|Column nr.4 2000|
The last year has moved faster then California gas prices. When I think back to all the world class fly fishers who have graced the virtual reality pages of this column, it humbles me.I will have to start with my old friend Walton Powell who taught me a great deal about the sport of tossing flies. What a joy it was to spend so much one on one quiet time with this living legend friend to kings and just plain everyday duck hunter farmers. The hours I spent with Walt slowly trolling for fat Little Tuly trout or just talking about his old friends like Bing Crosby and Phill Harris. Walt threw flies with all the great sportsmen and woman of the last century. his father E.C. was and still is regarded as a true pioneer in the art of Bamboo flyrod making. Walt ties the fastest double humpy you ever saw and his infamous Clyde Fly is still the most deadly fly in my vest. If you read the story titled "Lord Of The Flies" published afew years ago and still available on the contents page of this great webzine. One might get a feel for the scope and breath of Walt Powells presence in the international fly fishing community. I will always treasure the time spent with Walt on the fabled Fall River way up North in California.
Ahh yes the sweeter sex indeed. I have been most fortunate to spend time with and write about many wonderful personalities, especially woman. I have always vigorously believed woman were not getting their due in this sport. I purposely set out to try and single-handedly fight the good fight and bring as many world class lady fly fishers into this webzine as possible. I have to begin with the world renown 27 time Vogue Magazine Cover Girl Karen Graham. I was most impressed with her outdoor resume that included her guide school back East and a stellar career about to be resurrected once again by Estee Ladder and Vogue. If you click to the contents page of this webzine and look for "BUTTERFLY And THE TROUT" an easy tour into the atmosphere of an amazing fly fisher who just happens to be drop dead gorgeous in her early fifties. Ms. Grahm has been the talk of the modeling industry since her come back rather late in the modeling biz! Her work with womans outdoor organizations is most commendable. Please ladies fear not.it is not necessary to be an international cover girl in order to get alittle space in "DAN FALLONS WORLD OF FLY FISHING". Man or woman, one criteria for making the pages of my column is true world class fly fishing experiences. If you are addicted to this sport and have wondered around the world chasing Salmon, Trout, or any of the fighting game species fresh water or salt. I would love to have you get in touch with me via the E-mail address or phone numbers at the end of all my column updates. In the last few years I have heard from people all over the planet in regard to this complex highly rewarding sport of ours.
Now back to my favorite subject, woman who have mastered the art of presenting well tied flies to hungry fish. Lisa Cutter is a good case in point when it comes to international experience. Lisa has traveled to the Amazon River and dangled her dainty toes in most of California's more productive streams. Her and her husband run a guide school and Lisa is also quite active helping others to learn and grow from novice beginners. Lisa like many hard-core fly fishers, first caught the fascination with aquatic creature bugs while still a little girl. I have heard so many stories of men and woman who fell victim to the magical mysteries of moving water in exquisite atmospheres. It would be difficult to meet a more dedicated soulful practitioner then Karen Smith. A dear friend and wife of Senior California Fish & Game Toxicologist Mike Martin. These two have taken high and low roads to special fish nurseries like New Zealand where they caught many fine fish.
Whenever I´m sitting somewhere quiet and alone which is often the case. I think about those three dimensional poetic moments when I have born witness to greatness, uniqueness in humans ability to completely rise to an occasion. I have seen divine intervention create heroes while serving in my beloved Marine Corps 65-72. My most cherished moments in the field are the times when adversity in the guise of water too deep and too dangerously fast to risk life and limb stand between landing and taking a good fish. Rather then the hideous deadness of loosing a good fish because of circumstances out of ones control. In my humble opinion the fairer sex armed with confidence and studied grace in respect to field hunting & fishing success seems to more often quickly adjust and conjure. Yeah, yeah, I can hear my male buddies screaming, "Fallon has gone alittle too far this time boys". The poet Shelly said, "Those who refuse to bow to beauty's charm and grace are doomed to suffer the worst of fates" In my life spending long periods alone in remote places with great woman fly fishing have been the blood, fuel and energy needed to enjoy the whole of natures Shangrila...
The work done by many womans magazines and outdoor adventure schools, guide services is quite remarkable. I will be writing about these unique venues who cater to womans needs. Way up Northern California way, a new Womans retreat that features quality fly fishing and guide service is Angela's Bed & Breakfast womans retreat situated near Shingletown not far from Redding. Her phone number is 530- 474-3738 This place is perfect for getting away and sampling excellent fly fishing opportunities near fabled Mt. Shasta California. The local fly fishing retail stores near you can offer info on where to access womans related fly fishing services. The many world wide web search engines can also help discover womans fly fishing schools etc.. I personally guide woman at this wonderful destination.
If anything is to be gained from spending much of ones life up to ones butt in ice cold water throwing flies. It must be the opportunity to witness the timeless unfolding and refolding of mother natures extravaganza of colors and sound. This symphony of undying regenerating miracles haunts me always all days sunshine or haze..... I have sat motionless for weeks watching the light change and create different textures to the moment, and suddenly a fat trout will wake me from the endless dream only to begin again and again and again, Im doomed to the endless ceremony.
The sweet resurrection of my infamous uncle Dan was alot of grand nostalgic fun for me remembering his manners and language from the early 1950s. When he was alive and I was seven and younger during our brief but delicious time together. Dan Bowtar was one of the last real San Francisco Stockyard Cowboys during all the first portion of the last century. He and his pals waited on rank (mean nasty) horses while trains carried beef, lamb, horses to a long line of famous restaurant owners who my uncle knew. He taught me how to fly fish, swear, speak with humor and masculine effects in all my early behaviors. Of course my aunt and the other woman cursed and scolded uncle Dan for quickly, effectively leading me down the ancient halls of outdoorsmen nirvana. He used to say "Daniel, don´t forget Bait fisherman are at the very bottom of the well, only bait fish to save your life if your stranded on a deserted island where no birds live. Boys that throw those lure things are not much better off. If you ever do anything worth a dam in your life learn how to play Chess, back ally brawl, and fly fish. Of course not in any Godd-- particular order!! "I have lived my life trying very much to make uncle Dan proud. Many other hunter -fisher type characters have come and gone.
One guy who I spent alot time chasing Cock Pheasants hunted wild, and other game birds was Bob. I cant recall his last name but he lived in Stockton California and was the proud possessor of the smartest old bird dog I had the pure pleasure to hunt over. On one hunt near Sacramento California we were over run with good old boys of ages who had to know the exact genetic code from witch his mongrel wonder dog was spawned. Bobs standard reply was he is a Costa Rican, New Foundland cross with alittle Labradore and Tanzanian terrier thrown in for good measure. Bob insisted his dog "Jimmy"could track ghost shrimp across the Pacific Ocean and into what ever fancy restaurant they may be residing. This guy was a outdoor writers dream come true. He was about as hard-core a hunter as I ever knew. He would hunt almost everyday all duck, pheasant, quail, dove, season every year. He knew all the best spots at state state refuges for hunting duck. I miss his good humor and keep searching for a way to reconnect if possible. My life moves so quickly as a writer many great people and girlfriends seem to fall by the wayside. To all of you who know who you are out there "Hey, Im sorry, I guess I had the rearview mirror removed from my consciousness sometime ago. Maybe we (all of you who Ive met and laughed with all over the world) will one day run into each other on a great trout stream. I would like to think so.......
When I daydream about places to fly fish I havent been to yet? An instant message comes across my subconscious automated E-Mail. "Call and make reservations now for Alaska, New Zealand, Australia, Amazon River, Nile River?, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, China, Russia. I can only imagine if there really exists remote pristine wilderness areas in places like Russia and China? Because these two countries have so much vast unpopulated land mass. One would imagine these dream fly fishing destinations exist WAY OUT THERE???? If anyone reading this column can give me exact information on where these kind of places might be. I would love to mount expeditions into uncharted areas of Russia and China. I would bring my own personal team of experts and afterward write extensively about new Shangrilas for extreme oriented fly fishermen. When I say extreme fly fisher, I mean those who thrive on fighting large fish of any kind on light tackle, or those who seek the most remote areas to throw flies. If your spending way too much time and money and brain matter on the pursuit of extreme fly fishing opportunities! You my friend may find me already standing in your stream a million miles from no where!!
During the last ten years I have written about many subjects including Western history, Poetry, art, fly fishing and outdoor character studies and plays. The most satisfying aspect of only writing about what you are addicted to. Is the endless amount of time one must spend to begin to understand. Long periods studying the art of fly fishing have been the most enjoyable and challenging periods of my life. When I opened my mind to the whole natural concept of tying your own imitation and presenting it perfectly. Then letting the fish play out its strength on very light rods and tippets. The thrill of getting lucky once in awhile and actually not making any mistakes. Then gently letting a four pound trout slide back into his food lane. That for me has become the holy grail, road to my inner Shangrila... When I think back to all my mistakes and wasted afternoons not knowing exactly how to stand well back from most streams and throw very thin tippets at fish that are not spooked by your walking up on them and splashing around in their world. The concept of stealth fly fishing practiced with rigorous attention to NO TRACE WATER MOVEMENT. It is not necessary to move boulders out of your way as you slosh around delicate stream beds. It is not difficult to learn the lessons of the great North American Ancient indians who mastered fishing and many conservation practices used today here in their America. In my case from boyhood and into my years in the U.S. Marines. I was taught to always move as silently as possible either hunting deer, upland game or any species. When I moved around Vietnam 65-66, I moved very carefully every single day. Much too often I see new fly fishers leaving cans, paper wrappers left over foods lying on the ground near streams. These seemingly harmless items can and do pollute waters all over the world everyday. If I could have one wish for all mankind. It would be please show all of us how to heal poor mother Earth back to her original beauty and glory.
Its been a wonderful year for me as a fly fisher and writer, I thank all who have spent the time to help this column become fresh each and every month. I especially must say a grateful thank you to Mats the webzine master and guiding light of this great magazine. Thank you all for your kindness and E-mails. I look forward to many more good fish fights and many more years up to my butt in ice cold water..... Remember next time you think you are about as far away from civilization as money can buy? Take a real hard look around, I may be standing off to the side gently throwing my hand tied Clyde imitation.
Written by Dan Fallon, April. 2000 ©
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