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Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr.10  2004  



"No Spring, nor Summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face".

- John Donne 1571?-1631

   Early October in upper California looks like a dream visit to Monet’s studio at the height of his fascination with color’s, rusty reds and burnt gold glowing on or near streams and rivers valleys alive with songbirds... I have been on a tour of my favorite California trout waters starting with smaller streams on private property near Fall River continuing down toward the Carson River. Most of these rivers are running low because of factors including drought conditions and farming needs coupled with few considerations for wild trout and salmon.

Fall River

  In my mind it is a forgone conclusion California land of milk, honey and opportunity will be facing water wars over people, farmer, fish rights within the coming months because of limited rainfall coupled with too many people straining the existing system. Of course as a fly fisher naturalist my main concern’s are for the animal’s, birds, and wild game fish that depend on our keeping our waters clean. Daily temperatures are still hovering in the low 80s as autumn says hello to fall colors and well educated wild trout, winter’s first snow dusting high peaks.. This perfect California Fall October fly column is dedicated to my beautiful trout scout friend Karen Graham. I think Karen is the ultimate sports, arts figure;

  "Thanks again for all your help with my attempt to raise money for woman’s breast cancer.
Tight lines Karen".

Karen Graham

For Fall River I formation contact Fall River California Chamber Commerce 530-336-5840 or call Fall River Hotel restaurant, 530-336-5550 .

  The upper Sacramento River has had a fine season of guides reporting many limits of trout and salmon caught by fly rodders. Those who hunt hard and ask questions might find area’s to wade where few fly fishers can be seen around Ball’s Ferry and about five miles further up river. Local maps show several prime fly fisher zones from Mt. Shasta down to Lake Shasta reservoir where elbow room and wild trout can be found. Caddis flies, hoppers, midges, ants, yellow jackets, wild colored simulator’s of your own creation will work. Best to learn heavy deep nymphing- getting down deep quick is the key to working this water.

  Those looking for an isolated serious wading experience the area from Box Canyon Dam toward the city of Dunsmuir includes a boxed in canyon with high walls that can be waded for about three miles carefully, large fish have been taken by experts in this area. The famous Cantera Loop area can be either waded or walked on the rail road tracks, one can expect company here at times. For more information contact Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce Dunsmuir California, 530-235-2177 or call Castle Crags State Park 530-235-2684. (Remember to ask about current water conditions)

  Hat Creek was silent after the final Labor Day assault, water crystal green not many other fly fishers this late in the year. Always expect company when working this popular place, especially the 400 yard section just below Powerhouse#2, in some flat water places many big fish can be seen holding and waiting. This is Caddis, Mayfly, Mosquito, Prince Nymph, country in dun patterns size #18-22 thrown in clear waters to educated weary trout. The view of the water while driving by the camping area that intersects the creek is camera worthy all year, crystal clear waters.

  Hat Creek is 50 miles from Redding California via Hiway299, this has to be one of the most perfect looking fly fishing area’s in the world this time of year. Contact Burney Chamber of Commerce, Burney California, 530-335-2111 or call Lassen Volcanic National Park, 530-595-4444.

Karen Graham

  Heading much further down state to the Lake Tahoe, American River, East Fork Carson River near world famous Sorensens Fly fishing Resort water is at a seasonable low though not many fly fishers to be seen after second week in October. The ride up Highway #50 toward Donner summit heading on into South lake Tahoe provides many access areas walking distance from the road exist nice slow running shallow pools full of trout. These fish will rise to #22 Mosquitos or hit Hopper dropper combinations with hopper on top and a Prince Nymph will draw attention in the last hour of day light. Many of the access climbs need to be done very carefully as steep loose gravel and many No Parking signs also exist, be careful. Contact Sorensen’s Fly Fishing Resort Markleyville, www.sorensensresort.com, California 800-423-9999 or call South lake Tahoe California Chamber Commerce 530-541-5255 or www.tahoeinfo.com. Those looking for high end food and excellent fly fishing savvy Sorensen’s is one of my favorite places to go after throwing flies.

  California in my mind now appears like a giant sow that has accumulated far too many hard water sucking piglets that continue to evaporate and pollute rivers, streams and creeks. It is heart breaking for outdoors men, bird watchers, fly fishers and anyone who loves clean running water to witness this mass rape. Now and again our beloved mostly self serving egoist leaders make token gestures aimed at calming the unwashed mass’s, bills are introduced with grand fanfare and then its back to the pathetic status quo... In my 57 summers chasing game fish and wading almost all of this states waters in good times and bad, I feel like that Indian standing on a cliff looking at his land with tears in his eyes. The latest and worst news is another large development near Lake Tahoe may be built and yet another wild section of this great state will be plundered by greedy developers who could care less about water quality, population density and the shrinking water supply. Will this situation ever reverse it self or at least compromise, one would not be advised to hold one’s breath!

  Global warming, shrinking ice bergs, Robins sighted in Antarctica, old growth forests cut, unchecked development, less and less annual rainfall, and the slow heating up of this states waters are sobering and quite sad for all of us who remember Pacific Ocean surf so white and bright it hurt your eyes and smelled wonderful. Fly fishers, bird watchers view this uncontrolled rape up close and personal, who really is to blame for this chaos? Simple answer to a complex question, we all are period. We elected these clowns and we allow unchecked migration and greedy land developers to prey upon us like jackals too blind chasing mortgages and bigger faster cars. I love America and will always live and chase trout, salmon in California until all the water is either gone or polluted, its too late for me to quit and I fear too late for California to turn back this pure greed and ignorance.


© Phil Frank 2002

Illustrated By Phil Frank,
San Francisco Chronicle Cartoonist, creator of "Farley "


"Chaos umpire sits
And by decision more embroils the fray
By which he reigns; next him high arbiter
Chance governs all".

-John Milton (Paradise Lost) 1608-1674


  Fletcher can smell taste the bizarreness that awaits him and his crew Jive Boy, Jason Aki, Slick Brainy as the RCIA chopper descends on the roof of Ravens Haven castle after a sublime day on private waters. The roll call of recent guests now includes the lovely but very bossy recently placed under house arrest Martha Steward, three 4 foot tall green alien insect looking dudes that want to take over the world but also are open for unabashed inter galactic water oriented human activity, and last but not least her Blondness la Sharon Stone about to decamp for Fark Wark Azoo the location of her next epic "Return of the Zombies Part Six". Of course any other household might be disoriented by this pack of creatures who will be joined shortly with the equally bossy " Govonnator baby! Not to mention the sudden med evac of our dear old friend the X President who is now resting and recovering thank god! Timba jumps into Quill’s arms as he ascends first to the fly tower after being handed a note that says his much anticipated shipment of feathers found at the Samoan Voodoo cave dig have arrived.

  "Excuse me sir, all the guests are quite eager to speak with you shall I begin a late lunch?"

  "Yes, I will be down in an hour, ask Martha to come up after Sharon and then the little green dudes?"

  "I must say Fletcher your place makes my Hollywood digs look like a funeral parlor, it never stops here does it? I hear you have had Paris models to X Presidents to Keith Richards, ok I’m impressed, I did expect a more peaceful reading room sort of character instead of an international jet setting, peace diplomat who sings back up vocals for Keiths other band "The Expensive Wino’s". So what do you do for an encore Mr. Go for what you know? How can it be that I meet a guy who lives a life I’m completely jealous of, I love that, love that. Even your old haunt San Francisco is back woods compared to your life Quill."

  "Love you too sweety, have you and Martha been practicing folding party napkins?"

  "Excuse me sir it’s the Cowboy"

  "Fletcher Quill, This election is the in the bag son, we have to chat, I just spoke to a crowd of 5000 old growth loggers up in your Northwest, told them to sharpen those saws boys we have a few new homes to build in what's left of Florida! Hell, my little brother found himself a real job in that poor disentegrating old folks home of a state. Did Slick Brainy tell you about all the booty he has been chewin lately. Now people see that boy coming they get afraid, he scares me sometimes!"

  "Sounds like you have this election locked up sir, what can I do to help my President, how about you make me the secretary of the Interior so I can make America’s waters fly friendly from sea to shining sea sir?"

Suddenly Martha Steward and the three space aliens burst in and want to hang with the Cowboy as well.

  "Mr. President your now on conference loud speaker with my guests Martha Steward, Sharon Stone and our three new friends Bockro, Manna and Oopo from the Blue Universe three million light years south of Neptune."

  "Mr. President lets talk pardon my dear, this silly nonsense may stop the spring planting this year!"

  "Been watching closely Martha, my wife would kill me if I didn’t send you a sharp file in a cake, rest assured when the smoke clears we will do what’s right."

  "Sharon Stone here sir, have you or any of your relatives ever been to San Francisco? Why have neither you or your opponent stepped foot in the this great left coast city of love and forgiveness?"

  "That’s Indian country Sharon, back in Texas we string up people who talk like that darlin. Now how about you coming to our Thanksgiving dinner and we can discuss your life in Sodom with the news boy. Before I go a big welcome to the three gentlemen from the Blue Universe, looking forward to hearing your complete thoughts on our future together and global oil exploration hey Oopo baby."

  "We are not exactly at all sure about the "We" aspect Mr. President..."

  "Jason Aki here Mr. Presdent, three quick questions sir, did you or did you not get a butt kick in that first debate? Is anyone anywhere alive or dead prepared to say they saw your body in that guard unit and I really want to know were you a cheer leader in college?"

Timba continues to stare in disbelief as the three space dudes seem to vibrate and quiver as they utter a peculiar sound that kind of bears a resemblance to the kings English, sort of... Quill is busy tying four sets of new California Caddis patterns tied with the cream colored five thousand year old Samoan Voodoo feathers. He has waiting customers in Africa where the flies will be used by descendants of famous Botswana Chiefs who now fly fish sacred pools white men have never seen.

(Will Timba get used to vibrating space dudes- will Jason Aki be first man drafted?)

To be continued dudes


Read about Fletcher Quill in earlier chapters:

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 
13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26


Written by Dan Fallon © 2004
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2004

For Dan Fallon's earlier and later columns; visit the table of contents


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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