Updated
2008-10-01

Swedish version
 

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing
 

Column nr. 10  2008  

  

JAPANESE FLY NIRVANA !

  Japan has from the 1960s been a favorite destination of Mr.Wolf because it is surely other then Paris France, the most civilized country I have ever had the honor to sample period! Iwakuni Japan on the southern coast was my first experience with this ancient country. In the late 1960s much of rural japan was still very much as it had always been. Most impressive was the reverence for tranquility and peace I found in still shadow feudal Japan as a teenage boy... In the last several years Japan hit my radar again because of the overwhelming popularity of fly fishing and Bamboo Fly Rods. One of my great loves in this complicated sport has been my collection and use of Bamboo Fly Rods... I love them and have set international world records with them that may never be broken! See Monster Kings and Sweet Bamboo Part 1 & 2. Japan captivated me in so many ways, food my kind of carefully prepared seafood and vegies the best. The contemporary Japanese fly fisher has an eclectic menu of in country fly venues to choose from. In this column a few will be highlighted, it would take many fly columns to cover all the exciting fly action in Japan...

  Fly fishing is taken extremely seriously and Bamboo fly rods are held in high esteem. Before getting into specifics in regard to where in Japan on can sample streams, a word or two on the country itself. Major cities like Hiroshima have all the luxury one could imagine, hotels first class, night life rocks. Once again the Japanese cuisine with strong emphasis on fresh ocean fish prepared carefully ahhh, makes American Japanese food seem rather dull and uninspired. Seasons in Japan especially in the more mountainous zones are blatant and can catch one off guard... If you are interested in fly fishing in Japan, be sure to allot plenty of time as you will be mesmerized by the absolute differences in almost everything from food to the outdoors, a sublime place to visit indeed.

  Nakatsugawa Kumogahata

  A half hour drive from Kyoto winding into the mountains into an area still quite rural seeking Japanese Trout or Char one can feel the climate changing drastically! International fly fishers have been in the dark about the serious fly fishing happening in areas like this. Not much fanfare, hardly any publicity which of course is why I’m featuring Japan this month. This area has been home to a few small villages from before the Heian period. Quaint does not really describe a place that reminds me of a children’s fairy tale.... The Shimeiin Temple or the Temple of Alpine Roses now known as Temple of Ghosts will disarm jaded westerners as its peacefulness purifies cold mountain air.

  Fly fishing these often shallow rivers, streams requires serious stealth techniques not unusual when one attempts fooling char or trout that can easily see you coming into their home. Fast retrieves rarely work, it is the slow careful fly fisher who succeeds in this fragile mountain water world. It is difficult to concentrate on fly fishing as the surroundings are in my mind different then any other fly venue because of the delicacy needed to succeed! One could be well served hiring a fly guide in these isolated zones. It is possible to find competent guides in all fly areas mentioned as they are your key to discovering which fly patterns are best.

  Kamasegawa River Kuromori

  This river features both fast and slow waters in an area near where a famous Samurai Shengen Takeda discovered Gold! The slow water easily found and wadeable or capable of success by working the rock strewn shoreline, fast water area’s are more difficult to get to and again a seasoned guide would serve one well.Two rivers converge near a dam on this reach action is pretty intense. Dry fly action was ok, but, working streamers in primary colors can work. Though most flies are brownish black affairs indigenous to local insect life. Much to learn if you fly fish Japan. An area really beautiful to behold. Fly action needs to be worked for until you get the drift Cowboy! On clear days Mt, Yokooyama north can be seen, most impressive like Africa’s Mt. Kiilmanjaro. To the northeast Chichibu Tama Kai National Park. Many smaller creek type venues exist if one speaks softly and makes friends with often shy reserved people who rarely intermingle with wild ass Irish writers let alone the common man Baby! This fine river is fed by Mt.Mizugaki ( 2230m). The upper stream quicker deeper more rock strewn colder waters are my favorite. One has to dance upon shaded slippery rocks and blend in with deep shadows cast by Maple and Oak. The water is quicker , the challenges remind me of isolated parts of my home waters in Yosemite National Park California, interesting casting challenges because of trees hugging these smaller streams. It is said ancient Samuri warriors came here to heal and seek tranquility because these rivers are host to ancient Japanese spirits... Smaller 3/4 weight fly rods are best, if you savor working your treasured bamboo fly rods, bring it and use it as these waters are perfect for the live delicacy Bamboo provides. Bamboo fly fishing in Japan a place where Bamboo has always been integral is like going to Bamboo Mecca Pilgrims....

  Asogawa River Kijiyama

  This area really feels like old world feudal Japan as it has the gently curved bridges and rock gardens one usually can find on post cards. It is also rather sad , a dam being erected due to come on line around 2013 will end the fly action here as it always has been, progress! Colder climate early mornings, evenings extra clothing a must. This mountain cold reminded me of my life in South lake Tahoe California, Alpine cold, to the bone cold. Very few fly fishers work this area which made it perfect for me. My best days anywhere on this shrinking planets fly rod in hand have been with no humans in sight.... Working this are is tough, have been skunked many mornings, then bam here we go. One has to work here, no free rides on Asogawa River. Very wadeable and the river often can be easy to cast on as the rivers in Japan are rarely so wide one can easily cast to all river edges and work all possible trout holding areas. Bring your triple A game to this river and get ready to be schooled Yankee doodle! These Japanese versions of American trout are marked almost identical to arctic char I have caught or in some cases they remind me of Brook trout on steroids. Big shouldered boys, fun to play with, not easy to grass these guys either. One last ditch effort was made to stop Dam construction because the Mountain Hawk eagle was thought to be nesting near the project, this was not confirmed and it appears the project will continue...

  Echigawa River

  Enchanting ancient ferns flowing grass’s, Wisteria and Honeysuckle provide your natural incense a totally captivating water to fly fish in, my personal favorite place. In many reaches this little river or rivulet is never very wide and so full of life because insects really thrive among the lush vegetation. Odd because it feels as if one has found a time warp back to the most ancient times among ferns and leafy brush that screams, " We have been thriving here from the moment time began human, watch your step flyman! " First time I worked this area several years ago I spent all morning sifting under rocks and ledges looking for the most common insects, larvae. As usual the little bugs are brownish, black in color and never very loud in their timelessness. When I stood and gazed from higher rocks or climbed cliffs it was amazing how primal, elemental this area is!

  Again can be very shallow transparent requiring your finest stealth work. I highly recommend first sitting back well from the edge of this water and simply watching for half an hour before throwing or disturbing the natural order. Because few fly fishers work these water, trout are weary of any disturbance or your pounding feet vibrating the human alert signal. That signal means you loose pilgrim, may as well eat your lunch and restart your day dreams...

  Only Stealth Will Do!

  A few hard earned words on what exactly I mean by true stealth fly fishing techniques. Rule number one never simply stroll up to ant small stream or creek and start throwing or wading. If you behave in this manner all the resident trout will feel and see you via shadows, vibrations and will head for cover under or near rocks or under stream edges. You my hopeful fly fisher friend are finished for the day! So many times I have witnessed this routine and wondered why newer fly fishers aren’t aware of this elemental fact of fly fisher life? Never approach fly waters without first spending at least 15/20 minutes watching and taking stock of any rising fish or swirling tails or any clues as to where or what the fish are feeding on.

  If one maintains a stealthy behavior with only this one rule, your success ratio will triple no question. Do not waste your time or ruin a fly venue with ignorance fellow fly fishers. In exotic fly venues such as Japan where many creeks, streams, rivers are often shallow transparent, stealth is the only way to fly period. I fly fish to catch and release, not to wade and stump around destroying delicate stream, creek beds. I rarely use my waders unless conditions kill any chance to throw from shore. Always work the waters closest to you just near the stream edge as that is where 99% of resident fish are holding and watching feeding lanes conserving energy is priority one for agua beings. After working the water nearest you then fan out and cover every inch. Keep an eye on your shadow, do not make quick moves, hyde if possible behind rocks or tree’s. Always work every inch by throwing overlapping casts. If you remember these basic rules of the fly highway your odds and your happiness in this sport will soar I promise!

   

 

 

© Phil Frank 2002

  "ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
Illustrated By Phil Frank,
San Francisco Chronicle Cartoonist, creator of "Farley "

  "And all with pearl and ruby glowing was the fair palace door, through which came flowing, flowing, and sparkling evermore, A troop of echoes, whose sweet duty was to sing, In voices of surprising beauty, The wit and wisdom of their King...."

  "The Haunted Palace, from The Fall Of the House of Usher" Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849

Ravens circled ancient Viking war feasts after victories when exhausted warriors were satiated with the spoils of war..... Woman screaming in wanton uncontrollable lust while magic mushrooms and exotic wines soothed tired bloody souls... In the long gone grey winter days of the period before Christ, feasting , sex, drugs, the spirit world were one and the same. Men who delved in magic arts were always in the thick of the finest cuisine, sexual extasy, and all good things in excess. In great glorious excess in the days before pathetic herd instinct child rearing pussy whipped males took temporary control from the magnificent heathens who breathed fire fed upon desire.......... From the earliest moments in human existence, food, drugs, sex, spirits, ritual ruled the minds of thinking men of action. In combination either before or after a battle or marriage or birth or death throughout time these elements have created magic feasting upon itself like a serpent eternally eating its own tail........ Then came the advent of the new burning Ice Princess from Alaska her highest of highnesss’s Vice Vagina J J , the chosen one VVJJ Baby. Let the games begin, lord have mercy on their poooor mortal souls.........

  THE ERA OF PALEONTOLOGY BEGINS!!!!!!!

Graceland Elvis’s crib for most of his adult life is lit up and the pre feasting energy is awfully high as a special guest has arrived just in time to partake in the about to begin festivities featuring Hellery Cliton, MS. OBAMARAMA, the resident Quilly Bioooches, Fallen Nun Mutha Superia, GMB, Gold Monkey Blondy, (Uber Hot 50ishMilf), Keith Richards, Dali, Lama, Sharon Stone and a long list of dead&Alive super blues and rock legends starting off with the girls baby. Ms. KO KO Taylor kicking everybodys ass with her smoking single, : "A Piece Of Man, Better Then No Man At All" off her new album , "OLD SCHOOL BABY " KO, KO rolling lean low and blue........... (Wake up Areatha, better kick start that heart Queen of soul!!!!!)

  "Quillies, I have a surprise guest who will make this a special affair, let me introduce the next President of this battered, beat up, broke, pathetic union of ours ruled by greedy wall street boys who sleep at night and pet their kitties before bed time just like you and me...... Our new Vice Vagina JJ kids, hold on, hold on, yeah its PALEONTOLOGY time. Her highness Ms. Sarah " I’m going to rule this town "....... let the feasting begin my friends, can you dig it! (PALEONTOLOGY very nice.....)"

Without missing a note the surprise guest walks right up to our still healing shaky old Marine General, Fly Master and slaps his face hard then gives him a great big wet tongue insert kiss, its hammer time and we ain’t talkin Ball-Peen here Pilgrims...Every fine thang in America regardless of her age or figure will be going for the Librarian/glass’s/schoolteacher/stripper/slut beat me eat me look now being perpetuated by the new leader of our free world/fashionista her highness VVJJJ Alaska all the way." Line up the oil platforms off shore so thick I can walk my little tramp daughters baby strollers and all all the way to Russia ya’llll...".. " One more thing whose babies are all these babies anyway, can’t keep that straight, please give me more of that divine gravy its making me giddy, oh my... Dam wish one of our Hockey teams was The Trojans"

  "SOOOO Madam President what will be your first order of biz when you hit the Hen House as it were?" ( Hen House very sweet hey Websters???)

  "Gonna find your skinny little Blond Waif ass and let you wiggle that thing to some Lennard Skinnnard while my hubby shows you his snow mobile exhaust pipe cuty pie. What is in this sause I’m starting to feel like three six packs of cheap beer here son???"

Keith Richards in his infinite worldly rock wisdom has doused the main entree and desert with 10,000 thousand mikes of pure Owsley GOLLLLLLLD ....... Its party time. Etta James is singing her sweet soulful, I Just Want To make love to you, off her " Live from San Francisco CD" finishing up her set with a killer rendition of, Tell Moma " The girls are smakin the ball, tappin the teabag as it were......

  "Excuse Fletcher this soup has magic dust yes??? My bald head is glowing bright green can all of you see my beacon green head??"

  "Dali Baby, relax its time for inner spherical alignment, time to savor the moment, time to get sublimely funky my Man-God Pal! That is why I had my main sweety Ms. Still tooo hot for Holly or Ballywood, blond to the bone, La Sharon park that perfect ass on your left Sir. On your right our next President. Soooooo VVJJ, how many babies are there precisely as of Oct 08?"

  "Good lower forty eight gut check question Quilly! I counted two new and maybe two in the oven as of last night. Man, when are these little boys going to learn what a raincoat is, Dam!"

  "Tough world up in the ice house hey VV, we have a daffy new Prime Minister Mr. Brown who is about as exciting as Barry Manilow on speed. We miss our little squirmer Blair Boy. He was kinda gnarly speaking out of both sides of that pie hole with his nose right up your Bush’s short and curlies Mate... No worries about toooo many babies VV, old Mick the stick has more Brats then Brangelina’s crib full of aliens?? (something wrong with RED, WHITE & BLUE Brats, Brad???????"

  "Soooo Gold Monkey Blond how was your turn in the Salt Lake City Sweepstakes last night? Did the General have any gas left after Mutha Serena took him down Blissed Out Ave? "

  "He was magnificent as usual, I begged him to stop after number ten big O. A wonder I can walk!

Faint odor of ancient Frankincense incense snakes its way into the proceedings as the atmosphere quickens. It is he, the chosen one, the one who see’s all things Old School, he who knows the rules. Irish Bogart, Faerie, dressed in bright glowing red robes and smoking his hookah. It is Cluricaun the all knowing one, His Obliqueness speaks...

  Whose Babies Are These Babies??????

  "Ahhhh, my favorite group of semi functional jet setters. Frank Sinatra’s Penthouse was a gas.... Alrighty then, having consulted with Both Elvis and the Colonel on this matter of respecting the Testosterone Equanimity.... First at the risk of sounding overly Mythmainiacle or telling too many stories void of fact! I hereby declare this debauchery to be blessed by the 70 year old virgins who dwell in perfect frustrated angst on the island of Cheny (As In Dick Baby!). It appears Mr. Quill’s Salt lake City experiment is sorta working. Though our little world famous actress still has the edge, she do know how to do the do...... In regard to our hero host and his now infamous UNIT! Sir your Shaky Blond Pudding fetish has been properly nourished and I salute you on your taste in Tang, outstanding Hen’s. Now then enough pleasantries. With your once grand Union now in chaos, banks, mortgage, states going belly up, oil kicking your ass big time! One would venture to speculate these wonderfully debauched proceedings are out of touch with the new ugly world order hey Kids????

No worries my narcissistic, totally self involved acid riddled mortals. I have a new mind set and rules for the new bumpy road a head... Before I get started love to give a listen to the classic "Spoonful" with Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. Or Muddy Waters wailing, "Mannish Boy" . Thank you that’s much better mood sounds... My wonderful Yoga teacher the mortal B.K.S. Iyengar who wrote the masterpiece " Light On Life" has counseled me on your delicate life style future needs. I deem this social experiment of yours Mr. Quill an act of Kaivalya.

That is seeking both freedom and aloneness in kind of point counterpoint ying yang. The ladies have begun to dribble the ball well hey Quill? Only question here is how long will this petri dish keep copacetic, harmonious? It is that question that brings me here today. Reminds me of your favorite California Poet Robinson Jeffers, "Know that however ugly the parts appear the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand..." Each of you lovely woman see Quill in your own vision as you imagine he and you are or could be together.. Sweet thinking, yet not practical at all. The man is now iconic in nature and worldly perception. He has become his dreams, you are all important to his survival. You Mr. Richards, how much more Owsley stash you got home boy? Dali Lama, Sir your head is pulsating bright green as your new life with Chinese leaders will be. Of course your massive concessions have broken many hearts I’m a feared.... We all still revere and love you Sir, one must do what the times dictate.. Very glad the Joke Chink Olympics are over, world does not yet know whole thing was staged computer generated just like the bogus Moon landing was faked years ago, its all dream, a long strange dream. One last thought mortals, grab that bong and take a big narley hit kids, hold it, hold it..... Congratulations Fletcher on your healing venture MFBDCSACMP or Medicinal First Bitch Day Camp Spa Attude Corrective Management Program..... Oh yeah I’m still sorting out VVJJ Babies, whose Babies are these Alaskan Babies?????"

  Dali Lama lays It Out Clear and Sweet

  "May I ask a question Oblique one, your obsession with controlling woman is interesting and instructive... In Tibet woman care only for fresh Yak milk and fire wood. Western woman might learn from our simple ways. Now that your crippled countries unquenchable thirst for cheap Chinese goods, in conjunction with Wall street greed fully realized. Perhaps endless hours in K-Marts and their like followed by swallowing copious amounts of trash fast food has dulled your true pioneer spirit? We laugh at your sad computer driven existence, young kids glued to chat rooms instead of going out side and breathing fresh air, so sad... Adults watching realty shows like so many monkeys in a hall of mirrors, so sad...Your woman refuse to get older and carve up their pathetic worn faces like so many neurotic blind golfers, so sad.... It is that unbridled greed, more, more, bigger, better, faster.more expensive, moire, moire..... That has led you into this garden of chaos , insanity! History clearly highlights a societies plaintive last gasp. Romans, Greeks, Samarians, those chosen souls who lived on Atlantis all fell into fragmented dead zones after too much self aggrandizing, gluttony, You boys know the rest of the story. Can your battered America be saved? It will never be the same, you are now officially the global cop, not the global bank, Adieu, Adieu..... "

On this sober downer soliaque the dinner guests are quiet, servants make the only noise. His High Holiness has opened a stale rotten can of worms and the odor is sickening!

Raven’s Haven Bound - Harking barking for the feel of fly rods and Irish Single Malts

 

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 31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38
39 40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47
48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56
57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65

66  67  68  69  70  71  72  73  74

 

Written by Dan Fallon 2008
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2008

For Dan Fallon's earlier and later columns;
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