Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 2  2008  


 Cemetery Carp, Yosemite Trout ,Vietnam Whatever, Cabo Marlin Whatever!

  Being blessed genetically with deeply ingrained hunter/gatherer instincts along with an eclectic menagerie of serious San Francisco characters who lived and breathed hunting, fishing, mushroom gathering, ocean abalone divers, world class rifle, pistol, shotgun experts, gunsmiths. Endless daily lessons in all aspects of the outdoor life made sure my future was a lock.... As an awfully dangerous seven year old with a willing group of equally worthless associates eager to do a bit of adventuring, life was sublime in the early 1950s. Before freeways, toooo many people, Too many rules and the end of free range kids in San Francisco. These days kids rarely leave their fortress homes, streets are deserted no kids playing, very sad demise to the once semi wild dangerous days of my youth.

  My seven year old spirit was hooked on anything that swam or flew or crawled that my Mom could slice and dice and serve, anything, anything at all! Near where we lived many cemeteries existed and had shallow ponds full of fat Carp (we never sliced, diced, barbecued Carp, a trash fish!). I and my team of lackeys would break off tree branches, use kite string and safety pins with bread balls as bait, we went after those big boys... All Hell broke loose because they would hit those bread balls fast and then drag our light little butts up and down the pond until they broke off or our hands were too bloody trying to reel them in. Gardeners always chased us home while we laughed and ran.

  Early years until 17th year were spent honing skills surf casting, pier bobber work on the endless deserted piers that still fringe San Francisco Bay. Tiger sharks, big Rays, Skates, Striped Bass, Ling Cod, Capasoni all sort of beasts might take ones bait consisting of whole or sliced anchovy, shrimp or crab when we could get it. More a social activity then any thing else a few friends light weight trout rods, bobbers floating under piers produced many specie of Perch, silvers, rubber lip... Playing on the piers was fascinating and easy, cheap to do. Many girlfriends had to endure my late night pier exploits. These days San Francisco’s rapidly rotting piers stand idle, no 12 year old boys looking for trouble, empty deserted long wooden piers stand as reminders of my most excellent youth. My nine year soul was convinced if I hooked a big enough Tiger Shark he could drag me all the way to China!

  Usual Routine

  After cutting school (standard practice) it was off to the piers near famous Fishermens Wharf at the edge of the city. Bucket full of all sorts of stinky bait including fresh muscles just scrapped off pier pilings ready for war! Take the long walk carrying my stuff, Bucket to sit on, my school lunch, stolen cigars from my Uncle Botar, ahh the life of a dumb ass young Irishmen... One afternoon baiting up and throwing my baited hooks into the deep green Pacific Ocean. Within moments a serious Tiger Shark gave me more thrills then almost any other hook up before or since. That big bad boy dragged me up and down that pier for at least half an hour. Hands bloody, heart pumping, big ass smile while my school mates sorted out their noon milk and cookies...

  From 17 forward I was raised in The Marine Corps primarily South East Asia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, China, and many other far east destinations always included sampling local river, stream, ocean, when possible. As a young Recon Marine (combat truck driver/sharpshooter) daily exposed to areas often off the map and isolated usually near water, opportunities always occurred, always.

  Vietnam in the early days 1965 was plain crazy, some areas white hot where you knew a BUTT KICK was assured. (Butt Kick, contact absolute, one way tickets to The Resurrection issued.)

  After six months climbing a steep learning curve in regard to Vietnam’s rivers and jungles avoiding a cozy body bag ride home (stationed Danang Air Base I Corps 1965/66). On many occasions, my associates and I would take my deuce and a half truck and head for the badlands where Charlie lived breathed and where Mekong Delta fast Navy Boats flew over dark waters 50 caliber machine guns waiting quietly! We would find an isolated spot to throw usually feathered concoctions I dreamed up. Set up perimeter guard look outs and begin playing with the exotic beasts that looked like giant carp or multi colored wonderful fish.This activity was not condoned by the Corp and we payed a price after getting caught on an expedition. On two adventure’s Charley could not resist joining us and we had no choice but to engage I and another young Marine needed medical attention we treated each other, morphine poppers, dug out shrapnel, sewed up and rolling! Where as our own Navy Corpsmen medics would have to turned us in and all Hell would have been turned loose! Those were insane heady days my friends. The official record of those whacked days does not thank the lord reflect my more creative Marine activities.. Hope the boys in the Middle East get their ya, ya’s out like we did! Semper Fi boys.. Worst and best memories I have of my Marine life was always stepping in something smelly and either going toe to toe with some senior Sargent to square things or worse going to see the Old Man (Commanding officer), which I did with frequency, Irish ass kicking regularity Baby....

  After seven years wearing Marine green, I found a cabin outside Buffalo New York and spent six months watching Quail, deer, trout and anything that swam, crawled, flew helped shape a civilian peaceful life style to a degree. Of course Irish madmen are just a tad hard to handle when equipped with strong JYD (Junk Yard Dog) tendencies. I hunted until my early forties and woke up one morning and decided enough killing, harvesting, culling whatever you call life taking, had enough. Miss the sounds, smells, excitement of hunting, not the life taking.

  On several trips way down South Sammy Haggar (red rocker Cabo Wabo) Cabo San lucus Mexican beaches have provided me with wonderful memories of catching fish on every surf cast and then barbecuing them in my plush digs on the beach while insane Cabo Sunsets blew what was left of my sun burnt brain to sweet smithereens baby.... A few miles just off Cabo shores Marlin hook ups were so intense and frequent I needed medical attention from Doctor pal, hands torn up even with gloves! Yeah Cabo can get freaky fishy quick even today. Legends abound. One of my favorite Cabo Ocean going Marlin Cowboys is a retired American Dude with a small 15 foot row boat who regularly hooks up to bad ass giant Marlin and lets them drag his butt around like a little toy rubber boat in a childs tub. I saw this with my own eyes and will never forget! Cabo ocean waters internationally known as the always fertile fish nursery, abundance in all that allow game fish to flourish. Will this natural gamefish nursery survive global weather chaos?

  Considering exotic rivers and streams in Asia or private creeks and streams on ranches in places like Texas, up State new York circa 1970s, Alaskan wilderness, Canada, Olympic Peninsula, Asia, Africa, my favorite fly fishing scenic dream venue is still Yosemite National Park, The Cathedral Of Light is mind altering in every angle. Light at dawn and dusk becomes scattered gold, green gems, while lakes and rivers become deep green nurseries for serious Rainbows, Brookies that glisten like jewelry, rare Golden Trout.... Few places on Earth come close to this natural beauty, very few. Those fly fishers who have worked the park know few of the millions of visitors are fly fishers. Waters are always uncrowded with large populations of wild trout as the Park is never stocked. (That was the policy for many years?)

  Memories of 6am encounter with a young Mountain Lion who perched on a ledge 100 feet above me while working the mighty Merced River that runs through and out of the Park. One afternoon on this sweet river an adult red shouldered hawk flew directly at me in the middle of the river and at the last second pulled up just over my head, a thrill indeed... While hunting the private lands just outside the Park many Bear incidents come to mind, most were uneventful unlike Alaskan Grizzlies who rule their habitat. Yosemite National Park a must for any seasoned fly fisher seeking sublime beauty, changing light, shadows dancing, a near perfect place.

White Lightening

Hook: Streamer Barbless, size your call.
Tail: Red Marabou
Hackle: Red Marabou
Thread: Red Silk
Wing: White Marabou
Body: Red Silk, One wrap silver tinsel

** This pattern used world wide over the course of many years. Fresh water only!


© Phil Frank 2002

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

Keith Richards bids the castle and his friend Quill adieu and catches the morning chopper back to the mainland. As the copter fades away Fletcher catches a slight glimpse of a black clad figure reclining on the castle rocks outside the new Peace Tower?

  "Duke is that you Recon Marine?"

  "Affirmative General Quill, how’s its hanging Marine, been listening to loud ass Blond bitching!"

  "La Sharon got the Jack over a little cuty from San Fran due in this morning. This sweet uber hot Nun smacked my F1 and made a serious impression. Her Blondness is livid , thinks a Blond war is unavoidable... You ready to be locked and cocked Marine?"

  "Semper Fi Stud, look what is this Peace Temple deal?"

  "Came to me in a dream, an Arch Angel told me to build it and find a pure keeper before I meet with opposing General’s.If this works, we save young lives, if not my soul is clear and we get it on one more time Marine."

  "You turning pacifist Jarhead?"

  "Turning tired of killing and all that goes with it Duke, you and I have planted enough fresh spirits Marine. Nitemares are getting technicolor, I have had enough my friend. If this temple can stop or shorten this Mid East mess. You and I know this shoot out will be our last old friend, Hell we had to pull punches to get this shot! I been on the reserved active list like you. This is it, our last time to roll into the Valley of Death, this is the one Marine!"

  "You been bleeding Marine green as long as I Irishmen, never heard that brand of chin music. In my mind these bullshit barbarian conflicts will never stop. Its an endless madness war, endless. Have we both almost run our race, maybe. One thing for sure, if we go in and take those youngsters all the way down town, a fee will be paid!"

  "I will always bleed Marine Green old friend, all I know is Semper Fi... But, enough blood has run past these eyes, enough last gasps, enough smell of death angels . We both have pushed Irish luck into insane territory. I will give this Temple a shot, if that tooo cute Nun Serena can activate the vibe and we can influence the opposing General’s to back down, walk away? I’m going for it Marine, if not, "Mess With The Best Die Like The rest" Looks like your taking elements of your old boys 3rd Force Recon ,cream of the cream of course all hard core studs battle hardened and very eager to rock with Grey Wolf Dude..."

  "Feel Good Buddy, took several jumps 1,4,10,15 thousand feet, qualified on the rifle,shotgun, pistol, hand to hand all the way. All systems ready, if we roll into this thing. Balls to the wall, house to house, you and I take the worst of the three prongs of course,. No more about this around Sharon and the girls pal. Come on in."

Before Quill can get staff working on General Parker’s needs, la Sharon lets out an alley cat like scream upon seeing the launch unload a heartbreaking perfect 32 year old pure Blond, Irish noon Sun glistening off that peaches and cream skin as the light catches a face sculpted on a morning when the Supreme Creator wanted to make a statement on mathematical ideal. If all the lines of her face were scanned in a computer absolute perfection would be understood...... Fletcher Quill’s life is about to change as the new world order packaged in five foot four inches one hundred 115 pounds of trouble, Blond trouble slowly brings the tablet of new rules like a female Moses with a bad ass attitude....

  "Welcome Mutha Superia Serena, my castle is your’s staff will get you settled in then lunch and meet the other inmates. Dam, you look fabulous and a little tired."

  "Long ride Mr. Quill well worth it this castle is amazing and your cat so hansome!"

  "Duke, let us conversate while our Nun gets her new habit together my brother. Duke come down for lunch and meet our new talisman Serena."

Cell phone explodes, it’s the Cowboy.

  "General Quill, is Parker on board yet? Put us on speaker phone in a secure area. Have news, serious news boys. Word just came in from Intel, they have put out a ten million dollar hit reward for either or both of you when you hit the ground. So my feeling Marine’s bidness as usual when you and your brothers are surrounded , out numbered, no chance like early Vietnam, late Korea, Mogadishu, Tarawa, Kaison. You boys get nasty and get the ball over the goal post! Personally I feel sorry for the other side, your three prong attack plan looks mean and lean. This is my last call until this thing is done. Your country, your family, your Corp, your President is with you, God speed."

  "Thank you Mr. President."

Suddenly loud high pitched screams fill the castle as the Blond Bitches Brew begins to percolate...

  "Girls, girls, please what Blond madness has crept into my peaceful castle?"

  "Ok Quill, first you breeze this young woman into my house without introduction and I find her up to her chin in my bath salts savoring my private quititude!"

  "Oh my God, Honestly Sharon I’m your biggest fan, I can’t believe I’m here and about to have lunch with you!" (While rubbing her hands together like an awfully cute seal!)

  "Tell me Sister Serena, how exactly do we lay folk address you?"

  "Sister Serena or SS will do nicely thank you. Are you getting ready for another film Ms. Stone?"

  "Yes, I will be catching first thing smoking in two days for la La Land. Johnny Depp thinks he has something for both of us, remains to be validated."

  "I can’t help staring at your skin, its so creamy for a woman your age, amazing! If I did not know better you could pass for 45 or 47 easy!"

"Why you little Frisco fresh thing, what did you say about my age sweety?"

  "Oh nothing, just thinking out loud how well preserved you are Ms. Stone. Those high collar mock turtles and basic black make you absolutely timeless?"

La Sharon spits out her lunch soup all over as Duke and Quill go into convulsions holding their stomachs withering on the floor....

  "You little tooooo cute monster from lower reaches of Hell! How dare you utter such dribble to my face no less! I’m going to rip your f...king hair out bitch!"

Sharon launches across the table and is intercepted by General Parker about to take a first bite of his fillet when exploding Blonds change the table scape...

  "Oh my God, I didn’t mean to flip you out Ms. Stone, Quill could have mentioned your obvious heightened since of age recognition. You really must do something about that awful show biz I rule the world tude your packing in that Gucci Bag Dear. San Francisco may be off the main line, but we ain’t dumb, and we ain’t into taking any extra poo poo from has been Sillywood B acteress’s sweety!. Now if were all warm and cozy I must get some rest before we get into this Peace Temple deal. Do hope we can work out our little peccadilloes dear, till dinner then."

  "Parker, did you hear and see what I just saw? Dude, is this a changing of the female guard at Ravens Haven buddy?"

  "Man, that little blond ain’t taking prisoners, Sharon is freaked and listen to those doors slam. You got blonds bouncing off the walls Cowboy! What you going to do?"

(Blond Chaos rules! How many hot Blonds does it take to break a heart?)


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



Written by Dan Fallon 2008
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2008

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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