CTF Reel Logo Casts and Drifts
Newsletter of the Central Texas Flyfishers November 2002 Vol. 8 No. 6

Calendar | Officers | Practice Casting | November Meeting "description" | The Passing of a Member
Fly Fishing in Winter | Newsletter Help Needed | Around the Next Bend | Back Issues | Home


Tuesday, November 12, 2002
CTF Meeting at Lion's Club Pavilion, City Park in San Marcos, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 14, 2002
Orvis Club Appreciation Night, Orvis Company Store, Austin, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Fourth Tuesday Fly Tying, Tickle-Blagg Veterinary Clinic, San Marcos, 7:00 P.M.



President: Joel Chavez
Vice President: Angela Arciniega-Rodriguez
Conservation: Billy Wofford
Outings: Michael Brown
Secretary: Marcus Rodriguez
Treasurer: Bob Blagg

Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Practice Casting

It has been a wet year. I sit here and write this newsletter as bands of heavy rain sweep across Texas like a raid of Comanches. I figured that we had all of our rains in July, but I failed to realize that October and November are our wet months. We can expect more rains until the middle of November as cool fronts come into Texas on an almost weekly basis. I have heard that it is going to be a colder than normal winter. Knowing that my weather sources were correct about the rain, I do not doubt the prediction of the cold.

I assume that like me, most Central Texas Flyfishers and other anglers long to be out on a river, lake, or stalking a flat. The weather keeps us in, but it gives us time to be with our families, finish work, and dream about fly fishing. I find myself walking around the house or office holding an imaginary rod and making solid back casts, following it up with a nice forward cast (leading with my elbow), and stopping the forward cast just above the horizon. I also have imaginary fly line in my line hand and make small hauls with it. So basically, I am going through the full motions of fly casting. Sometimes, I do not even realize that I am doing it.

This past week during an important meeting at work. I was inundated with so much boring information. Like the rains, the boring information kept coming. In all seriousness, my boss turned into a knotty old oak tree, and my co-workers sitting around the conference table turned into Guadalupe Bass, except for my co-worker Amy. She has a mustache and freckles. She was a nice heavy set channel catfish. I was in fly fisher predator mode. I started making small casts to the Guadalupe Bass closest to me. For some reason none of them hit. I saw the catfish milling about, underneath the knotty old oak tree. It was a far cast and I would need to get some power into the rod. I made a haul with my line hand and made a high back cast…

“Marcus, do you have a question?” my boss asked me.

The fly fishing film playing in my head came to a screeching halt.

“Uh…no,” I said immediately. “I was just stretching and looking at Amy.”

I think Amy has a crush on me.

Marcus Rodriguez

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November Meeting

At the upcoming November Meeting of the Central Texas Fly Fishers, The Guides of Texas will be giving a fly fishing slide show presentation. Marcus Rodriguez and Johnny Quiroz will be taking time out of their tremendously busy schedule to show the tricks, tactics, and stories that have made them Texas Legends and American icons.

This is the perfect show for those of you who would like to see how big bass can get in Texas Rivers. Come see why the New York Times calls the Guides of Texas "fly fishing gods."

Ask any kid on the street what they would like to be when they grow up. They will not say a doctor, an astronaut, a chemical engineer; they will say that they want to be like The Guides of Texas. Come to the next meeting. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will see why Oprah has called the Guides of Texas "magical."

[Editor’s note: If my fellow CTFF members would send me something to write about I would not have to write about myself. I hate tooting my own horn. Toot Toot! Nothing in the above paragraphs is true, except that the Guides of Texas will be giving a slide show presentation at the November meeting and that they are fly fishing gods.]

The Passing of a Member

Paul Hewitt, a new member and good friend of CTFF died early last month on a fishing trip to Alaska. He was fishing with his son and caught pneumonia. By the time Paul was able to get treatment, it was too late. I learned about his passing while I was at work. At my job, I deal with bad news everyday. Learning about the passing was a direct hit to me. Paul was a great person and was always willing to lend a helping hand. He was with many CTFF members when they went to help Ken and Charlotte Jones clean up their property after the floods. I remember talking to Paul about fly fishing the Guadalupe and the San Marcos River. He kept asking me how much I charged to guide. I kept telling him that since he was a member I would take him for free. He would tell me, "look, I am paying you for your information. You are teaching me something that I really want to learn. Your time and information are worth my money."

I am sad to say that I was never able to fly fish with Paul.

There is sadness and beauty in death. Paul’s passing was at a time when the seasons are changing. Paul has passed from one season to the next. Some people are scared of death. I believe that it is from the fear of the unknown. I believe that if a person spends enough time out in nature, one begins to understand the cycle of life. Paul was an adventurer. Paul was fishing in Alaska and from Alaska he went on his next adventure.

Marcus Rodriguez

Fly Fishing the Upcoming Winter

We've had plenty of rain. The rain will keep the rivers flowing strong until the coming of spring. Winter is my favorite time to fish the Texas Hill Country, even though the fly fishing is not as action packed as it is in the late spring and summer — but it is the most challenging. Cold rains, and cold fronts come down and can slow fly fishing down, but it is when fly fishers can hook into larger fish.

I have had great success on the coldest of days. Sometimes the fishing is so slow, and I am so cold, that I start to question my sanity. I have been out in sleet, light snow, and even freezing rain.

I do not know what draws me to the river in the winter. It does not matter to me what river that I am on. I enjoy the cold crystal clear winter water, I like making fewer casts, I like smelling wood smoke in the cold air. When floating down the river you can see deep into the woods. Some rivers, like the San Marcos and the San Gabriel, take on an eerie silence. The woods surrounding them are quiet like death, but full of life. Deer come down to the river to drink. Hawks scream and chase squirrels. Light rain falls and one can hear it ticking on your rain jacket and blend in with the rain lightly ticking in the woods.

If there is any advice that I can give about winter fishing, I would only say go out and do it. I do not think that catching fish is as important as experiencing the outdoors. The woods are extremely quiet. It is a time to think and reflect. It is a time to make casts count. It is a time to sit back, take a deep breath of cool air and think, "yes, this is living."

Marcus Rodriguez

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Newsletter Help Needed

I would like to take this opportunity to ask for some help with the newsletter. When I took over the newsletter, I figured that I could easily take an hour out of the day and write. Unfortunately, it has not been simple to find an extra hour. With the new baby, guiding, writing articles, work, and did I mention the baby, the time has been almost unattainable.

There are a lot of things going on in my life currently and I would like to get the newsletter out in timely manner. CTFF members and friends deserve this. I am disappointed with myself for turning the monthly newsletter into a quarterly.

I find that I am competing with the web site. There is nothing that I can write that most of the club and visitors to the site do not already know. I would like to take this opportunity to ask for help. If there is any news out there, let me have it first. I will take anything. Tell me about a trip, give me an announcement, or make a statement. Anything and everything is newsworthy when it pertains to CTFF. Write a story and send me an email. My email address is marcus@guidesoftexas.com.

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Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Around the Next Bend

This month I started writing/lamenting about the annual arrival of standard time. I even had some profound statements about the quality of how you spend your time is more important than the quantity thereof. I came to the sudden realization that the reader doesn't need to be reminded of this. We all know life is a journey, through time, that take us around the next bend.

Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to find out how another fishing/conservation organization works, and to be honest it doesn't. This organization has committees and a board of directors, that seemingly make all the "important" decisions for its membership. What makes CTFF special is that our members have a direct say in the operation of the organization. It makes me proud how we all pitch-in and do our part in fostering community spirit, both within and outside of the club. The larger organization does not have this sense of community -- that is their loss... the majority of their members are only concerned with catching fish and very little else.

The neverending dreams of travel still pervade my mind... when I get the chance to do so, I often think of how my friends would enjoy the places I've had the pleasure of going. One event that involves a bit of a road trip, will be held in early May 2003 in Tahlequah, OK, the Smallmouth Rendezvous, a get together sponsored by the Okie Fly Fishers -- a small group not unlike our's. I would like to see us host a similar event, that's a weekend of fly fishing, fly-tying, bbq, and camaraderie with fellow fly fishers. This year's event charged a small attendance fee (mostly to cover costs, and the rest to bolster their club's financial reserves -- I'm sure it will cost the same next year). I'm looking forward to this event and would like others to mark their calendars for it as well.

It's refreshing to know that I'm not the only one who write wistfully about idealism, thank you Marcus! It's tough to be much of a practicing idealist... it's just not very practical outside of the written page. What am I saying? We all know it's the thoughts that count, and being willing to share them with others — in hopes that they will live on in the minds of others to be passed along, somewhere around the next bend.

Michael Brown

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