Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Glossary: Baby Seal to Big Tides

This is the third installment of The Fly Fishers Glossary: Snippets From the Underbelly of Fly Fishing, Fly Tying, Fish Biology, Dusty old Facts, Hallucinations, and the Plain Truth as I know it.

Baby seal
Obsolete fly tying material. Grim to admit it, but we salivated over this stuff back in the old days. It was highly sought after to tie nymphs. Tyers hoarded this stuff. Some idiots still sneak it in from Canada just to say they use it. Modern materials are superior replacements for this material. See also Temple dog Fur and don’t use this stuff either.

is he a human being?he kill a baby seal.and he names himselfs sportsman

Backing
The financial support begged from friends/parents/girlfriends/wife so one can retire and buy a Fly Shop. As in, “I know that I can make a go of this Fly Shop if you’ll just give me your financial backing.” Provision of said backing is a generous but futile act –- an unadvised leap of faith. Every dolt remotely familiar with the Fly Fishing Industry knows that this is a doomed proposition.

Alternate
A string of white lies and evasions woven by your fishing buddy who was with you when you had a two-hundred-and-thirty-seven fish day on the Siuslaw River in 2002.

Fly fishers who have shared outlandishly successful fishing events 1) are sworn to secrecy; 2) have learned to rehearse their stories so as to provide semi-credible backing when separated, drunk, and interrogated by sober friends who attempt to pry the truth out of them; and 3) head straight to their cell-phones to call fifty-three of their closest friends.

These phone calls begin with, “ Dude, you’ve gotta promise not to tell this to ANYONE”.

Alternate
A form of small-diameter fishing line, usually braided Dacron or Super Braid, attached directly to a fly reel spool before the fly line. Actually seeing one’s backing because a large salmon/steelhead/Great White Shark has pulled out a all the fly line is the goal of every fly fisher. Ninety-nine percent of fly anglers NEVER see their backing in the water unless a Poagie attaches a small Alder tree to their line, sending it off downstream to simulate a monster steelhead. Backing is engineered to mold and disintegrate after 2.5 days cooking in any truck parked in front of a Wal-Mart. Damaged backing should therefore be replaced often, just in case a big fish accidentally provides an opportunity to shout,”Dude, like he’s got me into my backing”. Backing costs about twenty-bucks per yard.

Bang
Noun. Bang is a term that refers to fish-camp beverage – composed by adding Bourbon to Tang, or Tang to Bourbon. Regardless of the order of adding, it is essential for the bourbon volume to exceed the Tang volume. The best operational method to achieve this balance is simply to add the Tang powder to straight Bourbon. Bang is a simple, pleasing, and effective libation at breakfast, lunch, or supper.

Barbless
The state encountered by Barb’s husband when he returned from a spur of the moment fly fishing trip to the Skeena in 2007; as in: “Like Dude, I’m Barbless and I have no idea why!”

Alternately – a hook that had had the barb squeezed so hard in the jaws of needle nose pliers as to smash the barb flat and make the hook look like it is without a barb (i.e., barbless). Said barb smashing has been known to weaken the tempered steel at the juncture of the barb and the hook shaft, occasionally resulting in the hook shaft breaking when fighting a really big salmon or steelhead. These hook shafts never ever break when fighting logs, rocks, Pogies, trout or small salmon or steelhead. Only when fighting the big boys.

Bear grease
See fly poo.

Big Gun
A very long fly rod. Formerly, ten-foot rods were referred to as big guns. Since the arrival of Spey rods as a common fishing tool, a fly rod probably should be twenty-feet or longer to be referred to as a big gun.

Alternate
A big gun is a famous fly fishing personality with a huge ego, as in, “Dude, all the big guns were there at The Fly Show – it was effing-awesome.”

Big Tides
The greatest tide exchanges of each month are referred to as Big Tides. For example, a seven-foot high tide followed by a minus one-foot low tide yields an 8’ exchange; this would be considered a Big Tide. Big Tides coincide with the full and the dark of the moon and therefore occur about twice monthly.

Salmon tend to migrate into estuaries and from estuaries into rivers during Big Tides. Popular lore suggests that salmon tend to bite better during big tides.

The hormonal cycles (mood swings) of many women are similarly affected by the moon. Thus, Big Tides are associated with the best fishing and the WORST times to leave the girlfriend/family at home.

-JN

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