Fly Fishing Terms You Need to Know

In the world of fly fishing there are many words that are important to know. Many of these words are unusual or have a different meaning when used in reference to fly fishing. The following list includes some of the more unusual and double meaning words used by fly fishermen.

Action: a general term often used to try to describe the feel of the rod – such as sft, hard, slow, or fast

Attractor: usually a bright colored fly that is not usually tied so that it imitates a particular type of food

Belly: the sagging portion of a fly fishing line

Blank: a rod without a handle, reel seat, or guides

Blood Knot: the common name for a barrel knot

Chalk Stream: a stream, usually found in valleys, that is spring fed and slow moving with a lot of vegetation

Complex Hatch: the simultaneous hatching of several types of species of insects

Compound Hatch: the masking, or hiding, of a hatch of smaller insects by a hatch of larger insects that occurs on the same day

Cutthroat Trout: a true trout that is found mostly in the western part of the United States

Dapping: a fly fishing technique in which the fly is repeatedly bounced on and off of the surface of the water

Down Eye Hook: a hook that has the eye bent below the shaft

Dropper: the secondary fly that is attached to the leader in a cast of flies

Emerger: a term that is used to describe any insect that moves up towards the water’s surface preparing to hatch into the adult stage

Feeding Lie: where a trout goes in order to actively feed

Flat-butt Leader: a fly used in fly fishing where the butt section is formed into a ribbon shape

Freestone Streams: fast moving, tumbling streams with rock covered bottoms

French Snap: a small clamp, often used by a fly fisherman to attach his net to his vest

Holding Lie: where a trout generally remains when not actively feeding

Leisenring Lift: a technique used in nymph fly fishing where the line is lifted, causing the imitation fly to move upwards, right in front of the trout’s suspected lie

Midge Rod: a short, light weight rod

Natural – a living insect, as opposed to an artificial, or man-made, insect or fly

Nymphing: any oaf the various fishing techniques in which the fly fisherman presents an imitation of the underwater stage of an insect

Presentation: the method of placing a fly where the fish is most likely to see it; includes the manner in which the cast in completed and the method in which the fly is fished

Rise: the act of the fish taking an insect from the water’s surface

Run: a term used to describe a particular stretch of moving water

Shooting: a casting technique

Spate: high water

Stripping: quickly retrieving line or pulling line from the reel

Terrestrial: of or relating to an insect whose life cycle is completely spent on land or in plants

Waders staff: a sturdy rod about as high as the armpit of the person fly fishing used for support in heavy water

There are many words and terms that are unfamiliar to most people but not to those who enjoy fly fishing.

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