Glossary

Albright Knot:  A very strong knot used to connect to different sizes or types of lines together, such as backing to fly line, or shooting line to leader when fishing the Chuck ‘n Duck method.

Orange Dacron backing attached to fly line by use of an Albright knot.
Orange Dacron backing attached to fly line by use of an Albright knot.

Attractor Fly: See Fly (Attractor).

Backing: A thin nylon line used for when a fish runs and pulls out all of your fly line.  The backing is the last resort before you run out of line when a fish is running.  It is commonly made of nylon similar to kite string and is attached at one end to the reel by an arbor knot, the other end attached to the fly line either by Albright knot or blood knot.

Chuck ‘n Duck Fishing:  A method

Drake: A term for a mayfly.

Drift Fishing: Another term for the fishing method Chuck ‘n Duck. See Chuck ‘n Duck Fishing.

Dry Fly: See Fly (Dry).

Dry Fly Fishing: A method

Egg Fly: See Fly (Egg).

Fluorocarbon: A type of monofilament fishing line that is clearer than the standard nylon, is generally stronger, clearer and sinks faster.  Fluorocarbon fishing line can be used as a leader and tippet, or just as tippet.

Fly: The imitation of a fly or other creature designed to attract or imitate something that a salmon, steelhead, trout, bass or other fish would be enticed to eat.

Fly (Attractor): A fly that is used to grab a fish’s attention enough to strike or eat.  Not a fly that imitates something natural in the fish’s habitat.

Fly (Dry): A fly that floats on top of the water, generally imitating a hatching insect such as a mayfly of a given species, or an insect that has fallen into the water such as a grasshopper.  An example of dry fly imitator would be a gray drake pattern, a dry fly simulator would be an adams fly pattern.

Fly (Egg): A fly that imitates a fish’s spawning egg.  Common types are of egg flies are clown eggs, nuke eggs, and Oregon cheese egg flies.

Fly (Imitator): A fly that imitates an insect or other animal that exists in the fish’s habitat.

Fly (Nymph): A wet fly that is imitating or simulating a fly that is in it’s nymph stage of the insect life cycle.  An example of nymph fly imitator would be stone fly nymph pattern, and an example of nymph fly simulator would be a prince nymph pattern.

Fly (Simulator): A fly that does not imitate an insect or other animal that exists in the fish’s habitat but usually a combination of things that makes it appealing to the fish to strike or eat.

Fly (Spey): A fly that is used while using a fishing method know as “Spey Casting” or “Swinging”.

Fly (Streamer): A wet fly that is swung, stripped, or drifted through a current to generally attract aggressive fish.

Fly (Popper): A fly that is floating on top of the water that is designed to make a disturbance as it’s fished to attract aggressive fish, especially in warm water.  Species such as bass, blue gill, pike, and others favor a popper in the warmer seasons.

Fly (Wet): A fly that is not floating on top of the water, and is commonly drifting through the river current or bouncing along the bottom.

Fly Line:  The main line that propels the leader and the tippet with connected fly or flies to the water.  Different sizes and lengths of line are used for different rod sizes and types.  The fly line is connected at the rear to backing on the fly reel, and connected at the front by a leader.  The tip of a fly line can either have a welded loop or hole, or it can be a straight butt end.

Fly line connected to orange Dacron backing on one end, the other attached to a leader.
Fly line connected to orange Dacron backing on one end, the other attached to a leader.

Imitator Fly: See Fly (Imitator).

Indicator: A floating bobber that shoes a change in drift in the flies either by change of current, snag, or fish strike.

Indicator Fishing: The method of fishing with a floating fly line, and indicator, split shot and wet flies consisting of a combination of egg flies, nymphs, and streamer flies.

Leader:  The section of line that gives strength between the fly line and the tippet.  The leader is connected at the rear to the fly line. If the fly line has a welded loop or hole, it’s common to create a loop-to-loop connection, otherwise a nail knot is used to attach the fly line to the leader.

Leader (Tapered): A manufactured piece of line that includes the leader and the tippet in one piece, either made out of nylon of fluorocarbon.  The diameter goes from large to small as it tapers down to where the end that attaches to the fly line to the end that attaches to the fly.

Monofilament: A generic term for the clear fishing line used in various ways.  Also known simply as “mono”.  It’s synthetic clear strand that derives from nylon.

Nail Knot:  Knot used most commonly to attach the leader to the fly line.

Nail knot is used to attach the fly line to a leader when there are no loops involved.
Nail knot is used to attach the fly line to a leader when there are no loops involved.

Nymph Fly: See Fly (Nymph).

Nymph Fishing: Also known as “Nymphing”, the act of using nymph flies or any combination of dry flies and wet flies where the flies are drifting or bouncing the bottom through the river.

Pattern: A general term to describe all the materials that make up a specific fly.

Popper Fly: See Fly (Popper).

Scandinavian Casting: A style of Spey casting that involves a larger head fly line than a Skagit line but shorter than a traditional Spey line.  Popular for line control options and is referred to in short as “Scandi casting” (pron. skan-dee).

Scandinavian Line: A type of Spey line that has a longer head than a Skagit line but shorter than the traditional Spey line.

Skagit Casting: (pron. ska-jet) A style of Spey casting that involves a short headed Spey style line which makes the most advantage of being able to cast long distances with a limited amount of room to cast.  The method was developed in Washington state and British Columbia Canada and is derived from the Skagit River in the Pacific Northwest region.

Skagit Line: (pron. ska-jet) A type of Spey line that has a short head for achieving great casting distances when having limited room for casting.

Spey Casting: A form of casting developed in Scotland deriving from the River Spey.  The casting form allows for long casts of large streamer or Spey flies that require little or no room for back cast.

Spey Fishing: A method of fishing using various type of spey casting styles such as “Skagit” (pron. ska-jet), “Scandinavian”, or simply “Spey” casting primarily for targeting larger steelhead or salmon by swinging flies through a run in the river.

Spey Fly: See Fly (Spey).

Split Shot: Small lead spherical weights attached to fishing line to sink flies down through the water.  Different types of shot are made out of lead, graphite and tungsten.

Streamer Fly: See Fly (Streamer).

Surgeon’s Knot: A knot that is used to attach to different diameters of lines together simply.  Most commonly to join tippet to to leader.

Swinging: A method of drifting a streamer, spey fly, or other wet fly through current to attract a fish to eat or strike.

Thingamabobber: A type of indicator or bobber used when indicator fishing.

Tippet: A type of clear line that used to connect the fly to the leader.  Generally referred to in an “X” system where 0X is the strongest in pound test and largest in diameter, and the smallest 8X is the weakest and smallest in diameter.

Tippet shown here is a small section of line that attaches to the leader at one end, the fly at the other.
Tippet shown here is a small section of line that attaches to the leader at one end, the fly at the other.

Wet Fly: See Fly (Wet).