|Column nr. 2 2001|
AFRICAN FLY FISHING GUIDE
They glide gently among us mortals as if lighter then air. Spirit barely touching solid ground, one might for a moment imagine these ethereal creatures are but figments of distant worlds unknown!
Upon first contact with African fly fishing guide Cindy Garrison one cannot help but be taken back by her other worldly presence. In these predictably boring politically correct times, it is supposedly off limits to address such obvious manifestations. I plead guilty to all counts and throw my poetic metaphor oriented self upon the alter of ignorance... One must not be fooled by this striking physical presence! Cindy has literally circumnavigated the sporting world on her way to establishing a world class fly fishing venue within the exotic wildness of Botswana Africa. The sights and sounds of Africa are almost as alien to Marin County Californian's as politically incorrect outdoor writers. Thanks to Cindy's father who owned a ranch in Oregon where she fly fished and hunted. Not much time was spent hanging out at any of the ultra swank Marin Shopping Malls trying on new lipstick. Her dad having fathered four daughters and no male sporting companions, suddenly realized Cindy was up for any and all things outdoorsy. Time spent throwing bugs upon rushing waters of the fabled Rogue River, Klamath and the Williamson River's set the stage. " From the time I was four years old, I was hooked on fly fishing! I loved the hunt- how I could sneak around behind the smallest boulders and drop my Yellow Belly Humpy oh so lightly in the water and wait for a strike- it was so exciting! "
" During the school season, I would spend time at the casting ponds in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. There I met many legends of the sport and realized I could do this as a profession - I was thirteen at the time and had a long way to go in school- The idea never left my mind." While studying business in college which became tedious and boring. Cindy cut school one day and attended the famous San Mateo Sportsmen's Show.
DIANA GODDESS OF THE HUNT, MOON AND ALL WILD THINGS WELCOMES A NEW SISTER.
Most young woman raised in the lifestyle of fabled Ross in Marin County California. Would probably not attend an International sportsmen show and seek out the Alaska Outfitter who worked with her father. Then query him to consider hiring her for a rough and tumble position like professional fly fishing guide! After spending several successful years guiding all over Alaska. The call of the other last great wilderness with the last remaining herds of old world wild life beckoned... Those who might be inclined to paint a lightweight profile of Ms. Garrison would be better served to understand. She spends the other two thirds of her working year either guiding or hunting with the world renowned Rann Safaris. Within this atmosphere of constant adventure and danger, the strongest men are taxed! Most women would consider African bush work rather demanding. Unless of course you have been touched by and nurtured by The Goddess of the Moon, the Hunt and all Things Wild...
Cindy Garrison is responsible for introducing the most experienced world class fly fishers to Botswana Africa for once in a life time Tiger Fly Fishing adventures. "Imagine your fishing in Jurassic Park- That's how you will feel fly fishing Africa, You are sure to have the fishing safari of a life time, casting a spell that will draw you time and time again. " The idea of casting to true fighting fish rarely if ever fished? While listening to Elephants and watching out for crocodiles are an interesting and formidable formula. It is easy to close one's eyes and imagine Cindy waving so long as her jet boat departs for parts unknown. While your sitting on a not so large rock surrounded by crocodiles and hippos. Loudly serenaded by troops of screaming howler monkeys and wild parrots. Your only weapon, a seven weight fly rod and your imagination! Are you up for alittle heavy weight, extreme fly fishing cowboy? Contact Cindy Garrison at Safarianglers@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 267-661-821/ Fax: 267-660-379.
AMAZING ABEL TRAVEL CRAFT ( AATC)
Steve and Gina Abel have established a solid reputation within the fly fishing community for consistent innovation and dependability. Over the years I have come across many Abel products including exceedingly well made reels and rods. Among the many exciting innovations, reels with great color options and well made little tools like the multi faceted Abel " Perfect Tool ". In my mind the big hit at the San Mateo Sportsmen's Expo Fly Fishing building this year was the Abel (ATC).
This seventeen pound back packable little boat can carry over 400 pounds and assembles in five to ten minutes. The boat has three air chambers and at 92 inches long and 50 inches wide it can accommodate two fly rods. The great news with this boat is the ability to stand up in shallows and cast or move around in complete safety. What a cool concept this is for those weary of belly boat limitations. The whole package including pump, oars, stripping apron, it's own dry bag which is a carry pack weighs 27 pounds! I will field test this craft soon and offer a full report. This hybrid floatation device/fly fishing platform powered by oar jewel. Would greatly extend the limits of those with aircraft, copters or those with backpack adventures in mind.
NEWS FROM R.L. WINSTON ROD COMPANY
I have taken
Winston Bamboo Custom made Rods on many of the adventures written about in this monthly
column which is about to enter its third year! These well made rods have never let me down
including taking their fine Bamboo deep into the Alaskan woods to wrestle forty-pound
kings all day. Of all the well known custom rod companies of which there is less then ten
or so at the very top. Winston is in the top two percent in quality, craftsmanship and
long range maintenance and repair. The skilled hands of master Bamboo maker Glenn Brackett
recently repaired a famous Bamboo rod of mine. His work is superb and well worth the
three-month wait. The art of living the ultimate fly fishing lifestyle that includes: fly
fishing constantly, field testing and writing about all aspects of the sport. Is not fully
appreciated without the very finest equipment available on the market. From 1929 on into
2001 Winston stands alone in customer satisfaction and quality work. One of the latest
innovations to come from Winston is the unique Winston Elite true custom rod. You
the discerning fly fisher consumer can now order your Winston Elite Fly Rod made to
your own specifications including grip, wood inserts, style, inscribed with your name.
Contact R.L. Winston Rod Company through me: Dan Fallon, E-Mail: Rolingdrms@aol.com, phone:
415-332-3803, fax: 415-332-3807.
WHY NOT THE BEST?
This morning as I write this I'm standing behind tall willows near the edge of a large reservoir near my home. My good friend Mike Garrigues and I are out looking for early morning trout action in the middle of February. It's our second trip out here this month. If it stops raining for a day we go and spend the morning walking along the edge of this large reservoir. Throwing flies out as far as possible and then waiting for a hit. It is my least favorite way to use flies and usually a waste of time. I go with Mike because he is just getting started and I will as a rule go almost anywhere in a moments notice to toss bugs. This place is only about forty minutes from my house and hard to resist in the dull winter months. I have caught a few here but not many and not often. Mike and I have had a great day, saw a lot of big hawks and several deer. The shimmering water and ducks all around can mesmerize and begin to feel like real wilderness. I do love the peace and quiet out here. No other fly throwers or hikers anywhere. I was happy to be carrying my favorite five weight Bamboo and new reel from J Ryal. I thought about all the field tests that lie ahead and the opening days for trout streams in California last Saturday in April as always I suspect? The dead of winter and I feel the noon sun warm my face and feel the slight weight of my old Bamboo partner and the new reel. It feels balanced and when I throw, moves the line out easily and quietly lets my bug kiss the water just where I want it. This temporary since of harmony and peace reminds me. Why not always in all things seek the best. The best in every single moment.....
I have many trips in and out of country to consider this year. Africa and Mongolia stand out as wildest adventures around! I will take closer looks at places near home like Idaho, British Columbia, Montana, Mexico, Cabo, back up North.
I will attempt to break as many existing fresh water records for light tippet as possible. The continued use of Bamboo as my main weapon will continue with the exception of field testing rods by companies like Ira Stutsmen and Winston Rods. I will continue featuring as many world class female anglers as I can find. Cindy Garrison, Karen Graham, Karen Martin, Louise Kilbourn, Lisa Cutter, and many others have graced these pages in the last two years. This monthly column is about to enter it's third year after the publication of the next update #3 2001.
I have been having a ball writing about my adventures and a few of my friends and those I admire. Thank you all for helping this column become one of the most read on all search engines over the last year! My editor Mats has been a joy to work with. Future column updates will include the latest info from conservation groups like the Wild Salmon Center and others. The movement to revitalize and perpetuate thriving stream and river ecosystems is a common sense approach to the fundamental issue facing the sport. The waters we use have to become healthy enough to take care of themselves and keep regenerating. What use is it year after year to dump tons of fingerlings into lakes or rivers almost sterile? This is a huge issue to consider in a calm manner. How many studies have been done on overall water quality in the most prime salmon, trout, and game fish waters of the world? These kinds of questions will be front and center as the next century unwinds.
DEMISE OF AN OLD FRIEND
Life growing up in an urban area as complex as the San Francisco Bay can be frustrating when it comes to fresh water angling. Lake Merced located near fabled Golden Gate Park just outside the city was one of the finest trout fisheries in all of California. My uncle and grandfather often took me there to learn how this complex sport could one day change my life, which it did. No fancy fly rods and all the gear that goes with them. Lake Merced was a salmon egg on a sliding sinker rig kind of place. If you wanted to get real fancy and the boys and I did. It was velvetta cheese in little balls or worms. Endless hours were spent either in row boats on the north end of the lake or sometimes on shore with a chair and a sandwich mom made for me. I caught hundreds of trout with my younger brother and various friends over the many years this lake was cared for and productive.
These memories linger as they do for all of us native San Franciscan's who used to take Lake Merced and its wonders for granted! Now its a new ugly ball game for my dear old friend. The constant onslaught of new citizens, water siphoned off for golf courses, general and criminal neglect have taken a toll on this once great local trout venue. As is usually the drill everyone involved is blaming the other guy. Many groups like Trout Unlimited are now making noise and pointing fingers. My heart breaks whenever I drive by and the memories flood and the tear ducts get active. One positive in this mess is the arrival of Trout Unlimited and its noble reputation as serious caretakers of many state watersheds. Why mention this urban blight once glorious and healthy in this column which runs around the world? Perhaps you have a local neglected watershed near your front door? Why not get up off your comfy chair and organize a few kids and concerned sportsmen and do something about it! Perhaps what you think is what can one person do? You can get mad and ask tough questions and find out who or what is responsible for the damage to your local fishing hole. What have you got to loose maybe miss an episode of survivor or listen to a bunch of excuses? Take a shot at making your corner of the world more fish friendly and more hospitable for all the other wildlife.
WORLD CLASS FLY FISHERS
As mentioned in past columns I have two beginner fly schools this year with only a little space left. One school is near Yosemite at the famous Mariposa Hotel Inn. (Which happens to be just a little haunted!!). For more info contact Lynn (800) 317-3244. The other fly fishing school will be held near Redding California at Shingletown. The magical Weston House B&B is a special place for all nature lovers. Contact Angela at (530) 474-3738 or http://www.westonhouse.com. The schools are two days long, mornings only for beginners. I provide everything except a fishing license which you must buy. For more inf. contact Dan Fallon (415) 332-3803 Sausalito, California.
ONE MORE ICE COLD FEBRUARY MORNING
I arrived a little early this morning on the ice-cold shore of Lagaunitas Reservoir. Today I came alone to ponder and wonder free associating and throwing flies where they seem to want to be thrown. Temperature is about 40 with a silvery wet surface fog dancing all around me. While waiting for the legal time to begin. All around me the many resident creatures are beginning their day and quest for energy and warmth. In the meadow in front of me I see ever changing shadows drifting in and around fallen twigs and leaves. Tiny finches and sparrows dart quickly everywhere and nowhere... Then out of the corner of my sleepy eyes, I see what looks like a near perfect outline of Diana the Huntress with her bow and baby lamb next to her. I seem to have been redrawn to her ancient myth this month and a pleasant quickening is felt as I sit in her eternal shadow. "Hail Diana, bless this wounded planet for we have all sinned against her in every conceivable way... Perhaps with your help we can dress these wounds and begin again another day?"
Written by Dan Fallon, February 2001 ©
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