Because Our Words Matter – Sexual Violence and the Fly Fishing Industry

This is a saltwater fly. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog post.

This is a saltwater fly. It has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog post.

I’m sitting here at my keyboard, paralyzed. My hands trembling. Heart pounding. Squinting at the monitor through tears. I’ve written hundreds of posts for the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog, but this is the highest stakes article I’ve ever had the courage to write. And that’s odd, because it shouldn’t require courage to write this, but somehow I know that writing about this topic involves breaking a taboo. The taboo of calling out my fellow anglers and our industry for inexcusable behavior.

Here goes.

Sex Dungeon.

Read the words aloud, please. Now tell me what the words mean.

I know it is a fly name. Anyone who fishes for trout with streamers knows what it is, but I want you to stop for a minute, think, and tell me what the words mean. Do you think the words are funny?

What do you think goes on in dungeons?

I’d be willing to bet that most people know that bad things happen in dungeons, and …. sex dungeons?

Let’s step back for a minute and try a game of imagine if

Imagine you are a grandpa, sitting at your fly bench, with your seven-year-old granddaughter standing beside you, watching how you blend materials and craft your masterpiece streamer fly.

“What’s that fly called, Grandpa?” She asks.

“This is a Sex Dungeon,” you answer.

“What’s a Sex Dungeon?” She asks.

How will you answer her? Will you lie? Will you change the subject. Will you laugh it off?

Are you still with me here? Are you still reading? Have you dismissed me and this blog post as over-reaction to harmless locker-room banter?

If so, you are part of the problem, and you need to change your behavior because the words aren’t harmless. This kind of talk normalizes sexual violence. Harsh words? Yes. True? Yes.

The demographic realities of fly fishing say that if you are reading this blog, you probably identify as male. Could gender influence a person’s perceptions?  What if you were a grandma instead of a grandpa?

“Grandma, look at this pretty fly that Grandpa tied for me!”

“Why, that is a beautiful fly,” you answer. “What is it called?”

“It’s a Pole Dancer, Grandma. What’s a Pole Dancer?” Your granddaughter asks. “Grandpa just laughed and said I should go ask you.”

How do you feel, Grandma? Is this harmless?

Let’s play Imagine if again.

Imagine that you are a mid-twenties male, out in the drift boat with two male friends, floating down the river one fine autumn afternoon. The trout are biting and you’re having a great time with your buddies, when someone says, “I think I’ll try a Pearl Necklace.”

Do you think anyone will laugh? Do you imagine any one of you will say anything about the meaning of the phrase? Perhaps you think it is OK to use some of these names because they are double entendres and the real meanings can be debated?

dou·ble en·ten·dre
noun
A word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually risqué or indecent.

Just because it is a double entendre doesn’t make it OK. The language serves to endorse and coddle and perpetuate a culture of male sexual dominance.

Excuse me. I’m under the impression that the fly fishing industry is making a determined effort to recruit women and children as fly fishers. Is this how we plan on making them feel welcome?

I’m not an expert. I’m not even a great writer, and I have no credentials to have researched these issues. But I know how I feel when I see these fly names. I know the meaning behind the names. They are intended to catch the consumer’s attention. They are meant to sell a product to a consumer that is usually a white male.

But the words hurt everyone, regardless of gender. The words convey the approval of sexual dominance and violence in our society.

Let’s play Imagine if again. Pretend for a moment that you’re a female who is a professional fishing guide with two male clients. You are packing up after a riverside lunch, getting ready to resume the afternoon’s fishing. One of your clients passes you their fly box and begins telling you about the contents. “That top row is filled with Stacked Blondes. Next row down is loaded with my Barely Legals.
And the last three rows hold my Lap DancersT & A Bunkers, and Bottoms Up.”

In case you didn’t know, the English language dictionary says this.

T&A
in American English
noun
Informal
Entertainment, as TV programs or movies, characterized by the deliberately titillating display of the female form.

Remember, you are the female guide, hired by two male clients. How do you feel about these fly names? How do you feel about your clients?

Or more to the point, how do you feel about your fly fishing industry that allows this to go on? These fly names are not new. The fact that the industry hasn’t had the guts or the courage or the smarts to put a stop to this bullshit says something.

Some people will claim it says that the industry is OK with this. Others will claim that this is only a tiny little naughtiness. And certainly some people will say that I’m making a fuss where none is warranted.

Well, it isn’t a little transgression, and it isn’t just naughty. These names and associated visual images don’t belong in a box of fishing flies. These fly names reflect a culture of male dominance that expects superiority in all things, sex included.

And if this is a problem, then who is to blame?

Here’s the thing about these little flies, all of them sitting so innocently in their fly bins in shops and in people’s fly boxes and fly fishing vests and boat bags and strung on their fly rods: No one and everyone is responsible. It is you and it is me and it is every one of our fly fishing buddies; it is all anglers of all genders. Every one of us who has heard or seen these fly names and not spoken up is to blame.

I’m pissed at every one of my friends who has never stood up to this issue.

I’m pissed at myself, and I’m embarrassed that I’ve been too cautious to take a stand on this issue before now.

I’m pissed at every professional fly fishing guide, regardless of gender, for not taking a stand on this.

I find it difficult to understand the silence in the fly fishing industry on matters like this. I’ve been searching the Internet for a week, trying to find anyone who has called attention to the connection between the language we use and tacit approval of sexual violence.

Instead, I found articulate revelations by female fishing guides who are constantly on their guard to avoid situations where they might be vulnerable to male dominance (verbal and physical).

It makes sense. It makes perfect sense.

When female fly fishing guides work for male clients who live in a world populated by Stacked Blonde Pole Dancers who would love to get a Pearl Necklace in their Sex Dungeon, well, what else would you expect?

I’m done. No apologies.

Jay Nicholas, February 22, 2021.

P. S. When I finished writing this blog, I could not find a category that seemed to fit the content. So I listed it under Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Glossary, Fly Fishing Travel, and Fly Tying.  I decided not to use the category Fly Fishing Porn; that category has always bothered me.

P. P. S. Oh heck, maybe we men should all go out and grab ‘em by the pussy. A pussy is just a little cat, you know.

This entry was posted in Fly Fishing Books, Fly Fishing Glossary, Fly Fishing Travel, Fly Tying. Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Because Our Words Matter – Sexual Violence and the Fly Fishing Industry

  1. shauna says:

    Amazing writing and very interesting subject….. Sparked some good family conversation.

    I’m with you Jay!

  2. Ken Morrish says:

    Well done Jay!

    How do we expect our sport to become more inclusive if we don’t call out topics like this? Thanks for leading the way.

  3. Andy Archer says:

    Important words. Thanks for writing this, Jay.

  4. matt ramsey says:

    Amen, Jay.

  5. Rose says:

    Wow. Thank you for having the courage to write this and share it with the world. Thanks for shining a light on something that needs to end. I fully expected to see a female author’s name on this blog, and deeply appreciate that it was written by an older white male and expert fly tyer. This mother of 2 young sons (anglers and aspiring fly tyers) thanks you.

  6. Blake says:

    Jay, thank you. For a long time I’ve been disturbed by many of the things you have called out but lacked the fortitude and conviction to do something about it. I’m going to share your article as well as look through our fly bins and remove said flies if found.

    Fly shop owners and buyers can bring change around this issue easily by just not buying those flies and forcing signature tiers and manufacturers to rename them. Sure; that doesn’t go far enough to fully addressing the issues around sexual violence in our culture. But it’s a start and everything has to begin somewhere.

    Thanks for striking the match

  7. Clint Brumitt says:

    Jay,
    I recently purchased a book on streamer fishing where the author showed an entire series of streamers that various tyers had made famous.
    I am going to list the names in the book following your theme. Trophy Wife, Chubby Muffin, Lunch Lady, Home Invader, Black Sex Dungeon, Zoo Cougar, Autoerotic Articulation, and Lap Dancer. There are other names that lend themselves to being questionable. All in all, it proves again what has been a long term fact in advertising…Sex sells.
    The author did not create any of these patterns, he simply listed what was popular or of a style that made the named fly unique. The author was focused on the who, what, how, where and when to fish a streamer. But seeing the names, page after page, gets you wondering about the acceptance of naming style. Is it left up the tyer to name his flies? How does the angling public show their disapproval; by not buying the fly or writing a letter of protest, or complaining in a national publication.
    I do not want to equal the size your posting in the comment section, but to say good luck, it is a dandy topic to take a bite out of and see how others react.

  8. Shane M says:

    Jay – You are 100% spot on. I’m pissed at myself for having never spoken up about it to other fisherman, for chuckling at the names, for not saying to a buddy ‘not ok’, and for never renaming the flies I tied myself using those recipe patterns. That ends today, I will rename existing flies in box and call on friends and fellow tiers to do the same.

  9. Rob Perkin says:

    Thank you for being the first to address this and raise awareness to something that needs to be changed. It’s time for all of us to be better.

  10. Michael Mewes says:

    RESPECT!!!
    Always bothered me!

  11. Ihor Fedorak says:

    Well said. As a father who has encouraged both my daughter and son to become involved in fly fishing I have always found the blatantly misogyny implicit in the naming of some flies offensive and detrimental to the sport as a whole. For those of you who are thinking “Lighten up, it’s all just in fun” think again. Similar excuses have been used over the years to excuse racist jokes as well.

  12. Spot on, Jay. We should all be better.

  13. Christian says:

    Good on ya!

  14. Dave says:

    Spot on Jay, thanks for having the courage to write this article.

  15. Tony T. says:

    Jay, my hat’s off to you for writing on a topic that has irritated me for some time! Keep up the good work, my friend!

  16. Jason Bates says:

    I applaud you for having the moral conviction to say something. I am sure plenty of people will roll their eyes and suggest that you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. I don’t think these names contribute much to actual violence or abuse of women, but these sorts of things can be insidious; if we shrug off every minor thing, we fail to recognize that a lot of little somethings add up to big problems. At the very least, these kinds of product names certainly aren’t compatible with a culture of inclusiveness and respect. It’s not that hard to use names and terms that are respectful to others.

  17. Joy Cochran says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this and share it.

  18. Brita says:

    Sexual violence is very much a significant problem and should not be ignored nor condoned. I appreciate your effort to acknowledge and address the topic in your blog. I believe your intent was genuine. Sexual violence needs more men to step up and help put an end to it.
    It is appropriate to share how certain fly names make you feel. But as a female fly-fishing guide (with a son and a daughter I might add), fly designer, signature tyer, and industry professional for many years, I am essentially one of the people you describe in this post. And I do not feel it was appropriate for you to express publicly how you believe I feel on this topic.
    In addition, knowing these patterns listed are all from one designer gives this post a very different tone, and left me with sympathy for the designer, as he likely did not intend to offend anyone when they were designed originally years ago. I hope that following this he is given the chance to step up and appropriately update his pattern names, and hope that he is recognized for his effort in doing so.
    Moving forward, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution. And I would love for folks in the industry to discuss this as a whole in order to come up with a solution, rather than a few folks attempt to speak for all.

  19. Shawna Grady says:

    Heckin rights Jay. Thank you for this piece! I remember the first bull trout I caught on a “sex dungeon”, the last thing I wanted to do as an early 20s female was to answer anyone’s question as to what fly I was using. To this date, it’s still my favourite streamer but I think it’s high time we rename it!!

  20. Ian says:

    Thank you for this!!!!!

  21. Penny Mabie says:

    Thank you for your courage, your humanity, and your willingness to shine a light on this issue. Every time someone renames their fly to remove misogonystic references, every time someone passes over a fly in a fly shop because of its purposely titillating name, and every time a fly tyer thinks about the impact of a name when naming a new fly, we’ll be a tiny step closer. Closer to a sport that is truly gender welcoming, that is respectful of all, and that doesn’t support, by way of silence at the very least, making money at the expense of others’ sense of safety, worth and humanity. I appreciate your words, your thoughtfulness and your heart.

  22. E. A. Bailey says:

    Thank you!! When I first started flyfishing it was deceivers and wooly buggers. Life happened and I am getting back to it. How shameful. As a woman, it seems the sexism and misogyny is worse. We have a big trip planned to MN. So I was buying some big flies. I did not spend a dime on a single one of those “lockerroom” flies. When you are naming a fly, you are no longer in the locker room.

    Thank you so very much for speaking up. Guys who use those words won’t listen to women. It must be men who stop men from being predators.

  23. Kelly says:

    Thank you for this!
    Thank you for calling out and calling in the community to be aware.
    As anglers and consumers of the fly fishing industry we can do better.

  24. Becky says:

    Thank you for addressing this subject. I am a new female fly fishing angler and have not only been bullied but have also felt uncomfortable when a male angler recommended the use of a fly to me that was suggestive. I have been told to be careful when coming to the river on my own to fish, which gives me great concern. When I first began reading the article I assumed it was being written by a female angler. Needless to say I was impressed when I realized it was written by not just a male, but a true gentleman. Thank for for the respect you bring to the discussion. It is greatly appreciated.

  25. Mj says:

    As a fairly new fly girl I have not seen these fly names in the books I have used. I am glad to see this topic brought up as those names are indeed disrespectful and derogatory. Kudos to you for opening this can of proverbial worms – flies should be named after bugs and locations, not domineering names.

  26. Kimberly Frantom says:

    I worked, briefly, at a fly shop, and have met some of the male tyers/originators of some of these flys. I’m amazed and encouraged by your willingness to confront this. Unfortunately, these guys aren’t the least bit interested in making fly fishing easier for women. They’re respectful, in person, of course. But it’s a separate click, overall.

    Thanks for the article.

  27. Amy Dahm says:

    Thanks Jay.

  28. Amn says:

    Yes indeed. Nice writing, excellent points. Lots of BS on the water. Hard to ignore it all the time.

  29. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for taking a stand on a topic that can be filled with land mines. There have been a few others to raise the issue recently. I heard a fly tier on the Orvis podcast mention it when having to explain a flies name to his child. I also heard April Vokey took it up on her podcast, “Anchored.” You’re all in good company!

  30. Hilary says:

    Thank you for writing this. As a lady fisherperson I regularly feel unwelcome in fishing spaces and seeing men stand up and say something makes this space feel more accessible. Keep using your voice and your power to make fishing a more welcoming space and know that we’re here cheering you on.

  31. Mike Montgomery says:

    I completely agree with Mr Nicholas. Fly Fishing used to be “a gentlemen’s sport”. It’s being degraded with sophomoric names and connotations.

  32. Toner Mitchell says:

    Thanks for this, I hope it changes us. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the violent language we sometimes use, the “sticking” or “spearing” of the quarry we ostensibly respect.

  33. Erica Hickey says:

    Right on. Thank for posting.

  34. Bret Martin says:

    You got fired up! I oved it! Great piece of writing!!!

  35. Julia says:

    Thank you Jay, you brought tears to my eyes because you are male, you recognized this, and you spoke up!

  36. Ian says:

    Well said- thank you.

  37. Laura says:

    Thank you for this. I try really hard to avoid these names – saying them makes me uncomfortable. I took up fly fishing as a female knowing I was part of a minority, but expecting it would be a peaceful pastime to get away from all the darkness in the world and enjoy nature. You can bet I was surprised to see that sex had made its way into what I thought was a “pure” and back-to-basics hobby. It just makes me feel icky and I hate that.

  38. Jared Tarr says:

    Thank you for writing this Jay. As a new fly angler who came to the sport in part to get away from the machismo and bigotry found *slightly* more often in conventional angling, I’ve always found it challenging to hear these famous flies’ names. I’m particularly heartened to see a fly fishing “elder” (if I may refer to you as that) voicing the views you have. This kind of moral mentorship is necessary if fly fishing is to become as inclusive as it should be.
    I will say that I hear your thought experiment in asking what guides who identify as female might feel in relation to the names of these flies and I hope you’re also able to acknowledge the comment and position of Brita, above. She brings up a valid point in asking that her voice not be represented by yours. It’s sticky, but I think that’s another part of men’s work in deconstructing misogyny.
    Thanks again and I hope to run into you one day on one of the little southern Oregon coast rivers I grew up on.

  39. Dave says:

    Thanks for having the courage to write this and for the Caddis Fly to keep this up and stand behind it. I spent 4 years working as a fishing guide. One of the reasons I moved on was the clients. Riding in a drift boat for 8 straight hours with a bunch of grumpy white guys that told stories about lap dances and having sex on business trips while their wives were back home got old quick. Thanks for taking a stand Jay.

  40. Jason says:

    While I do agree that the double entendre fly names are tasteless, unimaginative, and often misogynistic, I believe that a Sex Dungeon typically refers to a room furnished for specific fetishes enjoyed by consenting adults. That’s not saying it is a great name for the fly, but to suggest it is misogynistic is to invalidate the sexual preferences of a great many women. Words do matter, and I have been uncomfortable with the Bitch Creek fly since I was a kid, but I also don’t want to judge other people’s lifestyles (between consenting adults, of course). Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  41. Les Booth says:

    Well, I’d say that’s a good start, Jay Nicholas. Now, that this subject has been breached, let’s not stop the cleaning spree. There’s much more need to continue scrubbing!

    The foul and uncouth language, easily rolling off the tongues of so many people today, male and female, is just as offensive as any of the sexual innuendoes mentioned in the article. So, please, don’t put down the scrub brush, scrapers, and garbage bags just yet. There’s plenty of foul-language in need of removal from nearly every corner of society.

    Unfortunately, there will be plenty of opposition to cleaning up the language as there has been since the dawn of time. The ‘stump’ upon which a stand is made is a one-person platform. Yes, it’s a personal thing. It’s also a matter of social and personal responsibility. Own your part of the responsibility. Make it yours, then make it a clean pass, forward. Society is in dire need of everyone’s effort.

  42. April Vokey says:

    Jay, I have many things to say about this article (some which will likely take you by surprise). I would like to invite you to you join myself and Kelly Galloup on my podcast to discuss some of your points.
    Sincerely,
    April Vokey

  43. Alan Scott says:

    I have designed new fly patterns for over 30 years as a contract designer for 2 major fly companies. I have never resorted to questionable names. My patterns are sold all over the world. I do have some newer patterns named to attract both men and women.
    “PUT DOWN THE TOILET SEAT” “TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE” “DO I LOOK FAT?”
    ” BUBBLE BATH” ” WINE COOLER” ” COSMO PLEASE” ” WHAT’S FOR DINNER BABE? ” and ” LOVE THAT NEW PURFUME”

  44. Michael says:

    There is a lack of civility and common sense today that we didn’t see when I was starting to fly fish. I cannot imagine some of the old time fly tyers that I “learned” from using names even close to that. These kids that think they are all the greatest try to out-shock their friends. I refuse to buy books that use these names – whether the author invented the name or not – and will fight with the owner of the shop if he wants to sell flies with these names. My granddaughter is 5. We go fishing and I show her how to tie flies. I will not tie that crap and if I do I will make sure to call it something else. It isn’t worth ruining my granddaughters’ innocence because some stupid kid thinks a derogatory term is a good name for a fly. Boycott stores, books, magazines, and authors that promote this crap!

  45. Scott S. says:

    Well said, Jay! We need to do everything we can to make everyone feel welcome.

  46. Bruce Perone says:

    I’m new to fly fishing and although I haven’t ran across all the flys you mention the few that I have didn’t sit well with me , thanks for having the courage to write this, it’s a start

  47. Christina says:

    Jay,

    I’m an east coast fly rodder in her mid-40s. I hunt, fish, chase cows for fun, and play in the mud with trucks. Though in nearly two decades of fly fishing, I’ve only suffered a handful of instances of outright discrimination — the vast majority of the male fly fishing community has been welcoming to me — I’ve also commonly accepted locker-room humor as the price of admission for a woman wanting to participate in male-dominated sports.

    I’m a woman, and I’m part of the problem. I’ve been unwilling to say something for fear of seeming prudish and not fun to be around. I’m pissed at myself for perpetuating the discrimination that my friends — and all women in the sport — have to deal with.

    Your article was shared with me by a lady guide and good friend with the email title ““READ.”” I am so glad she shared it, so I can continue to pass it on.

    Bravo.

  48. Stevie says:

    Fascinating discussion…Jay, it’s never too late to do the right thing. Thank you.

    I love creative speech and writing but…I have been ignoring this little voice of conscience that these names are inappropriate.

  49. Roger D Cox says:

    I agree. I do not know any of the named flies and if asked what I was using would say ” A dark —” or “A light—“. We live in a society where there is a lot of language and attitudes that would be better not expressed. Unfortunately the situation seems to be getting worse rather than better in many areas and throughout our society. Remember your language is a reflection of you as are your views and opinions.

  50. Nome Stark says:

    I’m going to guess most women are waiting until they got a strong enough foothold to have the ability to complain and be taken seriously, not labeled or minimize for it.

    Thank you Jay, I think it means a lot more to the general public right now when a respected man complains about it.

    Nome

  51. John O’Connor says:

    Thanks, Jay. Sometimes the obvious and glaring is the most easy to overlook. You have done us all – and our sport – a service.

  52. A anonymous says:

    Thank you.

  53. Larry says:

    You’re right. I’ve always thought those names were hideous, and I’m far from what anyone would call “woke”. I just didn’t know where the complaint department was. Looks like I’ve found it. Those flies and any similarly named flies all need new names. Question is who has the power to change those names, and make sure that similar names aren’t accepted in the future. Seems like the fly shops have to tell the fly tyers and distributors, “Those flies won’t go in my bins with those names. Give them new names that you want them known by or we’ll rename them ourselves. Take your pick, but those names are not acceptable here.”

  54. Tracey Partridge says:

    Thank you so much Jay. It is long past time to make such changes in the fly fishing industry. As a female member of multiple fly fishing clubs, I get sick and tired of all of the triggering, misogynistic names and attitudes that come with them. It is time for Males who propagate such misogynstic behaviour to pull up their big boy panties and walk into 2021 with their morals and ethics stronger than their misogyny. Hail to all of those of you who already do and are like Jay, making such efforts to change.
    Take heed
    #TU
    #MFFC
    #ANGLERS
    #GinkandGasoline
    And others like you who need to promote this change. There are many many female fly fishing anglers and people who support them who want these changes.

    Change has started. Are you in, or out?

  55. Anonymous says:

    Jay is the voice of reason and has delivered some very important points.

  56. Tom says:

    Wow! Just wow! So much angst and high dudgeon over the names of fly patterns.

    I am 60, raised 25 miles outside of Times Square, am a 30 year fly angler and I own a box of Galloup’s flies, some tied 20 years ago when he still owned The Troutsman. I am a fan and have never been bothered by the names, but I am not the type to be offended by such double entendres.

    I am commenting here not to pick a fight but to point out some erroneous assumptions made above.

    Firstly, in a video interview or podcast I consumed, Galloup joked that his fly names are due to “a sick childhood”. OK, bad joke but then he went on to discuss one of the first such named, the Stacked Blonde. Galloup like Joe Brooks’ Blonde streamer but wanted to create something with a larger profile. He chose to stack more and more yellow bucktail to get the desired profile. When it came time to name it, Galloup wanted to acknowledge Brooks’ influence so given the stacked material, the Stacked Blonde.

    To the best of my knowledge that is the first of Galloup’s double entendre pattern names and he claims it met with Brooks’ approval. It was also a huge success with anglers and the “sick” naming continued. In that case, “stacked” had a practical meaning first, a “sick” connotation second.

    Regarding the Zoo Cougar, it had nothing to do with women of a certain age. When Galloup tied the pattern, he noted how it has a big profile when out of the water and dry but gets quite skinny when submerged. Yet, the head remains about the same size, “like a cougar at a zoo that is underfed and gets skinny, but its head does not shrink.” I am paraphrasing but that was Galloup’s claim and the ZC pre-dated some of the racier fly names.

    Also, whether you want to believe it or not, I recall hearing Galloup say that T&A is supposed to be shorthand for “tandem and articulated”, another case of practical naming and not gratuitous sexualization.

    In the real world, shops have the option to list or offer these flies with some modification of the names. Case in point is the Ole Florida Flyshop that lists The Dungeon, The Monkey, etc. proving one can drop out the bits that are offensive when discussing these flies. Other PG variants could include The Necklace, The Dancer, The Bunker, The Menage or even Galloup’s Blonde.

    But I am an old male who admits to not being sensitive to such things. So then let’s consider April Vokey, one of America’s (and New Zealand’s) foremost female anglers and most visible proponents of women in, and coming into, the passtime we all love. In early December, Vokey hosted Galloup for her Anchored podcast (episode 175 in you want to find it). Over the course of over an hour and 45 minutes, they discussed Galloup’s life in fishing and tying as well as his explorations at the cutting edge of both. It is not until the 1:32 point that his naming of flies comes up and Vokey, a fierce supporter of women and women in the sport, has nothing critical to say to Galloup. And if you know anything about her, you would appreciate that April would “let him have it” if she was offended.

    My $0.02…YMMV

  57. Aven Puderer says:

    Thank you, Jay, for the well written article and for speaking up. I have always been bothered by these names, just as I am bothered that the only picture of female fly fishers some fly shops can seem to find is the one of a girl in a thong taken from behind. No fish, just her rear end! I have chosen not to buy these flies. I don’t care if the trout are slamming them, I’ll use my skills and another fly to catch fish.
    I hope the big organizations and shops are reading this, as well as the responses and taking note.

  58. Paul says:

    May be time to remove the Pseudo Hair Poon Puncher, Slim Shady, and Blue Hoochie fly tying videos then.

  59. JARROD BALL says:

    Thanks for bringing this together in well-written article. Many outdoor pursuits were the realm of pre and post adolescent males who used names, terms, language that was inappropriate for mixed company. As women, girls, and others become involved in these sports, things must change.

    Rock climbing/mountaineering/skiing are undergoing the same process of re-thinking the terms we use, names we give to routes/places and how they are offensive and exclusionary for others. Good stuff.

  60. shannon says:

    Thanks jay. as a fellow north coast angler, woman, and customer of the caddis fly shop, its super nice to have this issue brought forward by you for discussion. there are so many inappropriate fly names. i just refuse to fish ‘em. :) so much more interesting when they are historical like shushan postman or clever like birds nest (I LOVE CAL BIRD) etc. LETS DO THAT SHALL WE? out with the sophomoric hormonal bullshit and in with creativity and civility.

  61. Eric Hillerns says:

    This is critical and considered commentary that should motivate change. I hope it does. Well done, my friend. As a father of daughters who fish, I’m squarely with you.

  62. Josh Remis says:

    Hey Jay – thanks for the post and for standing up. Men doing what you did is really what it will take to change the culture, and I don’t know how we can count ourselves as “good” guys if we are content to be silent in the face of the historic sexism that shows itself various ways (fly names, among many others). It isn’t enough to privately dissent. So, thank you, again.

  63. Janice says:

    I’m so glad someone finally had the courage to speak up about this. I’m a woman who’s new to fly fishing so you can imagine my surprise when I asked the misogynist fly shop employee what streamers he recommended. He smirked and said “well most guys at the shop swear by the sex dungeon” and I immediately felt threatened. The smirk on his face made me sick. I felt faint and had to leave the store. The most confusing thing to me is that this woman, Kelly Galloup, would have such a disregard for sexual assault victims by naming her flies all sorts of tasteless nonsense. Hopefully we can all agree that Kelly should rename all of her flies immediately or suffer the consequences. We, as consumers, can voice our opinion by boycotting her store, flies, and services.

  64. Shelly says:

    I’d like to see what April has to say

  65. Bob Clouser says:

    Thank you so much Jay it is about time.

  66. Monta Hayner says:

    Thank you. These names were meant to keep women away from the men’s fly tying “clubs.” Women who want to participate have to laugh it off. Go along to get along. I am thankful to the men who care enough to be welcoming to women in the fly fishing industry. Weather it is because they are just decent human beings or brother, fathers, grandfathers.

  67. Lisa Wright says:

    Thanks. I’ve been a fly angler for over 40 years in Michigan and Alaska and I am a woman. Your excellent essay points out one of the ways that women are met with hostility in the sporting world. I think this is by design—it’s not just to make juveniles snicker or because “sex sells.” There are a lot of hunters and anglers who do not want to increase participation in sports that already seem overcrowded.

    Making “outsiders” feel unwelcome is a strategy employed by design. It takes place not only in sports, but in all facets of life. It’s more deniable when “it’s just a joke,” but it’s not a joke—it’s meant to deter outsiders. This hostility and alienation is corroding our civil society.

  68. Joyce Laing says:

    Thank you for a great article with relevant information for our times. Flt fished for over 30 years. Still looked down upon as a woman on the water.
    With you all the way.

  69. Ceci Bennett says:

    I missed that a guy was writing this until I saw the byline, which makes it more powerful to me. Thanks, Jay, from a guy’s eye. Imagine if… I sat down at my fly tying table and tied up a couple “Man Boobs, Little Willies, Henpecked Wimps & Pu$$y-Whippeds…” ( ( (gawd, that was even painful to write down in words!!!

  70. Bob Clouser says:

    Jay,
    Thank you! This stuff needs to be brought out in the open.

    – Bob

  71. Noelle says:

    As a 20-something woman, and a new member of the fly fishing and fly tying community, I would like to thank you for writing this awakening and very thought-provoking article. I heard about it through a string of hate it was receiving on social media and had to read it myself.

    Arguably, some will try to say these types of things like language don’t matter in the long run or talking about topics like this promotes “cancel culture” but these subjects are valid and the points brought up in this article are extremely important and need to be addressed. Today’s society is very different from how it was 20 or 30 years ago when many of these fly names and slang words came about. I am proud to see that a call to action to make the necessary changes in many parts of our world are starting to come to fruition, even if that simply means writing about issues like this in a blog post and bring up a conversion that is well overdue.

    You have truly stirred up the waters and the hate we are seeing to this and other topics like this is only because people or men that dominate this sport don’t want to face the harsh truth and see their own part in this much bigger problem. However, this is just the surface level of a much larger issue, and changing the names of a few flies really won’t be the appropriate response, but could be the start of a much-needed shift in the community to become the best and most inclusive sport we can.

  72. tanner irwin says:

    Well done Jay.

  73. Rachael says:

    I’ve always found flies with these names extremely uncomfortable to purchase, and also extremely uncomfortable when I’m in a shop and a man recommends these flies to me. It’s just not necessary. Thank you for taking the time to write down these words and publish them. Hopefully more of us will be encouraged to speak up for change.

  74. Craig says:

    Jay,

    First of all, props for having the courage to write this post. I know you will (by now I”m sure have,) received a bunch of negative responses. In this day and age I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve received a death threat or two. This subject absolutely needed broached; it’s been far too long and we are all to blame. Normalization of any violence (especially sexual) is wrong, period. To broaden a little on the subject, I believe toxic masculinity is a large part of the problem in this country. Thanks again for having the courage to say what we all should have said a long time ago.

  75. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Hi Folks, Matt here from Oregon Fly Fishing Blog. Chris, Jay and I have been in the fishing community for most of our lives. We’re here to say we should do better, and we can. This site is run by the Caddis Fly Shop for the entertainment and education of our community. Yes, we are posting comments that are showing support for Jay’s thoughts. If you would like to tell the world why this post makes you very mad, there are websites and social media channels specifically for that. In fact, we recommend it for your health. Talk it out with your friends and family. Take a look at what it is that bothers you enough to post the kinds of comments we’re deleting.

    This might be the dumbest column I’ve ever read. Maybe you and your antifa USA hating pales can go move to Canada where you can be as PC as you want. I’m going to tie up 10 Sex Dungeons tonight just so I can laugh at your ignorance. Life isn’t fair, there will always be hate in this world. I think you need to focus your attention on free college tuition and what you will spend your next stimulus check on. Welcome to the real world my friend. It’s ever man for themselves out here. P.s. someone should grab you by the pussy.

    Anyway, comments are closed so have a great weekend everybody.
    -MS

  76. Mia Sheppard says:

    Thank you Jay for writing this and kudos to the Caddis Fly Shop for posting. Hopefully this will encourage change.

  77. Laura says:

    I want to say thanks for putting this out there and dealing with the backlash. And, especially to the men who have come out to say this needs to change. I’ve been more appalled by the women on certain pages saying it’s no big deal and that if we want to be in a man’s space, we need to deal with it and shut up and aren’t cut out to guide if we are uncomfortable with a fly name. Just – Wow. I guess they’ve never had to lie to a 6th grader about the name of a fly. So again, thanks for getting it and letting us know that there are good guys out there!

  78. Marc Fryt says:

    Tough to be the lead on this topic. The rock climbing community irrupted when the discussion on changing climbing routes began. Yet, these are the changes that need to be made to help fly fishing feel more inclusive and inviting for all anglers. Bringing up uncomfortable topics like this helps to mature the sport.

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