Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 10  2006  


  Fall Fly Fishing Secrets!

  Seasoned fly fishers world wide understand the magic that envelop's rivers and streams from early autumn on through early winter.... Water levels drop and currents begin to loose their power as one enjoys changing colors and a drastic drop in attendance by fellow fly fishers! In my life Yosemite National Park here in California becomes a living Dali landscape more wondrous then usual. Resident trout though weary from a summer of hide and seek games are now easy to see and present flies. It feels as if life in general is pausing for a short moment to regroup and begin the long sleep until early spring.... I enjoy first finding my favorite waters such as lake Tenaya in the park or the mighty Merced River that screams out of this majestic place. This time of year I spend time watching and listening and smelling and counting my blessings, Yosemite is a fine place for this inward reflection as the season winds down!

Yosemite 2002, by Dan Fallon

  One must adjust to the low water and begin using smaller tippits size six or smaller, flies that are effective usually are the tiny size eighteen or smaller. Before one begins presenting these tiny insects a great deal of stealth will be the order of the day. Rewards can be mesmerizing as transparency and chilly air awaken the senses that another season is almost behind and holidays are in the wings. By this time of year those who take this sport seriously can now evaluate what worked and what failed, equipment and skills in general usually need fine tuning.

  That fly vest can be emptied and lightened for certain, waders patched, lines cleaned or replaced, flies sorted for effectiveness. Fly rods carefully inspected for breaks, unwound guides, damaged cork? A time of personal perspective in my case, after many trips this year. The wonderful Feather River watershed was a special discovery, miles of deep green clean waters without a soul in sight. The people I met on this trip were worth the trip alone! Truckee River near Reno Nevada and the little town of Truckee a fine place to throw flies and relax highly recommended. Starting the season by train all the way up into Oregon and chasing Steelhead was grand! Like most of you I imagine memories of ones wrist being jolted by healthy trout or salmon become fuel for those cold rainy days coming up...

Truckee River

  Fall Strategy

  My advice for those seeking peace and abundant late season fly action is simple and old news for seasoned bug throwers! When approaching stream or rivers stay well back from the waters edges, wait and watch for rises and hatches. If your quiet and spend this time studying trout activity your odds will increase dramatically! Fall wading is usually not necessary and in many instances scatters resident fish and creates and alarm that will spook the area and waste your time. If no hatches are happening try walking a good distance from where you intend to fly fish and using either a filter or your hands scoop up material from under rocks or near shore and investigate identify resident insects. By taking this extra time studying you have a much better chance of fooling trout that have by fall truly seen it all cowboy!

  Those rooky fly fishers who begin a session by getting right into the water and splashing around destroying the peaceful natural order will fail almost every time. Be smart and take the time to watch and learn. Equipment and lines need fine tuning as well, forget those thick early season tippits. You may need to extend your tippits out to eight feet or more to hide your colored fly line which will alert fish your insect is bogus. Changing your main fly line to a more neutral color is another good idea as the loud early season lines will defeat your stealthiness. Keep the lines clean and free of dressings as well because when waters are low and transparent you need every edge to fool wily trout.

Merced river, Yosemite Park. Dec. -99
Merced river

  Sift through your fly collection and take only your smallest creations with muted not loud colors, if you have sifted stream bed material and successful fly fishers always do. You will notice the larvae, insects are usually darker colored in browns and blacks. Your loud dressed early season offerings are now useless. I have many standards that work year after year when the leaves turn to gold, ants, grasshoppers, dragon flies, midges, baetis, Golden Stones, Elk Hair Caddis, and my favorite standby Mr. Mosquito. Of course depending on where you live world wide these standards will very.

  Be prepared to change flies quickly if after ten casts you have no bumps try another fly and move to a fresh place to fish. Make an attempt to stay well back from any area you are working and throw long when possible. Your skills at presentation are critical, work stream edges first then begin moving out further until whole area is investigated. Many fly fishers do not bother to wash their hands in the same waters they fly fish in, this practice takes your scent off the flies your throwing and helps give you and edge. Trout, salmon have highly developed olfactory organs, when they smell you your finished. Have you ever watched a fat boy come out of nowhere head straight for your fly and in the last few feet turn and bolt? Trout are put off by thick lines, wrong flies, noise, vibrations, your shadow, your casting movements and anything that disturbs their natural order. Stealth my friends, stealth and more stealth will serve you well!

  In conclusion late season fall can be your most satisfying fly action of the season if your careful and practice absolute stealth and respect for the natural order. One last suggestion, after sifting and sorting out stream bed material from resident insects, take home a sample of whatever insects you find. Let this sample dry out and attempt to duplicate or bench tie with an eye on color and size, of course if the sample is still alive leave it where you found it.


© Phil Frank 2002

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


  The Mongolian fly fishing expedition is now encamped upon the banks of the sacred lower Egiin Gol River in the remote upper reaches of the Baikal watershed. This area known for both it's colorful nomadic peoples and its heavy forested areas once thick with tigers and many extinct animals. Early man hunted herds of bison with bow and arrow and spear, often running herds into deep pits dug as traps or over cliffs whatever got the job done and meat on the table baby... The river is noted for it's crystal clarity and abundance of large fish eager to taste foreign flies perhaps of the Hollywood Famous Pubic hair streamer variety?

  Quill did not sleep at all listening to the incredible bird, cricket sounds serenading the camp as the group spent the night finally camped on the banks of the Egiin Gol River, sweet smells of Frankensence incense mixed with ancient cedar drift in and out. The first eye soothing surreal specter to greet the fifty year old birthday boy Marine reserve General, Secretary of the Interior and new best friend and traveling partner of the Dali Lama, fly tier supreme, internationally known grave robber, blond appreciator, fly fisher, art, cat, rock, blues, Ferrari lovin San Francisco fairy underground, demonologist, astronomer, microscopist biologist, blond expert is about to hear from his adoring associates, acolytes, girl friends, world leaders, etc...

  First morning visual is the half inch feast dance and general revelry gamboling scene transpiring on Quill's pillow as his eye's open! King Oberon King of all fairies his main boy Robin Good Fellow have built a micro replica stream Fletcher caught huge Brown trout in a northern Yosemite remote area. The tiny stream has many fine trout and is completely accurate. The faerie King an old friend and ally has another 50th (episode or ahh Birthday gift)... 

  He hands Quill five tiny crystal containers containing the first breath of each of his deceased beloved cats, Jack, Pan, Ace, and others now preserved in their essence. Quill is instructed in the short spell he can read out loud any time he wants one or all of his beloved cats to re activate into life form for one hour at a time, he can cast the mortal activation spell as many times as he wishes and never have to grieve for his best friends ever again..

"Thank you so much King Oberon, you know how much love I have for these innocent sweet creatures I miss so much, so what is the chance of getting my Mom's essence or maybe Duke Parker's or Brain Jones's, or Elvis or Sinatra, or Patton, or King Midas, or Merlin, or Copernicus, or de Tocqueville or Orson Wells ?????".

"Yes, you dream on Mr. Fletcher Quill in your half awake waking in a foreign place bliss, here you have the immortal essence's of your best friends and we will add Timba when and if he ever goes. This is our gift to you for your life long fifty years working for us and many other- worldly projects. This Pyramid Power Grid technology will change mankind into peaceful easy living characters along with many other spiritual genetic changes about to obliterate all known religions. You must understand Fletcher you have been allowed into our inner circle because we know you have much secret information on the essence of life already! The Pope, myself and the Secret Chiefs have decided to bestow the rank O.H.O. Outer Head of the order.

  In plain language Fletcher you are now a fully ordained Shaman who will be given all the secrets of life, spirit, death and invention toward the greater good.

  From this moment on you will possess by the power of Magic Robe and Topaz seeing jewel, you and your cat Timba will become immortal and a senior among the Secret chiefs. "

  Quill looked out of his multi colored tent and see's his Holiness has created with his monk's a special fifty year Mandela in his honor as the smells of yak pan cakes and wild boar sausage beckon the weary world traveler about to activate his satellite news, e-mail dish hook up while hot black tea, cocoanut milk and French pastry with wild flower, Mongolian honey cakes are spread in front of him......

"My humble thanks to you most Holy Dali Lama, I have news for you sir as well. The spirit of Aleister Crowley 666, Abbott of the San Francisco Golden Gate Park underground Faerie world Sammy Kinnison, Tommy Netzband ghost hunter supreme www.hauntedhaight.com, Terry Kennedy international gangster, Shelly Simon his twisted Queen of hearts are united in spirit giving you your Holiness the secret kite making cloth formula and the exact plans for the endless cheap power system known as pyramid power grids. With these tools Tibet will always win the International Kite Olympics and control the free power plans that will save man kind by solving the energy issue once and for all time. A call comes in from the Pope.

"Good morning your Holiness".

"Mr. Quill, I have just left a humbling International Council Of Foot in Mouth with Mel Gibson, your California Governator and his "Hot Blooded" apology and of course my own nasty comments about that eastern radical bunch. Happy birthday sir, looks like your now kinda one of us high holy men there Fletcher. Soooo this will get as interesting as that 50th episode of Fletcher Quill I saw on satellite last night! Gotta run, more foot in mouth training with Mel and the boys. Oh yeah how about that Bobby Brown DTB his girl Whitney, he just Dumped That Bi---".

  The Mongolian morning sun rises as more 50th Birthday activities overwhelm the newly ordained Holy Man, Marine General, Sec Of Interior, friend of the low, high and famous now fields a cell call from his Queen as another great Egiin Gol River hatch goes off here comes a reality check... Just before the maps are laid out for the mornings fly action, it's her blondness!"

"Sharon sweety just call me your Holiness as of this morning dear."

"Holiness huh, listen oh spiritual birthday boy, your Hollywood Famous female pubic hair streamer sets, composed of samples left by Jennifer, Selma, Paris, Angelina, have sold out at ten thousand a set. Orders keep coming in every day, what do I tell these crazy ass fly fishers so desperate for these obscene flies you tied you pathetic moron, I mean your High Holiness pathetic moron! So what do I tell me these looser desperate rich fly fishing Geeks Fletcher?"

"Sweeeet! My sweety, I'll get back to you about those orders. Much Birthday merriment to savor hope you and Timba are happy, ta-ta. Oh ahh wish you were here pumpkin, lets work on that ugly street chin music you keep yodeling your blondness, your no rapper, just terribly fetching says your Fletcher.... Ta ta, hugs for you and Timba, I have Birthday booging to get to."

"First order for my Mongolian Expeditionary team is prepare to be on the water fly fishing in one hour gentlemen, we have to move on toward the Sera Monastery, how far are from there your Holiness?"

"A ways, lets enjoy this river, oh yes, here is another cell call from a Mr. Richards?"

"Keith dude, this place is whacked as whacked as bobby and Whitney call it a day buddy? So how goes the tour and Mick's bad throat and your sore head and so forth dude? "

"Tours is killin em mate, we are all into the Buddy Guy 1991 album " Dam right I sing the blues" We got your boy Gary Hunter's Blues Band opening all over China with us, maybe we will see you in Tibet, we go to Shanghai in three days then Beijing. So have you heard from Eric or B, B, or any of your blues brothers except me dude?"

"You will do quite nicely pal, yeah we will hook up in couple of days, soon we are Sera Monastery bound for International Tibet Kite Olympics Kick off which your invited to of course."

  Quill glances at note handed to him by Jive Boy just in from Cowboy, "Mr. Secretary DNA match on General Duke Parker does not match, repeat does not match. He is still alive!"

  Dukester still kicking? Birthday Boy now legit Shaman? Next up Tibet Kite Olympics.  


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  27  28  29  30 
  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39 
40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48 
 49  50


Written by Dan Fallon © 2006
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2006

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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