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What’s In A Name?

by ArkieFlyGuy


Wooly Booger? Who in the world came up with that name? The first time I heard someone mention using a "Wooly Booger" (that’s the Arkie pronunciation of Wooly Bugger) I wondered if they guy was using his Kleenex he had saved from a bout with a bad sinus infection.

Where do fly tiers come up with the names for their creations? I can see "normal" names like "Hare’s Ear Nymph" or "Adam’s" or "Caddis Emerger" and the like. But we seem to have a knack for coming up with some very distinct and colorful names for the bugs we know and love.

For instance, I’m sure there are good reasons for names like "Greenie Meenie", "Easy Peasy", "Breathing Dragon", "Atomic Streetwalker", "Bonker Zonker", "Chili Pepper", "Nasty Charlie", "Feather Brain", and "Hot Butt." But for a lot of these, the reasoning behind the name escapes me. But, I’m sure in the mind of the creator, the name made sense.

I’ve decided to develop some new flies of my own. I gave them names before I even attempt to tie them. I hope someday you get to try a few of them out in your local stream:

The "Michael Jackson" – Tied with lots of tinsel and a special black dubbing that magically turns white while in the water. A terrific dancer while drifted, stripped, or even floated on the surface. Careful, this fly will only go after fingerlings.

The "Britney Spears" – This fly is tied with only a small strip of tinsel around the front and back part of the hook leaving the shank overly exposed. Only young fish are attracted to this fly.

The "Bill Clinton" – This charismatic fly is one you will either love or hate. It will attract and go after any and all female fish in the stream. If left in the fly box for any length of time, you may notice white stains on the blue skirts of your open mouth poppers.

The "George W Bush" – A fly tied using braided red, white, and blue chenille. Lots of red, a little white, and tiny bit of blue. Note: This fly only works if it is dropped 18 inches below a "Dick Cheney" and allowed to drift.

The "Viagra" – Tied with light blue chenille, this dry fly will stay up for hours. But only if the fish are ready for action.

The "Kirsti Alley" – An extremely large, but gorgeous fly. It is tied on a #14 hook, but grows to a 6/0 once it is fished for a short time. It catches fish for only short periods of time, then will be ineffective catching only a few commercial fish here and there.

The "Larry the Cable Guy" – While this may be the ugliest, most offensive and obnoxious fly in your box, it will definitely "GIT ‘ER DUUUUUNNNN!!!"

The "Ted Kennedy" – Blue thread, blue marabou tail, blue dubbing, blue ribbing, on a blue hook. Soak this fly overnight in gin for full effect. The fly will intentionally always drift left, even if that is going upstream.

The "NASCAR" – Used mostly in the southeastern US, this fly is tied with a mixture of thread and dubbing colors. When fished, the fly continues to travel in a circle at a high rate of speed with periodic short stops. Fish tend to follow only one color pattern of this fly and will snub their noses at any other pattern.

The "Oliver Stone" – Gray dubbing tied with gray thread, this fly attempts to fool the fish into believing it is not alone and that several other insects are behind him. Always hooks the fish "back… and to the left….. back… and to the left…."

The "CSI" – Tied with tiny bits and pieces of hair, lint, human skin, and finished with some latex glove material and soaked in DNA before fishing. This fly seems to always get its prey. Best fished with a flashlight in dark areas of the stream or at night. Use ultraviolet leader and tippet material and wear special amber glasses for an indicator.

The "Cheech and Chong" – Use a green leafy dubbing and wrap it with paper. Fish will be very mellow when landed and may need extra help swimming upright when released. Be sure to use your hemostats if this fly becomes too short from a lot of fishing.

The "Z Z Top" – Long, shaggy dubbing accentuated by a very long hackle (at least two sizes larger than the hook) make up this sharp dressed fly.


Born and raised in the Ozarks of Arkansas, Terry Beeson has been fishing all his life. He was introduced to the world of fly fishing in 2001 and has become permanently attached to the sport. His love of nature and the outdoors is evident from the list of his passions - hunting, fishing, camping, guitar, golf, woodworking, and his latest passion, fly tying. Still living in Arkansas, Terry is an active member in the North East Arkansas Fly Fishers club in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Visit Terry's website here.