|Column nr.3 2004|
| Jason Akl- Fly tier
Jason Akl self taught fly tier grew up in Toronto Canada, where he could easily commute to almost endless lakes and streams and observe exactly what living breathing insects look like. It has been my privilege to know many master fly tiers whose reputations are known in regard to technique and understanding this most intricate skill. A.K.Best was my featured guest at last years breast cancer fly event in Fall River Mills California, my other featured guest was Jay Fair. Both these distinguished fly tying masters would love to see Mr. Akls work as he has taken the time and studied insects enough to come up with this innovative, unique Damsel pattern that features carefully trimmed and sculpted wings flared and spaced as if the Damsel were in flight. Most realistic and according to Jason a trout magnet when allowed to dead drift.
I especially like Jasons work because he is not focused on only traditional tying methods and confined to creating exact replicas that would look fine to other fly fishers, though maybe a little too perfect to fool trout! In my mind a great many of the known master tiers have created patterns that dont actually look like any natural insect known on this planet.
Of course their work garners rave reviews, yet few trout or salmon rise to their appearance.. Mr. Akls work has two distinct attributes, first his flies consistently catch fish and he has developed many skills others might want to investigate...
Jays Jewelwing (Caloteryx)
Hook: Mustad 37160, Size
Swinger (Tipulidae) link to tying description
Hook: Mustad, Size #12
The "Swinger" is very buggy thanks to careful dubbing and the four soft Grouse feathers that have been precisely carved and shaved as to simulate actual insect antenna. I love this effect and after throwing this fly in fast and slow waters, it does catch trout and looks like a real bug as it starts to slowly sink. This pattern works, the fan carved Grouse feathers are what fools fish, an extra skill Jason seems to have mastered. Jason sent me one dozen of his tried and true salmon, trout flies, all of them are of this high quality and they are tyed to stay together after many casts and caught fish.
Mr. Akl likes to fish small streams and like most of us has become slightly enchanted with all things water bound and the natural order ballet going on every day as trout try to out smart insects. Jason has advanced degrees in Laboratory Science and has been actively tying flies for local lodges and fly shops. In my mind Jason is just the type of modern tier the sport needs, he studies actual insects and closely replicates what he sees. For Jason Akl contact info visit his biography page.
Eastern Sierra Fly fishing report
The news from the year round fly fishing California jewel Owens River is fishy to say the least. Gary Gunsolley always accurate report has the Lower Owens looking good for deep water nymphing when the rain lets up. Water Temps have hovered around 46 which is near perfect, fly fishers have to get real deep to arouse these sleeping Snow-Bows! The Owens River Gorge water temp at 42, best bet is two fly rig with a hopper or a parachute up top and tiny emerger on the bottom. Those who seek a more peaceful area without crowds would be happy throwing bugs in the Gorge. In California few public year round fly fisher hot spots exist, though many private trout clubs are available for a fat fee. The whole lower Owens River system when weather permits is quality habitat open all year. Contact Gary Gunsolley at www.brocksflyfish.com
California in general from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park including the Mighty Carson River and the American are all going to be in great shape this season. The rain has been steady and most reservoirs are full or almost full. This year may be one of the best in recent memory for fly fishers and those who love fast running clean water. My good friend Jim Tompkins "The Duke of Diggercreek" sent these two fat trout photos taken in the last few weeks. Because the California official river / stream opener is still a few weeks away ( last Saturday in April ) Diggercreek Ranch in Shingletown is a special trout sanctuary worth a look see. Huge trout taken from the same nursery as the behemoth Eagle Lake strain makes Diggercreek a must go to for serious fly fishers. Contact Jim at (530) 242-6744 or on the Web www.diggercreekranch.com
Those readers of this monthly fly column who have responded to my plea to evaluate the health of your home waters seem to experience as I have, local school kids especially love to get their hands and minds into local water awareness programs. When adults take kids to a polluted stream or river and take water samples ( using clean bottles ), and then await results from either state or local agencies. It is a wonderful learning model to first determine the cause of the pollution and then actually begin fixing the problem. When youngsters begin cleaning stream edges and taking refuse out of waters close to home, it leaves a clean taste in their mouths and a new understanding of how vital clean water is to all of us! If anyone out there would like to get started and make a difference? Simply organize a class or two of elementary or high school students and start taking a close look at your home waters, are they clean and unpolluted?
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
After several most intriguing days and nights of great story telling and constant jamming Ravens Haven Quills Northern Ireland Castles latest guests, legendary rocker Rolling Stone Keith Richards and her perfect Blondness Sharon Stone are having breakfast with Quills best friend Timba and Absyinnian cat who also loves perfect blonds...
"Sharon looks like our host has more phone calls to deal with then we do, love this little kitty who keeps talking and jumping between us".
"This castle is the most fun I have had in sometime, the sound of the crashing waves and being pampered has been the best".
"Keith, I wonder if we have been using the wrong name for this castle? Do you know if its Ravens Haven or Ravens Heaven?"
Before Keith can reply Timba bolts from his lap as the Master of Ravens Haven descends the winding staircase.
"Good morning, Sharon the proper name for the castle is Ravens Haven, though many including yours truly have called it Ravens Heaven for obvious reasons. I just got off the phone with my State Department contact, this afternoon a CIA helicopter will be taking me and the VP Slick Brainy on a tour of the private trout waters where the Irish Peace fly trip will take place. Your both welcome to join me as I suppose Jive Boy may as well, if he ever gets up? That boy and his generation do love their sleep cycles!"
Staff alerts Fletcher another food stuff raid has happened and the usual items have evaporated? Sharon throws Quill and idea;
"Why dont you simply make a special every day donation to the "Little People" who take your food and see if that will help maintain cordial relations?"
" Excellent idea Sharon, we will begin doing that today, I guess I have been heading that direction any way. Last night staff reported hearing much muted music and revelry in the kitchen, must be the tiny dancers, I will start showing them more respect as they were here first and my luck does not need to change".
Staff hands Quill the Satellite Red Phone;
"Its the Cowboy".
"Fletcher glad I caught you, much to discuss."
"Im at your disposal Mr. President, guess you been looking in the Oval Office rear view mirror with that Catsup loving Vietnam Vet hot on your six sir?" (Six is a term fighter pilots use; check your rear).
"Man, have I been up to my Texas keister this month with not only that tall drink of water from the great state of Mass, but this new California robot in the Capital is wreaking havoc with my time in the spotlight. He wants to change the law so he can run for President? He only won the election a few months ago and he wants to be Pres?"
"Sir, I would guess he is your least worrisome California boy these days hey?"
"If that Newsom San Francisco Mayor gets any more bold ass ideas, he may be the one to watch from now on! Quill wanted to alert you, we have strong evidence of an unsual mass multi species migration all heading for San Francisco. It may be the gods have decided to make San Fran the "County Clerk" of the world? Now all I hear is Gavin this and Gavin that."
"Sir, many of us Vets like the way you have put the Middle East on notice in regard to our safety- though we are a little troubled by the lack of any W.M.D. material so far?"
Keith listening quietly speaks up;
"Quill think you might put the Pres on a speaker phone so I can play?"
"Mr. President, Keith Richards here, wanted to ask you if you think you and our little Tony B. will get back in the batter box after elections and is it true you went to a dozen Stones concerts when you were a college cheer leader?"
"I did get to see you and Mick back in the day, and yes I did most certainly inhale. So what are you and Quill and Sharon doing today?"
"We are waiting for Jive Boy to wake up, I sent Sharon up to get his heart started."
"Oh yeah, that will do it, Quill are you about ready to go, the CIA chopper will be at your place in one hour."
Staff whispers in Quills ear;
"The X Pres Phil is on his way over and eager to hang more with Sharon sir".
"Mr. President any chance of giving Martha (hate those dirty dishes) Steward a break and keeping her out of the Cross Bar Hotel?"
"Been watching poor Martha and now David Crosby who I love and of course the whole doping steroid thing, Cant wait until Barry hits his first Homeroid and we can see what modern chemistry can do for aging athletes"
"Homeroids, man I love that sir, may I use it?"
As everyone including the late waking Jive Boy prepare for the CIA Chopper, Quills famous next door neighbor comes bounding into the Castle reception area.
"Good morning Mr. President we are getting ready to take a chopper flight into the area where my Irish Peace fly trip will happen."
"Fletch I just got a call from Smokin Joe Frazier, the champ wants to know if the Sausalito "Wild Turkey-Coyote Shoot" is on for this year? He says he wants to handle all delicate female press relations as part of his probation for smacking Mrs. Frazier".
Sharon has a horrific look on her face.
"The Sausalito shoot is still on as far as I know sir, this year we may have a special inter species group marriage before the shoot, nice touch to appease the liberals."
"Listen mate, I want in on that Wild Turkey shoot myself, been thinking Quill if you dont mind having me around a bit longer, like to hang here and feel the peace vibes."
"You got it Keith, glad to have you".
Suddenly all assembled parties are smiling as Jive Boy and her Blondness are locked in a serious kiss.
"Excuse me sir Slick Brainy calling from the Chopper."
"Quill old boy long time no hang, we are maybe ten minutes from the castle, plenty of room if you have guests who might like to come along."
"Slick, missed you dude, we were just talking about the Sausalito wild turkey shoot and the Cowboy called me this morning- listen to this one, he cant wait till Barry hits a Homeroid!"
"Man, its getting strange in this world, as we flew over the Irish coast we see a mass migration of Penguins all heading west - its weird dude, they are all wearing vests that say San Francisco or bust?"
"See you soon Slick, how much room in the chopper?" "Bring all your guests, even bring your new neighbor if you like".
Keith, Quill, and Phil are all opened mouthed as Sharon and Jive Boy are slowly heading back up the old stairwell.
The sound of the chopper now approaching snaps all the male brains back into a more down to earth set of thoughts...
"Quill, can your neighbor tag along dude?"
"Of course sir, though its Slick Brainy who is in charge of todays flight."
Timba and Fletcher exchange cat hugs as the group heads for the roof top chopper pad, Quill hears Keith ask the X Pres a timely question.
"If Hillary gets into the White House and you get back into your old crib, will the press ease up on you dude?"
"The press will never ease up on me Keith, its not in the cards."
Before boarding the black spook chopper, Quill takes another inventory of his fly gear as he and the VP will be throwing bugs this morning for sure.
"Fletch did you bring that new Bamboo you just bought from Headwaters Rod Company? I have to have a little time with that rod my man."
The chopper lifts off quickly and heads inland as the Irish Coast fades.
"Slick where are we headed this morning?"
"This may sound a bit weird boys, we have intell from the Irish fly fishing community that a place exists where the ancient Irish God Dagda once caught trout for sport with the help of a faerie Prince named Oenghus. The area on top of a huge faerie mound is called Sidh of Brug na Boinne , we were told it is pure magic with ten pound brown trout and endless catches are the norm. We did hear one silly word of caution from our source. The guy said if anyone hears the most enchanting singing or otherworldly music, do not under any circumstance try and find where the music comes from. If anyone does hear anything out there today, might be best to plug your ears, we dont want a Glimmer Twin or the X Pres to get lost!"
Quill and Keith smile at each other as the chopper begins its descent into a lush green hilly area hidden in a deep canyon with ice cold clear water running in several medium size streams. Quill brought along his never fail, cant loose killer Streamers including the now rare "Fallon Slayer" a streamer with special extinct white Eagle feathers.
(Stay tuned- will Keith, Quill & Phil catch trout? Will Jive Boy get very lucky?)
Read about Fletcher Quill in earlier chapters:
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2004
For Dan Fallon's earlier
and later columns; visit the table