Since 1988 the staff at The Evening Hatch in Washington State have been talking about “Guidespeak.” Guidespeak (not to be confused with ‘godspeed’) is a compilation of terms, thoughts and phrases that guides and guests use on the water—in other words, the lingo of fly fishing bums, generally inspired by some happening or occurrence. Here are just a few:
The One and Done Factor: The truly unbelievable and unexplainable occurrence where you approach a large run, make your first cast, hook a fish and then NADA throughout the remainder of the run.
The Columbia Step: The sea-legged swagger after stepping off the boat from a day on the Upper Columbia.
Bulldogging: It is what we do on the Upper Columbia—wrestle big sleds on big water to wrangle with big resident bows.
POW: When a substantial task has been completed or a worthy achievement has transpired, we like to say POW!
Steelhead Smooth: That walking speed water that steelhead live in!
They Are Lower Than You Think: Steelhead can be anywhere. However, in any given piece of water, they are usually lower in the run then you think.
The First Five: If you survive the first five seconds of a steelhead hook-up, there is high likelihood of landing that fish. It is the first five seconds when all hell breaks loose that is the critical time.