What is a Stinger Hook? February 22, 2011

Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, February 22, 2011.

Not to worry,  fellow fly fishing addicts.  More questions and dictionary-precise glossary-definitions related to the insanity of fly fishing for salmon, steelhead, trout, carp, smallies, Atlantic Salmon, Tarpon, Bluegill, bonefish, boneheads, and Blue Sharks will follow, but not for awhile.  This is the last installment, until the next of blogosphere inquiries  inspires a rant.  Meanwhile, here goes.

    Q:  What do winter steelheaders eat? 

    A:  Following up on the recent post on stomach contents of winter steelhead, one blog reader asked what winter steelhead anglers eat, suggesting that such information not be based on direct examination of guts.  Nice call. Recently, the above digitally photographed food matter was observed near a winter steelhead fly fisher.  This is a bit of a reach to conclude that said angler would actually have eaten this grilled cheese, but hey, it’s possible, and at least as informative as the other answers posed to Blogosphere questions.

    Q:  What is a “Little Joe” pram?

    A:  This is an apparent reference to young Joe Koffler, son of Bruce Koffler, of Koffler (duh) Boats in Eugene Oregon.  Joe has never, in my knowledge, been referred to as Little Joe.  He is however, younger than his dad and they do make great fly fishing prams, so perhaps therefore follows the reference to a Little Joe pram.  Dunno.

    Q:  What is a Stinger?

    A:  The sharp poison-laced thingy protruding from the rear end of a bee, wasp, or similar bug likely to be found in the foot of one’s GoreTex waders each time one slips his or her toes into said waders in the morning before venturing forth to the river.  Also, a stinger is a fly hook that trails on a harness of string, Dacron, Fireline, Superbraid, dental floss, or barbed bite wire, for the express purpose of fooling a salmon or steelhead into thinking that it can get away with simply “nipping” at the tail of a swimming fly thereby getting the salmon or steelhead fly fisher all excited and drooling and such forth without getting an actual hook tangled in afore mentioned fish’s mouth.

    Q:  What does “Peril” refer to regarding steelhead fishing?

    A:  The well-known and oft fished Purple Peril steelhead fly has been around in many derivative forms and does indeed pose a “peril” to any steelhead within view of this fly.  Not that the fish will be caught; just that the fly might make the fish laugh so hard that it flops out of the water and the fly fisher pounces on it.  Also, peril is the condition faced by any human; man, woman, or child, once the steelhead fly fishing bug hits home.

    Q:  What are Plastic bead flies?

    A:  The nasty things you refer to are not flies. Plastic beads do not, under any circumstances, qualify as a fly.  Not even.

    Q:  What does Gape mean?

    A:  To let one’s mouth hang open in wonderment at some of the crazy questions people pose to the Blogosphere.  Also, the term gape refers to the distance, measured in angstroms, between the hook shank and the hook point.  For hook manufacturers like Tiemco, this feature is standardized and replicable between all the various hook models and sizes: as in, one can recognize a size 2 hook in any model, pretty much.  For Gamakatsu hooks, it seems that the hook designers were ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms because a #2 Glo bug Hook placed side by side with a #2 Tarpon hook will leave you scratching your head in wonderment.

    Q:  What is “Real” fly fishing?

    A:  Any fly fishing is “real” fly fishing.  So long as such practice is engaged with string, pole, and any fly, which excludes use of plastic beads, jigs, and pink rubber worms as  fly substitutes.

    Nicholas’ Fly Fishing Glossary, February 22, 2011

9 thoughts on “What is a Stinger Hook? February 22, 2011

  1. To be a successful steelheader, (the meaning of successful used in this context is debatable ~ I had a grab err maybe it was a rock but it felt good…..), does one always have to eat at such a fine white napkin establishment when consuming Grilled cheese w/ a side of ketchup?

    1. Space Needle, Seattle WA. The kids meal is like seven hundred bucks, tip not included. But it was one fine Grilled Cheese and fries. JN

  2. Can you please tell me why you are SO against plastic beads? Too effective? Too inexpensive? Or are you just above it because you are such an elitist?

    1. Elitist? Ouch! No. Not elitist. Like Jigs and Pink rubber worms, plastic beads are just not a fly. So fishing a Plastic bead with a fly rod does not really constitute “fly” fishing. Then too, it would not really be “fly fishing” because a “fly” is unlikely to grab a plastic bead because, well, just because. With all this sociopolitical justification, I should add that in the hands and on the lines of expert plastic bead anglers, these lures (not flies) are indeed extremely effective. I am not opposed to fishing effective gear. Before I ascended to the hallowed halls of “swing till you die even if you never catch a fish all season long” I quite enjoyed the pleasure of fishing jigs, spoons, spinners, plugs, bait, and yes, pink rubber worms. Chance has it that I never quite learned how to fish Plastic beads before my spiritual transformation into a stubborn swing steelhead fisher.

      Specifically, I am not at all against fishing plastic beads. Just don’t think that plastic beads qualify as a fly. Now, if you would fish a chenille or yarn egg under an indicator, i would call that a fly and you would be fly fishing. And further to make it even sillier, if you fished a chenille egg on the swing i would call that swinging for steelhead.

      And are plastic beads too inexpensive? Absolutely! How do you think our economy will ever recover from the current state if fly anglers get in the habit of going fishing, and actually catching fish, using only about a penny on beads and a buck on hooks? Come on, please, we all should be fishing with lady Amherst Center Tail feather Intruders that cost about $27 bucks a pop. Now that’s how we are going to jump start the economy.

      And finally, i assume that you were not intending mean-spirited by using with the term “elitist.” Indeed, some anglers consider themselves to be superior human beings because they do not fish Plastic beads. I do not consider myself in this camp. And lord knows, i hope i never implied that folks who do fish plastic beads don’t have fun (they do), catch fish (they do), or are bad people (they most definitely are not).

      BTW, if you would kindly send me an assortment of your favorite plastic beads along with clearly written instructions regarding how to fish same, I would be pleased to give the afore mentioned thing-a-ma-jigs a soak. Just don’t tell a soul.


    1. Hold all horses. THIS IS A FLY! See, it has fly tying materials surrounding the plastic bead; therefore the bead is now only a component of the FLY rather than posing as the fly in entirety, which of course would entail foul play. Call me crazy, but this is indeed a fly. No kidding. Thanks muchly for the clarification.

      1. Only reason i chimed in was because your post had made me feel like an scumbag for tying with plastic beads. Honestly never thought about someone fishing a plastic bead by itself.

      2. JD: really really sorry for the misinterpretation. I never intended to insult anyone who fishes plastic beads. Yes, the bead is pegged to a leader about 6-12″ from a bare hook and dead drifted for big trout and steelhead. Deadly. Sometimes involves boxes and boxes of individually hand painted beads of various sizes to mimic fresh or long dead salmon eggs that trout or steelhead are feeding on. Fishing bare plastic beads requires advanced skills, which I have not mastered. And when I spout off about egg patterns or plastic beads or worms or such, it is with tongue in cheek and a laugh about to burst forth. Some of my best friends fish plastic beads. The fly you showed is, in my opinion (but then who really cares) an actual fly. If someone does call you a mean name because of the way you fish, that person is not a nice person, and should be ignored, I think. Hope this makes sense.

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