dedicated to the promotion and growth of fly fishing through education, a key factor in helping members improve their skills, knowledge, and enjoyment of the sport
Texas FlyFishers currently offers five different annual courses and one annual event for the benefit of both the members and the general public. The courses consist of: a 10 week Beginners Fly Tying Course, followed immediately by a 10 week Intermediate Fly Tying course; a two day Rod Building Course; and, a 5 week Fly Fishing Academy. In Addition to these courses, the club has sponsored an Annual Fly Tying Festival for approximately 20 years now.
All of these courses are designed with the most basic beginner in mind, and are ‘progressive’ in nature, with each week’s class building on the previous week’s class, leading up to each student having the ability to tie their own flies on their own, build a rod on their own, or, go fishing with confidence. All courses and classes are taught by various club members who have experience, and expertise, in the subject matter.
There is a $50.00 registration fee for each of these courses, with registration being the night of the first class, and with acceptance being on a first-come-first served basis. Pre-registrations are not accepted; but, an ‘intent to participate’ note prior to registration is greatly appreciated, as there is a seating limitation for each of the courses.
The seating limitation for the two fly tying courses and the Academy is 24. However, as there is always someone, or two, or three, who can’t make a given class, we do accept as many as 27 for each of these courses. The seating capacity for the Rod Building Course is limited to 10, with no exceptions.
The two Fly Tying courses, and classes, the Academy, and the FlyTying Festival are all held at Bethany Christian Church, located at 3223 Westheimer, which is located just across the street east of Lamar High School, and is between Buffalo Speedway and Kirby Drive, north of the SW Freeway.
The Rod Building Course classes are held in the “Old” Community Center Building in Bayland Park, which is located on Bissonet, just west of the Bissonet/Hillcroft intersection.
With the exception of the Rod Building Course, all ‘indoor’ classes are two hour classes and are held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on their respective meeting days. The exception will be discussed in the respective synopsis of the Course.
The following is a brief synopsis of each of these five courses:
This Course meets on Monday evenings, with the first class and Registration beginning at 6:30pm on the SECOND MONDAY IN JANUARY, and the first class starts at 7:00pm that same evening. There are nine subsequent classes in this course.
This course covers the basic tools that are essential to fly tying, the numerous types of materials (both natural and synthetic) that are employed, the various hooks and their nomenclature, and the various sizes and types of thread that are used. It also has a class, the second one, on Entomology that is intended to acquaint the student with the various stages in the life cycles of the most important aquatic insects to the fly fisher, and which are the most common flies we tie.
The class format for this course is designed to first teach the fundamental techniques used to tie with each of the basic natural materials, such as furs, hair and feathers. Beginning with the third class, the students learn to tie the two simplest of all flies, the Wooly Worm and the Woolybugger.
As the techniques are mastered, they become more complex with each subsequent class. Also, each basic type of fly; dry fly, nymphs, and streamers, is covered, as well as some very basic saltwater patterns.
Upon completion of this course, the student is fully capable of tying fish-catching flies in each of these groups.
Registration for this course is held at 6:30pm on the Monday night following the last Beginners Course Class, with the first class starting at 7:00pm. Students in the Beginners course have ‘first-right-of-refusal’ on the seats in this class.
This course is a continuation of the Beginners course, but goes into tying more complex types of flies; such as learning how to both spin and stack deer hair to make floating deer hair bass and sunfish bugs. (Two successive classes are devoted to these techniques. )The remainder of the classes are devoted to tying specific types of flies, such as parachutes, emerging caddis patterns, and spinners, and some very specific saltwater patterns, such as shrimp and crabs, and epoxy coated spoon flies, and ends up with classes on tying terrestrial patterns, such as crickets, beetles, and grasshoppers, and, finally, on tying ‘bugs’ using foam.
Students who have completed both courses are all proficient at tying, and are capable of tying any type fly they desire. They are also capable of looking at a new fly, figuring out how it was tied, and then going home and tying their own.
Registration for this course is held at 6:30pm on the SECOND TUESDAY OF MARCH, with the first class starting immediately upon completion of registration. There are five 2-hour classroom sessions, held at the church, and four 2-hour Saturday Morning casting classes, held at the Meyerland Plaza ponds (directions are provided at the first class). The casting classes are on the Saturdays following the first four classroom classes, and are typically held from 9:00am to 11:00am.
This program is designed to teach the most basic of fly fishing beginner about the rods, the reels, the lines, the leaders and tippets, and how to tie the most basic knots, in a classroom setting. There is also a class on other items, such as waders, wading shoes, vests, glasses, etc., that are also essential to the fly fisher. Safety while pursuing the sport is stressed throughout the course.
The proper way to hold the rod and the line for casting is the starting point for the casting classes, and progresses from there to an introduction to the basics of a double-haul cast in the last casting class. Upon completion of the casting classes, the student will be fully capable of making a 30-40 ft, or more, cast with ease.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to fish wherever they choose with confidence that they can catch fish. (The fish just have to cooperate!)
Here is your opportunity to learn how to make your own rods, and to get that highly desired rod at about 65% of Retail price. This course has been moved to March, and is a two-day, all-day course, meeting from 8:00 am to 3:30pm (the instructor does permit a lunch break!).
As this course differs in some respects from the others, a brief mention of how this course works is in order.
You are expected to have selected and purchased the various components that you want for your rod, as well as the rod blank itself, before the day of registration.
You will be provided with a “components list”, as well as contact info on good sources for your components, well in advance of the registration date so that you will have ample time to make your selections and place your orders so that you will have everything in-hand at registration.
You will also be given the opportunity to participate in a ‘group order’ for a very useful DVD and instruction booklet, as well as the epoxy needed to coat your thread wraps, and such things as wrapping stands, etc. The provider of these items makes them available at Distributors Cost to us, which we pass directly to the student. You will receive the items you order with sufficient time to have studied the Instruction booklet, and watched the DVD, numerous times so that you will have a basic idea of what is in store, starting with the first class.
When you finish the course, you will have a highly prized rod of your own doing; complete with your choice of hardware, i.e., reel seat, reel seat insert, guides, and winding checks, as well as your choice of thread wrap colors, and wrapping scheme; not that of someone some where in another part of the country . It will truly be a “Custom Rod”.
These courses are under the direction of Joe Nicklo.
Texas FlyFishers holds an annual fly tying festival, “The Doctor Ed Rizzolo Annual Fly Tying Festival”, which is held the FIRST SATURDAY IN FEBRUARY at Bethany Christian Church. We always have a Featured Tier, who is well known within fly fishing and tying circles. In years past, we have had such notables as: Ken Iwamasa, C. Boyd Pfeiffer, A.K. Best, Chris Helm, etc. In addition to these noted individuals, we have about 50 area tiers, representing many of the southwestern states, demonstrating how to tie everything from the smallest sizes of midge nymphs, to 2/0 saltwater flies. We have several vendors with their products for sale. We also have a casting pond where you can try out the vendors tackle, or learn how to cast. And, if you so desire, you can also compete in the Danish Casting Game competition.
This event is under the direction of the Festival Committee, which is chaired by Chris Sumers.
|The 2014 Course and Event Calendar is as Follows:|
|Course||Responsible Individual||Registration/Event Date|
|Begin Rod Building||Joe Nicklo||January. 12, 2014|
|Advance Rod Building||Joe Nicklo||February. 9, 2014|
|Beginners Fly Tying||Frank Schlicht||January 13, 2014|
|Intermediate Fly Tying||Frank Schlicht||March 11, 2014|
|Fly Fishing Academy||Frank Schlicht||March 12, 2014|
|Fly Tying Festival||Chris Sumers||February 2, 2014|
|Frank Schlicht, Dir. Educationfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Ray paying "very close" attention while Steve, Jim and Young watch Frank demonstrate
Dave showing Russ how to deal with a particularly 'knotty' problem
Diligently wrapping guides on the blank under the watchful eye of Frank
A very nice freshly completed stripping guide wrap
Joel and Frank keeping a watchful eye on the students as they wrap their guides on
Bob having a guide problem solved by Frank
John Scarborough teaching a tying class
Tying class students hard at work
Dick Kauth teaching Boy Scouts how to tie a woolyworm
Making five-minute casting experts of Boy Scouts
Russell looking for that elusive item in a tying class
Holding the undivided attention of some Boy Scouts