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
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
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.
Feisty kelt hammered a fly in close than ran into the rapids, seeming like a twenty pounder!
Matt Stephens, birthday boy.
Matt’s nice hen up for a quick photo and back into the water.
Hen from a tail out swing.
Matt making the cast.
Not fancy, just effective.
Echo Glass 7 wt TH resting.
Sunshine in Woods.
What a nice way to begin the day.
Jay Nicholas, March 26 2015