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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Alternative Fly Fishing Dictionary and Alaska Speak

Fly Fishing, like all great sports/hobbies/obsessions, is littered with its own collection of words and phrases that have evolved to describe specific circumstances or a particular event or item.

I found this, "Alternative Fly Fishing Dictionary" featuring some different interpretations of some of our best known words and phrases at

The Alternate Fly Fishing Dictionary

Trout Bum – An unfortunate affliction that only seems to target guides who sit in a drift boat all day

Mending the fly line – A flat-fisher’s nightly ritual after casting around coral heads and mangroves all day

Scuds – What you get if you drink the wrong water in Mexico

Belly in the line – an impedance to casting often caused by lodge meals or locally, bacon cheese burgers.

Wide Gape – The fully extended positions of your upper and lower jaws after losing that 10lb steelhead/insert your own disaster

Arbor – That place where the boats are parked

FishPimp – The guide in the 70’s flares and floral shirt

Single-haul – A destination that is only one flight away

Double-haul – What do you think?

Deceiver – That guy who sold you his leaky waders as “nearly new”

Tippet – A small financial reward for services rendered

Weakfish – The runt of the litter

Gink – The sound made by a bead-head hitting your fly rod

Pescador – What you must pass through to go fishing in Mexico

Crazy Charlie – What you get for turning up late when they allocate the guides

Bonefish – Any species that elicits a strong physical reaction from male fly anglers

Tarpon – See above – as in if an angler shouts “I’ve got a tarpon” you’d better hope he’s wearing loose fitting pants

Weight Forward – Typical mid-Western angler with a centre of balance issue

Spey – Self-castration by constant immersion in icy water

Alaskan Speak

Here's a guide to Alakan Fishing speak also from

There are appplications here in Northern California,

Tiddler - noun. A particularly small fish. “I tried to get my flesh fly in front of Walter [see below], but a tiddler grabbed it first.”

Blub – verb. To briefly break the surface of the water, as done by a big steelie “I knew I was about to hook up when I started seeing all those fish blub.”

Mega – adj. Big, many, or extremely. “That king was mega!” “There were mega silvers stacked up at Zoo Bar.” “Billy was mega frustrated when his brother kept catching fish behind him.”

Gagger - n. A big fish.

Slab – n. A big fish, particularly one with big shoulders.

Pig - n. A big fish.

Choker - n. A big fish.

Toad – n. A big fish.

Hawg - n. A big fish.

Torpedo - n. A big fish.

Gack - n. A gross, slimy substance. ”I need to get this gack off my hands before dinner.”

Walter, Jerry, Jethro, et al - n. A specific particularly large fish, usually a rainbow trout, or a mythical giant fish. “I know that Walter lives down by Puppy Bar, and I’m going to try to catch him today.”

Tumbler - n. A spawned-out salmon tumbling downriver. ”I got gack all over my waders when I got hit by that tumbler.” See also Chumbler.

Chumbler - n. A spawned-out chum salmon tumbling downriver. “There were chumblers everywhere– flesh flies worked good.”

Critter - n. A resident fish (e.g. trout,). “My arms are tired – let’s go fish for some critters.”

Critter - v. To move with stealth. “I crittered my way along the high bank, looking for Big Jerry.”

Crittery - adj. Shaky, unsure. “He must have had a rough night – he looked awfully crittery on the river this morning.”

Farm - v. To lose a fish once hooked, usually due to angler error. “I can’t believe I farmed Jethro this morning.”

Grocery hole - n. The gaping mouth of a giant protein-fed rainbow trout. “You should have seen the grocery hole on the choker that ate my mouse yesterday.”

Got any additions and I'll add to the list.


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