Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Vocabulary

Compiled here is an alphabetical list of terms you may hear me mention throughout my blog. I will link words back to this page for reference and add as I see fit.

Attractors: Fly patterns that are bright, high floating and meant to grab a fish’s attention

Bin Appeal: When a fly pattern is made to catch more fisherman than fish, it’s said to have bin appeal. These flies are usually ultra-realistic and perhaps inconvenient to fish with.

Bird’s Nests: A gnarly tangle of fly line on the reel that requires a lot of time and patience to fix.

Boat buckles: A substitute for a strap, boat buckles clamp on the sidewall of a drift boat and crank down on the trailer.

Bruiser(s): A big fish or multiple big fish.

Buggy: A fly is said to be “buggy” when it looks and acts much like a real bug it is trying to imitate.

Dubbing: A fine material of synthetic fibers or natural hairs that is used to build the body of a fly.

Dubbing brush: A tool used to pick out dubbing on a fly to give it more volume in the water.

Dubbing rope: A thick rope of dubbing that forms on the tying thread when applying it to the fly.

Fibers: Individual pieces of material that help to build up a feather.

Floatant: A spray or paste applied to the fly, line, or indicator that helps keep it dry and float in the water.

Fly pattern: A recipe on how to tie a specific fly to be used for fly fishing

Hopper: A short name for the insect known as the grasshopper.

Indicator: Basically a small bobber used for fly fishing that attaches to the leader and detects strikes.

Materials: Various feathers, synthetics, hairs, threads, wires, etc. used by fly fly tiers to tie fly patterns.

“On-the-reel”: Meaning that you are going to fight a fish using the reel to actually reel them in, rather than pulling them in with line alone.

Parachute wing: “The name ‘parachute fly’ is attached to flies in which the hackle is tied round a projection affixed to the top of the hook near the eye so that the hackle is affixed horizontally across the hook. The hook is covered in the manner of an open umbrella.”

Pond Hopping: Moving around and fishing several different ponds in a single day.

Post: Serves as the material for which to wrap the hackle around when forming a parachute.

Schlappen: Types of”long, webby feathers [that] breath life into any streamer pattern once they begin to billow and undulate underwater.”

Scud(s): Freshwater shrimp commonly found in slow-moving creeks and rivers, and still-water lakes.

Scud back: A somewhat translucent and stretchy-latex material that helps to form the back shell of freshwater shrimp patterns and wing cases on various nymph patterns.

Sighter: A material added to a fly pattern to aid the angler while tracking his or her fly on the water. Usually a bright color that contacts well against a dark background.

Size […] :In reference to the size of hook used for a fly pattern i.e. “Size 12”

Strike indicator: Essentially a bobber, but used for fly fishing. Attached to the line, they “indicate” when a fish has taken the fly below the surface of the water where we cannot see it.

Surface Film: Very top layer of water in a river, lake or creek. It is “the property of a liquid by which it acts as if its surface is a stretched elastic membrane.”

Tippet: The very end of your line/leader system that directly ties to your fly (flies).

Transition Zone(s): Where the bottom of a river or lake drops off and becomes deeper. Usually indicated by a darkening or loss-of-sight of the bottom of the river or lake.

Tying vise: A tool used by fly tiers where the hook is placed in a small vice to be held in place while the tier attaches various materials.

Whip-finishing: The act of securing the thread on the fly so that it doesn’t unravel. Is usually done with a whip-finishing tool.

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