|Column nr.4 2004|
| LOCAL SCHOOL KIDS SAVE
"The Leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Bible, Isahiah
This months fly fishing column is dedicated to Joel Blanco and his classmates who successfully called attention to polluted Blackberry Creek that runs right next to their school grounds, by taking the case to the Berkeley California City Council asking that the creek situation be investigated. This young man with the help of classmates who wrote letters and organized a group effort that included producing a video tape, ought to be highly commended for his out of the ordinary passion in getting his school creek cleaned up properly. The local waters were contaminated with both bacteria associated with raw sewage and other refuse such as dog feces were being routinely discharged into the creek.. Jon Bindloss Thousand Oaks Elementary Science Teacher said he had to use gloves in his first attempts at gathering bug larvae for class work or collecting any samples from the polluted creek, "It was a hassle, we look forward to being able to use the creek for science."
A few weeks ago Mayor Tom Bates came to Thousand Oaks Elementary to tell Joel and 150 other students that the city had fixed many of the pollution issues such as raw sewage and was confident the creek was well on its way to clean health. Joel who is a fifth grader was thrilled and said, "I feel great - it makes me feel like we did something". City crews have begun removing old signs and refuse as this little urban creek is saved and restored because of a young man named Joel and his classmates. I want to salute Joel and his classmates and the staff at Thousand Oaks Elementary for their above and beyond dedication to one day seeing and smelling their creek fresh and sparkling. This is such a wonderful story and a grand example of what I have been saying in this monthly fly column for many years. This story was published in the San Francisco Chronicle March 31, 2004 and was written by Patrick Hoge, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Local school kids with the help of concerned educated adults can and now by Joel Blancos example have begun to make a difference in both determination and implementation of clean water projects that actually work and benefit all of us, all the insects, all the birds, all the fish, and of course all the people. If anyone reading this column becomes inspired to take a much harder, closer look at their own local rivers, streams, oceans, perhaps Joels inspired deed may become a world wide symbol of clean water pro-action! Thank you Joel and your classmates and teachers, I toast you and have been humbled and touched by your actions. Because of the rare and positive example set by young Joel, I have decided to name an annual pro-action award that will include a feature in this monthly column the "Blanco Clean Water Cup" will be presented to a deserving candidate, group, entity each spring in honor of the now clean running Black-berry Creek Project. Joel Blanco and his classmates have set a new standard that can be easily followed by kids, students, caring adults around the world.
I will begin researching next years possible winner immediately, it will be a pleasure to recognize the same go the extra mile attitude that seems to be epidemic at Thousand Oaks Elementary Berkeley California. Of course this exceptional tale of the innocent leading the blind took place in Berkeley, a place where boys and girls dreams can still come true... "We are the dreamers of dreams, wandering by lone sea-breakers, and sitting by desolate streams". Arthur OShaughnessy, 1844-1881
My own fly fishing adventures this season will include; Alaskan trip early July that will feature a completely new King Salmon technique using surface popping flies. This incredible new method of King Salmon catch and release was perfected by John Wilson of the famed remote Alaskan fly fisher homestead 100 miles east of Anchorage Alaska, Lake Marie. This trip will be a feature article to be published late June in both this monthly fly column and in Big Game Journal, http://bgf-journal.com, a serious fishing chronicler that published my feature on Cindy Garrison African Fly Fishing guide a few years ago. Early in this new season I will be heading to Yosemite Park and the head waters of the mighty Merced River, I have spent many early spring mornings walking and throwing 18/22 Mosquitos and loving the majestic sheer cliffs, many trips to upper California and the rivers and streams near the Oregon Border, Digger Creek will be a must stop and throw venue, Jim Tompkins "Duke of Digger Creek" sent me these great just caught big trout photos. This young lady joined the serious fly fisher club with this 19 inch Eagle Lake strain bow looking very fat and fit! Jim says his perfect trout habitat located an hour from Redding California has been experiencing several hatches a day and the resident semi wild trout that were born and raised on the property are known as terrific fighters. I urge anyone who loves big fighting bows in perfect wild mountain water habitat so pretty its one of a kind... Contact Jim at www.diggercreekranch.com
A gentle reminder to all my fly fishing brothers and sisters getting ready for the April opener for streams and rivers, please take the time to remember your wading boots, boat bottoms need to be completely cleaned after use in any waters. The main mode of transportation for all foreign water invaders such as snails, weeds, mollusks and many yet to be found intruders rely on careless outdoorsmen who never bother to clean their boat bottoms, gear after each trip. The maddening Fall River Mills levee break caused by fast growing foreign weeds is a good text book case of what can happen! Here in California Putah Creek once a trout fisher hot spot has now been invaded by foreign snails and is still under a state of siege! Perhaps we can all be more considerate of the waters we fly fish in this year, why not try to not let your freshly caught fish stay out of the water no more then ten seconds tops, have your camera ready and near by before you land any fish. If you can manage to take your photo while the fish is still just under the surface, that is even better and gives the exhausted fish a stronger chance to survive.
I have been saying a prayer for all of our bass fishing brothers or anyone who loves to chase game fish, why not insist on only using barbless hooks when angling? It is so easy to simply use your pliers or clipper and flatten out the barbs on your hooks before use. Why the California Department Fish & Game have not made this barbless issue a new law is beyond my understanding? Hooks with barbs harm more fish by opening wounds often too large to heal quickly, please think again before getting lazy and not flattening the barb on your flies or lures. A well known often repeated fly fishing saying "Trout wild or not are too precious to be caught once- catch and release is the only way!" a fine angling philosophy.
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
Fletcher Quill, V.P. Slick Brainy, X President Phil, Keith Richards, have just landed in a black CIA chopper fifty yards from a secret remote Northern Ireland fly fishing area supposedly existing in a kind of sub surface lush green zone known as "Sidh of Brug na Boinne" a noted faerie mound. Before departing the chopper Slick Brainy has an urgent message to relay.
"Jive Boy and Sharon Stone are off to Nashville where they will be writing songs together with Sharons X old man"
"All night Dwight Yokim".
Quill and his fly fishing mates all break out in near hysterical laughter as they begin stringing the fly rods.
"Man, o man, what I wouldnt give to be along on that little excursion hey Keith?"
"Yeah mate, she is a looker and he is most odd, that Jive Boy character, Quill where did you find Jive?"
"In Alaska, he was one of my guides and we hit it off big time when he told me he had perfected becoming invisible while hanging with William Burroughs".
"The cat is the only invisible surfer I ever met Fletch, wonder if Sharon is into the becoming invisible deal?"
"Slick, Jive is very mesmerizing and he and Sharon might be a great match for a little while. Do you guys remember that Dwight Yokim song "Maybe Ill be as fast as you" it was written after her Blondness la Sharon cut that country boys heart into more pieces than he could count!"
"Enough of this chit chat boys, lets go play with these trout shall we?"
As the group moves closer to the now more clearly defined faerie mound a queer sensation seems to over take everyone at once.
"Did you guys feel the sudden difference in air pressure here-its as if we have left the outside world?"
"Yeah your dead on Quill I feel the change as well, my ears are starting to pop!"
"I see a foot path, must be the way to Valhalla hey lads?"
"Mr. President remember what Slick said about hearing any weird music."
"No worries Quill, the CIA and my security detail have been over this place like it might have weapons of mass extinction if you get my drift?"
"Well lets stay close together until we get on the water fellas."
The air and the vivid wild flowers begin to seduce the group into thinking only fly fishy thoughts as a perfect winding stream appears with several deep holes near the meandering twists and turns. Quill spots several 15 inch or better rainbows slurping up a hatch of what appears to be black wing clad bugs that are in abundance.
"Fletch, what kind of bug is that- more important did you bring anything like it?"
"Oh yeah, here boys this pattern comes from a new master fly tier Jason Aki who lives out west."
"Man, this guy ties life like bugs dude - this thing looks alive!"
X Pres Phil is first in the water and throws a nice loop up stream. Before he can take up all the slack, his indicator goes under the surface and he is hooked up and into a nice bow.
In the course of half an hour all of Quills buddies are into nice fish, when out of the blue comes a strolling little character wearing a funny pointed hat.
"Good day to you lads, I see your giving my fish a good workout hey?"
"Your fish sir, this is your land we are on?"
"It is laddy, I welcome you all and now that I see what fine fly fishers you are - would you care to take a crack at my most secret stream just over that green hill?"
"Why not, what did you say your name was friend?"
"Im Jimmy Oneghus, son of Prince Onegus who was the first owner of this sacred property."
"Sacred you say, why is that sir?"
"Well its like this my new angling friends, my people, that is the "Little People" who have always lived here are very protective of this magical place because the Irish God Dagda loved this place and often himself tossed a bug at these grand fish. He called the place "Piscatorial Repository" what ever the hell that means?"
While the little man no taller than a small 3rd grader led the party to his secret stream, the group was quiet and rather enchanted by the dark green foliage and azure blue waters that seemed to be shimmering like no waters ever seen by any of them.
"Here we are lads, take your time and one word of caution to you all. These Rainbow and Brown Trout are just a wee bit bigger than you may be used to!"
Five minutes after the party starts throwing both Mosquitos and streamers, they are all hooked up to fish that are bending rods and causing expensive reels to scream louder than Al Gore when he lost.
"Quill, this is insane dude, this trout is at least ten pounds and looks like you have about the same deal bending that Bamboo?"
"Slick, lets get Keith into this, here Keith (hands his fly rod) together you and me will try and land this fat boy!"
In the course of half an hour and after many runs that left Keith deep into his backing line, a 26 inch, 11 pound bow is gently landed, revived and let go by the "Glimmer Twin". Back slapping and high fives all around as the group now watches the X Pres standing up to his waist with an even stronger fish on.
"Dam, man this guy wont give it up, this is some fly trip Slick."
"Need any help with that trout Phil?"
"Help, I never get help other than that lame impeachment gang!"
After another set of ariel jumps and more rod bending, the pres has his 30 inch, Brown that is at least 12 pounds or more. The now exhausted fly throwers put down their rods and take a break and gather on the stream edge for lunch. Slick Brainy sits next to Keith and the the two most unlikely fly fishing partners begin to bond.
"Always a huge fan of you and the Mick, tell me what are your impressions of the colonies these days?"
"We Brits love you yanks Slick. Of course I cant help but wonder why the hell you and Asscraft or whatever his name is are going after poor little Martha and now Howard Stern? We think you could be taking a harder look at the whole old boy corporate mess and maybe actually trying a bit of soft power diplomacy instead of the John Wayne approach?"
"Well put Midnight Rambler, what you and most Americans dont know is the threats against us are far more complex and serious and we are only seeing the tip of the beasts nose! Poor Janic Jackson pops a bit of flesh on Superbowl Sunday and the whole religious right gets whacked out, now Howard and every other free speecher is on the hot seat."
"Quill what is that tune your humming dude?"
"Man, dont really know, sort of weird - I thought I heard it a moment ago, must be the hot Irish sun hey Keith?"
"I thought I heard that sound as well, Slick one more question and I will drop the subject. China, North Korea, India, Russia and god knows who else actually have W.M.D. stockpiles and have for many years, why didnt you guys go after these bigger much more dangerous dogs?"
Before the V.P. could wiggle off the hot seat, the owner of the property now attired in colorful party cloths appears.
"Lads, we tiny ones are about to have a bit of the single malt and a turn or two on the dance floor - if you want to take a angling break and join us, your welcome?"
Quill and Keith stand up and stretch tired limbs.
"Think I may take you up on that invite sir, wanna come along Keith?"
"Why not, my arms hurt more then they do after two encores and a twenty minute rendition of "All your love in Vain""
Slick and Phil decide to keep throwing bugs as Keith and Quill join their host and begin to descend into an area where a cave entrance is hidden near a waterfall. The same lilting music Quill was humming begins to softly mesmerize and before long they are standing inside a golden great hall where much revelry is under way.
"Quill old chap, have we gone to the next world mate?"
Never seen anything like this before, that music is ancient and soulful. Trays of rare Irish Single Malt Scotch is passed and in an instant Quill and Keith are whisked on to the dance floor and the tiny orchestra goes right in to the hottest rendition of "Storey Cat Blues". No windows exist in this space and the fifty or so "little people" are partying harder then Al Sharptons fellow church goers when he announced his run for the Oval office."
"Quill, those cats can really play, wish Mick and Charlie could hear this band of wee rockers. How about we get some grub and sit a spell?"
What Quill and his new best pal keith are unaware of is the fact they have now been missing for more then a month and a intense search by CIA and the Secret Service is about to be called off. The lost fly fishers do not realize their concept of time has been altered and they believe it is the same day they arrived at the little peoples great golden hall.International news media have been running eulogies for Quill and Keith and the remaining Rolling Stones have vowed to never hit the stage again without the heart of the legendary band. Ravens Haven and Quills most cherished pet Timba are now being looked after by non other then Jive Boy and her Blondness Sharon Stone.
Is this the end of the Glimmer Twins? Will Timba have to go on without his master?
Read about Fletcher Quill in earlier chapters:
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2004
For Dan Fallon's earlier
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