Names of trout flies can be very familiar or bizarre. The Royal Coachman, Prince, Adams, or Serendipity all sound historic and pleasant. So many things in our world already have been named. Lewis and Clark named much of the west. Surely there are a few things yet to be named.
If you invent the fly, you have the right to name it. Fly names can also be nasty or dirty. Sometimes the flies are for the retail market and other times they are for a more personal or friendly circle. We have all heard the names of flies that would make a nun blush. The “Dirty Hoh”, “Big Dick”, “T and A”, “Charlie’s Chubby”, “Hot Sex”, “Turd Blossom”, or the infamous “Cock and Balls”! I am sure that there are boxes full of even dirtier flies but …
Flies are named for many reasons. Usually they earn a name from being a killer! Maybe a novelty, or because of what they are made from, mimic, or just to be different.
One of my first fly inventions was the “Vindicator”. All I did was wrap orange chenille around a weighted, octopus style hook to mimic a salmon egg. Everyone laughed until I was “Vindicated” with the great catching results.
I also was one of the first to tie the PMX Caddis. Cripples always seemed to work best so I tied the caddis without palmered hackles so it would float lower in the water, and a hanging stuck shuck. This fly looked more vulnerable and works great. My original name was the “Ass Caddis”! I am not sure what “PMX” stands for butt…
When fishing the Wind River, in Wyoming, I was amazed at the huge number of BIG Crane Fly larvae. I used brown rubber bands to mimic the ribbed body and a Peacock herl head, just because. I built this onto a bent size 6 streamer weighted hook. The fly was not durable but the “Rubber Band Man” was born.
The “Cock n Balls” was invented by some bored wintertime fly shop guides. If the fly didn’t work, it would at least make a unique hat pin. Ironically, when we were fishing along the Gallatin River, the fly came into its own and saved the day. It is a perfect fly to pull out when you need a chuckle.
There are many flies that have simple names like, Dave’s Hopper. It is a great fly, but maybe kick it up a notch and call it “Hopper Hellion”, “Hoppin Lip Ripper”, or maybe something sexy or out of the box. After all, fishing is all about fun.
Tie on a “Big Dick”, “Free Willy”, or a Giant “Cock n Balls” and get the net ready!
For more Montana Grant, find him naming flies at www.montanagrantfishing.com.