Column nr. 3, 2015
Napoleon On the Fly
somehow found a few precious hours for much needed fly rod time
before his last decisive battle began.....
My great great ancestors
roamed Ireland, England and most of uninhabited in the early17-
1800s. My Great Grandfather William O’Fallon and his brothers
were famed avid anglers who spent much time working the many
isolated streams, creeks in old Belgium. My Great Uncle Willy
James O’Fallon as fate would have it found himself in the same
Belgium area near Waterloo when both French troops led by
Napoleon 72,000 and British hard core troopers 68,000 were
Seemingly waiting for
torrential rains to cease before extended close in battle began.
O’Fallon had heard about the Belgium Trout and was armed with
his signature one piece Bamboo fly rod and a wide assortment of
local patterns including his own Streamers and Nymphs. He was
camping out on a secluded tree lined bow in a creek full of
speckled marked Belgium Trout rising to his giant Mosquito
When three French
officers rode up and began watching him throw tiny bugs some
fifty feet easily in long slow wide loops barely wrinkling the
water perfect presentation of a universal fly... One of the
French spoke up, "Excuse me, Sir our camp is very close by may
we invite you and that large creel of wonderful fat trout which
our cook would kill for to supper with us this evening".
O’Fallon fortunately had
an empty social calender this particular evening!, "Your famous
General Bonaparte has an appetite for wild trout I take It?"
O’Fallon had just
completed a tour of several prime Belgium Trout waters including
the Hoyoux River, and the beautiful La Molignee River, His
favorite Bocq River and a few chalk streams near lakes.
"These big boys were all
caught early this morn on my killer flies Boys! Supper with a
real French Chef was in my hope chest. Lead the way.
It took two hours to
reach the French camp as the British soldiers led by none other
then the cock of the British walk Arthur Wellesley, Duke of
Wellington were awfully busy amassing troops everywhere they
moved! Willy O’Fallon carefully cleaned all ten two pound
Belgium speckled trout and packed them in deep wet cool grass.
Twice the British Long bow Experts shot arrows some 50 yards
which fell harmlessly.
Napoleons’s large camp
and troops did appear angst ridden and nervous surveying my
Bamboo fly rod carrying Great Uncles rapscallion high and low
plains drifter demeanor. As if he were a local character sent
for entertainment! He proved to be worthy of the challenge
especially for free dinner with General Bonaparte and his
Willy was shown to his
very temporary tent quarters to wash up and waited for the
arrival of the doomed General wearing his customary dark silk
and leather battle robes with bright blue accents. Looking much
like the young General an equally strutting rooster who also
lost his ass and life in America’s future old West Battle of the
Bighorn yet to be fought.. Willy had been following recent
rumors of tough defeats French soldiers dying in huge numbers at
Lipzig and the Peninsular War. Napoleon made his retreat to
Paris before undertaking another serious folly against the
Prussians and British well schooled and eager to mix it up!
"Excuse me Sir the
General would like to speak with you before supper".
In strolls Napoleon who
gently grabs the five and half foot Bamboo fly rod leaning
against the tent, "You spend your time playing with these toys
Mr. O’Fallon?" "No Sir, with all due respect I catch these wild
underwater creatures so my nitely suppers continue to be quite
sublime!" Napoleon laughed and sat down while aids delivered his
favorite beverage. "It appears you Sir are riding on a bit of
losing streak?" "It is my destiny Willy to continue pursuing my
fate as it were. Unfortunately I was not blessed with your life
mission chasing wild trout like a migrant farm worker." "Takes a
little more savvy then you might imagine wielding this here
Bamboo like you and your sword Sir! After supper I’ll be headed
out to that tiny creek running near where your War Horse’s are
tethered, you are welcome to join me?" "Might be fine diversion
until the rain stops. After dinner then Willy O’Fallon. By the
way you any good with swords young man?" "No Sir, just Bamboo
and Bamboo only."
Dinner came and went
quickly as Troops were busy preparing for Battle. Willy slowly
devoured his one pound Belgium speckled trout gently fried in
almond liquor and real Butter, stuffed with wild Belgium
mushrooms washed down with mediocre French champaign.
Six of the Generals
closest aids all on horseback accompanied Napoleon and Willy as
they ambled down into a valley nearby where a gentle chalk
stream wound its way near cattle grazing unaware the horror of
war would soon explode their tranquility.
Willy quickly threw his
tried and true Black Leech streamer and quickly hooked up to a
nice trout. He then handed the Bamboo to the smiling General and
let him play it with some effort almost sliding down into the
water during a five minute fight...., "That was astonishing, he
fought nobly and almost got away! Willy lets take a few more for
breakfast Irish itinerant." "Sir, you may loose another
generation of French young men waiting out this rain don’t you
imagine? I ain’t no soldier, but if I was those fancy dressed
Brits I would come and get you right now!" "Willy do you
actually imagine my British, Prussian counterparts want to get
their delicate feet wet?
They both laughed and
again Willy hooked up again and handed the Bamboo to the overly
optimistic General. "May Irish luck be with you and your men
Napoleon quickly lost a
Written by Dan Fallon © 2015
"This great old fly tale my family has
enjoyed for generations. Is it absolutely true? Quite possibly
according to my grand father who lived to over 100. Did my best
to replicate his tale of my long lost uncle." - Dan
Fallon's earlier and later columns;
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