You Can't CF Without a FCF

By Gene Trump

I was eating a BLT for lunch at the J & T restaurant when I overheard this conversation between two fly anglers in the next booth:

"...I tried a MB during the hatch but I didn't get a hit so I went to a PTN as an emerger. Nada, not a strike."

"Did you try a GRH?"

"Finally, I did. After flogging the water for an hour I went deep with a size 14 GRH. That's when I started picking up whitefish at first, then some 'bows."

"I've used a size 18 olive GRH during a BWO hatch on the D before. Worked A.O.K."

Now, I understood exactly what those guys were saying, but I could tell by the bewildered expressions of a couple--waiting within earshot for a table to clear--that the exchange must have sounded like code. There is no doubt that non-anglers would assume these gentlemen worked for an agency such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, BLM, EPA, or UPS. Why else would they use just the initials and not the full words while eating lunch?

That's an easy one.

Our fast-pace life has not only affected how quickly we receive the news, mail, spy photos, packages, or hamburgers, but also how quickly we converse. There just isn't time to mouth out the lengthy designation "Pale Morning Dun," so we flyfishers shorten it to "PMD." One syllable is saved by using the initials instead of the whole name so we can move on to the next word that much faster.

True, we don't always save on syllables by converting nouns into initials, but word-difficulty is also a factor. "MB" doesn't shorten "March Brown" by a single syllable, but we all know saying "March" and "Brown" require the use of many more mouth and lip muscles than those used for pronouncing "M" or "B".

Work smarter, not harder. Too wordy, tighten it up. Time is money.

In an effort to enlighten those new to the sport, I've compiled a glossary of the most common initials used by anglers:

  1. MB: "March Brown"
  2. PMD: "Pale Morning Dun"
  3. PED: "Pale Evening Dun"
  4. PTN: "Pheasant Tail Nymph"
  5. BWOLB: "Large Mouth Bass"
  6. SM: "Small Mouth Bass"
  7. BT: "Brook Trout"
  8. CF: "Catch Fish"
  9. FCF: "Fish-Catching Fly"
  10. RF: "Rising Fish"
  11. SRF: "Selective Rising Fish"
  12. IHSRF: "I Hate Selective Rising Fish"
  13. DYMITTFH: "Do You Mind? I'm Trying To Fish Here"
  14. YSOML: "You're Standing On My Line"
  15. HHHGMSRH: "Hey, Hey, Hey, Give Me Some Room Here"
  16. WYBC: "Watch Your Back Cast"
  17. IGTUACSOTDT: "I'm Going To Use A Chain Saw On That Damned Tree"
  18. GC: "Good Cast"
  19. BC: "Bad Cast"
  20. RBC: "Really Bad Cast"
  21. MYSTUG: "Maybe You Should Take Up Golf"
  22. HCF: "He's Catching Fish"
  23. THS: "The Hot Spot"
  24. SF: "Secret Fly"
  25. WIHCFAWA: "Why Is He Catching Fish And We Aren't"
  26. HEGTOAS: "He's Either Got THS Or A SF"
  27. NF: "Nice Fish"
  28. WAYU: "What Are You Using?"
  29. ASF: "A Secret Fly"
  30. DWAYU: "Dammit, What Are You Using"
  31. NOYBW: "None Of Your Bees Wax"
  32. DMMCOTATY: "Don't Make Me Come Over There And Thump You"
  33. OOISICUW: "Okay, Okay, It's Something I Came Up With"
  34. LMTO: "Let Me Try One"
  35. NW: "No Way"
  36. HYDMWH: "Hope You Don't Mind Walking Home"
  37. OOBIWIB: "Okay, Okay, But I Want It Back"
  38. YRTGTH: "Yeah, Right, That's Going To Happen"
  39. OSMRIMS: "Oh Sure, Move Right Into My Spot"
  40. TPOR: "There's Plenty Of Room"
  41. DFITRYSTF: "Don't Fall In The River, You'll Spook The Fish"
  42. ICS: "I Can't Swim"
  43. YIYSTF: "You Idiot, You're Spooking The Fish"
  44. HI: "Help! ICS"
  45. QTMTKTTR: "Quick, Throw Me The Keys To The Rig"
  46. SYD: "See You Downstream"
  47. GO: "Got One"
  48. LMHY: "Let Me Help You"
  49. PDHMLTF: "Please Don't Help Me Land This Fish"
  50. YLAOFM: "You Lost Another One For Me"
  51. LTADS: "Let's Try A Different Spot"
  52. OK: "Okay"
  53. DYHTK: "Do You Have The Keys"
  54. NITYD: "No, I Thought You Did"
  55. WLOA: "We're Locked Out Again"
  56. IHHIW: "I Hate Hitch-hiking In Waders"
  57. DITTO: "Ditto"

Gene Trump is a fishing writer and cartoonist who lives in Corvallis, Oregon.