Fly Fishing Glossary review by Marty Sheppard

Fly Fishing Glossary: AKA Book of Revelation
Fly Fishing Glossary: AKA Book of Revelation

Here is a sample of the stuff that caused my unbiased friend, Marty Sheppard, to laugh out loud and blog about the Fly Fishing Glossary, also known as the Fly Fishing Book of Revelation.

If you click on the link in this sentence you will see what Marty posted on Metalheads about the book.  Thanks for your support Marty.

I quote from Book of Revelation.  Remember, you can order direct from Amazon or by contacting me here in the internet ha ha for a personalized copy – or contact your local independent fly shop and ask them to carry the dang book!

Improved Clinch Knot
The clinch knot is a great knot, period, end of story. Naturally, however, some attention-seeking angler decided to make waves and fancy-up on the original knot so they devised this so called improvement. I say nonsense. If you fish 15 pound Maxima Ultragreen leader with a size 12 Adams, you will never have a problem with the basic clinch knot breaking off on a twelve inch trout; therefore you have no need for the improved clinch.

See Frenzy knot.

Independent Fly Shop

In the good old days, independent, locally owned fly shops were sprinkled all across the country. Sadly, many have dried up, strangled by big box stores and the imaginary lure of lower prices. Some fly anglers practice the despicable behavior of spending hours, days, and weeks chatting with the employees in their local fly shop, soliciting advice regarding what sort of rods, reels, lines, and so on would be best for their intended fishing parameters. These slugs then make an Internet order from some monstrous soulless anonymous entity because they can save twenty-seven cents on a spool of thread. Then when they receive the wrong size fly line or their rod breaks in seven places and the reel is set up for upside down retrieve, they take the stuff into the local fly shop and ask for exchanges, free shipping for warranty repair, and a cup of coffee to boot. Truly despicable.

These are the same guys who spend half their day on the Internet chatting over how to save three cents on a 25-pack of hooks. Most of these fellows spend little time actually tying flies or fly fishing. For these types, the hunt for a few pennies savings is more thrilling than actually tying a fly or trying to catch a fish. Go figure. They have to resort to making up imaginary stories about tying flies or catching fish. Then these same guys bitch and moan when their local fly shop goes out of business because the owner’s profit margin dropped from thirteen cents per hour to less than seven cents an hour and his wife forced him to close the doors because the fly shop was clearly nothing but an excuse to throw cash down the toilet.

Then what? Ha, ha on these guys. No more local fishing reports from real people, no more in-town experienced advice on tackle selection, no one to steer you towards the best fly poo for your particular color of fly line. All they have is some distant voice on the phone or an imaginary chat persona on the Internet.

By the way, there’s nothing, repeat, nothing wrong with Internet sales, if they originate from an honest-to-goodness locally owned fly shop. There are indeed a few of these fly shops still alive, though their number is shrinking quickly. The long term benefits of supporting locally owned store-front fly shop is the relationships and community provided by a place where friends can hang out, drink coffee, and share stories. These are the equivalent of the old-time wood-floor hardware stores where you could buy nails by the pound and get three size-sixteen wing-nuts for five-cents a nut – most of those places are gone too.

So get yer ass down to your local fly shop and support their business, OK?

Incidentally, experience has conclusively proved that female fly fishers NEVER engage in this sort of behavior. Never. The moral standards of women are far too high to behave in such an unscrupulous manner. Thank you ladies.

Now for another term . . . ..

This term is typically employed in a complementary context to indicate positive, desirable, and tasty qualities. It can be confusing however, because a steak may be juicy and actually exude juice, a nine-hundred buck fly rod may also be referred to as a very juicy rod, whilst exuding no juice whatsoever. Flies may similarly be referred to as juicy (see Juicy Bug), Beef Jerky may be juicy, and a Saracione 4.25” fly reel is certainly juicy, even when sitting all polished up in a Man Room display case.

Rest assured that the term juicy is usually a good thing and explore the context to decide if any actual liquid matter is involved.

Rare exceptions to the overall positive connotation of this adjective exist, and one shall serve to make the point: juicy fart. This is indeed not good, especially when delivered within waders. Perhaps this is sufficient and the topic is now fully covered.


This is probably sufficient quotage for the time being.  Sales of Fly Fishing Book of Revelation have lagged behind my marketing hopes of selling one book a month, and I need to earn enough to buy another bag of cat food soon, so I’m pumping this in hopes someone out there will take pity or find the book’s crazy approach sufficiently attractive as have the 8 other readers who have given it a 5 star rating on Amazon.  I assure you that these are all upstanding citizens who are entirely unbiased in their acclaim for the glossary.

Have fun with this folks. This book contains of over 340 pages of serious, crazy, funny, true, fictional, and amazing information that you will never find in any other book about fly fishing, guaranteed.  Please do not let my therapist see this book…….

Best to you all,

Jay Nicholas, May 28, 2015.


Rivers Without Salmon – July 8, 2007

Rivers without salmon?

Of late, I was thinking about why I fly fish for salmon.  Amongst all my rationalization, I was trying to convince myself that catching salmon onthe fly was really secondary to the hunt, the pursuit, to time on the water, dawn and dusk in the estuaries, the low clear water of autumn and the gentle river raise that follows a spring freshet.

I just about had myself convinced that all these things were enough, that it didn’t really matter whether I ever caught another salmon in my life.  fter all, I reasoned, I have fished days and weeks on end without so much as a tug.  Why not whole seasons without hooking a king?  I would still have my art to practice, the river sounds and smells.

Then it came to me, and it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.  I can devote those days and weeks on end as long as I have the genuine hope of hooking a salmon.  I always see salmon, at least every other day or so, sometimes every day.  I may or may not be able to draw the tug, but I have solace knowing that I am fishing among salmon.  My time on the estuaries and rivers is special because I know that salmon live there.  I know that I have a chance to catch a fish.  I can see their wakes, see them rolling, glimpse the  shadow of salmon in pools.

What is it about salmon fishing that I love, if not the salmon?  could I love just the rivers, just the waters?  As much as I love swinging a fly through the water, my ritual would be empty, farcical, if I knew that no salmon were there to see my fly.

Returning season after season to familar places, exploring new pools and tide flats, what joy would that hold if not for the salmon?

None.  None at all.  learning the proper tides to fish, the salmon’s habits, the flies they will take, the lines to fish, how the weather and river flows affect their movements – all of this would be irrelevant.  The anticipation of tying a fly, of planning a trip, of seeking the perfect anchor point – would be pointless if not for salmon beneath the waters.

So after all, it is not enough to feel the power in a good cast, focus on packing flies neatly  in  fly boxes, change lines at the end of a season, dream of a new rod, or be the first (or last) on the water.  None of the joys I feel while salmon fishing matter the slightest without the salmon beneath the surface.

I have been confused for years, thinking that loving the art of fly fishing could sustain me.  The art of the fly. Camaraderie and the weather and the river’s song.

Now I know with certainty, that the salmon are the ingredient that flows through everything else.  Without salmon, the rivers are uninteresting to me.  I acknowledge that this is irrational and unfair to the ecosystem that could still survive without salmon.

But still, rivers without salmon hold no interest to me.


Watcha Up to these days, huh?


1.  Went fishing and my friend Jim caught a beautiful hatchery spring chinook and a Kwikfish about half as long as the boat and Bandit wasn’t with us and it was great to be on the water with Jim after who knows how long an intermission man did I miss that dog and no, I didn’t really get a grab but I did get a jiggle which I took for a cutthroat trout but who really knows and then there was a sort of but not quite pull or almost a sort of something at the end of my swing that just might have been a salmon but I doubt it not like those solid how could that fish not have been hooked oh my gosh now I am excited no not even enough to get the adrenaline pumping but it did generate at lease five minutes of well it could possibly have been a salmon but I wouln not want to overstate it and….

2.  I went to eat a forbidden hamburger in Tillamook like I always order which is just the meat and ketchup on the bun and no cheese or anything else please and yes I got the fries too and then I got my meal and was eating the fries and drinking my caffeinated need to stay awake for the drive home and had not opened my burger box when all of a sudden I became aware of someone yelling at someone else behind the counter and it was the manager ripping up more than one person because there on the counter was a all meat ketchup only burger that some customer had returned because they wanted the mushroom cheese bacon burger and they sure didn’t want a meat and ketchup only burger that was for sure and then the criticism flowed completely around the staff back behind the counter about how there had been too many misakes and so and so was not happy and I was pretty sure that Mr. so and so was the manager because he was like all dressed up and looking angry and the hired help was scurring around with frowns on their faces and then withoug even opening up my burger box i walked back to the counter to smile at the scared little face standing quivering there and I said something like it was Ok and everyone makes mistakes but this scared person whispered about not wanting to get in more trouble with the manager and then there elapsed maybe 4 minutes of yelling and harassment and I just went back and sat down and finished my fries which I would have done anyway because I am a save the meat and ketchup on a bun for last anyway and then after a while it got like really quite and the slicked up manager came out all smiles and so forth and handed my corrected burger with his apologies and I was tempted to ask him to lay off the staff because I was pretty sure that they were doing as good as they could but no I just smiled at him and said thanks but it has been bothering me ever since and I wish I knew if saying something to him would have made him treat his staff better or if he would have been even meaner the next time and who really knows and man it is sure a high pressure job to work the counter at a fast food joint and …

3.  I tied a Silver Hilton with a grizzly hen cape, a Langtry Stone with a #2 Cree cape, and a Chinook Prawn with ingredients so secret that I have already forgotten what I used but here are the photos anyway and let me tell you that no matter how many flies a person may have tied in their lives it is tough to sit down and get it right after a many too many hiatus from the bench and the first version of each fly sucked so bad that I refused to photograph them and man is it strange in the new era of almost impossible to get saddle hackles like just a few monhs ago we could have any rooster feaher in any color we wanted but not now no sir indeed and try to get saddles for out Intruders but ha ha ha and like a Pik-yer-Poket must be about a 90 buck fly now just for the feathers and I remamber when I used to take these feathers for granted but now now not never again and what will the world be like if the women and men decide to wear cross cut rabbit in their hair gosh that would be crazy and then we would really be DOOMED as fly tyers and maybe I should stock up on pink and purple and black and blue rabbit strips and now that I think about it has anyone noticed how difficult it is to get Osrich these days and I think I am going to see if I can stock up on hen capes for my steelhead and Chinook collars before they dissappear too and …

4.  I watched a video I shot with Chris Daughters on how to tie one of Brian Silvey’s most awesome steelhead flies and my fly looked puny next to Brian’s but heck it was unrehearesed and Chris wouldn’t let me re-shoot the video and I know the fly would have cagught fish anyway and I do need to get in the groove again and ….

5.  Our two new family Kittens, Boomer and Baby Rollo are about twice the size when we got them 3 weeks ago these cute little creatures with each their own personalities are perfect examples of what love and constant attention and patience and hugs can do for people if they ever receive it but there are one heck of a mess of people who never in their whole life get treated with the love and patience and respect that these two cats have been and I am going to need to work extra this month hell every month to buy cat food not to mention Jackson being 12 and what on earth will College cost when he is ready to go and I sure hope I am still here then but probably by then I will be back to normal whatever normal is for me ahhhhh what the heck anyway, I’ll focus on the cat food first and then a few tackle items and maybe a WaterMaster and finally take some fishing destination trips like I honestly have planned and……

In conclusion:  does anyone know what this photo (below) shows?   Do you?

Thanks for all the encouraging notes my friends have sent me.  They mean more than I can express.   I just received my official diagnosis:  weird.  Textbook.  Quirky too.  Sustainable.  Count on periodic lapses into sputtering and drooling and definitely bingeing on various subjects including fly fishing, fly tying, and lord knows what.

BTW, it was wonderful to throw a shooting head on a 9 wt after 6 months.  Next up:  an honest grab!

Jay Nicholas, 23 May, 2011

Great Grabs: November 4, 2010

One of the places where I would like my family and friends to leave a pinch of my ashes.  Not too soon though.  May this be a place where salmon gather each year, long after you and I have passed on.

Great Grabs: November 4, 2010

Jay Nicholas, March 5, 2011

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal: Great Grabs – October 20, 2010

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal

Afternoon sun, bright king salmon rolling in the pool, a 300 gr., 30′ shooting head, and my trusty  Burkheimer 7115-4. Remember to keep a low rod angle, folks; this Spey rod makes an awesome delivery system to overhead cast shooting heads for king salmon.  Posted on January 28, 2011.  An enduring memory from my 2010 salmon season.


Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal: Great Grabs – October 18, 2010

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal:

Great Grabs – October 18, 2010


Just Another Day In Paradise: December 29, 2010

Just Another Day In Paradise: December 29, 2010

So here it is a 5 AM and the old cat is here beside me and I have my coffee and bunny grahams and somewhere in the world someone is going fly fishing for steelhead today even if it is through a twelve-inch hole in the ice around the great lakes but it has rained for how many days straight here so I have been catching up on home projects and I have been thinking and thinking all of these days about our runs of wild salmon and steelhead on the oregon coast plus wondering how the run of winter steelhead is gong to develop this year and what the ocean is going to do to our coho that stay close off the coast like the sea run cutthroat and how we see how the silvers are trending from year to year but cripes we have to assume that the harvest trout are in the  same ballpark as the coho smolts going to sea in any given year because they have to stay pretty close to shore like half pounders if they come back  after spending only three months at sea and yeah half pounder steelhead stay in the year-round-upwelling ocean off the Klamath and rogue unlike most of our blueback on the central and north coast and oh yeah I have been working on writing chapters for a really exciting book with my buddy who is all like obsessed with some passing piano wire fad and i am sure it has to be a fad because i don’t know about it and i know a lot and if i don’t know about it how could it be important oh sure i know this is silly because there is to much fishing crap out there and no i do not mean crap in a bad way but used the c-word just like saying there is a lot of really fine highly engineered fishing tackle and i just said crap because it was easier to write but not me because i am so totally into cute pink and yellow plastic doo-dads that are over packaged but man-oh-man are they fun for an OCD guy like me to organize in plastic tackle boxes but if managed properly OCD isn’t really a capital D for “disorder” but should be called OCA capital A for “advantage” oh like I was saying you know the 21 compartment boxes we keep our fly tying hooks in and ooooops the pro tube system 40/40 flexi tubes don’t fit in the 21 comp boxes even though the micro tubes do so will have to figure out what to do about that anyway the book is about steelhead flies  but not just about flies because that book has been done to death but about people and steelhead flies and the evolution of the fly tyer and the fly and the heart of the fly tyer and wow that reminds me about the heart of darkness Vietnam obscure reference and there are some really deep places in the hearts and minds of the most talented steelhead fly fishers and fly tyers who we both idolize and pity and how do we approach the really fascinating and terrifying aspects of the steelheader’s passion obsession ultra-focus if we want to keep it upbeat but hell let’s face it no one ever becomes great at anything without making sacrifices and the same is sure true with tying steelhead flies and wading belly-button-deep swinging flies in waters that may or may not hold  chrome side blue back slabs ready to grab a fly or say piss-up-a-rope and so of course steelhead people are just short of salmon people in terms of being complete whackos and then I get all off  on the life history of a fish that has been able to hang on in spite of all the hurt we have inflicted on the rivers and so i am going full tilt  and multi tasking on science writing about fly vises yeah i tied on a thompson model A for decades before i found a regal and then a dyna king and a renzetti and finally a nor vise but the thompson and the regal are sure rock solid hard maybe impossible to really beat and collar hackle materials like marabou and schlappen and how i get cranky when the feather stems get too thick just when i get to the best part of the hackle fibers and such reflecting on how important my family and friends are  to me and the some cool adventures I am going to have in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and every year until i have my next heart attack and get senile and can’t fish like i want and need to and crap-oh-hell and then i get depressed but then i decided to jam in some fun and tie three only three tube leeches but I want to call them tube intruders because that sounds cooler even though I know that my simple tubes don’t really qualify as genuine intruders oh shove-that because I can call them intruders if I damn well want to so there to distract me from the reality of life and the slimy condition of the human race killing the planet by tying Ok four but only four flies and then getting back to the computer winter steelhead flies and stuffing them into my new Eumer tube fly box and putting the cream and pink on the top left side with the shrimp pink and red row underneath and then the blue and purple row on the lower right with the full row of black on the upper right and that will give me two dozen tubes for a single box with trailer hooks in the lid and that should be good for most situations and these are all 4” rabbit and marabou leeches with light cones and Eumer should make a longer box with two rows of needles for my 6” tubes but I guess i will just have to carry the big boys coiled up in a Copenhagen can instead anyway i have been really busy and hope your day is going well too and when I look at the picture at the top of this rant I remember the evening I spent with the salmon this fall and I can imagine them under the surface of this pool even though they would have nothing to do with me and I can feel the tears starting to flow because it is such magic to be on a river with these magnificent fish and god I am afraid that I may not have many more seasons and of course I take my family and friends for granted but they have come to understand that my love for the salmon is what it is and I couldn’t be me if I walked away from the rivers and the fish and oh-boy I have probably gone way to far already so top of the mornin’ to ya all – – – –


Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal: Great Grabs – October 17, 2010

Jay Nicholas’ Salmon Fisher’s Journal:

Great Grabs – October 17, 2010

Thirty Revelations from Nicholas’ 2010 Salmon Season (#2-30)

In case you don’t remember (why would you remember?) I said recently that I would share ten or so revelations from my 2010 salmon season. That post included an introduction and the first of the “ten” season’s revelations.

I continued trying to figure out what, if anything, I had learned throughout the year. and Before I knew it there were thirty notes on my list. So instead of drawing this “revelation” thing out forever, I just decided to blurt out all this wisdom (ha ha) in one session.

Here ya go.

Revelation 2:  I have issues with caffeine, in addition to fly fishing and fly tying.

Revelation 3: Friends don’t let friends start fly fishing for Chinook.

Revelation 4: Silvers? What silvers?  Where?  Huh?

Revelation 5:  Friends don’t let heart-attack survivors eat deep-fried everything at the coast for a week straight.  This applies to missing trips to the gym.  This includes multiple road-trips and eating cookies from the coffee kiosk at 5 AM.  And French fries from Denny’s.  And venison sausage.  And “just one bag” of Lay’s Potato Chips.

Revelation 6:  Never brave T-Bay in a 50 knot gale without wearing an actual life jacket.

Revelation 7:  Loud-mouth, drunk anglers are annoying people.

Revelation 7 (a):  Every loud-mouth drunk fishing for salmon on the coast has been fishing in the Nestucca, the Alsea, The Trask, The Elk, or whatever river, for at least fifty years and therefore has the right to behave in an outrageously uncourteous manner.

Revelation 8:  One should carefully evaluate the frequency of  30′ sneaker waves when preparing to make a run around the bluff at Elk River.

Revelation 9: The presence of 20-30′ swells usually means that the salmon fishing at the mouth of the Elk will suck anyway.

Revelation 10:  don’t book a reservation at the Shoreline when there are vacancies at Battle Rock.

Revelation 11: don’t admit to any salmon you might have caught to your shuttle driver, because “loose lips sink ships.”

Revelation 12:  Always ask your shuttle driver how the fishing has been on the drift you are planning to make.  The information, if any, provided by the shuttle driver must be evaluated to determine if it is accurate, refers to the current year or decade, or is intended to obfuscate your fishing intuition.  Ask anyway.

Revelation 13:  People who fly fish for Chinook in Oregon are sneaky.  Duh.

Revelation 14:  Chrome, fresh-from-the-salt Kings might not be in the mood to eat.

Revelation 15:  After 3 months double hauling shooting heads, time on the river swinging a fly with a two-hander sounds really appealing.

Revelation 15 (a):  I thought I would be able to take four months-off from fly fishing and save up credits to use during 2011 Salmon Season, but I have zero credits accumulated so far and am already plotting about how to get a few days on the water this winter and making two trips to BC in 2011.

Revelation 16:  Fly-fishing braggarts are soooooooo annoying.  (braggart: a loud arrogant boaster; one who talks immodestly or with excessive pride (earned or imaginary) about his or her past and current angling exploits).

Revelation 16 (a):  I have never met a lady fly-fishing Braggart.

Revelation 17:  Several salmon-fishing drunks are less annoying than  one fly-fishing braggart.

Revelation 17 (a):  Fly-fishing braggarts have caught so many thousands of chrome, monster Chinook salmon over the last forty or fifty years that it is clearly not worth their time to be fishing next to me, in whatever river we happened to be fishing on any given day I have met these fellows because we have caught nothing whatsoever on the day in question and it should have been a fish on every cast and ……….

Revelation 18: Harbor seals eat Chinook.  Regularly.  The Chinook we catch are often wearing fresh scars from close encounters with seals, scuff marks on their heads from hiding in brush piles, and (different topic) mostly healed-over hook-scars obtained in an ocean fishery.

Revelation 18 (a):  Chinook in a large estuary pool will still grab a fly, on occasion, even if a seal is somewhere in the pool.  Chinook in a small estuary pool have only one thing on their pea-brains – getting away from the seal.

Revelation 19: The world I see on the water is far more beautiful than my camera can ever record.

Revelation 20: People who fly fish for Kings with flies are sneaky.  This is not an accidental duplicate entry.  Google “Sneaky Pete”.  Ask Rob.

Revelation 21: I am pretty much drained, running on empty,  depleted of Comet and Boss flies to fish during 2011.  My friends will have to sharpen whatever rusty hooks they have left-over from past years donations.  2011 is gonna be slim for spare flies.  Deal with it.

Revelation 22:  I may sell my Pram.  Ouch.

Revelation 23:  I don’t know when to say when, most of the time. Duh.

Revelation 24:  Floating fly lines are vastly under-appreciated by estuary and tidewater salmon fishers.

Revelation 25:  Big Kings eat small flies.

Revelation 26:  At least a third of what I thought I understood about retrieve-speed when fishing for kings was horribly mis-guided.  Everything new I have learned about retrieve speed will probably not apply to 2011.  Salmon braggarts always know the correct retrieve speed to entice Chinook to the fly.

Revelation 27: Unquestionably, less is more when it comes to actually catching Chinook on a fly.

Revelation 27 (a):  Apparently, more is the only way to go when it comes to fly fishing for Chinook salmon.

Revelation 28: There is still a wilderness of un-explored or under-explored opportunity to fly fish for Chinook in Oregon bays.

Revelation 29:  We only have a little time here on this world, in this plane of existence, and shortly, any sign of our presence here will be washed away by the tide.

Revelation 30:  I hope my family understands that I really do love each of them more than I love salmon fishing even though it might not seem like that during salmon season which is pretty much all but few weeks each year.  I hope my fiends understand that my neglect is the consequence of a genetic predisposition to pay more attention to fly fishing and fly tying and salmon and steelhead and sea run cutthroat than to anything else.

Jay Nicholas; December 11, 2010