Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 11  2005  



  In California as in many international wild trout sanctuaries rare opportunities exist for those who think outside the usual fly box assortment. My personal fly tying has become geared toward soft hackle vivid coloration and experimentation in regard to standard patterns such as the classic caddis that thrive through out North America. In respect to softer more fluid flowing hackle especially in late fall when many resident trout have seen it all over and over. If one were to watch carefully how feathery live hackle flies move in slower fall currents and witness otherwise bored blase fish quickly key in on the alien insect in their feeding lane. It will become obvious the value of learning to tie several loud colored or extremely live hackled patterns to compliment the more generic mundane offerings you have been throwing all season.

  Two of the patterns featured are tied in traditional wing emerging from around the eye of the pattern, two others form a wing like tail that allows a fuller more live motion underwater, much like matuka or streamer patterns. Long ago I adopted the habit of watching all my flies underwater being mindful of natural flowing movement associated with real eels and live baitfish or emerging insects. I attempt to create patterns that are buggy and hairy instead of slick and perfectly proportioned. I do not tie patterns to impress other tiers, my only goal is to fool fish.

  This season I have focused on the caddis because of it's frequent appearance in my favorite rivers from now on as currents slow down and stealth stalking armed with new exciting out of the ordinary offerings truly get the attention of over educated trout...




Hook: Dry fly #16-18 barbless.
Tail: Yellow dyed calf or deer hair or elk.
Body: Peacock covered with purple sparkle.
Hackle: Black dyed grizzly softer feathery live hackle.

This pattern can be modified by tying tail/wing closer to eye of hook or changing colors to suit your local insects, the pattern is deadly in dark waters or skipped just under surface film.




Hook: Dry fly #16-18 barbless.
Wing: White Calf or dye your own.
Body: Mahogany thread or stripped quill in complimentary color, yellow thread over as variant.
Hackle: Mahogany or Ginger or Grizzly dyed brown. One may find more fluid softer hackle.




Hook: Dry fly #16/18 barbless.
Wing: Deer hair, several grizzly tips can be added to wing. (more feathery motion!)
Body: light brown thread or stripped quill to match, covered with yellow thread.
Hackle: Mahogany or Ginger or softer hackle of your choice?




Hook: Dry fly #16-18 barbless.
Tail: Dark brown calf or deer hair. Yellow dyed elk hair on top.
Body: Brown thread tied tight and close then covered with silver tinsel, add purple and yellow sparkle.
Hackle: Black died with purple, silver blotches, get creative with coloration!

  This fly H.E.L is amazing to watch and fun to tie because depending on where you live the color scheme can be as creative as you like. I experiment with different colors as long as they are loud and electric like it's name sake Jimmy Hendrix baby..... Use this fly late and early as resident trout look at each other and ask, "What the hell is that?" In my mind fly fishers get stuck too often in tying only the tried and true often boring traditional patterns used year after year. Take a long look at your local insect population and then open your mind to becoming more creative with colors, tying technique and any other variant that may increase your odds of impressing salmon and trout and create the, "What the hell is this?" response..


© Phil Frank 2002

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


  His Holiness the Dali Lama along with Fletcher Quill and his old Marine Corps pal Duke Parker are flying down Geary Street in Quill's new bad ass custom made turbo charged red F1 Ferrari on the way to a private showing of rare feathers in the newly revamped De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.. (See new San Francisco De Young Museum www.thinker.org) The boys including one man/god are listening to Eric Clapton's new killer Cream reunion album all heads on board rocking....... (www.ericclapton.com) His Holiness screams into the Italian kid skin and Alligator leather upholstered screamer now flying at one sixty plus all systems howling", "This is how one million five rolls baby...."

"Mr. Quill, I love your red flying machine, do you think I might possess the divine touch necessary to control this beast?"

  Quill whips into a quiet spot on Fulton Street near the park and his godliness slips behind the wheel and grabs first gear quicker then Prince Charles at the Transvestite Camilla look a like contests held at the infamous Mitchell Brothers every mothers day.

"Your Holiness, your doing over 120 in a 35 zone, you sure you never drove one of these before?"

"I'm humbled by your kite flying idea, it is inspired, please tell me where this idea was born?"

"Some years ago I read a book called "Colonel Cody And His Flying Cathedral "written by Carry Jenkins. It was that book that started the ethereal other world research that led to the final plan. Cody was a friend of Anne Oakley, was a famous trick shooter, kite inventor, cowboy, became a legend in England."

  Suddenly a yellow Mustang convertible filled with four good looking college age females pulls up next to the red beast...

"Hey guys, are you holy men or going to a costume party?"

"What have you got in mind girls?" Replies his godliness reving the engine."

"Were out just prowling and howlin boys, whose the quiet one in the back seat?"

"Duke Parker here girls, we are going to the new De Young Museum for a private show, wanna go?"

  The newly formed mobile posse pulls into the De Young underground parking as the Dali Lama slide's Quill's red rocket in next to the yellow Stang..

"Mr. Quill I bet you and his Dukeness did not know today is Sammy Hagar's " The Red Rocker's " fifty eighth birthday, party time in Cabo Wabo baby, love Cabo!"

"Please call me anything but Mr. your Holiness, by the by knowing your fondness for watch's, I have a small gift for you before we adjourn to the ancient feather collection. I had ten of these solid gold chronometers made for dear friends. This one is for you and this one is for you your Dukeness, two rare time machines for my two most eccentric associates in future mayhem, remind me to give Jive Boy and Jason Aki their watches."

  The four new gal pals each grab one of the boys arms as the new crew is escorted underground to a high security vault where rare feathers and ancient artifacts dwell. Duke Parker enlightens his holiness as the three ton steel doors slowly open to the safe room.

"Much controversy swirls around this new museum your Holiness. It seems one of San Francisco's leading society woman against much opposition shoved this ungodly building down the throats of citizens who hated it's design. As you can see this structure resembles a beached battleship and has opponents asking why it fails to blend in with the original quaint park design."

"Ahhh, what would man kind do with out the passion and single mindedness of the fair sex hey gentleman? San Franciscan's must now accept this building as I accepted my destiny many years ago. This building is a group lesson in compassion for the unwanted, open your loving tolerant hearts and learn to love and accept this architectural orphan."

"Well said sir, you of all people know what political single mindedness is really all about!"

  Moments before Quill and his esoteric crew enter the huge safe room, a cell call from Raven's Haven stops the procession cold...

"Sharon your blondness, sweety can this wait I'm six feet from more rare feathers then you can imagine Pumpkin were talking five million years old my movie star hotty!"

"Listen up fly fool, your main squeeze is getting very tired of counting the sea gulls around here. Either get your ass back here pronto or I might go looking for that dirt sandwich the all night Dwight sweet cakes. You ever heard the phrase another mule kicking in your stall Poindexter? Oh, yeah better take a peak at your live underwater camera you had installed last week here at the castle, huge herds of fish( issu.edu/arl/fishcam.php ) you got some bodacious King Salmon right out your back door fly moron!"

"Sweetness, Timba and I are castle bound by this evening, man do I miss you and my castle. Have staff set up special diet and quarters for both Duke and the Dali Lama. I have one more meeting with the Cowboy and Slick Brainy after which we are airborne for northern Ireland. I need some down time in the tying room and my beloved library cupcake."

  The college hotties and his Holiness are now meditating as Duke and Quill begin examining drawer after drawer of ancient feathers from birds that lived before the first ice age... The young thing's take another long look at Quill and his crew and ponder out loud...

"What were your real names again?" (While looking at each other as if just waking up!)

"Duke, look at this complete cape taken from a Hummingbird that lived in first century China. These little feathers are so iridescent they glow in the dark dude! I'll make some wicked Royal friggin Quill Coachmen ala first century."

"Your Highness have you ever seen such color and brilliance?"

"Yes, Fletcher your passion for our lighter then air friends reminds me of something I read in your Christian Bible, " Wisdom is better then rubies..."

  Thanks to the cities boy mayor Quill is allowed to take samples to be tied into flies that will be displayed at the new Museum and tour as the Quill extinct collection.

  Duke Parker and the girls exchange numbers as the semi holy triad slip back into Quills red beast and Parker gets behind the wheel as Quill's red secured cell phone goes off, " Mr. Secretary are you and Dali bonding there son?"

"Kinda hard to chat sir, Parker just took a left on Fulton at around 130 mph looking for third gear!. Dali and I are Friggin hangin on here sir!"

"Is that the new Queen CD I hear, what the hell is that singers name who fronted Bad Company and Free? Paul Rodgers still got the insane chops dudes! Listen I want to ship that new Clapton Cream reunion album to all front line Marines, Force Recon, Airborn troops right Parker. You heard from Keith Richards lately?"

"Sir, is their something special you called about? It's hard to chat when my stomach is being thrown around like the recent Supreme Court nominations, please do not put my pathetic hat in the ring for that gig sir?"

"No worries Quill, Slick and I got much bigger plans for you and Duke. How long until Jive Boy and Jason Aki are back at the castle?"

"Oh and remind your President to reinstate your Marine Corps Reserve status and reinstate you at the Senate approved rank of lieutenant General and give you Chesty Puller's old outfit for your first Command, how the hell does that sound Jarhead! By the by tell Duke Parker he can keep his retirement checks and get his ass back in uniform as well."

"Now you two boy's think about what matters most. I can arrange for you to remain Secretary Of The Interior as well after I give you and Duke the Blue Max baby, that's right blue ribbon tiny star's time son! Now we will throw some kind of shindig when I pen that medal on Pilgrim. Any hew that is the plan Slick and I have come up with to include you two right back in the action if you want? Think it over and get back to me pronto.. You boys both earned your way to the top son."

"Those invisable surfer boys are at home for another month, Jason's wife has been getting freaky over the absence of her new groom. I got Timba left to pick up and we are airborne and castle bound this evening. Now about the Blue Max and our own commands, back in the Green Machine Duke and me again as general officers wearing the friggin Blue Max and Puller's old bunch the China Marines in the mix, man Duke and I will get on this fast, thank you sir."

"We love the Kite Olympics to help the Dali get his house back in order, we did run security checks on Shelly, Tommy and Terry. Hell their cleaner then our little Martha was before she got railroaded. Yeah, we did think about you for the Supreme Court thingy. Son you and the Dukester been doing the do for the old Red White and Blue, it's time for us to do right by you."

"What about throwing another big bone to my boy the Dukester?"

"Ok, Ok, tell Duke Parker he's on the payroll and his top secret clearance and passport are on the way, we might have alittle pest control work for the Dukester soon. We want you both to keep an eye on the Dali Lama caper and one more thing, Slick and I want to throw flies at those over fed King Salmon I see converging on Raven's Haven, love that live underwater fish cam dude! After you get home lets set up a meet, have a safe trip. Slick say's tell Keith to let you solo on "Born under a bad sign" or maybe Stevie Wonders, "Very Superstitious"."

  His Holiness motions to Quill just ahead lie the secret underground entrance to the underground faerie world that exists under Golden Gate Park. The Dali lama has decided to take Quill and Parker into another world they are both quite familiar with where highly intelligent creative little people maintain and create endless scientific occult research that will impact these newly acquainted yet ancient brothers with an understanding of their eternal mission and genetic destiny in concert with powers they barely understand...

"I think you might enjoy seeing with your own eyes the city in miniature that exists deep within the roots of the many trees that thrive in this great urban park. Now let us walk among the little people and see their remarkable skills. You must rub this ointment quickly into your eyes and for a short period you will see this world clearly. The effect won't last only the memory will linger and only myself and very few other mortals know where and how to enter this place that is famous world over in the chambers of magic men and shamans. Now the time of enlightenment has come upon both you and Duke, your skills will be used for the common good and universal healing your old friends the Kelpie's, Brownies, Fairies, little people, angels have provided you two all along."

"Tiss all a chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with men for Pieces plays..."

1809-83 Edward Fitzgerald

(Another abduction by Fairies's led by Dali Lama? The Blue Max and General Star's for the boys? )


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


Written by Dan Fallon © 2005
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2005

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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