CTF Reel Logo Casts and Drifts
Monthly Newsletter of the Central Texas Flyfishers November, 2001 Vol. 7 No. 11

Calendar | Officers | Re: NY Relief Fund | Guest Speaker | Fly Tying Feature | Back Issues | Home

Tuesday, November 13, 2001
CTF Meeting at Lion's Club Pavilion, City Park in San Marcos, 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 27, 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 II
Secretary: Kim Heaston
Treasurer: Bob Blagg

Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Re: New York Relief

Last month I ran an article about how the club donated money to the Fire Fighters Fund in New York City. Unfortunately I did not get my facts straight. Billy Wofford set me straight on the true facts of who came up with the idea and where the credit should be placed. I'll let him tell it in his own words:

As much as I would like to take full credit for the Donation to the Fire Fighters Fund in New York City, I can't. What started all this was Matt Jennings and I were talking about the tragedy and he suggested that we should do something along the lines of helping those guys out. I agreed with him and we talked further until we finally decided a plan of action. I would contact Terry and get his concurrence then post it on the web page. It snowballed from there. In addition to receiving inputs from our excellent web page, I got phone calls supporting the idea. I got with Randy Edwards and he got me the name of the organization to which we should send the donation. Initially it was for a donation of $100.00, then Bob Blagg suggested we go with $150 and if there was any disagreement, he would come up with the extra out of his own pocket. I suggested that we make it for $200 and I would split the extra $100 with him if there was any disagreement over the amount. He cut the check for $200 and mailed it in with a cover letter. So you see there were a lot of guys involved. It would be a good idea to recog-nize all of them in the next newsletter. Maybe by then Bob will have received a reply to the cover letter.

Well, as you can see, there were more people than just Billy involved in making the suggestion. Let's give credit where credit is due. Let's thank those club members who came up with the plan and those members who supported it.


Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Guest Speaker for This Month's Meeting

The club forums on the website are a valuable source of news and information:

"Hey Everybody, I talked to Tom Talcott and he has asked Wayne LeBouef a lure collector and outdoor writer to come and talk to our club on Tuesday. I don't know a bunch more information than that except that I believe Mr. LeBouef has written about the fishing down at the coast. I know that many of us have at least a passing interest in old lures and fishing collectibles.

Wayne would be great to talk to. He's got a lot of knowledge about local waters as well as the coast. Maybe he can give us some hints on how to fish the confluence of the Comal/Guadalupe where he has told me the temperature gradient can really stack up the fish. He's also Dottie's favorite carpenter, and not to say that she's picky or anything-I think I'll shut up. Looking forward to it.

Tom has invited him to the pre-meeting at Rogelio's so let's have a good turnout for the meeting and enjoy an interesting presentation."

Matt Jennings
Bob Blagg

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Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Fly of the Month:
Al Troth's Elk Hair Caddis

Comments by Jim Abbs

Winter is almost here and unless you are fly fishing for steelhead or heading to tropical waters, your fly-fishing is probably at low ebb for the year. How can you struggle along for five months until April? How many fly fishing videos can you watch before your eyes get bloodshot and the family kicks you off the VCR? One way to deal with these sleepless nights and fishless days is to start filling your fly box for next summer's fishing. For every fly you tie, you can dream of the fish it will attract and catch. For every variation in color and style, you can imagine the exhilaration of fooling those particularly challenging holds over fish in your special honey hole.

To help you with this winter fantasy, for November-February, the FFF Fly of the Month will focus on flies that are certain to be used, almost as soon as your favorite waters open. Someone, somewhere has asserted that 20% of the anglers catch over 80% of the fish. Whether that is true or not, it certainly seems that 80% of the fish are caught on 20% of the fly patterns. So, to make you mid-winter tying especially worthwhile, I will be featuring bread-and-butter flies---those flies that catch the most fish, every year. Let's call them 20-80 flies.

One of these 20-80 flies is the Elk Hair Caddis. While this caddis imitation originates in the mountain west---based on its inventor's residence and the materials used---it has become a standard for fly anglers the world over. Al Troth, a school teacher from New York, transplanted to Dillon, Montana is the guy who is given credit for this pattern. While it was not new at the time, he first described it in a 1978 issue of The FlyTyer Quarterly. Western fly-fishers, like Craig Matthews of West Yellowstone describes the Elk Hair Caddis as one of the most important patterns for fishing the Yellowstone, particularly on the Yellowstone and Madison Rivers. Jack Dennis of Jackson Hole says the same thing about his waters, which include the South Fork of the Snake. Likewise, Eric Leiser of New York, Terry Hellekson of Utah and Taff Price of the U.K. sing the praises of the Elk Hair Caddis as well.

Basically, this is called a hair-wing fly, since elk body hair is used to imitate the down wing or tent wing of the caddis. The popularity of this pattern is enhanced due to the toughness of the elk hair and its buoyancy, as well as the way the palmered hackle body makes it ride high on the water like a real fluttering caddis.

Tie these flies in a bunch of colors, with variations in both the dubbing for the body and the color of the elk hair. The most useful sizes are 12-16, but a 10 on a June Midwestern evening or a 18 in Western Montana in July will also be deadly. Finally, tie up at least 6 for each color and size, when the fish start taking these flies, you will need more than a couple.


Hook: Dry fly hook, Mustad 94840 or equivalent, sizes 6-20
Thread: Tan or to match colors of body dubbing
Body: Dubbed hare's ear fur (synthetics also work well)
Rib: .005 inch gold wire
Hackle: Furnace or brown hackle tied palmer style
Wing: Tan colored elk hair fibers
Head: Trimmed butts of elk hair wing


  1. Tie in gold wire ribbing at rear of the hook. Dub body forward and tie off.

  2. Tie in hackle behind eye of the hook and wrap over the dubbed body, palmered style, toward back of hook, using 4-5 spiral turns. Tie off hackle with 4-5 turns of the gold ribbing wire.

  3. Wrap wire forward through the hackle and tie off at the head.

  4. Tie in elk hair wing, sloping toward the hook eye, tilting slightly upward.

  5. Clip butts of elk hair to form a squared off head. Cement base of wing.

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