Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr.1 2003  


 Digger Creek Ranch
Digger Creek Ranch


   Attention world-class master fly fishers looking for true quality habitat, countless big fighting fish, new wild strains, perfect natural artesian fed waters, and absolute privacy. Digger Creek Ranch nestled within a remote valley near the towns of Burney and Shingletown fills the bill on all counts. My fly fishing partner in crime Cindy Garrison and I spent a quick two days looking over the property and visiting the Duke of Digger Creek, Jim Tompkins. Jim has 660 acres of pure trout/fly fisher heaven in as much as the quality and steady year round 46 degrees water temperature is near perfect for raising serious fighting trout. Several strains of famous California trout like the Eagle Lake strain has been planted and has spawned and produced a Digger Creek wild strain that grows quickly and is beautiful to behold. What a fly fisher paradise this place is in regard to water quality. Mighty Mount Shasta continually pours ice-cold pure water on the property, as do the many artesian natural springs that feed Digger Creek. One tiny little tale worth telling occurred at the beginning of the five-hour ride up north to Shingletown from Sausalito, California.


   While riding along in the moon light with the lovely Cindy’s nine inch high heels perched on the dash board and listening to stories of encounters in Botswana, Africa with wild 15 foot crocodiles and lions big enough to eat American cars. I the humble fly fisher writer driver was suddenly in a life and death situation with a large deer (Doe) that had quickly turned to tiny bite size sautéed pieces all over the front of my new rental SUV at about 60 miles an hour. I was for a few moments in a state of shock and pulled quickly off the road. Cindy Garrison my African Fly Fishing guide pal jumps out of the wrecked truck and rip’s off a piece off metal and makes a frying pan and begins crushing herbs from the ditch we were parked in and produced a very tasty venison hors d' oeuvre seasoned with wild garlic. I was still busy gripping the steering wheel with a far off stare and a river of pathetic weak Marin County sensitivity dripping off my deeply lined brow. Cindy asked "So, Dan what exactly sort of adventuring did you say your into?" The long ride was accomplished in another cool SUV and we arrived in fly fisher utopia my friends, and I emerged as a humbler outdoorsmen with a new love for road kill treats. Cindy and I did manage to polish off both a squirrel and several frogs on the way home. Now back to Digger Creek and its magic.

Digger Creek Ranch
Digger Creek Ranch


   Outstanding private fly-fishing takes place on several large spring fed lakes and on two miles of private wild trout filled Digger Creek. A series of European style deep trench type beats have been created and beckon fly fishers to wonder down a gradual slope while catching and releasing remarkably well schooled trout in excess of 3/10 pounds. This is not easy fly-fishing and that is the fun of it, one must understand more then the basics to catch these well fed little monsters. Wonderful nonstop action in a variety of both creek, spring fed lake and meandering deep beats offer an eclectic trout menu for the most discerning fly fisher.

   When one descends upon the magical remoteness that is the valley protecting Digger Creek Ranch, the main lodge comes into view. Envy in its most base form is unavoidable as the winding large front porch and three enormous spring fed lakes surrounded by trees and perfectly kept grounds is enchanting. The land next to the lodge is BLM and the resident birds include eagles and quail. The mammal population includes black bear, mountain lions and all the other creatures one would expect in such a remote area. Jim has created a special trout sanctuary where those who have the skills to gently drop a size #22 midge from long distances can hook up with trout over 25 inches. Fly fishers who thrive on small creeks running ice cold year round full of trophy trout will not be disappointed. Digger Creek runs through the 660-acre ranch rivaling the finest old world English private gentlemen’s retreat.

   The main lodge recently refitted and updated is an Inn Keepers dream to behold with several warmly furnished rooms looking out on the manicured grounds. Guests can sit down to elegant gourmet meals while braces of migrating ducks drift by picture windows. I have not spent time on such a magical property in many years, the scenery at Digger Creek in the spring when wild flowers and greenery is stunning. Watching the sun set off the front porch of the main lodge can be a spirit lifting soul-settling experience. Of course the real attractions to this place are the unlimited numbers of healthy strong trout that will if caught, fight with serious intent and coupled with the remoteness many seasoned fly veterans associate with the ultimate experience.

   Many fly fishers believe these managed catch and release ranches take the true spirit of hunting wild trout out of the game. I beg to argue that Federal and State hatchery plants when deemed necessary manage many so-called wild trout areas. If you value your time and want to have a guaranteed shot at as many trophy trout as you can imagine, call Jim Tompkins at Digger Creek Ranch. This paradise and experience will kick-start that fly fisher soul of yours. I will be personally hosting several one and two day retreats year round at Digger Creek. Ask Jim about the "Dan Fallon’s Trout-Athon Retreat". Contact Jim Tompkins at (530)-242-6744 or on the Web at www.diggercreekranch.com. E-Mail address dcranch@com-pair.net.


© Phil Frank 2002

Illustrated by San Francisco Chronicle Cartoonist Phil Frank, Creator of "Farley".

   Three private Presidential Secretaries stand at attention as the Commander-in–Chief, aka. "The Cowboy" barks out afternoon orders in regard to who gets how much personal time. "Tell the press corps to stop beating war drums for five minutes for crying out loud! The guy seems to be either hiding the material or telling the truth. Now I got these other Asian trigger-happy fellas looking for trouble and economic stimuli, Man I love this job. Get that Fletcher Quill boy on the phone, he and Slick bagged a world record King Salmon he calls a Mutant Irish Beast of a thang hey, hey!! It weighed in at 153 lbs. and measured over ten feet long, let Moby Dick go. What a story and now this joker gets ready for a State Department Formal Dinner with his Peace Fly Fishing trip Dignitaries including Lasher Snarecat that old punching bag martyr dude! Tell Henry K. and Tony B. they have to wait in line while I commiserate with Mr. Quill."

   Timba stands next to Quill speaking to the Commander, "What’s the Irish Coastline looking like this morning, Fletcher?" "Cool breezes and misty mornings soothe the Irish soul like single malt scotch and five pound rainbows at dawn." "Quill, Let’s get a three-way conference call going here. I got both Tony Blair and Henry cooling their jets. Let’s bring the VP over into my office here as well. Now boys listen, this ex-patriot, fly fisher ex Marine, peace negotiator and one-time alleged Cowboy Poet has gone and broken all existing records for King Salmon landed on five weight Bamboo while trolling over 600 feet down under a submarine. That is quite an accomplishment for a middle-aged semi retired sports writer who also hangs out with the hottest babes in the western world."


   "Quill, this is Henry speaking to you from deep inside the criminal library here at Camp David, I envy you, sir and your inspiring accomplishments. Perhaps you may one day join me in defending my own actions while creating the myth you all know so well." "Henry! Hold that exploding thought one-second son. This man just caught the biggest King Salmon ever landed. Back in Texas we build libraries for boys like Quill." Mr. President, it was really something to see that giant 10-foot body rise up near the submarine and look us straight in the eye. What a beast to be caught and released by such light equipment. It was an honor to hang out at Raven’s Haven with the master. Fletcher it’s Henry again, tell me do you really know Jive Boy and Spent Peacewood? What about Keith what’s -his name-from the Rollin Bones?" Henry, for crying out loud, can you stay focused here, this ain’t God---16 magazine, and you ain’t Dick Clark." I just wanted to ask Fletcher if his girlfriends island of carnivorous beasts might be for sale? "Man, I knew that little secret would be tough to keep, Mr. President I have to beg off soon as I’m about to step into the ballroom at Scent’s Ranch up here in Fall River Mills. The gala Dinner is about to begin and I fully expect my new best buddy Slick to make an appearance, right?" "On the way by taking back seat in an F-16. Quill, you can count on me. son!"

   "Fletcher, you make me proud to be your President, do not hesitate to invoke the full measure of your charm and literary hocus pocus. Your country needs some good news. Before I let the dogs loose." "Yes sir, I realize the implications and the seriousness. I will get these boys talking after the trip I have planned and the serious big time fly-fishing we are going to get into. That experience never fails to bring people together in shared wild bliss. Say a prayer for me, sir."


   The front yard at Peacewood’s remote ranch is covered in an assortment of Bentleys and BMWs with a few Ferraris sprinkled here and there. The soft lilting sound’s of Shardi echo past Fletcher as he finds his way into the dining area and heads for the VIP table where Spent is about to toast the diplomats and hands Quill a full glass of 1869 Cabernet that has rested a long glorious time. "I raise my glass in salute to the idea fly fishing’s quiet bliss hooking and releasing wild trout may be conducive to bringing about peace in a suddenly hostile world." Quill raises his glass and slowly begins to focus on his old pal Phil as in notorious ex-El Presidentness seems to have misplaced his right hand around Fletchers longtime gal pal Clare. Quill walks right at the little scene and brushes off the offending limb. "Nice to see you again, Phil, I see you have met my Clare, how did you carve out an invite to this deal?" "Easy, gentle bug thrower, peace maker dude. I have to find ways to spend all this free time and cool truckloads of speaking dollars." "Man, you have nailed the big speaking fee market alright, how much last year?" "Big, huge numbers Quill, life is good in my neighborhood. Sure, I’m no Jimmy "Lets build a house "Carter with his Nobel sitting on the mantel of that peanut farm. Hell, I still recall the pictures of him and brother Billy on that old sofa in front of the family gas station." "Ok, Phil, that was a great brief stroll down memory lane, we’re here on another mission all together. How many times did you try and get these boys flying in the same plane?" "More times then I heard from Martha about that little stock deal she got nailed with. Man, I wish they would let the little gal loose, know what I mean. She is sweet as Georgia pie long as you don’t work for her or have anything she may really, really want, know what I mean Quill?

   So far Fletcher’s main squeeze, longtime soul mate number one, Clare. Fresh from tending her remote island full of carnivorous ancient bird beasts, stands silent, mouth agape as the notorious female hit man Phil works his too famous-for-words routine.

   "Excuse me Mister, I was almost impeached, can I ask you a question? What is it that allows men like you to keep doing whatever they feel like doing for their entire lives?" "Well, such a well thought out question from such a gorgeous siren of a gal." Just then the secret service detail screams at everyone to get down and start kissing the ground.

(Next month Gala Dinner continues as chaos leads the menu)

(To be continued)

Fletcher Quill, part 1
Fletcher Quill, part 2
Fletcher Quill, part 3
Fletcher Quill, part 4
Fletcher Quill, part 5
Fletcher Quill, part 6
Fletcher Quill, part 7


Written by Dan Fallon © 2002
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2002
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2002

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info




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