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Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 12  2009  

Bamboo Man

  In the upper stratosphere of journeyman master fly fishers few have felt the strength and backbone of quality Bamboo equal to Jack Weston’s experience! His story impresses me enough that my last 2009 fly column will feature this Bamboo Man and his latest wrestling match with a 20+lb King Salmon armed with a 60 year old five and a half ounce Phillipson that got the job done!

  "My hands were both pretty worn out by the time I landed the 20-lb King. It took ten minutes to play it out. The King took two runs straight at me the Orvis Battenkill Mk IV Reel I was using came in very handy as it reels in very quickly! Toward the end of the battle the king made one last run to some rapids down stream. I then opted to land it before it would have broken off my line if it had made the rapids."

  Mr. Weston’s life long fly angling experience allowed him to make decisions mandatory in playing and landing big fighting fish. Once he was hooked up soundly he let the King Salmon have its way and run until it tired. In my years of Alaska fly action the learning curve was and is steep for all fly fishers. Mistakes are made daily by those trying to grass big salmon before they are worked! A quality made fly reel is vital in this fish tale sportsfans because once hooked up Jack’s fly line was screaming at the maximum. The braking drag system had to be fool proof to pull off a fete like this. The other salient aspect is taking as much load off the Bamboo while the King Salmon was running by chasing after it until it tired.

  Fully Flexed!!

  "The reel was fully flexed when I finally landed the King which was the ultimate test of the vintage cane. My guide Skip Merkley of Sandfish Tackle, Talkeetna, Alaska was relived the rod held up as well as it did. I used a streamer to catch the 20 lb King. When the King took the streamer I set the hook and made sure it was set by walking upstream a few yards. The Bamboo Rod held up well while playing the King out. I kept the fly rod fairly horizontal to the water during most of the time I was playing it out as I was concearned the rod might break anytime!"

  Few fly fishers of either sex have experienced a wild healthy Alaskan King Salmon hooked well placing unbelievable stress loads upon natures own natural grown Bamboo. A modern marvel in precise engineering prowess indeed the creation of fine Bamboo fly rods! Then with out question men like Jack Weston seasoned, expert enough to understand the skills needed to pull off a once in a life time sporting feat of which few fly fishers will ever taste such sublime success. I salute you Mr. Jack (Bamboo Man!) Weston. You belong to an exclusive club with limited seating.


© Phil Frank 2002

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

  "All rise, here ye, here ye! Not all the Oceans Nor all the rivers can wash the balm off an Anointed king!"

  Gabriel Archangel, Sits on the Lord Of lords left

  Three long years have evaporated since Fletcher Quill has breathed the thick salty northern Ireland sea air.... His beloved castle Raven’s Haven notorious fly tower looms high above morning fog as the newly minted United Socialist States Of America Supreme Court Justice prepares for a celabratory feast/welcome home party to be remembered! Guest list includes long time pal’s and associates including new best friends; Chronic Whang Brothers, Mandan (legless?)

  Mayan Beggar, 666 master of his own undergound faerie medial mortal manipulation complex (UFMMMC) located under San Francisco’s fabled Golden Gate Park. His usually highest of highest 14th Dali lama, General Duke Parker, HD RADIO Radio Super Star Jimmy (I call’s it like I see’s It!) Furgason fresh from his annual Big Dumb Ass White Boys Suckling Pig/Ffield Dressing Olympics. Current Supream Courts Justice’s Tony (Buzzz Killer) Scalia, Johnny (Snore) Roberts, Tony I’m the Party!!) Kennedy, Ruthy (Party Starter Not!!!!) Ginzberg, Snoop (Chronic) Doggggggyyy Baby!!! Justice Quill’s ladies including the rolling hour glass owner of 36 D’s to die for Nurse Caron, Sharon Stone and the current 7 division boxing sensation Manny Paquiao who took Miguel Cotto to school and has undefeated Floyd Mayweather staying up late.

  As the rooky Supreme Court Justice climbs out of the Marine Chopper that brought him back home to Irish Castle his mind goes quickly to his oldest and dearest friend Timba his beloved cat.

  Timba has carefully assembled seven years worth of his favorite play toys and launches his air assault into his missing masters arms with precision.

"Timba, Timba. Timba my sweet best friend I did miss you too! (Abysinian Cat kiss’s everywhere!!)

"That figures, first you grab that spoiled tooo intelligent cat instead of your still hot film star squeeze hey Justice Quill! Congratulations I’m still in shock! Staff has been fielding international phone messages while preparing for your welcome home soriae. Nurse Caron has called like fifty times she will be here in two hours. So what exactly is the hot nurse thinking lover boy? You have been doing her, and its hot and heavy hey my generalismo justice lover boy???"

"No time to chew on that La Sharon, you look fabulous. Have all my bags unpacked while I get reacquainted with my fly tying tower. Have cook bring me a fresh lobster souffle and three fingers of that 100 year old single malt in my brief case. Roll ten fat boys and come on up before Nurse Caron and the gang gets here. Oh yeah the Dali Lama will have to be separated from 666 and his other worldly DOA crew."

   Justice Quill begins the long nostalgia lined amble up his twisting fly tower stair case and pauses next to his three Dali original’s; "Figure Standing At A Window"(1925),"Hairdresser Depressed By The Persistent Good Weather"(1934), and his favorite, "The Face Of War" (1940). Fletcher Quill is flooded with memory spikes, sounds of screaming carrier jets, endless dreams while in his coma recovering from too much war, Frank Sinatra’s perfect New York Penthouse, long languid nights in the Kings Jungle Room wasted on the best sansamai superman bong blasts, hanging with the young President at his Black House, rolling and bouncing with the Chronic Whang Brothers at the Supreme Court Confirmation Zoological Hearings, Radio phenom new best Pal Jimmy (Barbecue Me Baby!!) Ferguson....... Memories that remind him of a great Italian Thinker. "Quant’ e’ bella giovinezza Che si fugge tuttavia! Chi vuol esser lieto, sia: Di doman non e’ certezza."

  How beautiful is youth, that is always slipping away! Whoever wants to be happy, let him be so: about tomorrow there’s no knowing...

  Lorenzo De’ Medici 1449-1464

"Timba you look just a smidgen overweight my old Pal, seven years chasing sea gull’s off this fly tower has kept most of your feline domesticus svelte Absynian figure serviceable in case an itinerant ignorant mouse thinks he has found easy street, hey Timba, Timba"

" Excuse me Sir, I believe your secure Red Phone is glowing! I’ll close the door’s and inform staff you aren’t to be disturbed.

  Black Messiah Congrats!

"Justice Fletcher Quill, you know I was surprised you could pull this off old man! That 3 day sham of a confirmation hearing was about as laughable as Larry Thomas’s huge whang shoot out that ended in the only known contemporary Supreme Court Justice who NEVER speaks during Oral Arguments? Any who, Christ listen to me bitching! The Chinese just kicked my ass big time, got zilch, nada, zip didely on this trip. That corrupt five faced fool Karzied has every nickel coming into GraftGanistan going straight into his country estate or up his nose. Hell look at me, I’m losing weight so fast Menswhere House can’t keep up! (I guarantee it!!). I keep Joey B. running around like Hellery. At least that old broad tells it like it is. Now Quill, listen I want some of this wild celebration your about to throw. Maybe I can get AirFart # 1 airborn by show time? Gets worse two serial gate crashers destroy my Secret (what fucking secret cowboys???) Service! The Blond was hot , hubby was kinda smarmy Dude...."

"The Dali Lama’s chopper just set down on my roof Mr President, you have GraftGanistan I have 666 and the Dali Lama’s very square crew hopefully peacefully separated? Sharon and my new wayyy too smokin hot 36 Double D Nurse are about to go painted toe to painted toe!

  Justice Quill, your official duties as a rookie justice begin with choosing a gang of young brains who will do all the leg work and most of the serious discerning while you and the other spoiled, exulted, catered to former highly paid liar’s ("First shoot all the lawyers!") get fatter and lazier. I have full confidence you will be the wild card needed to wake up these over paid old charlatans. Hell my being nominated for the Nobel (What Peace?) Peace Prize is old bitter sweet news thanks to you Fletcher. How about you take me on a private fly teaching trip to one of our remote wilderness areas soon? Think about it, when did you fly fish last?"

"I’m being assisted as we speak by the only fly tying Absynian cat in existence! Timba holds the thread bobbin while I tie, perfect another fishable Yosemite Mosquito. Mr. President hope you can Chopper to my castle for a few days and make this party. You have two more days before it starts. I hear another chopper, must be General Duke Parker, got to bounce your majesty"

"Duke, how are you Pal, look tired, whipped. You head for your suite, cook will bring a sweet lobster souffle made this morning. Left a bottle of that 100 year old VVVVVSO Brandy we took out of that last ass kick. All your computer needs are set up. Try out the new solar heated Ocean Shower I had up graded. See you in the morning Dukester. Oh yeah did you hear Steven Tyler Arrowsmith front man is in then out then in? What have you heard? And since you just got back from both Bollywood and Hollywood! What’s up with the big ass flops and financial crisis? What big ass stars are now flat broke? Much to chew on."

  Newly ordained and feeling the impending weight Fletcher Quill wonders from room to room staring and remembering where art work was bought where and from whom. He is thinking about the famous artist from California doing a drawing of him for Christmas. But, nothing means more to him this instance then this castle Raven’s Haven and its memories, art, and its resident mouse catcher Timba his beloved friend. Quill languishes on the 10 foot carved Egyptian window couch covered in red brocade. Staff has just left lunch; Three sauteed wild Quail with mushrooms and Truffle sauce. Four fingers of 100 year old single malt, assorted cheese and French water crackers, assortment of six different fresh mellon’s from his garden and a vase of his own roses....

"Excuse me Sir, this note just arrived via Sea Eagle Express (special trained African Sea Eagle’s- Quill insists on highest security!)"

"No problem, please set up my microscope lab and have General Parker’s suite bar freshened with three bottles of the single malt I brought back."

"Dear Justice Quill congratulations on your new adventure attempting to unravel what’s left of America’s crippled one way catapult into full on Global Cop not Global Bank destiny etched in mother humping stone homey!!! You are now going to experience rare magic stolen from your own deep Druid history going back to Dagda Celtic Deity from the blackest ages. We have sent you Dagda’s own Golden Caldron. This ancient magic vassal has been blessed and touched and coveted by all the Hero’s in your past General Fletcher Quill! You will be able to perform not only shape shifting (Becoming animal - then morphing back to human). Best of all this vassal of the war gods can restore human life to dead Hero’s. We understand you still are obligated to put down Russia’s wannbe Pricktator Puten.

  Now go and kill him as any animal or bird or snake or creature you can imagine. Be careful what Hero’s you would like resurrected! Many of the greatest were horrible to understand or control, be very careful. Perhaps rereading your Celtic Mythology is prudent Mr. Quill? You have one month and then Dagda’s vessel will suddenly evaporate before your eye’s."

  Quill remembered the years when he was haunted and stalked by an ancient Kelpie (Treacherous water Demon to be reckoned with Baby!) During his early Marine years in Vietnam a local black arts spiritualist put a curse on Quill. The Kelpie would shape shift from a dog to a three foot fowl smelling faerie like creature and introduce Chaos and his son’s Madness and Horror and quickly disappear. The creature had to be stopped with another spell before the madness ceased. The worst event was being led into an ambush and subsequent capture because the Kelpie Devil had manipulated the atmosphere. Quill continued his fly tying and noticed several resident castle Fairies watching him from under his feather separating/tying table. The shiny new Supreme Court Justice remembered his early years haunting the most prestigious international libraries. The King of Siam’s private library housed in a Singapore Horse racing estate. Fourth Century illuminated manuscripts rarely seen let alone touched or read! The Hermitage repository of almost all the papers, notes, thoughts of grand thinkers like Descartes, Poets like Rambau await thirsty scholars. Irish, Celtic Ancient mythology has been a constant for Fletcher Quill. A lifetime of enjoying the endless mischievous Fairies that have followed him into battle and into the finest salons in Paris.

  Quill writes a short note on his finest Irish Parchment and carefully inserts the tiny rolled paper into the plastic cylinder attached to the six pound Sea Eagle named Orion that flies between Fletcher Quill’s multi leveled existence and beyond to the servants of the Lord of lord’s, Angels, Fairies, who dwell in coexistence with mortals yet are never heard from except by those like Quill who have cultivated life long relationships. Staff knocks and arrives with three cell phones needing attention as celebration party guests begin arriving.

  Jim Morrison Door’s Original Bad Boy Spirit Speaks

"Been watching you Mr. General, Supream Court Justice, Fly Master, Blond Magnent. Irish luck has kept you out of destinys way for many moons, your lessons learned at this crossroad are clear old man blues rocking Californian. Man I miss the bright Los Angeles sunshine after endless Paris ice cold nights in this tourist cemetary where they stashed my mortal bones. No peace here with crazy Door’Fans hanging out 24/7! At least you have this castle to hide out in Quilly. Oh yeah before I forget the killer Black Crows are doing several shows at your old haunt Fillmore West in early December. My old group stilll at each others throast over reuniting! Can’t ressurrect the magic once its gone man. Gotta learn to move on get original man, what the fuck happened to originality in American culture, music, anything at all new? Ain’t happening man, no more new anything from the United Socialist States Of America hey Jarhead Marine?" or pop culture shit?????

(Supream Court Justice - Master Of Raven's Haven - Captain Of His Own Ship!!)


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
75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83
84  85  86  87  88


Written by Dan Fallon 2009
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 200

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