Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Glossary: Blog to Burlap

This is the fourth 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, by Jay Nicholas.

Internet posting of conversation, deep thinking, irrational maniacal imagination, and distorted facts that probably should be kept to one’s self. For some inexplicable reason, ordinarily normal human beings feel compelled to puke out thoughts that should be kept in their heads. These thoughts range from “what color purse should I choose to accent my Juicy velvet sweatpants”, to “Would a summer steelhead laying in 64-degree water and already shown seven inch long Intruders by fourteen guys fishing nine-weight Spey rods in the Boat Hole respond better to a size 14 olive soft hackle presented on the swing with a three-weight cane rod?”


For goodness sakes people, keep it to yourselves. The exception to this admonition is when certain exceptionally bright individuals feel inclined to share their wisdom and advice, which is altogether an different situation.

On the down-side, the blog is here to stay. On the up-side, the fly fishing blog, generally, is pretty innocuous, say, compared to the Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson blogs. Wait a minute, isn’t one of them dead? Ooops. Forgot about Buster Wants to Fish. Dangerous stuff. Stay away.

Research has demonstrated that blogging occupies and average of 6.5 hours per day for an avid fly fisher. Researchers have concluded also that a preoccupation with blogging” essentially precludes devoting any time to actual fishing. Thus, any bloggers who pretend to report fishing trips must have been hallucinating the event. Look carefully at the photos; most have been created in Adobe Photoshop.

Bouncing Betty
Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Noun. A Bouncing Betty is a piece of gear that no self respecting fly fisher has any business knowing anything about.

Braided butt
A short section of braided monofilament with a little loop at one end and an open tube at the other (also referred to as a gizmo), intended to provide convenient connection of fly line to leader, or fly line to backing. Braided butts are very secure when no fish are being caught, as in, most of the time.

Braided butts have been known to fail after fourteen days on the water when a giant salmon/steelhead is hooked by mistake. Inexpertly applied Braided Butts have been known to cause weeping and anguish. Anglers who are personally responsible for faulty installation sink into self-reflective states of depression. Anglers who lose salmon due to failure of Fly-Shop-installed Braided Butts get in their truck, leave their boat drifting on the tide, drive straight to the responsible Fly Shop and go berserk screaming at and threatening the unfortunate guy who installed the gizmo. Contrary to the instructions supplied with the gizmo, it is essential to tie a couple of nail knots and some Aquaseal or SofTex to secure a Braided Butt to your fly line.

The precise region of a fishing hole where one’s fly must be placed in order to catch fish. Extensive on-water research by salmon fly fishers has proved that a typical “Bucket” in a salmon hole is approximately the size of a dime.

A Bucket on Captain Nate’s boat is reserved for Rob or Jay to puke in. Aye-aye Captain Nate. Shiver me timbers.


A high-end fly rod made by Kerry Burkhiemer, in Camas Washington. These fly rods are highly prized, personally designed with signature actions, beautiful, and a dream to cast. Spey guides will offer their clients a Sage, Winston, T & T, Dec Hogan, Steve Rajeff, Loomis, and Z-Spey rod. “Here, help yourself”, they’ll say. Just don’t try reaching for their Burkheimer because they don’t ever offer their baby for the dude to fish. Never. Ain’t gonna happen. One day I’ll get a Burkie. Maybe a 7127. We’ll see. Yes dear, I have all the fly rods I’ll ever need. Except a Burkie.

Burlap soaked in Bear Grease has been found to be a superior water repellant fabric that keeps water out and vents perspiration and pee from the inside of the waders to the outside. Burlap is also blackberry resistant. Burlap is also good camouflage in case Dick Cheney pulls up streamside with a shotgun and a cooler of Texas beer.

The burlap is an old-school steelhead fly tied with a deer hair tail, burlap twine body, and grizzly hackle. Simple. Effective. However, the offshore fly tying industry has successfully buried any memory of this fly because there are approximately twelve million of them out there in fly angler’s garages and they need to sell sexy new crossover patterns to keep the economy afloat.


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2 Responses to Jay Nicholas Fly Fishing Glossary: Blog to Burlap

  1. Nate S. says:

    I would like more info on both the barf bucket and the sweat pants!

  2. jay nicholas says:

    Nate: Nice try young man. Methinks you know a lot more than I on both subjects. Salmon season? Who says it’s salmon season. Sweat pants? What sweat pants. Go rinse out that barf bucket.


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