January 28, 2005
By Sherri Ray
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
The Bastrop Outing got TWFF off to an educational good start. The tying classes were excellent thanks to Coco Davenport, Pam Vestal, and feature fly tier, Martin Pursch. Coco and Pam did a wonderful job of getting all of us “newbies” started out on the right foot. With our newfound ability we were able to follow along with Mr. Pursch on some flies that were just a tad more sophisticated.
I personally came home with 5 flies I tied myself. I have always been a die-hard fan of buying flies or just sweet-talking Ronnie Ray into tying up whatever I needed. I have never been a fan of small close work such as sewing etc. I was in for a wonderful surprise through the first minutes of Coco Davenport’s classes. My expectation was that I would be unable to handle all those things happening at once—but I did. Coco systematically (don’t forget calmly) took us through steps whereby I produced my first real fly. The next day I saw a zip lock bag of flies on the shelf in the kitchen area. I started asking people if they belonged to them and no one claimed them. They were mine! I couldn’t believe that flies that looked that good actually belonged to me. I hope everyone experienced the same level of satisfaction that I did. I think there were approx. 15+ of our women that participated in the classes. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s, Ann Miller–Education Coordinator, was responsible for lending TWFF the tying kits. If you get a chance, let Ann know we appreciate her and TPWD’s efforts in helping us.
Mr. Pursch began his class by explaining to us a bit about how fly fishing works in regards to flies. He explained in depth the meaning of “matching the hatch.” He explained the different groups of flies such as dry flies, wet flies, emergents, nymphs, etc. with the aid of handouts to make it visually as clear as possible. As he instructed a couple of tables of ladies tying flies he kept us all together using his dry erase board. This really was a good tool by which we could all understand what was next and if we had done it correctly. He is a great guy and a good teacher and if you ever get a chance to take classes from him you will be pleased. Check out his store and information at www.flyfishingintexas.com/pages/TheFlyShop.html
As announced, Ronnie Ray held beginning casting classes. Several “casters” braved the wet and cold weather to learn the basics of the fly rod and reel. He explained how to assemble the components to get ready to cast and then the dynamics and technique of a good cast. We hope those new “casters” will return to more outings to put those skills to work in catching fish. I promise the next step is a lot more enjoyable. Once again thank TPWD’s Ann Miller for the use of the fly rods.
A handful of folks went to the trout lake to fish. It seems that the weather, the fish and some marine floatation devices refused to cooperate.
Saturday evening’s catered meal consisted of Lasagna and trimmings. Steve Robbins, our scheduled speaker for the evening, had to cancel due to being ill with the flu. His wife, Ann, called on Friday evening indicating Steve had been sick starting Thursday. He thought perhaps he might feel better and make it Saturday, but he just didn’t get better in time for us to hear his “Top Twenty-Five Trout Streams of America” presentation. Many thanks to Ronnie Ray for pulling my “fat out of the fire” once again by pinch hitting and giving his presentation on kayaking and fishing the Colorado River. You’re the best!!
On Sunday, the board meeting was held just around the corner from the park at Audrey Ambrose’s property. Sarah Valentine cooked up some fine grilled carnivorous wonders. These grilled-to-perfection delights were accompanied by a beautiful “work of art” salad by Sheila Hood. Thank-you all for a great lunch. Audrey Ambrose brought her mom to our cookout/meeting. It was a pleasure for our members to meet her, and for me, to see her again. The meeting held that day gets the award for the best meeting since the beginning of TWFF in my humble opinion. There was so much accomplished. In addition to accomplishments, it was fun and easy and essentially fast considering some of the meetings of the past. Anybody remember those four-hour meetings? Thanks to all in attendance for your vision, excitement, willingness to volunteer, and shear good heartedness to help our club and others through fly fishing.