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Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 11, 2012  

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."


George Washington Dry Fly Master

  One of my more infamous ancestors Phineous James O’Fallon was given the honor of being the father of our countries Quarter Master during the French and Indian war in the 1700s.

  After Edward Braddock was killed on the field of honor and George Washington was named Commander of all the Virginia forces, many days and nights were spent moving from one rural farm position to another. According to the letters and journals that survived until 1900 when my Grandfather was born, the General was already known as a consummate outdoors men and avid fly fishermen. On one particular chilly fall morning according to my Grand Dad, the men were about to cross a stream on property in eastern Ohio when General Washington stopped the march and summoned my fly fisher ancestor P.J. O’Fallon to assemble his favorite **Manzanita 5 weight and tie on a #22 Mosquito the General tied the night before out of found Bald Eagle feathers.

  "P.J. lets see if we can take a few of these fine rising trout before we stop for lunch, I want you to head down stream and splash around a bit and drive the fish up here for your Commander."

  "Yes sir, If I might make a small suggestion sir, that straight red manzanita can land anything this little ole stream can muster!". Maybe let the fly dead drift with the current and I’ll try and scare em up to you sir." *My understanding is old George caught the fly fishing bug from a visiting nephew of P.J. O’Fallon’s, Tom Fallon whose great grand son my great uncle Tom Fallon Adventurer is honored with a life size statue in San Jose California?

  The rest of the men pulled out their tobacco fixings and rolled or chewed while the father of our country played and landed five 15 inch or better trout that morning, according to my Grand Dad a fiddle player broke into *** "Old Sue Zanna Don’t You Cry For Me" and a gallon jug of rare Irish whiskey made the rounds... Of course Grand Dad was known to stretch the truth a taste when he had a taste or two!

*** When exactly was that song written? Any body know? Before 1800s?
** Only guessing on the type of fly rod, could have been solid Bamboo I presume?
* San Jose California statue quite controversial as the adventurer was adventurous and said to be a distant relative of the Fallon Clan? Locals try and vote to have statue removed every so often, of course I’m quite proud of the old boy!
(Casual reading public beware this historically suspect anecdote is the first in likely a long series of historical illusions de grandeur...)


Written by Dan Fallon 2012
For Dan Fallon's earlier and later columns;
visit the
table of contents












© Phil Frank 2002

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

  Quill’s long time right hand, man servant, Court Clerk is in a state of shock as the old Marine General while sitting in Session in Court grabs him and say’s loudly!, "Drake go outside and get the two Federal Security Guard’s while I clear this Mother Fucking kangaroo bought court and have a little chat with my main Boy here, the Fat Man! The rest of you esteemed over paid dilettante Bitches’s get off those fat ass’s give me and my Boy here a little special court adjustment time. Ruthy grab the girls, Tommy you and Kennedy grab the others. I know this is highly irregular and all that Parliamentary Shit. Ruthy keep the Press away till this ends."

"Quill, have you lost your pathetic drug riddled mind Justice? I will not allow you to Hijack my Court Marine!"

  Justice Quill walks slowly up to Scalia as the big door’s shut and its on......

Leonard Peltier

"Leonard Peltier the most famous mis judged American Indian Activist who did not pull the fucking trigger. Agents who were illegally instigating a set up shoot out in revenge mode and the subsequent cover up is fucking over Bitch! I have hard ass evidence from three almost dead eye witness’s it was a Federal fucking frame up to assuage the loss of another agent. Bottom line here is even if Peltier did pull the trigger 30 plus years is enough! Sooo my easily bought scholar friend. Here is your deal now with me. I have all the shit on you rolling over on Gore VS Bush, all the shit on your hidden deal to give bizzz the keys to elections. I have your fucking life right here! Bank transfers, Telex and cell phone histories, comfuckingprende" We get Peltier out of fucking jail today, now. Or you fry. Court is now back in Session, read these papers and cell calls. You have ten minutes before I call your last Press conference. (Web info and Bio http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Peltier)

  Silence as fat Boy thumbs through the neat stacks of legal papers while Quill motions Drake to open the big Door’s and the other Justices slowly walk in and look at Scalia looking down and mumbling a change in the mornings agenda. A Writ for Immediate Release and Pardon Leonard Pelteir will eventually be filed, this Last Stand is over. All the ancient North American Indian Chief’s can rest in Peace. Perhaps the final nail in the cruel and unusual punishment and attempted extinction of the great soul and spirit of the true owners of this land, the indigenous DNA repositories of the wildness that is America can find a small moment of Peace and love finally. Enough is enough! Here comes the Judge.

Leonard Peltier

"Before we begin with the cases on today’s calender, new revelations have surfaced on the Peltier case. I move the Court begin working on reopening this case in line with new evidence that may nullify original due process. Court Clerk will supervise all aspects and keep the Court informed. Now Justice Quill’s abrupt actions this morning may be almost justified, only time will tell. A full Pardon may be the answer if all is confirmed, now back to today’s work."

  Suddenly if Chaos and here Sister’s Fate and Chance were not enough to charge the atmosphere in the usually boring sedate Inner court Chamber’s, Drake throws Justice Quill their absolute worst finger sign meaning holly shit Cowboy! You think its awkward in here now! Here comes a curve ball almost a s nice as Timmy linscum’s low and inside (Giant’s Rule the Galaxies!!!).

"Drake, Man, this better be fucking good Dude!!"

"Better then good oh Master of all surreal lives . It appears your fly fishing Pal Mr. Black Messiah has lost the FOOTBALL!, let me say that again your highness..." (Foot Ball is the special metal case that every President carries wherever they go. It contains all the Nuclear Weapon launch codes that allow Armageddon to begin!)

"Oh my God, I wondered what the fuck that shiny Box with all the colorful buttons was? Man, I know it was a inner Palace set up by maybe one of his Admiral’s. Navy Boys are highly pissed he is moth balling the fucking fleet. And not enough Marine Embassy Guards to go around? Ahh, this could kill his reelection Drake!"

"I know, his boys are waiting out side for you to escort them to the Foot Ball ASAP Sir!"

" I regret to inform the this already tattered session National Security is at stake. My Clerk Drake will inform me of the remainder of the days work, excuse me Ladies and Dawgs..."

As if the morning did not have enough insanity Quill grabs his shiny new yellow Lamborgine and screams into his Cell as he tries to hunt down the fucking Foot Ball!

"Keith, Dude it sounds like the test drive gig you and the boys just did was like the 2nd coming! Man, the Foot Ball is missing? Did you accidently pack the fucker with your gear when we left Alaska Buddy?"

"Fuck no! He lost the Foot Ball? Second term by by Baby! Hey man, our latest "Gloom & Doom" song is a hugefied hit my Brother. Hope you find the Foot Ball, fucking San Fran Giants Kick asssss!!!! Kung Fu Panda rules...."

"Hey Man, the mother fucking Football is more important then fresh air in a crowded Volkswagen after an Oprah chilli fart cowboy! Where the fuck is the Football? Dali lama due here in minutes, gotta get Duke Parker on the horn pronto, Look Glimmer Twin I wanna play in some of these smaller $20 Buck gigs before o2 Arena and Madison Square Illegal upon a time?"

"Oh yeah, no worries Yankee Icon. Mick wants you and the Harp on six of the set list top ten, Midnight Rambler and the Dwayne Almond thing. Gotta go Man, hope you find the Football before Tues election!"

"This race is so tight it could go to me like Bush vs Gore did! Or the fucking country goes nuts and revolt time. The perfect storm, full moon, all the psychic energy is ripe for chaos and her girls to take over. Look at fucking New York, pulling Gun’s in gas stations, man the fabric is so thin my friends. Get the Dali Lama on the horn and Duke Parker ASAP! One more thing Drake I’m almost near General Parker’s private residence, tell Peltier’s people this fucking Justice is over the persecution and near extermination of the real owners’s of North America, Battle of The Big Horn, Alcatraz, Wounded Knee, Geronamo, Crazy Horse, Grey Wolf, enough is enough before historical revisionists rewrite this history, The fucking Jew’s use the Holocaust like a magic wand to justify genocidal asshole behavior, Black’s in slave ships and American Indians carry a much bigger fucking sack Drake, how is the BM doing in Ohio? Did he take it and Florida?"

"Still counting Sir. You have multi way pissed off young woman on two cell phones. The long lost Mother Superior Itallian Goddess wants to bend your ear now! Sugar Tit’s is livid ten calls in last hour and last but not least Sharon Stone say’s she has a Hollywood deal made just for you? BM is not pulling ahead quick enough, he has 180 electoral Votes and R has 220 his ass getting kicked, fat lady ain’t singing, but, she is warming up your Honor!"

"Drake, I’m waiting for General Parker to get his ass in the Lambo, we gotta find the Football Pilgrim? What the fuck I thought the Football had a G.P.S. locator we could hone in on Man! Drake get me some fucking Silicon Valley Nerd(SVN) that understands this G.P.S. shit. The BM’s security boys are behind me in three blacked out S.U.V’s’s all nasty CIA looking mother fucker’s. Think I’ll pull into Ms. Molly’s Blue’s Bar on 18th and Mission throw down with Buddy Guy playing there tonight Man. Drake get Buddy Guy on the Horn, no time for Bitch Management! Put them all in a holding pattern. The fucking Football lost? Parker get in Man, we got ugly shit to sort Marine! BM lost the fucking Football again Dude!"

"So fucked up and he is getting that overly tan ass kicked by the whitest mother fucker I ever saw my Brother! Ok, lets pick up the Dali Lama he just landed on the roof near that Blues Bar you hang at, Molly’s."

"Son, this is deep as whale shit! Bm’s people are crazy scared it will get out and cost him the whole fucking Enchilada Cowboy!"

"Here smoke this fatty, African Lion shit grown in eastern Morocco . Which sand nigger sold us this shit ? You recall Jar Head? The fucking Football lost. Hey man, if we find it first. We could start World War Three Pilgrim."

"Shut up asshole, Drake just text me the Rare feathers from King Tut’s party Dress’s are waiting at my Raven’s Haven, me old Irish Castle. Duke more fly fishing less of this Bullshit. Can’t wait to get to Monte Carlo and start rehearsals, the boys are waiting. Fucking Football lost!"

  As sweet Fate and her nasty sister’s would have it! The room full of hard core blues lovers and the screaming Guitar vocal’s of Mick Jagger’s favorite living Blues Legend Buddy Guy rocking the house. His associate Blues legend in spirit Junior Wells blowing some real serious Blues Harp like only he could ever do!

"Parker, fuck the Football and I’m real tired of these dark Sunglass mother fuckers in the slow black S.U.V. on my ass. Hold on we loose these kids and the we play with Buddy and Junior Marine! You ready? First I get Drake to tell the Dali Lama use my traveling Crystal Ball and find that fucking Football!!!"

"Hey Jar Head, just got text, BM is in deep shit if the lack of turn out in east is cast in stone, he may be fucked and out of a gig! Hit this pipe load of Dali special Monkey Shit from Nairobi Hashish, it kills!!! Dude, slow the fuck down Man 150 in two blocks, are you crazy!"

Molly’s Blues Bar is full tilt energy dripping down the street as Quill and Parker push their way past the door man slip him $200 and head for the Bar first where none other the Clapton and the Ghost of main Southern Pal Sky Dawg and three very hot half naked young Blonds tit’s and nipples hanging out, tiny little skirts ass easy to watch and enjoy, ahh good to be home.. Buddy Guy spots Quill who has his shiny new gold Hohner Marine harp in low, low G warming up as he walks toward the screaming stage the crowd instantly spots the old hard playing Supreme Court justice, Marine General, hippy pot head, from their 60 inch digital cable T.V’s.

"All right, ladies and gents his Honor Justice Quill be rocking the house with us tonight! Lets jump into, " Messin with the kid " then into , " Stormy Monday". Play that Harp white boy..."

Quill leans into it and the house is on its feet as the old man with the Gold Harmonica reaches way down low to the bottom, low and slow and nasty mean. Parker on the secure cell phone is smiling widely and giving Quill the old thumbs up! It appears the Black House is safe for four more of the same... He pulled it off, shit economy, perfect storm helped, the world takes a deep breath. As Quill lays into. " No use crying " he looks off stage to see the Dali Lama bobbing and weaving , Buddy Guy big smile lets Quill take a long solo and blow his sweetest old Chicago Michigan Ave. Style. Molly’s is rockin, pot smoke so thick the stage is a blur....

"Dali, any idea where the fucking Football is hiding my main spirit handler?"

"Parker, have no idea, not a clue, Quill’s Crystal Ball say’s it may be somewhere near Alaska scene of last trout fly trip, could be our friends the north American Indian’s may be in on this? They are so hyped about the Quill trying to get Peltier out of the slammer anything is possible. When he gets off stage we must contact the spirits of Spirit Bear and Grey Cloud for guidance.

"Four more years of the same? Will the forces of change blow into America’s destiny?


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  89  90  91  92
93  94  95  96  97  98  99  100  101
102  103 104 105 106 107 108 109
110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117
118 119 120 121 122 123


Written by Dan Fallon 2012
Illustrations by Phil Frank 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon 2012

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



Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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