CTF Reel Logo Casts and Drifts
Monthly Newsletter of the Central Texas Flyfishers October, 2001 Vol. 7 No. 10

Calendar | Officers | September 11 | Red Bud Isle | Busy Weekend | Fly Tying Feature | Back Issues | Home

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

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

Saturday, October 13, 2001

Community Flyfishing Clinic, Pavillion A, Rio Vista Park, San Marcos 8:30 a.m. to Noon

Tuesday, September 23, 2001

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

Saturday, October 27, 2001

San Gabriel River, Mankin's Crossing (CR101 off HWY 29 East of Georgetown) 8:00 A.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

Club Donates To New York Relief Fund

This reporter was unable to attend our last meeting. I was in such an emotional state that attending would have been useless. Billy Wofford, though, did attend and suggested that the club donate money to New York Fire Fighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund.

Many of us supported the initiative and this one act, for me at the very least, sums up the attitude of our club and its members. Pat yourselves on the back for a job well done and may God have mercy on us all for what is yet to come.


Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

Red Bud Isle is Back

After two years of frustration because of the closure of Red Bud Island it is finally reopened.

The reopening has brought back an Austin fishery that was difficult to access while construction was going on. One could get there by boat, kayak, or canoe but not on the island itself.

The island is just downstream from Tom Miller Dam which separates Lake Austin from Town Lake on the Colorado River. The island is now a park with paved parking and a small boat launch. To get there you follow Lake Austin Blvd. and turn left at Red Bud Trail. Just after crossing the bridge the park entrance is on the left. The entire park can be walked and is surrounded by fishable water.

The best method for fishing the island is to use a canoe, kayak, or boat and ply the banks around the island. Casting from the shore can be done in some spots but mostly it is roll casting. As our ubiquitous member, Mike Brown, can attest, there is lots of poison ivy in the area so be careful. Some areas on the upstream side of the island can be waded and you will be rewarded with some large perch (sunfish to the uninitiated Texans). Because the water flow is slow in that area some large mouth bass cruise the area.

By far the best fishing is done in the main river channel along the seams. In the autumn evenings schools of shad will be chased to the surface by both largemouth and smallmouth bass, which is an awesome sight to begin with but also presents some excellent fishing opportunities. Toss shad and perch imitations when this is going on and prepare for fun.


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Clip Art from Dave Whitlock

CTFF Shows Its Stuff on Dual Function Weekend

You guys get to pat yourselves on the back for the weekend of October 6. The club held two functions and supported both with grace and ease.

First was the San Marcos River Cleanup. Several of our members attended the clean up to support the club's commitment and keep us with a meeting place. I don't know the specific details but the club normally cleans up around Stoke's Park and there is always plenty to do in the river and in the park.

Second was the TPWD Annual Outdoor EXPO. The Austin contingent was to man this event and they did. But without the effort of the guys in San Marcos, who came up to Austin after cleaning their section of river, the fly tying would have been a tough row to hoe. Kudos to Billy Wofford, Terry Blackwell, Matt Jennings and all who came up to help out. We tied over 300 flies and we were not the only ones teaching. These same guys came again the next day and helped tie again.

If you've never been with us to tie flies and teach kids to do it you need to give it a try. While there are times when a child will look at you as if you have just uttered Mandarin Chinese the vast majority are excited and grateful for learning. One of my students was an eight-year-old girl with purple lips from eating some odd flavored ice cream, bright eyes and a confident attitude. She was singing a tuneless song while she tied, anticipated the next steps correctly, and ignored her father's pleas to be careful and follow instructions. Such children are rare and true, if not odd, delights to teach.

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The Lowly Woolly Bugger

Comments by Jim Abbs

For many beginning fly tiers, their first pattern in their first fly tying class was the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger. This relatively new fly became popular in the late 1970's through the innovation of Russell Blessing of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and the promotion of Barry Beck. While it has it may have its origins in the very old (British) pattern the Woolly Worm, it is now an American standby. As Eric Leiser declared, the Wooly Bugger is one of the most important patterns to be added to our fly boxes in the last generation. The reason is versatility.

Woolly Buggers catch trout, bass, salmon — in both Atlantic and Pacific rivers, steelhead, Arctic char, northern pike, bluegills and even carp. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is hardly a fish that swims that could not be caught with a Woolly Bugger. This wide-ranging success is due to the fact that these flies can be used to imitate a variety of fish food forms, including baitfish, crustaceans, insect nymphs salamanders and leeches. To achieve this chameleon status, Woolly Buggers are tied in green, red, olive, gray, grizzly, brown, black, yellow, white, and purple and in all combinations of these colors. This fly can be fished near the surface, or with the addition of weight it is often fished deep.

For fly tiers, the basic Woolly Bugger is simple and easy to tie, and by incorporating new sparkling materials, like Krystal Flash and Flashabou, it continues to produce. Obviously the Woolly Bugger may not be a glamorous fly, but it deserves to be in everyone's fly box for all kinds of fly fishing, from warm water to saltwater.

Interestingly, most English fly tying books do not acknowledge the woolly bugger by name, but instead the Woolly Worm. However if you look at the English Woolly Worm, it has a long tail like the American Woolly Bugger.

Fishing the Woolly Bugger is a matter of patience and confidence. Because of the soft saddle hackle rib and the marabou tail, it does not require much action on the part of the angler to give this fly a pulsating, undulating look. In a stream or river, slow to very slow is the key because the current will make it look alive. In a lake, a little more action may be required, but not too much and not too fast.

HOOK: Mustad 79580 or 9672 (sizes 4-16)
THREAD: Color chosen to match fly
TAIL: Marabou feathers (about as long as shank of hook); some tiers add Flashabou or Krystal flash to tail
BODY: Chenille (Black and olive are popular, but many colors are used)
RIB: Saddle feathers tied palmer style (tied spiral style the entire length of the hook shank)


  1. Wind thread around hook shank; cover lead wire if weight is used. Wind thread back on shank near barb of the hook.

  2. Tie in a clump of marabou feathers large enough to present a visible tail when wet.

  3. Tie in saddle hackle with the convex side toward the hook.

  4. Tie in a six-inch length of chenille and wind thread forward to a point 1/8 inch behind the hook eye.

  5. Wind chenille forward forming a long slender body. Tie off chenille and trim.

  6. Wind hackle feather forward in an even spaced spiral wrap. Tie off feather behind hook eye and trim.

  7. Form head with thread, whip finish, trim and apply head cement.

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© 2001 Central Texas Flyfishers

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