|Column nr. 2 2006|
River Stream Etiquette
My Grandfather who lived to see over 104 Summers would on many occasions whisper in my young ear, "Remember Dan, it costs nothing to be a gentleman!". Though I often failed to exercise this fine advice, in these times of what is deemed sensitive political correctness one can be hard pressed to consistently take the high moral road... In my mind one over riding aspect that absolutely must be observed by all fly fishers is the simple act of common courtesy while on streams, rivers, and afield.
Tears wind down my cheeks when I come upon usually young adult males either on shore, wading, in floating devices or in boats behaving like spoiled children. Alcohol, lack of education or out right ignorance is seemingly the engine behind a kind of pervasive lack of respect. On a recent end of season three day fly trip near the Oregon border, I came upon a party of four young men throwing beer cans and generally making much too much noise in an area sacred to fly fishers. During the three day trip many incidents made me pause and wonder what happened to the world I grew up in? While playing a nice 14 inch Bow in fast chest deep water two of the boys in the group mentioned above actually began wading into my area and while yelling and laughing began throwing flies. When I suggested they remove themselves from an area already occupied one thing led to another and I had no choice but to get into their young faces and explain what common courtesy really means Marine Corps style...
This obvious lack of respect for the natural order that separates educated sportsmen from pack animals has at times ruined fly fishing trips and caused much soul searching in regard to my rapidly encroaching dinosaur status! I easily recall lessons learned as a six year old wanna be sportsmen in the company of accomplished uncles waiting on the beach while the men scoured off shore rocks for Abalone. On one of these West Coast early 1950's trips I was given the task of keeping the large fire stoked and digging and cooking clams for the ice cold Abalone seekers crawling out of the bright white surf freezing to death. I remember suddenly hearing a serious scream and turning around to see one of the Abalone hunters scrambling out of the surf with his entire hand engulfed by a Mora Eel. This man was in real trouble blood pouring down his arm and I was scared to death for him. Suddenly seemingly out of no where came a surf fishermen who happened to be a doctor. With in moments he cut off the body of the beast whose teeth nearly severed three fingers and administered expert first aid. The men in my party attempted to pay this fellow or take him to dinner or something, he smiled told them how to get to the closest hospital and got back to surf casting for California Striped Bass.
Many years later I was on a remote deer hunting trip in an area that was once wild near the Santa Cruz Mountains and while stalking fresh tracks stepped into an old established Hornet's nest. I then like an idiot ran and was quickly stung perhaps 200 times. Within minutes my breathing became impossible and certain death loomed. My brother Mike found me and raced through the narrow mountain roads to find a doctor. The first doctor we found quickly injected me with anti venom and saved my pathetic life. When I asked for the bill he instead took us both out to his farm and became an old dear friend.
In the early 1990's while wading the mighty Merced River that runs through Yosemite National Park. I lucked into a large Brown Trout in the six pound class, he took me into a series of submerged boulders and I had my hands full! On the shore watching this little drama were three Japanese tourists and several locals yelling and generally freaking out. I climbed onto a large rock and still playing my wily Brown, we both went around the rock several times and like a rank amateur I attempted to lift the trout for release. Of course he broke off and the shore crowd let out a synchronized, "Oh Man!". As I walked away feeling as bad as any fly fisher who ever made a fool of himself in public could feel, a little girl maybe five years old handed me a tiny bunch of wild flowers and said, " Its ok mister I always make stupid mistakes"
This last year while wading a fine section of the Truckee River that runs from up high toward Reno Nevada, I again hooked a pretty nice Rainbow about 7:30 am. He was making his first run just as two rafting boats turned the corner and headed toward me. I took out my digital camera and took several shots of the rafter boys closing in on me as one leader covered his face because he knew he was on the river before 10am breaking the river rules. That photo was republished world wide many times.
Six Absolute Field & Stream Rules To Live By!
BLACK WOLF VARIANT
Hook: Dry Fly
This fly like many of my new dry fly patterns feature full fan tails that attract more hits then standard tails. The hackle is tied full as to present a more twitchy movement that attracts more strikes. The idea is to attract trout and not to impress fellow tiers period... These new patterns work and have fooled many trout!
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
His most High Holiness the Dali Lama, Duke Parker, Fletcher Quill and his beloved cat Timba have been jamming with the stow away Keith Richards as Slick Brain's way too fast Titanium fueled jet enters Irish air space. Quill has been tying a rare set of "Mile High" flies that are composed of famous hair left behind on Slick's jet. The trip has been nothing but fun as all hands jam with the Glimmer Twin, his Holiness has been somewhat aloof staying in his cabin finding his lost center. The private jet's all female crew composed of several "Mitchell Bros" adult star's quite famous in certain circles are now sitting in a circle around his Holiness chanting and putting the finishing touches on a five foot Mandela circle on the main deck floor... Suddenly as reflected in the timeless words of the middle age thinker Bishop Henry King, "Thou will not awake till fate shall overtake..."
"Quill, better come forward now Marine, looks like this little rocket has been on auto pilot for last hour. Slick's hot shot jet jockey is slumped over the joy stick Dude. This bird is headed for oblivion unless one of us can tame this beast!"
"Duke, lets keep this quiet until I speak with his Holiness. Man, I knew this flight was too good to be true. Dude, can you fly this kite?"
"Hate to have to take a whack at it, but what the hey. You confab with the Dali and I'll go forward and see what the drivers seat looks like."
"Excuse me your Holiness it appears we have a very serious problem with this jet would you please follow me to the cockpit."
The Dali Lama and Fletcher Quill tap on the pilots safety door. Duke Parker is busy looking for any vital signs holding his signal mirror an inch from the pilots open mouth.
"Duke, is this guy history or what Marine?"
"No more Mile High club for this jet jockey I'm afraid. Here comes the judge boys, better make peace with your maker unless his Holiness might like to slide into the pilots seat?"
"I love the way you two use the English language, yes I have many hours flying in flight simulators for fun at my exile Palace. Though I have not actually flown a real jet, it must be quite close to the real thing hey Duke?"
"All righty then, why don't you contact Irish air space controllers and Quill and I bring the Glimmer Twin in here, maybe he can help. The Rolling Stones have serious jet air time boys."
The jet's cockpit now occupied by the semi holy triad is buzzing with activity when a familiar voice comes over the intercom, "Dam, is that you Quill, what the hell is going on there Mr. Secretary?"
"Mr. President you sir have perhaps the answers to our little dilemma. Our jet is now pilotless, Duke and the Dali Lama and I are trying to figure out how to land this bird? Didn't you pretend to be a jet jockey back in the day sir?"
"Which one of you is at the stick boys?"
"His Holiness has a lot of flight simulator time and Keith Richards says he and Sir Mick have sat in a few pilots seats over the years, guess the Glimmer Twin is acting copilot on this hair raising gig!"
"Ok Boys, I'll get Slick on the horn, its his baby he can rock it! Don't let on to rest of the passengers those Mitchell Bros babes can get sideways fast. Now check the fuel gauge and I'll get you started until Slick gets here."
"Mr. President, sir this is the Dali lama speaking. I have control of this jet in a sense much like you have control of the global situation. We appear to have about 10 minutes of fuel left and I have been warned we only have enough for one attempted landing. What are all these bright yellow dials and knobs I see all over this control panel?"
"Keith Richards here your Royal Highness, I mean Mr. President. This bloody quick beast is now circling the Irish emergency landing field. If I or rather me and the Dali land this thing how about some kind of American Knighthood for me mate?"
"You got it Keith, you two get that bird down in one piece, I will make you Secretary Quill's special deputy for international wild life protection Dude! Now Dali baby, what the heck could I do for you old man?"
"Perhaps you could build a kite for our first Kite Olympics next year?"
"Slick Brain here lads, now before we take it off Auto Pilot, reach down and grab your ass with both hands and kiss it by by!"
"Very funny Slick, we now have 6 minutes of fuel left, Dali and Keith are sweating bullets, Timba and I can see Raven's Haven, so now what?"
"Dali, look at the large round gauge directly in front of the control stick, see the needle that looks like a compass? You want that needle to balance right in the middle of two lines that intersect. Now look down at the levers next to your seat, they control engine speed. Very good, now when you see the Northern Irish landing lights just ahead we will line up nose up and begin our descent."
"Yes, I see the landing lights coming up quickly. Let us all say a prayer to mighty Dagda the Irish God."
Suddenly over the intercom rolls a voice not expected, "My Boy's, my boy's, It's your one only life saving Abbott Sammy baby!. We just saw your little nasty in-flight biz on our International Emergency Psychic Screen. No worries, from here on Dali, Keith and me will guide your jet safely landing as smooth as Martha Steward's new TV show."
"Quill, who the hell is that other weird ass voice we hear son?"
"It's a much higher authority sir..."
Is this the final approach for the semi holy triad? Can Abbott Sammy save their fannies?
Read about Fletcher Quill in earlier chapters:
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2006
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