The Water Swatter and Other Fishy Nicknames

by Rebecca on June 4, 2010

in Fishing Observations

~Ok, one gratuitous Salmon picture~

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?  

Water Swatter……


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

AustinNo Gravatar June 4, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Someone blew up a gas can? Where you there to see it, because that could have been pretty amazing to watch.

BTW, there’s nothing wrong with being a Water Swatter as things go. In fact, as you so eloquently pointed out, it could be a whole lot worse.

As for me, I’ve been dubbed The Otter by some folks, however I think it has more to do with my style of swimming style (long story, with really no point). I’ve embraced it, and the home is decked out with otters all over the place.


ZachNo Gravatar June 4, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Dip shit is a bad thing? I better tell my dad to change my nickname.


ShoremanNo Gravatar June 5, 2010 at 7:46 am

I’m devistated. No one has given me a name. Shoreman was established when the blog was started. Does “Hey Dad” count?



ClifNo Gravatar June 5, 2010 at 8:11 am

I’m known to some as the “Snaggingist Son of a Bitch”


MelNo Gravatar June 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Mine is “Eagle Eyes’. I guess just because of a keen sense of what is going on while fishing, I have done a fair amount of “fish coaching” in the past so I guess it could come from keeping an eye on my fishing students.

One that I humbly am not proud of is “Fartsalot” Tee Hee!


Colorado AnglerNo Gravatar June 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Ahhh, the names. I’ve been called plenty – some were even deserved.

Haven’t been tagged on the water…but back in my flying days, I was known as
the Winged Assassin, ’cause I be crazy like dat! It also carried over into my skydiving
days….however, it’s not something that seems to translate well for fly fishing.

So, I either stick with ‘that guy’ on the river, or go back to shredding sky….


StanNo Gravatar June 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Well Rebecca, I can see that you might not be to fond of “water swatter”.
However, that is how one acheives notoriety. Good or bad. The “unaccomplished angler ” has seen it fit to brand me “The Goosemaster”. All in all. Any nickname is fine when it is given in good fun.

Nice read.


BigerrfishNo Gravatar June 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

I have a nickname! Given to me by the luck of the river while with the right people. fair enough?


RebeccaNo Gravatar June 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

@Austin ~ The Otter! I like it =)

@Zach ~ LOL well……I don’t even know what to say. Other than, when we finally go fishing together I’ll have to come up with my own nickname for you.

@Shoreman ~ I actually think Shoreman is a swanky nickname

@Clif ~ Hey, I’ve earned that nickname a few times myself!

@Mel ~ LOL at your last one. I know a few guys who happen to have the same nickname =)

@ColoradoAngler ~ Ok, we’ll need to go fly fishing together someday so I can come up with a good fly fishing nickname for you. Although, assasin is pretty cool.

@Stan ~ Goosemaster! See, you’re right about nicknames and notority. If you had just left your name Stan, I probably wouldn’t have realized who you were, BUT, Goosemaster, I know all about him (you) thanks to Mr. Unaccomplished Angler. Your right, given in good fun and it’s all part of the fun.

@Bigerrfish~ by any chance is it Bigerrfish since you seem to always catch the big ones?

This Water Swatter just saw a break in the weather so I’m off to fish for a couple days and maybe earn yet another nickname!


MNAnglerNo Gravatar June 7, 2010 at 6:56 am

I’ve never had a nickname stick to me for more than a few hours. I think it’s due to my unique given name (not MNAngler). I’m going to get in line to go fishing with you so I can get a nickname from you, too.


KirkNo Gravatar June 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I don’t know about actual nicknames, but colorful “titles” seem to be bestowed upon me and others when we fish. Given this is a family forum, I’ll decline to list them here.


Joseph Guy MartinNo Gravatar June 9, 2010 at 6:40 pm

LOL…You are so right..
While I was in Pensacola my favorite fly fishing was for Red Fish….and yes I am still known today as Redfishhunter…
I love your article…so refreshing to read and so true…lol…


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