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.  If you do not live in ‘our’ world and even if you do, it is not always totally obvious what some of this strange language might mean.

Therefore fishing friends, I give to you the Alternative Fly Fishing Dictionary featuring some different interpretations of some of our best known words and phrases…

  • 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
  • Wide Gape – The fully extended positions of your upper and lower jaws after losing that 10lb bonefish/20lb 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
  • Mosca – Fly fishing’s greatest prize
  • 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
  • Debarb - De part of de hook that gets stuck in de finger.

Got your own suggestions?  Leave a comment and help us build the dictionary!

Hope you enjoyed them.

Paul Sharman.

(Originally written for and published on the Deneki Outdoors blog Dec 8, 2010)


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