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The intimate, narrative portrait of a fishery conducted by one man hunting Chinook with a fly rod - revelation via essay, image, & art.
The intimate, narrative portrait of a fishery conducted by one man hunting Chinook with a fly rod - revelation via essay, image, & art.
149 backers pledged $24,027 to help bring this project to life.

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Salmon Fisher's Journal . . . . .

... is unmistakably, quintessentially, the creation of Jay Nicholas, penned straight from the heart. A deeply personal compilation of essays, imagery, and art celebrating one angler's obsession with chinook salmon, this book is unlike anything you've ever seen. Spontaneous. Unvarnished. Science. History. Salmon behavior. Ethics. Flies. Tactics. Long-winded fishing stories. Brief journal entries. This Journal is too much—and not nearly enough.

This book illuminates aspects of a fishery pursued by fly anglers for nearly a century but barely hinted at in the fly fishing literature. Angler's Coast and Rivers of A Lost Coast offered glorious insight into this fishery and men obsessed with fly rod Chinook. This book throws the door open in a manner rarely seen in an era driven by product marketing, how-to analysis, and image promotion.

The Salmon Journal is an intricate story built around the Chinook. The reader will learn much about fishing technique here, but the author's infatuation with the fish, his fellow anglers, and salmon fishing culture rings loud and clear.

Foreword by Trey Combs - Angling Legend and Author

"Salmon Fisher’s Journal breaks new ground in the angling literature, This stunningly detailed, panoramic book — Jay’s monument to Chinook salmon — is destined to become every angler’s ultimate reference, the book to be read and re-read, cover-to-cover, for generations to come."

Critical Acclaim from John Larison - Author, Angler, Conservationist 

"THE book on salmon fishing with a fly. The Salmon Fisher's Journal takes you deep inside one of the greatest angling minds of this or any generation. Will you catch more salmon (and steelhead) because you've read Jay Nicholas' book? Certainly. But that is hardly the point. Buy this book if, like me, you aspire to live, breathe, and dream the tidal forces of Pacific salmon."

Early praise from Todd Tanner - Senior Editor & Fly Fishing Columnist at Sporting Classics Magazine

“Thankfully, there are still experts who see things clearly, and who share opinions tempered by wisdom and understanding. (Jay) writes beautifully, and not only about techniques and tackle, but also about the world that salmon help define and the people who are drawn, inexorably, to these great fish. If you care about salmon, and about salmon anglers, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.”
 

 

The Backstory  . . . . in Jay's words

"Salmon Fisher's Journal reveals the secretive story of flyfishing for Chinook in the estuaries of Oregon, with references to the fishery of Northern California. Writing this book — sharing these stories — is my calling. From 2003 through 2015 I fished, tied flies, sorted photos, sketched, and accumulated memories about the people, places, tactics, and culture surrounding flyfishing for Chinook on the West Coast. I recorded facts and impressions gleaned through research, personal observation, and stories told by friends—framed by my obsession with the kings and the fly rod."

A Secretive Fishery

"I've wrestled with an unwritten, ethereal code of Chinook fly anglers: keep it to yourself. Keep it secret. Don't spill the beans. Don't sell out.  We have something good here, and it's best to keep it private. Just go fishing and shut up. Telling the story can only bring ruin upon the fishery. This unwritten code leaves me conflicted. I'm convinced that this book represents an honorable human tradition of storytelling—passing on knowledge, ethics, and culture to successive generations. Still, each day, I find myself weighing the consequences of telling—versus not telling—over and over."

The author's  haunting admission from the preface sets the stage for nearly two hundred thousand words that unfold throughout the course of Salmon Journal. Yin and Yang. Dedication and obsession. Science. Wanting. Having. Triumph. Anguish. Discovery. Loss. It's all here, and more. Yes, the Salmon Journal contains plenty of "how-to" guidance. And still, the realities of a hostile angling landscape and a largely unpredictable species will confront  each angler with significant challenges as they explore this fishery.

Salmon Fisher’s Journal is quite unparalleled in the angling literature—inspired by and dedicated to Chinook salmon and anglers who pursue them with a fly rod. Novice or expert, if you love fish, fishing, and people who fish, you’ll be fascinated with these stories.

The Author

The author  (a retired salmon scientist) has produced a dozen books, featuring fly tying & fishing, angling humor & history, poetry, salmon science, & conservation, and art. Salmon Fisher's Journal is unlike any book ever written about Chinook and Chinook fly fishing. This book represents Jay's master-work, a tribute to Chinook salmon and salmon angling—past, present, and future.

 

Salmon Fisher's Journal: The Details

  • Limited run, first edition, signed & numbered by the author
  • Hardbound set of 2 books (250 plus pages each)
  • Foreword by angling legend Trey Combs
  • Hundreds of the author's color photo images
  • More than 50 black and white ink-pen sketches by the author
  • Salmon fishing culture, tactics, flies, passion, obsession and more. 
  • 13 years of fishing journal entries - from shorthand notes to essays. 

We need your support: 

Our rewards offer opportunities to show your support of Jay's effort to publish Salmon Fisher's Journal. Here's how you can help:

  • A simple $10 contribution shows your support and says thanks
  • Show your support - receive 6 premium flies tied by the author
  • Show your support and receive an original ink sketch by the author
  • Order a book on PRESALE (significant savings)
  • Order a DELUXE EDITION (limited to just 50 sets)
  • Order a 5 book bundle at wholesale (clubs & shops).
  • Order the book and go fishing with Jay 
  • Support the project as a Journal FOUNDER (Credited in the book)
  • Be one of two Journal CO-PRODUCERS (Prominently credited in the book + trip)

Our Production Team (100% Volunteer)

We are blessed to have the donated support of talented people volunteering time and professional expertise to transform the manuscript into a polished, collector's quality, limited edition book. All of the individuals below are working on Salmon Fisher's Journal because they believe in the book, with 100% of their time, effort and experience being offered gratis. 

Al is a Native Oregonian, fisherman, father, writer and creative director. He works for agencies and creative shops across the Northwest on brands like YETI Coolers, Filson, Gerber Gear, Nike, Patagonia and Ford.
With over decade of experience in the outdoor industry, Beda was an associate producer on the ground breaking documentary DamNation. She is currently a producer at the highly esteemed agency - Instrument. 
Claiborne is a fine artist with a background in design. She, her husband and their two dogs are currently stationed in Park City, Utah where she heads up the marketing and communications for one of the city's most established non-profits - The Kimball Arts Center.  
Jess is a longtime steelheader, cinematographer, editor and creative filmmaker. He has made films for clients including Poler, Nike and Converse.   
Scott is an angler and commercial photographer who has shot editorial and product for Filson, Mercedes Benz, Nordstrom, Gilt Group and Adidas. 


Our Pre-Campaign Supporters

Our fund raising goal is smaller because of the behind-scenes support we have received, making this venture far less daunting. We have been blessed to be supported in tangible and intangible ways by so many — including the individuals and entities listed here. We offer out sincere thanks to:

Our gratitude to our friends and fellow anglers.

Frank and Nick Amato, Donald Barnes, Bruce Berry, Ed Bowles, Doug Brutaco, Morten Bundergard, Kerry Burkheimer, Chris Daughters, Stan and Debbie Davis, Jeff Coffey, George Cook, Trey Combs, Jim Coon, Larry Cullens, Justin Coupe, Andrew Dickinson, Kevin Ferguson, Michael Gorman,  Jack and Jon Harrell, Troy Haselip, Jon Hazelett, Jeff and Katherine Hickman, Pat Hoglund, Bob Hooton, Will Johnson, Bruce and Joe Koffler, John Leach, Joel LaFollette, John Larison, Josh Linn, Blake Merwin, Jeff Mishler, Todd Moen, David Moryc, Eric Neufeld, Norm Norlander, Ben Paull, Enrico Puglisi, Jeremy Quinlan, Rob Perkin, Tim Rajeff, Guido Rahr, Marlin Roush, Rob Russell, Dick Sagara, Greg Senyo, James Shaughnessy, Marty & Mia Sheppard, Brian Silvey, Randy Stetzer, Joe Sugura, Matt Supinski, Todd Tanner, Jim Terborg, Marcos Vergara, Sam Wilkes

Risks and challenges

Risk One: The overall lift of producing a 500+ page book.

Solution One: The book's writing has been completed, sketches have been drawn and photos have been taken. The full manuscript is complete and needs to be reviewed and proofread in preparation for final design and layout decisions. All photo images and sketches are in the process of editing for optimum print representation and placement within the book. Using our talented team and a hired proofreader we'll divide and conquer. Handling the challenges one step at a time.

Risk Two: Print quality is crucial to this project.

Solution Two: Our work is focused on delivering "The Salmon Journal" as a collector's quality set of books. We've spared no detail associated with the entire chain of work needed to transform manuscript to printed book, including quality control throughout the publication process. We will review physical proofs of the books (before approving the print-run) to verify image clarity, color representation, binding, covers, and overall quality. This book is almost 2 decades in it's creation and we're exercising a stringent level of due diligence to ensure that the print run meets our expectations. We will be working closely with a highly regarded, long established Canadian printer to ensure that our finished product meets our high standards.

Risk Three: Shipping rewards to backers is a challenge.

Solution Three: We will ship all our rewards via USPS Priority Mail. The set of books will be packaged carefully and be tracked via USPS. We will work hard to securely ship all our rewards to our backers and have researched and evaluated our best options that provide delivery certainty and cost effectiveness.

Risk Four: Sticking to our schedule.

Solution Four: All members of our production team have a solid track record for delivering quality product on time. All rewards for our backers (aside from the actual book) have been created and are on hand. Sketches and flies are ready to ship. There will be additional communication needed to confirm the dates of hosted fishing trips, but Jay is committed to finding mutually agreeable dates that will coincide with prime fishing opportunities. We pride ourselves in clear communication throughout the entire process.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Support Salmon Journal Publication

    Show your support and say "Thank You" for the hundred plus videos Jay has produced and offered up for free while writing Salmon Fisher's Journal. Your modest contribution here will help meet our fundraising goal and will be recognized on a thank you post on the author's blog - Fishing with Jay.

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    6 Salmon/Steelhead Flies tied by Jay

    Show your support of the Journal and receive 6 modern tube flies tied by Jay Nicholas, representing a range of Jay's favorite color combinations and styes for salmon & steelhead. All are proven pleasers inspired by decades fishing the Oregon coast.
    FREE SHIPPING INCLUDED

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    6 Salmon Clousers tied by Jay Nicholas

    Show your support of the Journal and receive 6 contemporary salmon Clousers tied by Jay Nicholas, representing a range of his favorite colors in sizes suitable for salmon (especially chinook) in Jay's home waters and around the world.
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    Original Ink Sketch by Jay Nicholas

    Show your support of the Journal and receive one original ink-pen sketch on heavy watercolor paper, signed by the artist. Suitable for matting and/or framing. Jay will select a sketch for you from his collection. These sketches are literally one-of-a-kind and vary in sizes from about 6x8 to 8x10.
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    "Early Bird Special" PRE-ORDER

    The first 50 PRE-ORDERS will receive one set (2 volumes) of "Salmon Fisher's Journal" at this special rate to reward participants for their early show of support.
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    One Set: Salmon Fisher's Journal

    You will receive one set (2 volumes) of "Salmon Fisher's Journal".
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    Two Sets: Salmon Fisher's Journal

    You will receive two sets (2 volumes) of Salmon Fisher's Journal.
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    One Deluxe Set - Salmon Fisher's Journal

    (1) One signed, numbered, personalized set, Salmon Fisher's Journal (Limited to Numbers 11 - 60).
    (2) One original Nicholas ink-pen sketch related to or included in the Journal.
    (3) One signed, felted card with two Chinook flies.
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    Shop / Club Special - 5 sets of SFJ

    You will receive five (2-volume) sets of Salmon Fisher's Journal at our lowest rate for your shop, tying club or angler's community.
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    2017 Estuary Fishing - Jay & Jack

    (1) Jay will host you with Jack Harrell for a day on the Nestucca estuary fly fishing for spring or fall Chinook. Jay and Jack will show you how it's done and provide coaching.
    (2) One standard set of Salmon Fisher's Journal.
    (3) You are welcome to overnight at Jay's family cabin. The trip will be scheduled with consideration of water conditions, fish runs, and mutual availability.

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    2017 Estuary Fishing - Jay & Rob Russell

    (1) Jay will host you with Rob Russell for a day on a north coast estuary fly fishing for spring or fall Chinook. Jay and Rob will show you how it's done and provide coaching.
    (2) One standard set of Salmon Fisher's Journal.
    (3) You are welcome to overnight at Jay's family cabin. The trip will be scheduled with consideration of water conditions, fish runs, and mutual availability.

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    2017 Dory Fishing with Jay

    (1) Jay will host you and another angler in a Pacific City Fly Fishing Dory with John Harrell. You'll target Pacific black rockfish, lingcod, and coho (depending on regulations) with fly rods. You'll round out the exciting adventure by pulling crab pots with the real prospect of filling your cooler.
    (2) One standard set of Salmon Fisher's Journal.
    (3) You are welcome to overnight at Jay's family cabin before you fish. Timing of this trip will depend on surf conditions and mutual availability.

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    Founder Credit

    (1) You will be recognized as a FOUNDER on the title page of Salmon Fisher's Journal.
    (2) One Deluxe Set of the Journal (#3 - #10)
    (3) One original Nicholas Ink-pen sketch of a Chinook salmon.
    (4) One set of circa 1990 flies tied by Jay. Each of these sets was placed in a 6.5" x 8.5" glass covered display box (Riker Specimen Mount), signed and dated. These fly sets are rare, are more than 25 years old, and each features patterns that were one of Jay's specialties.

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    Co-Producer Credit

    Each CO-PRODUCER will:
    (1) Be recognized as Journal "Co-Producer" on the title page.
    (2) Fly fish for Chinook with Jay from his Rocky Mountain Trout Boat in an Oregon estuary.
    (3) Receive a Deluxe Set of the Salmon Journal (#1 and #2 are reserved for Co-Producers) of the limited print run).
    (4) Receive one original Nicholas Ink-pen sketch plus a signed, felted card with 3 chinook flies tied by Jay.
    (5) Receive a signed copy of the original proof manuscript of the Salmon Journal.
    (6) Receive an invitation to overnight at Jay's family cabin before you fish.
    (7) Receive a rod that Jay has fished for chinook in the estuary, plus one of Jay's vintage Pflueger Medalist 1498 salmon fly reels. These personal mementos recognize your extraordinary role in supporting publication of the Salmon Journal.

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Funding period

- (30 days)