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.


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

Product Loyalty, March 12, 2011

“Jay is a __________  Guy, you know.”


I overheard this comment a few months ago, uttered by a fly fishing industry rep.  The implication was that, hummmmm, actually, I don’t know exactly what the implication of that remark was.

Probably, it implied that I would actively promote __________ fly lines over __________, __________ or some other manufacturer’s fly line.  Maybe it implied that I should be shunned by someone who is a “__________ Guy” (or gal) and certainly by an “__________ guy” (or gal).

Let’s call BS on this, folks.

Here is what it true: I’m on the “Conservation Staff” for __________ Sports and __________, and __________.  I have a bunch of friends at __________.  I actively promote __________, feel almost like family there and would probably die if __________ closed their doors.  I support __________  __________ and make a lot of tutorial videos for the __________.

Now let’s see how those relationships affect my fishing and my views regarding other Oregon Independent fly shops.

The fly lines I fish certainly don’t exhibit a pattern of brand exclusivity.  I fish __________ Skagit Compact and Scandi Compact fly lines.  I am fishing the latest models of __________ Skagit Flight and Skagit Short fly lines.  I have fished the new __________ Skagit Extreme Multi Tip fly line.

Without exception, I have found Spey fly lines from __________, __________, and __________ that I am able to cast well and enjoy fishing.  Keep in mind that I am not one of the rare guys or gals who are actual, verifiable expert Spey casters; casting Wizards who can make any line work.  I am basically a “hack” Spey caster, I love it, I am learning and getting better all the time, but still probably represent a very average skill level in the two-hand world.  Ask Rob, Nate, or Jeff; they will agree, they have seen me cast.

This background is important because it means that an average Spey fisher can expect a Spey fly line made by __________, __________, and __________ will perform for him or her; it means that I am able to recommend any of these three fly line manufacturers and be frank about my recommendation.  I pay attention to the rod – line weight match more than to the manufacturer.  If a person is product-loyal to __________, or ________, or __________ , that’s fine with me, and I can recommend a fly line based on weight for any rod in any of these brands.

My Chinook fly lines include the full spectrum of __________, __________, and __________ lines.  Traditional Shooting heads by, and are loaded on an arsenal of fly reels stashed in my jet sled.  The __________ shooting heads are dinosaurs in that they don’t have factory loops, but they hold a dear place in my heart.  The __________  __________ series of integrated shooting heads are perfectly suited to hassle-free tidewater Chinook fishing, as are the __________ fly lines, and both are loaded on my fly reels and spools when I head out to fish for spring and fall Chinook. Running lines from __________ and __________ back up my traditional and Spey head fly lines.  How’s that for product loyalty?

What about fly rods? I fish __________, __________, __________, __________, and __________ fly rods.  Each of these fly rods is fun and is an excellent fly fishing tool.  My beat-up old __________ 10 wt. generates a lot of fond memories associated with king salmon.  My  __________ single-hand salmon rod has a growing collection of happy memories and this fly rod makes me smile too.  The same is true with my fly rods by __________, __________, and __________.  Do I have favorites?  Sure, but I have many personal quirks too.  If I had to choose one fly rod for salmon; one rod for steelhead Skagit Spey fishing; one rod for Steelhead dry line Spey fishing; one rod to Spey fish king salmon; one rod to fish sea run cutthroat –get the idea.  I could do it if forced. The rod would be excellent and I would have fun if limited to only one fly rod for each species, season, and tactical situation.  But why not have fun and mess around.

Why would anyone limit himself or herself to only fishing one brand fly rod?  Why not experiment and fish different rods now and then?  Why not have fun with our fly rods and lines.  Why not try to learn and expand one’s experience base.

We live in a time where many really good casting and fishing rods are available to us fly fishing fanatics.  Let’s enjoy ourselves, OK?

Same goes with settling on a list of favorite flies for our salmon, steelhead, and sea run cutthroat fishing.  Sure I have favorite fly patterns when I fish for sea-run cutthroat, Chinook, or steelhead.  Sure I tend to go back to these year after year, day after day.  Some of my favorite summer steelhead flies have evolved only a little over three decades.   Some of my fly patterns are still in the early stages of evolution, and these change from season to season, mostly.  Each session at the fly bench could as easily produce a handful of experimental flies as it could produce a set of “tried and true” favorites.

What about loyalty to people who work for different fly line and rod manufacturers?

The sad part about a perception that a person is an __________ guy or gal, __________ guy or gal, __________ guy or gal, __________ guy or gal, is that it can create the effect of hindering friendships.  I have several friends, and I consider them good friends, who rep for various fly fishing manufacturers, own businesses, or work for retailers.  Industry competitiveness exists and this tension affects people’s relationships.  Yes it does.

So let’s knock it off folks. I recommend fly fishers and fly tyers shop at the __________.  I also recognize a network of most excellent, independent Fly Shops owned by several other people I consider friends.  Haven forbid that someone might buy a bag of dubbing from __________ when they could buy it from __________; buy a __________ fly line instead of an __________; buy a __________ fly rod instead of an __________ or __________; and a __________ bag instead of a __________.

Our world just might come to a screeching halt.

For goodness sake, people, enough with the silliness.

At day’s end,though, I’m a __________ ball cap person.  Sorry, it’s just how it is.

Jay Nicholas, March 12, 2011

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