Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 12  2004  


  Fly Fishing With Teddy

  Rough Rider Fly Fishing Dream

  As can often happen to restless day dreaming fly fishing writers when main stream, river trout season grinds to a halt, dreams can become more real if the dreamer spends time studying history and biographies carefully...

  "At last awake from life, that insane
dream we take for waking now.

Robert Browning 1812-1889

  July 1st 1898 near Santiago Cuba was a bright hot summer morning when Teddy Roosevelt and his famed " Rough Riders " had finally settled into a strong riding cadence with more then five miles to go before fording a stream and beginning the fight to take "Kettle Hill" Through history men who carry weapons often speak of the waiting or the last few miles before chaos takes over and the boredom or the anxiety explodes into conflict of the worst kind!

Stream below Kettle Hill
Stream below Kettle Hill

  Teddy Roosevelt a man shorter in physical stature then most of his cowboy, policemen, hunter, outdoors men Rough Riders loved the outdoors and wrote about many of his adventures hunting and fishing, asked the Sargent Major to, "Tell the young Corporal long - shooting riflemen from San Francisco Corporal O'Fallon to ride the point with him" "How the hell were you raised in a city like Frisco to shoot better then most old salts I know Corporal?" "Grandfathers, uncles, older brothers all cowboys, hunter gathering plainsmen or high sea's ship roaming sharp shooters sir. Before I was seven years my dad would take five rifles apart throw the parts in a black closet and tell me, "When you have those rifles put back together in the dark of course-dinner will be waiting for you," "by the time I was nine I could hit running quail at fifty yards with a BB gun."

  "Look at that water coming up O'Fallon- I know you brought two of your handmade Bamboo rods, lets work that water and let the horses catch their wind. Sargent Major forty five minute rest and quiet while O'Fallon and I work this water that may be booby trapped!"

  Then entire battle ready horse and foot soldier mounted brigade stopped in the humid Cuban summer to watch from afar their organizer and General that would lead them successfully to take Kettle Hill, then take them across a valley to help take San Juan Bridge, the whole company was sighted for bravery including T.R.

Charge San Juan Hill
Charge San Juan Hill

  "I already strung up this six foot Bamboo I made this spring and you can use this other Bamboo my great uncle used with Chief Sitting Bull- if we stop and take an hour sir-we can get into those rising trout or whatever fish working that surface slime. I just made this green slick silk braided line sir, think you might like these seven foot five weight rods- looks like those are Big Brown Trout ready to hit anything buggy!."

  Teddy and Corporal O'Fallon sit and begin tying on # 16 Hairs Ear's and a perfect Black Ant with red abdomen, O'Fallon finishes off dressing each fly as Teddy flexes the Bamboo, "O"Fallon, First Sargent tells me you have men more famous then I in your family history?"

  "Well sir not exactly sure about that, my great Grandfather served with General Custer and threw flies with him on several occasions- he did not go down in the Bighorn Battle was captured and later married one of the Chiefs daughters and began selling hand tied flies from famous Indian Chiefs like Sitting Bull and Grey Wolf and Geronimo. He ended up owning about half of the property called Oklahoma these days."

Rough Riders
Rough Riders

  "I had a great uncle that was at the Alamo and had guided many of the great Mexican generals before the siege and slaughter - he did go down with the troops. Then we had another uncle who had a fly shop in Tombstone where Wyatt Earp and his brothers ruled, he was at the O.K. Corral shoot out and later opened the only full service guide operation near Boot Hill.He maintained the Earp Brothers espically Virgil could throw pretty wide loops and wasn't much for chit-chat as he was famous for knocking people over the head with his six shooter."

  "Oh almost forgot about the O'Fallon that rode and fished with General George Washington, some guy named Fletcher Quill wrote a story about their exploits as I recall."

  Teddy threw nice long easy loops and was soon hooked up to a 15 inch Brown while his war horse jumped around kicking up dust and making loud snorting noises, "Ok boys lets mount up, I can feel those Cuban's breathing from here!" You smoke cigars O'Fallon?" "No sir, only vice is chasing fish with these bugs I love to tie and maybe shoot a taste when it serves my country sir."

  "General I hear your probably going to be President one day- wonder if we might still work a little fly water when that happens?"

Teddy Roosevelt take good by to troops
Teddy Roosevelt say good by to troops

  "Tell you what O'Fallon, I'm going to make sure that Yosemite Valley of yours is made into a National Park and make dam sure some fool future President does not go drilling for oil where you and I fool trout young man- one more thing if you keep dropping Cubans at 900 yards- I'm going give you so many metals you'll never get out on a stream again. One more thing Irishmen never try to measure a man's soul, heart by how tall he is. San Francisco Cowboy"s never heard of such a thing?"

  "Somebody had to keep all those four legged cheeseburgers well fed and watered till they got turned into dinners General."

  "Son, I remember finally getting the time to go out West and get my buffalo head- hell it took me ten days, those herds were all but gone by the time I got a shot, had to be 600 yards down hill with a slight right to left windage, hell of a shot with an old Spencer rolling block!"

  "O'Fallon, that San Francisco of your's is about as wild as any Injuns I ever came across, why every cut throat, pick pocket, actor, poet, gambler, horse trader, crimp or sailor, dreamer, palm reader, Emperor Norton, Isadora Duncan, Lotte Crabtree, that old terror of Tombstone Wyatt Earp still jerking that six gun on into his late 40s, and woman of ill repute all seem to end up there is the great mystery of American life."

  "Hell the wild old west, that's history finished now- San Francisco California that end of the American funnel, end of the west, a place where last dreams play out like the vanished buffalo herds melting into an endless burning red setting western sun that never dies."

  "One more thing Sargent O'Fallon, thats right Sargent, listen always speak softly and carry a Bamboo stick." Kid like you is going to need every equalizer he can get Mr. Fly Fishermen."


© Phil Frank 2002

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

The revelry, especially the endless riffs on old John Lee Hooker Chicago Frisco Blues with Quill doing his best Charlie Musslewhite and Jive boy backing him up with tasty invisible surfer board slapping while Jason Aki and Sharon Stone kill as back up vocalists. By 5am Martha finally had enough and began stripping and grinding to Honky Tonk Woman while Sharon Stone fumed with jealousy as the still fetching X blond model shook her booty baby...

Timba and Quill were up early in the fly tower sharing a perfect Salmon/lobster cream Brūlée Quill used the fresh ranch eggs, cream fresh, egg whites, fresh lobster, thyme, basil, fresh salmon and white truffles baked at 300 degrees for twenty one minutes, perfect and scorched on top with a special blow torch top it off.

  "Fletcher Quill, what a wonderful view from up here- reminds me of the view from the tower in Terminator Five. I think I better keep my Hollywood options open hey Quill, so how do you think I'm doing so far Mr. International I rap with the President dude?"

  "Your looking good so far Arny baby, what can happen with everybody loves me and so I once in awhile just blow it say some bizarre weird mannish woman, girlyman kind of thing- they get over it and away you go Mr. Teflon man. So, now what happens when a real crisis like the mass hysteria over the five miles to the gallon that Hummer of yours gets leaks out my man?"

  "You worry about such silly girly issues like pink tissues blowing in the wind my friend- I pump up every morning pumping and feeling stronger, maybe not brighter, always just stronger..."

Sharon is about to say goodby and so is the Govanator- a phone call lands like a time bomb.

  "Hello this is Fletcher Quill, Liv Ulman the actress, the blond goddess of the moment, of course I know who you are."

Sharon and Martha look like statues with their mouths hanging open and listening very carefully.

 "I did see your last film and loved that beach attire, listen when would you like to drop by?"

Sharon slowly walkes into the wall as she grabbed her bags to run for the chopper that would get her back to the mainland and the Concord back to Hollywood. Quill watched one by one his guests depart as Liv begged for fly fishing lessons."

  "Excuse me sir you have had other calls this morning, a Ms. Ulma Thermon and Christine Applegate and a Charlise Theron will be calling back soon and all left phone numbers."

  "Don't worry Sharon, it must be all the publicity lately, no biggie, just making a few friends- have a great trip sweety and call me- call me." (both throwing phony Hollywood kiss's)

Suddenly the castle has become quiet as Jive Boy, Martha, Jason Aki take the chopper to the mainland for supplies. Timba jumps into Quills arms and they both adjourn to the fly tower and begin aimlessly watching sea eagles dive and listening to breaking waves and gulls screaming. The smell of salt air and the peace and quiet quickly lull Quill and Timba to take a window seat Timba curls up and Quill begins reading and just staying quiet for a moment... Then he softly whispers so only Timba can hear, Liv Ullman, Christine Applegate, Sharon and all these high end quality babes asking to hang with me?"

Staff bring both phones and the new Secretary of Interion hot line.

  "Excuse me is this the senior research authentication expert for the King Tut excavations?"

  "Yes, this is Dr. Fineashell, or Jill, what can I do for you Mr. Quill, of course before you even start to attempt bribing me!"

  "Dr., please my dear no such thing would ever occur to me, I simply have a few questions in regard to the recent opening of the King Tut workout studio uncovered tem meters from his buriel tomb as he was one of the first regular body builders. I would love to arrange a visit and examine the feathers and odd animal parts discovered at the sight, these feathers can provide valuable DNA that will identify who what these ancient birds were? I will put up the funding for the whole project about 100 thousand and in return I can claim as many authenticated feathers possible is the deal."

  "You have a deal Mr. Quill we will write up the agreement and tell you where to wire the money- nice to here from you a very generous offer indeed sir."

  "I'm an avid collector and tier of extinct insects and feathers so rare as to be almost priceless to other avid collectors my dear, my people will call in a few days, pleasant speaking with you."

Timba jumps on the tying table with one of his tiny balls of bright colored flash Quill makes for him and together they begin their daily sport of throwing and retrieving the little shiny weightless ball. The Irish falling sun and the dark red skies are closing in on another fantastic sunset as Timba and Quill descend from the fly tower and into the dark paneled library smelling of roaring fire and leather mixed with the scent of licorice. Quill opens one of his favorite first editions "A Moveable Feast" by Hemingway and he and Timba float into Paris 1920s...

Peace and quiet finally at the castle? Calm before the storm?


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


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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