Jeff Hickman reviews Jay’s Fly fishing Glossary – Book of Revelation

Amazing as it may seem, but indeed there are people inhabiting the earth who have not yet discovered the “Ultimate, Irreverent, IllustratedFly Fishing Glossary. if you happen to be among these wretched souls, the following commentary by the right honorable Jeff Hickman, best known for his easygoing approach and expertise as a spey fishing guide and owner (with his wife Kathryn) of Kimsquit Bay Lodge on the Lower Dean River in BC.

I quote from Jeff:

The Ultimate, Irreverent Fly Fishing Glossary, Book of Revelation.

The Ultimate, Irreverent Fly Fishing Glossary, Book of Revelation.


The Fly Fishing Book of Revelation is the best fly fishing book since the Curtis Creek Manifesto. Jay has taken a vast and confusing fly fishing linguistic jargon and broken it down in an entertaining, light and very funny way for anyone to understand. The depth and complications of various fly fishing gear and tactic is overwhelming for beginners to the sport. This book simplifies it all in a hilarious way that will allow fly fishing to be so much more approachable for all. But this book is not just for beginners to the sport. The more time you have spent in and around the culture of fly fishing the more humor and information you will find in this book. Though much of the information in this book is wild fabrication, much of it is deadly accurate! One entry will be actual science, the next could be an unusually named fly pattern or fly tying material, and the next could be Jay’s tongue-in-cheek interpretation of slang we obsessive fly fishers use.  And he doesn’t limit himself (the book) to salmon and steelhead fly anglers, taking a poke at bass, tarpon, and catfish anglers alike.  Sorting the fact from fiction is what will keep you engaged from cover to cover. I almost forgot to mention Jay’s sketches, which are precious side-bars to the definitions and commentary.  And another thing – No one who fishes is immune from Jay’s jabs and teasing.  This book is a must have for the coffee table, bedside table, back of the toilet and as a gift for any or the fly fisher or person in any way related to a fly fisher by way of blood relation, marital status, friendship, or the like.

Jeff Hickman, April 2015


Thanks Jeff.


And for the potential reader, here are a few terms defined in the Glossary, presented here to amaze and amuse, I dearly hope, so as to stimulate the reader’s appetite for purchasing said book directly from me as a signed copy or from Amazon, as may be preferable.  Direct sales can be accomplished by submitting a comment, through FaceBook, or mental telepathy.

Here are a few terms described in Book of Revelation.

This is a surprisingly common method of fly casting in which the angler faces almost directly away from the fly’s intended target in the river. Said angler then furiously whips his or her fly line amongst passing vehicles, power poles, and cell phone towers, thereby evading same – eventually more or less blindly flinging the whole mess over his or her shoulder to splat down in waters that are reputed to occasionally house an actual salmon or steelhead. The release of the cast occurs behind the back of the caster, because they are devoting the vast majority of attention to avoiding the terrestrially-based obstacles.

See chuck, trick cast

Backing (a)

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 (FFI) knows that this is a doomed proposition. Successful fly shop owners make about thirteen cents an hour, before taxes.

Backing (b)

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 to provide semi-credible backing when separated or 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.” After a thirteen-seconds or so, backing becomes irrelevant, because anyone can see the beads of sweat on the backer’s forehead and knows they are being fed a pile of manure.


Backing (c)
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 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.

Back-lash (a)

Reaction exhibited by fly tier/angler’s wives/girlfriends in response to perfectly normal behaviors such as spending the month’s mortgage or food money on a new Spey rod, a hundred Kingfisher Blue Chinese Cock Capes, or thirty Spey fly lines. Backlash also has been known to be initiated by something as trivial as leaving for the office in the morning and calling from the airport, on the way to a spur of the moment fishing trip to the Skeena.


Back-lash (b)
 See birds-nest.


Backroom Deals
Salmon Conspiracy phrase
This phrase means that pretty much all management decisions by state and federal fish agencies are sweetheart deals, good-old-boy horse-trades, and smell bad.


Young Gun
Any fly anglers under the age of sixty. These rambunctious youngsters think nothing of combining drinking, junk food, late nights, poker, and road-trip behavior with the sacred art of fly fishing.
Young Guns have an inordinate reserve of energy and courage, frequently endangering their careers and relationships by crazy behaviors such as “like Dude, let’s hitch up the boat and take a seventeen day trip to the Skeena – I’ve got twelve bucks for wieners and buns, you bring the beer and Muddlers”, or something like that. They also spend all night tying crazy gigantic Intruders and similar flies that absolutely reach out and slap King salmon in the chops, this inducing arm-wrenching grabs from otherwise uncatchable, mythically proportioned salmon.


You Tube
This is an Internet phenomenon that provides home to anglers and fly tyers who want to share their stories. I, personally, have well over a hundred YouTube Videos posted. Most of these are fly tying videos.
Here is how YouTube works. First someone shoots a video. Then they post it on the YouTube site. Then someone looks at the video. And there is a record of how many views are viewed too. There is no quality control screening involved to weed out bad information or misinformation, or whatever.
As proof, I cite the fact that plenty of videos on the topic of jig tying feature young fellows advocating the viewer go to Wal-Mart to buy sewing thread, craft scissors, nail polish, and feathers to tie their jigs. What an outrage! How are fly shops going to keep their doors open, pay the heat, and stock genuine fly tying materials on the pegs if people head off to Wall-Mart to get their stuff? Ridiculous. And then they go on to refer to string and glue instead of thread and head cement. What is this world coming to? Some of these YouTubers even advocate use of scent on flies and should be banished from use of the words fly tying in the title or tags of the video.
It is informative to look at the number of views that various videos receive. Some of my fly tying videos have received twenty or thirty thousand views, but more are in the range of five to ten thousand views. This is all well and good, given that I am a renowned expert fly tyer and everything I say on camera is absolutely true and useful information.
The fact remains that I have fond that fly tying videos and fishing videos that feature actual CLEAVAGE are viewed on the order of a half million to several million times in a week, while my videos take years to be viewed more than a dozen times.
Many of the more popular YouTube videos on fly tying also feature heavy metal background music, tattoos, and on-screen beer drinking, which puts me out of the running also. Oh well, it is what it is, and the base instincts of the video viewing public dictate popularity.

There is more than you can imagine here, with over fourteen hundred words phrases, concepts, and several hundred pen and ink sketches too.

Thanks for your support and patience, both are sincerely appreciated.

Jay Nicholas

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