In our second edition of Guide Speak we visit Alaska West on the Kanektok. The Kanektok is many a fly fisherman’s mecca, or summit, so to speak. It’s also a place that makes coming up with new fishing oriented words and phrases quite easy due to the intense focus on fishing and lodge life. With our mix of colorful and eclectic guides and guests over the years we have heard it all. Below you will find a few great examples of what you might expect to hear while fishing at Alaska West.
Stripdink– adj. Used to describe a fish that can be stripped to hand rather than reeled up. “Nice stripdink, I guess you won’t be needing the net!”. Stripdink can also be used to refer to small animals like weasels and baby birds or even the camp dog.
Tiddler– adj. Used to describe a small fish that may or may not need to be reeled up. “Nice tiddler, that looks a bit larger than that stripdink you just let go!”.
Toad/Gagger/Donkey– adj. Used to describe a really big fish, of any species. “That toad/gagger/donkey jumped 3 times and broke my 20# maxima ultragreen like it was human hair!”.
Waker’s– adj. Used to describe fish of any species that are chasing your fly close enough to the surface of the water that they are causing wakes or ripples. “ Don’t worry, any of these waker’s that don’t commit to our popper now will just succumb to the wet fly later”.
Clowned up– adj. Used to describe primarily rainbows and dollies that are exhibiting intense coloring due to spawning or environmental situations. “That dolly is so clowned up it looks like he belongs in a circus”.
Fire engine– n. A large king (chinook), or red (sockeye) salmon that is in full spawning colors (red). “It sure is nice to see so many fire engines building redds upriver, trout fishing is about to get even better”.
Fuel Crystals– n. A phrase quite often used in reference to a person’s food intake or lack thereof. “I should have made an extra sandwich today, my fuel crystals are running low after netting all your fish this morning”.
Egg Wagon– n. A hen fish of any species. “It’s nice to see more and more big mature egg wagons coming into the system every day”.
Set– v. Used to motivate the angler into the action of setting the hook on a fish that they may or may not know is eating their fly. Can and may be used continuously until the angler complies with the request or the fish lets go of the fly. “Set it! Set it! Set it! Yeeessss!!! You got him that time!”.
Moused up– v. Used to describe catching any fish species while using a mouse fly. “You sure moused up some nice bows’ in that side channel today!”.
Hey Bear!- A phrase used to “let bears know we are here”. It is meant to scare the bears away and not as an invitation for them to come to you. Can and should be used with an inflection of anger and aggression, especially when actually confronted by said bear.
Other articles on terminology: