Updated 2000-02-06
Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr.2 2000  



The best thing about January is the annual calendar/ travel agent considerations, negotiations, aspirations in regard to fly fishing adventures. I have narrowed it down to an interesting top three destinations for this year and afew local within 1000 miles short trips to lakes and various high country areas. Without question Alaska and a stop about 90 miles outside of Anchorage, Lake Marie Lodge will happen this year. The quality of this fly fishing experience is unique, fast and furious. I have written about past clients like Loren Daken Redwood City California Math teacher who had a wonderful trip and caught many good size fish at this dream destination. Alaska is the among the final frontier’s for world class wild catch & release from either float plane, jet boat, jet helicopter. I will be escorting and personally guiding VIP world class fly fishers to this area by appointment. Woman fly fishers are welcome to sample the best fly fishing almost anywhere,   (please see my phone number and E-mail address at the end of this column or for more info on Lake Marie Lodge operated by John & James Wilson phone (907) 258-0802. Please see column update #2-1999 in this webzine featuring Lake Marie Lodge and its extraordinary fly fishing. I will be guiding several trips to this area and other extreme fly fishing venues to be discussed in future columns. A trip way down South to Cabo San Lucas where I have had memorable fishing adventures from shore and on boats. The fishery off the coast of Baha California is still considered on par with Australia or any other natural aquatic fish nursery. The water condition, depth, currents and extreme land mass impaction factors have created a kind of fishing Mecca for serious sportsmen. I have been invited to several private trout streams in places like Texas and Montana. I won’t forget my local fly tossing buddies here in California, many great days on crystal waters lay ahead this year! Lets start off this year with a unique fly fishing destination which came to my attention through E-mail generated by this column. This column will celebrate its First Year Anniversary in April along with the opening of the trout season in California.

"Quiet Thrills" Loren Dakin playing Riffle
Fishing in Alaska at Lake Marie Lodge



America has more then its fair share of world class fly fishing hot spots. I have fished many of these special areas over the years including tiny streams in upstate New York, Texas, most of California and other spots to be mentioned in future columns. The State of Oregon situated in the Northwest region has breathtaking scenery and many excellent trout waters. I will mention three outfitters who have reputations for quality guiding and wonderful accommodations. Mac Huff out of Joseph Oregon guides on the famous author Zane Greys secret rivers for Steelhead, trout and bass. The phone number is (541) 432-9085 and the web site is www.wallowa.com/eaglecap. Morrison’s Rogue River Lodge on the Rogue River has been chasing Steelhead since 1946. This outfit is top drawer in respect to experience and first class guiding. Phone number is (800) 826-1963, web site is www.morrisonslodge.com. The third outfitter/guide is Cascade Guides and Outfitters, The Deschutes River and the Cascade Lakes are home to true world class fly fishing. Phone (541) 593-2358, web site is www.hookfish.com. I have over the years heard quite positive reports from friends and fellow fly fishers in regard to these three truly world class fly fishing destinations. The good folks at ORVIS OUTFITTERS have many excellent fly fishing trips available at www.orvis.com or contact Orvis at (800) 548-9548. I must mention once again in regard to my personal guiding expeditions this year. I will guide woman who wish to sample true exotic fly fishing either here in America or anywhere in the world. Those who have followed this column for the last year understand my interest and dedication toward recognizing woman fly fishers. If your not sure of your skill level man or woman. I will gladly advise you on possible fly fishing venues where your limits can be reached. I have written about many lady fly fishers and often find the gentler sex to be skilled and well schooled in the sport. Those who wish to discuss my guiding please refer to my phone/E-mail/ address at the end of this column.



One of the most often asked questions this column attracts is what are the advantages to buying quality used equipment? I will be blunt on this subject as I have walked on both sides of the track. If your just starting out in this complex sport which is resplendent in new terminology and equipment. It may be best to borrow or acquire an outfit which will leave you alittle extra lunch money at the end of the day. This sport and its mysteries may not be what your looking for. If your investment is relatively modest, say around four hundred for a complete starter outfit. An outfit which includes the basics: rod, reel, lines, flies, and a few lessons can be had for around this price. The worst scenario is you had a fun adventure in the great outdoors and maybe learned fly fishing is not your cup of tea! If on the other hand your knocked over the head, mesmerized and hypnotized like the bulk of us bug tossers. Then its time to contemplate the proverbial fly fishing financial crossroads and its many hairpin turns.Welcome to the ranks of addicted fly fishers and its almost endless array of paraphernalia. Before I even mention reels, waders, hand tied or store bought flies, wooden nets, forceps, lines, tippets, and all the rest. We shall begin with rods of either Graphite or Bamboo.
Now the fun really begins for those with unlimited disposable income. I fish with and cherish fine handmade Bamboo as my weapon of choice. One can purchase quality handmade Bamboo either new or used. If the best of the best is what your after, then several thousand dollars and alot of time spent carefully shopping will put the spirit and sensitivity of Bamboo in your hands. Those who would like to have a Bamboo rod and not give up the evening meal for six months, can buy used Bamboo at auctions and some tackle stores. Bamboo cared for and of sound quality but used can be had for one thousand or less depending on maker. The many varieties of new generation graphite available is almost infinite. I would never buy a used graphite rod because the market is flooded with very good graphite rods at a reasonable price. In respect to used rods in my opinion Bamboo is the only used equipment I would consider. Finished rods and custom case, by Jim L. Reams
Finished rods and custom case, by Jim L. Reams
The plethora of other significant fly fishing equipment can be had new for reasonable prices. Those who take the sport very seriously favor wooden catch nets rather then the cheap metal jobs. Technology has come up with a great alternative to the tried and true neoprene waders we have been suiting up with for years. The advent of breathable waders which are lighter, softer, more comfortable are a blessing and more expensive. If your headed toward learning to tie your own flies and experiencing the thrill of catching fish with your own creation or variation of well known fish foolers. A grand tour of the available kits, materials, and instructional books, videos can be had through either the Cabela’s or Orvis catalogues. Many of the high end rod & reel manufacturers also have related equipment for sale. On the highest end Thomas & Thomas, Flyrods, Winston Flyrods, and several others have brochures and the best reputations. Ok, now get off those day dreaming butts and lets get started on changing into your new fancy breathable waders, flexing that two thousand dollar custom made five weight/eight foot Bamboo rod and fooling that six pound brown Trout with your first hand tied nymph...



One of the first things I do when coming upon a new strip of water I haven’t fished before is turn over several rocks and sift through stream edge gravel. I want to see first hand what the local aquatic residents are eating. It seems without fail the real world food chain rarely looks anything like the store bought or hand tied flies in my vest. Mother Nature likes her insects to appear rather dull in muted browns, blacks, and rarely as colorful as we might imagine! If you keep a record or photos of what you discover in various stream , river beds during the season. It will become clear those dark brown or black stone flies, Black Wolly Buggers, Mosquito’s, and great looking terrestrials are killers. Yes of course purists will argue its attractor patterns with abit of color that get the fish interested. In my opinion properly presented flies that replicate the real thing are the only way to fly! Taking a page from my friend Walton Powell in respect to size and presentation of flies. " If you want to catch big trout use big flies - if you are presenting early season nymphs - get all the way down to the bottom with what ever means you can employ. "This practical sage advice in my mind cannot be disputed! The only other cardinal rule I might humbly add is if all else fails on any given day. Its to your benefit to study and learn how to present any of the standard terrestrials: Ants, lady bugs, frogs, worms, beetles or whatever the region may naturally host will never fail to get attention. I can recall many occasions when after careful study and many attempts to raise a fat trout had failed. I would get out my terrestrial box and find a suitable ledge, tree stump, or stream edge to let my lady bug, frog, ant gently slide into a feeding lane. If anyone reading this disputes my claim, think about it. Well assembled terrestrials are perhaps the best offering and the most reel presentation you may have in that overly packed vest of yours! In my early years in this sport I decided to prove to myself which flies really worked and which looked tasty perhaps only to myself? I found a pet store owner who was also a fly fishing nut. He and I decided to run our own controlled tests and see what live hungry trout would find suitable for breakfast or lunch. The shop owner acquired several fingerling and adult Rainbows from a hatchery near. We tried to simulate neo natural stream conditions in a 100 gallon store tank. The fish were given a regular diet much like that in any California stream. A period of acclimation and note taking helped us decide when the proposed experiment might be held. In about three weeks we began presenting various indigenous insects either in emerging patterns or adults. We made sure the tank trout were not starving desperate for anything that came their way. The results were almost unanimous, after two weeks of varying tank conditions such as adding hiding places and monitoring water temp, clarity, time of day, and other variables. The bulk of the trout hits on our flies were aimed at standard terrestrial patterns mentioned in this article. Though not a pure scientific study, many conclusions have stuck with me over the years.



As a boy I had the honor of serving several years in the fabled United States Marine Corp. I did not let this small inconveince get too much in the way of my fishing passion. While serving in Vietnam from 1965 till the end of 1966 in the Danang area. I and a just as addicted pal would take every oppertuinty to sample the local fishing hot spots. We surf fished on Red Beach a local hangout for all the service people in the area. One day we got the bright idea of taking our time off with a friend who was assigned to river boat patrol in the Mekong Delta. It was incredible catching and releasing fish I had never seen before! We were having a ball until a young Naval officer went berzerk screaming at us " What the f--k are you two morons thinking- this ain’t no god-- pleasure cruise here boys- in case you two fools haven’t yet noticed- we got a god-- shooting war going on here! " Great memories of early craziness I still smile about. In fact if anyone of my many buddies from the Corp read this column. Please get in touch any way you can.... I was with VMF-214 at Danang Air Base 65-66.In the coming months I will feature many more men and woman who are living the fly fishers life. Many more exotic destinations and alot of this and that will find its way into this column. Please feel free to E-mail me in regard to either world wide guiding prospects for men or woman or any other fly fishing aspect you can think of. Lets all dream of a great opening season in this fresh era.



 Written by Dan Fallon, Feb. 2000 ©
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