advice, as I’m pretty sure I pulled my fly away from both species at crucial moments when they were trying to chomp it.
Again, oh well.
On day 6, our guide Fedilito cruised in near a buoy and threw a few ballyhoo to see if there were any dorado about. Well, there were three dorado ready to chase bait and they commenced to crash the surface, throwing water two feet in the air in the process.
This was my first week fishing for dorado and I had never seen fish of this size crashing around chasing bait. My angling companion for the day, Karen, commenced casting as I did. She is an experienced dorado fisher and kept her cool, but I was going nuts casting to the giant fish as it raced around in front of us. Of the three dorado we saw, two were very large and one was modest sized. We both cast and cast, Fedilito threw a few ballyhoo to keep the fish active, and — oh my gosh — the biggest dorado was chasing my fly straight towards the boat as I was retrieving! I probably only had ten feet of fly line out of my tip-top when the dorado consumed my fly and turned away from the panga.
As usual, I shouted with excitement, just like a kid.
I did not capture any of the excitement before hooking this big dorado, but it was much like the action of a few days earlier when I hooked a modest size dorado and managed to record that event on the Go Pro. I am pretty well captivated by the sight of brilliantly hued fish chasing bait and flies around in plain view. This sort of fishing excitement is something I could easily become addicted to. Oh my goodness.
Our panga captain Fedilito was as pleased as I was to have the big fish take the fly. It was a good 200 yards into my backing in a flash and jumping while I turned on the Go Pro. Fedilito cautioned me — grande dorado, no break. This fish was a real prize to a young panga captain.
Here is the video clip. I hope you enjoy it. Better still, I hope you are able to go fishing down in Baja someday yourself. I never imagined that I would make the trip but thanks to my dear friends Gui and Jim, I decided to accept their invitation to join them and I booked a trip and a flight less than two weeks notice.
Sure glad that I did.
My best to you always. May your fishing and your world be good.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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…….
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
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 6.5spey 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good morning people. You never know what manner of joy the inbox will deliver each day, but sometimes it is really wonderful. Meet new people, share stories, know there probably won’t be time to forge new friendships – judging by the old friendships that have cobwebs on them due to the shortage of time and the things I have chosen to undertake.
But on the bright side, I learned that I’m not the only person who is infatuated with fly art, and many if not most of the people I’ve met are far more advanced in their artistic endeavors than I am.
This morning, I wanted to share a painting by Nathaniel Price, a fellow fly tier – angler – artist.
Thank you Nathaniel, for sharing this image to inspire my tying.
If several people were willing to share their art with me I would include their work in one or more of my new books that are presently in production, destined to join the nine titles already available on Amazon.