|Column nr.4 2002|
PONDS & ZEN MOMENTS
Fly fishers throughout California are hovering like our notorious ex president at the very hint of a high paying speaking gig! The final days before streams & rivers open are often angst riddled and resplendent in "Cant wait dreams". I have adopted a pleasant way to shake the winter rust and get my casting skills together before opening day. In Upper California about 260 miles from my home base in Sausalito a group of semi secret natural spring trout ponds exist around three thousand feet, not far from the tiny town of Shingletown near mystic Mt.Shasta.
Thanks to this monthly column heading rapidly toward its fifth year, I have been invited to countless private streams, ponds, and private river access areas rarely fished. (Forever counting my blessings)http://www.westonhouse.com/ Lovely Angela Weston, a dear friend who owns Weston House B&B near Shingletown California, home to one of my fly schools is a special place to stay while testing the multi bug hatches on several natural ponds. The trout are hatchery raised and can get over 6-8 pounds gorging on all the insects and baits thrown at them. I like to set up ten feet or more back from the edges of these ponds just after sunrise and start working all the obvious holding areas, feeding stations. Its not my favorite haunt, as I have become addicted to the sounds and smells of running water on streams and rivers. It is a place where migrating ducks, geese, and eagles come and go gliding in and providing a never-ending joy for those who love to watch birds. The pure fun of throwing at exploding rising rings can erase all consciousness of time or pending appointments
I use my Walt Powell 4/6 weight Bamboo and 12 foot leaders with 8-foot tippets tied to #16-18 Nymphs and assorted deep weighted flies. The idea is to cast long 60-70 feet, let the tippet follow unwind so the fly settles way ahead of the line and appears totally natural. I then wait for at least a count of fifty and then begin a series of short jerky mends to simulate a wounded fly. I then suddenly stop half way back to my reel and see if any following fish might take a shot. If this fails and it has failed, I then go to streamers thrown far back from new areas not fished. This allows the local fish to regroup and recapture their territory. The sounds and especially the shadows, sight of anyone on the water are direct radar flight information for all fish near the waters shallow area.
Game fish and all fish at different times occupy the shallow waters. Insects that swim, fly or crawl are pursued in these shallow areas. I rarely walk right up to any stream or river Im going to fish without finding a high spot so I can see what fish are moving near shore. If I cant see any fish I still throw a few attractor flies, gaudy like Royal Coachmen and Big Mosquitoes or March Brown, Double Humpy type flies. These loud intruders as resident fish perceive them are almost always hit at. Never loudly crash and stomp your way upon a waters edge wading creating muddy water. All the resident fish will have already put fifty feet between you and them before you get started! If you doubt this sneak up and watch a stream edge from afar with good binoculars.
"NEW INSECT ORDER FOUND"
In a recent article written by Randolph E.Schmid for Associated Press, it appears scientists have discovered a completely new order of insect, first found in nearly a century! Fly fisher naturalists, serious bird watchers rejoice.
Is it possible we who worship at the temple of Mother Nature may be witnessing a latest twist in natural evolution? Fly tiers and those who closely follow the rapid extinctions happening now to almost every creature other then locusts? Will have to pause and reflect on the fact simple and perhaps complex animal life; Lochness Monster, Big foot, Giant Squid? May still exist that once existed on this planet not long after it cooled and formed an atmosphere.
Three of the paper clipped sized creatures were found within museum collections in Europe by Oliver Zompro of the Max-Plank institute for limnology in Ploen, Germany. Researchers later uncovered living specimens of the new insect order in Namibia Africa. The complete findings are being published as this column airs in the noted publication "Journal Science". The tiny almost cricket appearing insect does not have the sturdy developed hind legs of that order. They were dissected and found to be carnivores; a well-preserved specimen was found encased in amber in the Baltic region of Europe. Scientists, naturalists, fly fishers, and all those who enjoy everything from bird watching to whale watching will appreciate this latest discovery.
Fly tiers and those who spend endless moments either staring at moving bugs or attempting to present flies that behave like natural flies are quite excited about any new insect that may suddenly appear. On behalf of the fly-fishing world community let me say a hearty Welcome and hope we can soon imitate and present you properly! "Hail New Order". " To one of the last witnesses of the period when Africa and America were connected "Mantophasmatodea" This new beast bug is said to resemble both a Preying Mantis and a Stick Bug and snacks on assorted raw meats
The sighting of once thought extinct birds as reported in this column last month, in conjunction with ongoing amazement at the idea new creatures are still being found under the world oceans and in deep drilling operations is heartening. World wide, discoveries are occurring at an interesting rate these days. It does give hardened cynics who feel the precious waters we all love and play in may all be living on borrowed time, some belated hope. Constant vigilance by all of us who care and spend so much time on or in clean waters and are first to see changes coming is important! California, Alaska, British Columbia, New Zealand, North and South America, Russia, and many other areas still possess clean pure water and with careful stewardship. Future generations may taste the same sweetness and "Catch & release" the same wild fish.
(Warning casual reading public! This is the first semi fictional installment of the ongoing, unbelievable escapades of Fletcher Quill internationally renowned exotic rare fly tier, fly fishing adventurist) (Muse willing In each upcoming update and episode will be related )
Swirls of smoky gray fog often cover and cloak "Ravens Haven", Fletchers 15th Century haunted Castle situated half mile out on a jagged jetty twisting off of the Northern Ireland Coastline. This spiritual loner fly tier soul rests easy here among his famous collection of fly fisher rarities, such as the fireproof three ton safe carved into the castle wall that protects his ten million dollar Bamboo rod & memorabilia collection. This incredible collection of the most well known of all Bamboo and other related artifacts, second only to Fletchers most cherished secret collection of flies tied with feathers, bits and pieces of long extinct birds and animals. It is this addictive lifelong obsession with finding and collecting this rare material that has both consumed him and made him a most comfortable fly fisher, who tours all the finest destinations and writes what he imagines to be a respected monthly fly fishing column titled "Fletcher Quills World Of Fly Fishing"
"QUILL FULL OF ARROWS"
This highly suspect tirade written expressly for that ultra select 300 or so hardcore, eccentric and possessed enough fly fisher on the planet that socialize and fantasize with their resident guru who has one vision. The pursuit of the most unique sports fish caught, filmed and gently released and refooled by flies tied with rare extinct plumage that always fool game fish without fail. He and his small army of possessed compatriots pursue their adventures on a world scale, moving from here to there in Gulfstreams and custom jet helicopters or luxury yachts. Fletcher of course has an extensive exotic car collection featuring Ferrari, Porsche and assorted custom hot rods from Americas golden era of street rods. His handmade Hummer equipped with every navigation device that exists, built in fly rod exotic wood case lined in antique velvet excavated from the tomb of a Chinese man god who lived five thousand years ago when fly-fishing was still way up ahead in the distant mist .
HAWK SANCTUARY FLY-TIER HEAVEN
Raptors and hawks of all kind migrating from around the world unknowingly dive and hover just outside "Ravens Haven" picking off smaller birds and prey while migrating. Fletcher spends endless moments sitting perfectly still just staring with expensive glass as all the different feathers drop down into a catch area he had fashioned when he moved in and took possession.
How perfectly timed and played out this ritual of- cat watching bird and bird diving into another glorious moment of its lighter then air magic dance . The crisp Irish Sea air and the heart stopping views keep Fletcher and his bank of six custom laptops plugged into a continuous world of electronic scans of potential often secret or private deep-sea or land archeological expeditions. Fletcher has made gentlemans pre arrangements with moles in every important expedition currently going on as he has for many years to alert him first! His mind wonders to thoughts of Clare his thirty three-year-old DNA scientist girlfriend sometime live in sometimes out.
He remembers her last conversation before leaving by helicopter for London. "Will you for heavens sake please allow one moment of untainted romantic bliss without mentioning the supposed unearthing of some poor ancient Inca Mummy adorned with the boldest red plumage ever witnessed by ancient cave dwellers " She did have a nice flowing poetic presence about her and looked just as sexy coming or going.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
Written by Dan Fallon, April. 2002 ©
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