Snow Belly

Note:  these are entries not contained in the glossary currently under construction that can be viewed on the Caddis fly Blog.

http://oregonflyfishingblog.com/category/fly-fishing-glossary/

Adjective.  This is an elegant term that helps cut through the bull when two salmon or steelhead anglers are describing a fish that one of them has caught and released recently.  Commonly, these anglers would use terms like chrome, mint bright, or even chrome-on-chrome.  These are all descriptors intended to indicate that the fish they caught were really-really fresh from the ocean.

This is all well and good.  Usually, no independent verification is available to ascertain the veracity of these claims.  Sometimes, exaggeration is a factor in these discussions.

Just this season, I my friend Jimmy used a term I don’t remember ever hearing to classify the ultra-fresh condition of a chinook that we were in the process of releasing.

Snow Belly.


Wow.

The term is pure, simple, and unambiguous, as far as I’m concerned.

This henfish had a belly that was pure-snow-white.  She was fresh, clean, and perfect. The sea lice she carried had the longest most translucent tails you can imagine.  I cried little tears of joy as I held her – and then released her to the river.

I suppose that others may bastardize this language.  I hope not.  I hope not to hear about salmon that are snow-on-snow bellied, pure-as-the-driven-snow bellied, or blinding snow bellied.

The term is perfect as is.  I thank my friend Jim for sharing this vision with me, and for coaching me into this wonderful fish.  This is a precious memory.

JN

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