I could write about my last two weekends of salmon fishing, post some more gratuitous pictures of lunkers and spin some tales of pulled muscles and flying sinker missiles, but today, I think I’ll write about something else that occurs out on the banks of water. Fishing Nicknames.
I think if you spend enough time in the Great Outdoors (with other people) you’ll eventually end up getting a few nicknames stamped on your forehead. I’ve been assigned, or inherited, or shamefully earned a few names over the years, but the most recent I’ve been branded with by my fishing buddies is – Rebecca, Water Swatter–
When I do go with my fishy friends I tend to get harassed about my floating line and fake flies because they all fall under the ‘non-fly fisherman’ classification. My stubborn stance on fly fishing along side them opens the door for prime nickname assignments and heckling. With them I never hear, “Hey Rebecca, nice loops!” Nope. I hear things like, “Hey Water Swatter, stop frothin up the water!” All part of the fun because the harassment goes both ways…
The last few weeks of salmon fishing have taken me out of my normal comfort zone in that I’ve been fishing in tight quarters with a large variety of people. The sort of fishing community that forms on the banks of a river that’s chocked full of salmon and people is actually pretty interesting (entertaining)—despite the fact it goes against every ounce of my fly fishing nature.
I’ve discovered that when you put a large group of people fishing together, rules are created, bonds form, friendships happen and generally everyone is there to have a great time. A lot of nicknames also happen. I noticed quite a few people started calling me “Turbo” and I didn’t ask for an explanation. I also christened a few people with new names.
There’s Drifter — lightening could strike down the person next to him and he still wouldn’t miss his turn to drift through the run. And Slayer–the man who counts each and every one’s hook sets, landed fish, broke off fish. Anything less than 30 fish a day and he’s depressed. Next up is Smokes — it’s simply mesmerizing to watch his ability to cast, drift, catch a salmon, fight a salmon, net a salmon, take hook out of salmon all while keeping his lit cigarette firmly between his lips. (never touched by hand) ……and Kuna John & Jumpin’ Jack & Longliner & Indiana & Twitch…
My list could go on and on here…….especially if I included the not so nice nicknames people can earn on the riverbanks. One reliable nickname for this department is ’DipShit’ –basically a generalized nickname for lots of oh so special people.
The thing about outdoor nicknames is someone else has to brand you with it, say it out loud and if enough people repeat it, it’s all yours, like it or not. The scary part about nicknames is one wrong move and the next thing you know everyones calling you –Snags, FoulHook, Slipshot or like someone in my circle who is now known as Blow for accidently blowing up a gas can a few weeks ago—a name you might not have wanted.
So I’m curious about those who are reading this. What sort of nicknames are you stuck with?