CTF Reel Logo Casts and Drifts
Monthly Newsletter of the Central Texas Flyfishers July, 2001 Vol. 7 No. 7
Calendar | Officers | Club Ball Caps Available | Fly Swap | Beginner's Corner
Fly Tying Feature | Back Issues | Home
Please note that "Around the Next Bend" will return in August


Tuesday, July 10, 2001
CTF Meeting at Lion's Club Pavilion, City Park in San Marcos, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Fourth Tuesday Fly Tying, Tickle-Blagg Veterinary Clinic, San Marcos, 7:00 P.M.


President: Terry Blackwell
Vice President: Joel Chavez
Conservation: Billy Wofford
Outings: Kevin Duren & Johnny Quiroz
Secretary: Kim Heaston
Treasurer: Bob Blagg

Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Club Ball Caps Available

Mike Brown proved again that he is the ubiquitous member. At his own expense he got our club logo embroidered onto ball caps. They are good quality caps, look really cool, and are available for $10.00 each. The caps are tan in color with the club name in black and the logo done in white and silver. Pick one up at the next meeting.

Fly Swap

At the urging of Randy Edwards up North many of the members of the club participated in a "Fly Swap". The idea is for a group of people to agree to tie one fly for each member of the group and send them to the members. Each participant then will receive as many flies as there are participants.

Following the postings on the web site it looks like every one is having fun with this. It is a great way to meet new people outside of the club, learn new patterns, and of course, go fishing with the new flies.

This reporter did not participate in the swap but looks forward to having another one hosted. Keep reading the posts at http://www.ctff.org to learn how the flies caught fish or taught someone something new.

Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Beginner's Corner: Let's Wrap it Up

So far we have chosen a rod, fly line, reels, and discussed leaders so lets put the system together and take it for a test spin. How do all of these components come together? I can sense this question coming so here is a start on putting it together.

Attach the fly line backing to the reel. This has not been previously mentioned. Backing? What is backing? The fly line is of limited length and will not usually fill the reel. To prevent the fly line from taking a permanent set and to allow for some extra line if your fish puts up a good fight you need to put a layer of backing on your reel first. This is usually 20-lb. test Dacron line. The reel manufacturer usually tells you how much backing to put on the reel for a given weight and style line. Often times you can buy a spool of the recommended length. Using too much backing is the safer way to add backing. Too little backing will impede your casting because the line will want to remain tightly coiled. Too much can always be trimmed shorter. The backing and fly line, when reeled in should be about ¼ inch from the edge of the spool to allow smooth operation of the reel. The backing is attached by tying a slipknot around the spool and then an overhand knot at the tag end. Wrap a few turns by hand to trap the line and insert the spool into the reel. Put the reel on your rod and reel up the backing evenly with moderate tension.

The backing is attached to the fly line with an Allbright knot. Tying the knot is difficult to describe so come to a meeting to learn how. Reel up the fly line. If there is less than ¼ inch of space between the edge of the spool and your line you will need to remove a few yards of backing until it comes out about right.

There are many ways to attach the leader to the fly line. The most commonly used method is the nail knot. Again, this is a difficult knot to describe (but fairly easy to tie) so come to a meeting to learn how. The other methods are making an epoxy connection to the fly line or using a commercial device for the connection. It is recommended to know the nail knot so that when you are in the middle of a stream and your alternate method fails you will have this skill to reattach your leader. Now tie on a tippet to the end of your leader. There are also several knots for this. Tie it about eighteen inches long and of the same size as your leader.

Finally, after you have assembled your rod and reel and threaded the line through the guides you must tie on a fly. A great many articles and studies have been made about the knots used for this purpose. Two knots that are fairly easy and quite strong that come to mind for tying on flies are the improved clinch knot and the Trilene knot. Both are similar in how they are tied and retain up to 90% of the line strength.

I know that I've been brow beating you about coming to meetings to learn this stuff but I also know that it's not always possible. So I am going to recommend a book that will give you more detail on setting up for the first time. From whatever sources you, can get a copy of "The Orvis Fly-Fishing Guide". It will take you from selecting a rod through landing your first fish. You will never become proficient by just reading but this is a great book for anyone who has gotten the bug.

Kim Heaston

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Clip Art from Dave Whitlock


A Family of Divers: Dahlberg & Offspring

Comments by Jim Abbs

As winter approaches, most fly tiers want to concentrate on patterns that meet one of two criteria. We are interested in flies that either will be useful somewhere where it is warm (in December and January), or flies that will be of especially great value early next season. This month's fly succeeds on both counts--you can use it in the south for warm water or saltwater species and secondly it will be very effective as soon as the ice is off your favorite pike or muskie lake next spring. Basically, if you are interested in catching any of the great watery carnivores--like pike, muskie, tarpon, snook, striped, smallmouth and largemouth bass---the October Fly of the Month, the Dahlberg Diver, must be part of your arsenal.

Don't just take my word for it! The famous Eric Leiser has described the Dahlberg Diver as nothing less than revolutionary. Both warm water and saltwater experts compliment Larry Dahlberg on his unique and clever design. The Tryons, in their book, Figuring Out Flies, suggest that this is one of the most dramatic fly-tying developments in recent years. So why is everyone so enthusiastic about this single fly?

Before the development of Dahlberg's "diver" almost all flies imitating baitfish or other non-insect critters (like frogs) either floated on the top of the water or were weighted to sink. While this amazing deer hair fly floats on top of the water, because of it's scooped head it also literally dives---like many natural creatures-when it is jerked along by retrieval of the fly line. As soon as the retrieval is stopped, the fly pops to the surface again. By changing the smoothness and speed of the retrieve, this bug gurgles, pops and wobbles, creating sounds and a stream of bubbles that many big game fish simply cannot resist.

A caution about the Dahlberg Diver. Larry Dahlberg developed this fly on the traditional "North Coast"...somewhere between his hometown of Grantsburg, Wisconsin and Brainerd, Minnesota. While he worked hard to get it just right so it would wobble, dive and swim live a live critter he had one problem. None of his clients would even tie it on their leaders because it looked so odd. The pattern described here is near the original. Obviously you can vary the tail (in length and materials) to create many other "divers".


Hook: Straight eye-heavy wire, Mustad 3366 in smaller sizes, or 34007 in larger sizes and for saltwater

Thread: Red, Size A

Weed guard: Monofilament, with a smaller diameter than the hook shank

Tail: 10-20 strands of gold flashabou, a black (and/or white) marabou feather and two black saddle feathers. A strip of rabbit fur, krystal flash or other materials may be used and also are effective.

Skirt: Natural tan/gray deer hair

Collar: Natural tan/gray deer hair

Head: Black deer hair

Tying Steps
(This fly requires spinning of deer hair and hence a vise capable of holding big hooks very securely).

  1. Attach thread and tie in the weed guard monofilament on the back of the bend of the hook. Wrap the mono with sufficient thread to hold it in place.

  2. Tie on strands of gold flashabou at about 1/3 the distance of the hook shank back from the eye.

  3. Tie in black (and/or white) marabou over the flashabou.

  4. Position and tie in two saddle feathers---one on each side--flaring out.

  5. Select 5-8 hackle fibers (tail should be a little longer than the length of the hook shank) and tie them in at the bend of the hook. Force the fibers against the bump to spread them, if desired.

  6. Tie in the first clump of natural deer hair with the tips facing toward the rear for the skirt.

  7. Tie in the second clump of deer hair for the collar with the tips facing forward and tighten (or spin the hair) so it flares out.

  8. Tie in additional clumps of hair up to the eye, packing (pushing it back against the first clump) with a packing tool and spinning them to produce a dense flared section of deer hair in front of the skirt.

  9. Tie off the thread and remove the fly from the vise for trimming.

  10. Trim the fly to have the following profile (use illustration as a guide): Head-sloping and flat on the bottom. Collar-deer hair should be about twice the length of the head and at an angle of about 60-80 degrees from the sloping surface of the head.

  11. Apply a generous amount of cement to the underside of head and at the base of the collar to provide good stiffness.

  12. Replace the hook in the vise, bring the weed guard forward and tie it in. Cement the head and go fishing.

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