Hows your hole?

Ever wonder how a spot or a hole on a river gets named? Popularity or use have always been the most common way. Having a way to tell someone where you were when you landed Bubba forced fishermen to start naming spots on the map eons ago. "The Honey hole" probably came first.
Legend has alot to do with the naming of a hole also. Bergman, Gordon and Betters have several, Joe Brooks and Lee Wulff too. Deservedly so, these are some of the most historic names in American flyfishing lore. As large as these personalities were I'm positive they did not name these magical places after themselves. They were just prime lies that they knew and loved. Prime lies that other fishermen would leave for these legends out of respect like a small trout does for bubba. In some cases it was not named for them until long after they had moved upstream and most certainly by someone else.
The modern age of fly fishing particularly here in the west seems to be driven by ego's as large as the Rockies themselves. Fishermen and guides alike have been naming new holes here for only a few years compared to the fabled waters of the East. In some cases, like "Killer's", naming them after himself. Killer has a couple of holes, a riffle and an Island which is a joke to all the rest of us. Naming a hole after your self is just wrong. Someone else naming the hole after you is acceptable but usually not a forever thing. "Hate" has a few holes still but he does not guide much anymore so the legend is fading. "Kevin" has a hole on about every stretch we float but they are named after him because of his seniority on the water and the fact that his presence there is respected. "Perry" has a riffle, "Ol Joe" has a hole, "Yount" has a rock and "Zim" has a run. They just did not name them after themselves.
For the most part holes get a name after some time for an environmental reason. Theres a "Slant Rock", "Cemetery", "frustration" and "The Junction" on almost every river. "Stinky Beaver" came about because of the dead beaver that sat there for 3 months on the Eagle. It's since moved to the upper Colorado for a similar reason. Certain holes are called one thing by a certain set of guides and something else by others. I learned last year that what I called "The Coryall Ranch Hole" is actually the "Circle Jerk", I like that better. The "Piggy Pool" is really the "Turkey Hole", I like the piggy pool better. "The Pink Horse " pool is called "Nealons" or "Where the grass meets the water". "Killers Island" is actually called "The Whitey Hole" which explains alot. On the Eagle theres the "Barn Hole", "Steffi's Hole", "I-70", "Paddys", "Brush Creek", "The Dumpster", "Poachers", "LDS" and "Maydays Rock" just to name a few.
I dont have a spot on the river named after me at least that i know of, but i do have a hole named after me. Trust me when i tell you though, no big trout are ever going to come out of it. It's 1800 miles from here, 150 yards from the Canisteo river in the bottom of an old stolen port o john. One drunkin day shooting trap at our old hunting camp, a bet was made. Since the pooper was stolen (another story), the sludge pumper was not making regular trips to clean it out. The loosing team of a buddy shoot would blow a hole in our already used shitter with a 12 gauge shot gun. My team lost. To the amusement of my "friends", I wore a small piece of poop on my hat for hours without knowing where the stink was coming from. My partner Jimmy was smart enough to cover himself head to toe in plastic bags and a rain jacket, I wasnt that smart. So just like a spot or hole on a river my name comes up once in a while when they say "remember when Bub......"

1 comment:

  1. Bob,

    Why are guides and snob fly fishermen so offended by saying bobber instead of strike indicator?? Isn't it called a thingamabobber??

    Nice thread my friend. You should call Phil M and see if you can be a regular contributor of a column in AA