Game Fishing: Glossary of Fishing Terms


The hump a trout makes at the surface without actually breaking it, usually when feeding on an insect just below the surface.

Devon minnow

A small torpedo-shaped spinning bait with vanes towards the front end and a treble hook attached at the rear.


The V-shaped ripple made on the surface when a dry fly is moving unnaturally across the current. Trout will not look at a fly presented in this way.


When two or more wet flies are fished on a single cast, the droppers are the flies fixed to the cast by short links and spaced between the end (point) fly and the fly-line itself.

Dry fly

A fly tied to sit on the surface and to imitate an insect on the surface film.


A fly of the mayfly family (the Ephemeridae) just after hatching but before shedding its final skin and becoming the perfect fly, or spinner, which is then ready for mating.


To get out line by casting above the water without dropping the line on the surface, lengthening the amount of line in the air at each forward cast until there is enough out to cover the fish.


Silicone or paraffin preparation to make line or fly float well.


Heavy line of silk or synthetic fibre to which gut or nylon cast and flies are attached. It is the line which the angler casts; cast with fly attached has to follow. Dry-fly lines are tapered so that they can be put down on the water gently and accurately. Wet-fly lines are level. A fly-line is usually about thirty yards long. Some dry-fly lines are made to float without greasing.

Fly reel

Usually a simple reel in which the drum is caged or enclosed. There is a permanent check or ratchet on most fly reels.


A method of salmon fishing for low-water, summer conditions. Small, sparsely dressed flies are used. The line is greased to make it float.


A salmon returning to the river from the sea after one year.


Feather tied round the shank of a fly to imitate the legs and thorax of an insect. For a dry fly, the hackle comes from a cock, the stiff points helping the fly to float. Wet-fly hackles are softer and come from hens. The movement of the soft fibres under the water adds to the life-like appearance of the fly.


A salmon spent by spawning.


An aquatic insect in the larval stage. Flies are tied to imitate these and are fished below the surface.


Salmon in the first stage of its river life.


An artificial spinning bait; the body is made of two flat pieces of plastic or rubber, overlaid. There is a spinning vane at the head.


The last 30-45 cm (1 – 1-1/2 ft) of a pylon or gut fly cast. Since the point inevitably becomes shortened when fresh flies are tied on and old ones cut off, spare points are carried and tied on with a blood-knot.

Shooting head

Heavily weighted tapered line about ten yards long attached to nylon backing, used for long casting in lake fishing.

Shooting line

Releasing extra line from the hand as the line falls to the surface, in order to make the line and fly fall softly, also to gain extra distance in casting.

Sink tip

Fly-line in which only the last ten feet or so sinks.


A young salmon that has turned silver and is ready to leave the river for the sea. At the previous stage, when it is marked rather like a small trout, it is known as a parr.


Ephemerid fly in its final stage, ready to mate. A spent spinner is the same fly after mating and when it has fallen dead, or dying, on to the water.

Streamer fly

Flies with a long ‘wing’ made of hair or feather. They imitate prawns, shrimps, or young fish fry, and are used in salmon, sea-trout, and lake trout fishing.


A hook with three points on one shaft.

Wet fly

A fly designed to fish below the surface.

18. July 2011 by admin
Categories: Fish, Game Fishing | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Game Fishing: Glossary of Fishing Terms


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