The Terminology of Fly Fishing

argentina-fishing-travel-3As anyone who has ever been fly fishing can tell you it is a truly addictive sport.  It places traditional fisherman out of their comfort zone by challenging them to learn to cast in a totally different way.  Another challenge that it posses for participants, apart from mastering the skill itself, is learning the language that goes along with it.  Here are some commonly used words and phrases used by fly fisherman that beginners should familiarize themselves with.

  • Back Cast – This is a back and forth casing motion of the rod and line that lets you place your fly where you’d like.  The back cast is the part of the fly cast when the fly line goes behind the caster.
  • BeadheadA beadhead is a fly with its head right behind the hook eye.  Beads come in materials such as brass, nickel brass and ceramic.  Some beads help a fly to sink but others are floaters.
  • Clinch knot – this is a knot widely used for attaching a hook, lure, swivel or fly to the leader or line.
  • Disk drag – A disk drag is a device used on expensive fly reels that creates resistance on the line as a fish pulls it out.  This resistance often slows and tires the fish.  This resistance is created by the pressure between two disks (hence disk drag).  The result is a line this is less likely to break.
  • EddyAn eddy refers to a section of water that is relatively calm compared to other parts of the water.  The place where two streams converge is an example of where an eddy might occur.
  • Headwaters – These waters are an upstream section of a river before the main tributaries join it.  Typically, it is smaller in width and flow than the main part of the river.

In addition to the above words and phrases, fly fishermen also employ more colorful words and phrases to describe particular aspects of fly fishing.  Here are some slang terms and their meanings.

  • BarneyA Barney is an angler who claims to be all knowing but in fact can’t get hung.
  • Drive ByA drive by can either be a fish that hits a fly but doesn’t stay on or it can be a fast, sloping river that provides only one chance spot as you float by.
  • Darrells – Bait fisherman who kill fish are called Darrells.
  • Dope-on-a-rope – This is the name given to a guy who monopolizes a single spot by dropping an anchor on it.

Yes, fly fishing in Argentina can be truly addictive.  However, the challenge involved in mastering this type of fishing can be made easier when one knows the meaning of the words and phrases commonly associated with it.  At Argentina Birdman we can guarantee that you will kick your fly fishing adventure off to a great start.


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