No announcement yet.

The language of salmon fishing

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The language of salmon fishing

    Since the greatest part of my angling experience has been in the eastern United States, fly fishing for trout, mostly browns, some of the language and terms I've heard coming out of the western and Alaskan fisheries sound mysterious, ranging from clever to crude.

    Terms like the doctor's use of "wood shampoo" as a synonym for the coup-de-grace administered by an angler's priest, "hawg," "egg factory," "she-pig," and the like are exotic and fascinating to me.

    Does anyone have others? Let's hear more. Share your favorites with their translations.

    And what is a "swimmer"?

  • #2
    Swimmer = That one in a dozen (some say 100) KwikFish plugs that actually has the perfect seductive "dance of death" that will outfish the rest of the lot by at least 10:1. Believe it or not, there really are some plugs that no matter what you do to them will flat out NEVER catch a fish.

    I have some plugs in my collection where the bills are so beat up by the river bottom after hours upon hours in the line-up, but have not one fish to their credit. They just get retired after a season or two. I have others that are so beat up, battle scarred, and tooth-marked that the original finish is hardly recognizable... those I guard with my life.

    They are the rare gems that you only break out when you have an experienced crew.... wouldn't want to lose one to a rookie mistake.

    Always have to keep introducing new plugs into the line-up in my quest for finding the next all-star swimmer.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    The KeenEye MD


    • #3
      Thanks, Doctor—amazing. Browns get selective at times, e.g., nymphs, emergers, spinners, etc., but there's never one fly one can count on to produce consistently at all times and places. The old "match the hatch" thing. . .

      Salmon fishing—its gear, terminal tackle, even its language—is a whole different ball game. Live and learn. . .


      • #4
        Salmon Speak...

        Go to and scroll the home page for
        "The Sockeye Fisherman's Dictionary" and then punch it.

        This guy is in love with Alaska and is very amusing! His site will entertain you for hours!


        I have only one dictionary addition. It's called a "tackle box fish". That is the name you apply to a pink salmon that you land that is stuck with flies and lures. As you take out the free terminals, release and wave goodbye, and then thank him for being your personal streamside store...
        "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


        Footer Adsense