This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Wayne “Buz” Buszek Kings River Caddis.
Here are a couple other images of flies tied by Buz my friend Wayne Luallen sent me.
I never met Buz, but I wish I had. He must have been a great tyer. In 1970, the International Federation of Fly Fishers named its annual fly tyer award in his name. It’s a coveted award and there have been some great fly tyers who were fortunate enough to win it. I’m blessed to know some of them personally – Al & Gretchen Beatty, Wayne Luallen, Steven Fernandez, and Jim Ferguson.
Here is a Kings River Caddis tied by Clarence Butzbach. He tied these flies for Buz and Mickey Powell, his son-in-law who helped his wife Virginia operate Buz’s Fly Shop after Buz died. (Much appreciation to Wayne Luallen who provided this information, images above and below, as well as the Comment at the end of this post.)
I featured this fly back as a TBT in 2017 after I tied a few for a customer. This is the fly I tied.
If you compare mine to the first image, you’ll notice Buz tied his with a tail and two different hackle colors.
Here is what I wrote in my earlier post:
Buszek’s Kings River Caddis was created by Wayne “Buz” Buszek (1912 – 1965) in the 1950’s for the Kings River, CA. The fly uses undersized hackle to sit lower in the water and imitates the Hydropsyche or spotted sedge found in his local fishing water. Changing color and size will allow you to imitate many other caddisflies as well.
Other Buszek originals include the Old Gray Mare, Flot-n-Fools, Buz’s Shad Fly and probably the most popular, the Western Coachman.
In 1947, Buszek opened Buz’s Fly and Tackle Shop at his home in Visalia, CA, close to the Kings River in the Sierra Nevadas.
Thanks again to Wayne Luallen for providing images of Buz and his flies.
When I first saw the #16 version in the photos above I was surprised. This fly was in one of Buz’s fly boxes I was provided access to that included numerous other flies, some fished, some still with tippet knotted to the eyes. In spite of the fact this is the only Kings River Caddis I have seen with a tail or with a dual hackle, it certainly looks like an excellent variation to fish. Buz’s original pattern per his description reads (punctuation and spelling are his):
Body: Coon fur; dub fairly heavy and shaggy.
Wing: Mottled brown turkey lacquered. Tie in the thinner, tips ends. Wing is quite long; clip to shape after fly is tied.
Other than body color, John’s fly in the photo above is much closer to the original pattern save for the body color and “shaggy” dubbing.
Below his list of materials Buz provided a bit more information:
“Several seasons ago a population of large rainbow appeared below the dam on Kings River. They were heavily fished and soon began refusing every offering. Caddis flys were common on the river, hatching in droves late in the evening. I worked out this pattern to match the hatch and it proved, and still is, successful.”