Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 4  2007  


  Wolf Tao

  My nick name came at a young age after adults all outdoor hunter gatherer types noticed I liked to sit, eat, fish, generally spend most of my time alone reading or playing chess alone in and around running water... Early years learning from masters, hunting, tracking, bird identification, survival skills honed in my Marine Corps years.... "What’s wrong with that boy, does he have any herd instinct of any kind?" No herd instinct, that phrase has haunted the Wolf since child hood! I have always enjoyed my endless days, weeks, months and now decades throwing flies on secluded waters early morning cold, shadows. Sounds of rising splashing trout are a solitary personal thrill for me. I have never felt the need to share this world with anyone. When I drive by other fly fishers and watch them talking and gesturing and not really becoming at one with the natural order, I keep on driving for sometime of course... Of course the occasional perfect blond has managed to tag along baby...

  Then again my fly fisher readers I spend almost all my time all year long either planning, writing, tying, taking photos, researching, inventing new fly patterns, writing my fly fiction serial. I suppose total immersion deep at the bottom of the fly addiction abyss would be almost accurate! An example of extreme addicted fly fisher behavior might be the fact I have driven many hundred miles on three occasions to make early season observations of water speed, snow, level at my favorite streams to determine if I can work the area opening day last Saturday of April when California’s rivers, streams are legal to fish. As these photos show, most waters are running fast with snow on the ground deep in many areas. We have had a late winter and it will effect fly fishers on the higher elevations in the High Sierra’s. My old home in lake Tahoe has much snow on the ground. The American River is running fast and high as is the mighty Merced River that run’s out of Yosemite. When I begin a new trip up north from my home in San Francisco where I live in a desolate part of town near lands end. I begin to feel alive when I smell the foothills out side of Sacramento on the way toward the less populated mountain areas where I chase trout and salmon and solitude. Then I become more at one with nature and forget about everything other then birds, insects, trout, warm sun and the many smells that will seduce me as always.

  Morphing Into The Natural Order

  My mind and focus is always on the river or stream I’m following on foot, via boat of some kind, or driving near for miles looking for the first area where I actually get into the water. Now what is left of the outside world, the world of every day external symbols and sounds that press many of my auto pilot consciousness reactions are easily turned off. The only stimuli my body, soul, spirit are reacting to are insect presence, water depth, speed, color, potential casting lanes, exactly what fly patterns I have with me that will make the morning one to remember.... For all intents I cease to exist on any level until around lunch. Then it’s time to decompress and take in all the sights and smells and sip San Francisco Black Tea Baby........

  I have heard constant whining when I tell people driving me anywhere, " Stop the car Dude, that road kill mink is like finding Liz Taylor’s lost jewelry bag sports fan!" Whipping out the plastic baggy, pocket knife, clippers, ever ready for specimen collecting night or day regardless of weather baby... It may be a Mink, Badger, Vulture, road kill whatever!

  Early Season Tactics

  Many of my brothers and sisters of the Society Of The Long Rod treat me like a pathetic overly focused maniac when they speak in quiet low tones, "You know he always goes regardless of water speed, no hatches, no surface movements, rises, don’t ask or he’ll give you his dissertation on Early Season Streamer work" Absolutely correct sports fans, get off that cozy couch, string up that fly rod and take a hard stare at your streamer collection? Do you have all the standards for your area? The black Matuka’s, Wolly Bugger’s, Mudlers, Sculpins, Darters, Minnows, Leechs of many kinds and colors, any feathered streamer used that imitates a baitfish fits in this category of special fly. These patterns are usually regional in design and worked with great imagination and style. If your working a Black Wolly Bugger or a Leech pattern your going to learn how to move the fly in jerky retrieves to simulate a dying or wounded potential meal!

  When early season waters are running high and fast your not quite out of the ball game Cowboy! Learn how to find the slowest running currents and make that Sculpin move like it was born in the area... Your not going to be throwing dry flies and the odds of working any nymph deep enough with enough weight are against you when the early spring currents are strong. If your not sure how to work those new streamers, find a quiet place where you can watch bait fish dart around near river, stream edges always careful to avoid predators! Learning to imitate the baitfish, leeches, dying mice, that exist in every river and stream will make your early season fly fishing much more exciting and successful Pilgrim.

(Hair taken from fresh road kill 2006 High Sierra Mountains. Animal then properly buried. I then recite spirit peace chant.) Tied bushy for early season late afternoon hatchs.

Hook: #18-22, barbless only.
Thread: Bright Red.
Tail: Black hackle tips.
Body: Red thread tied graduated to point.
Hackle: Road kill Badger hair wound on to thin waxed noodle, (dental floss)


© Phil Frank 2002

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

  Morning prayers and chanting are rudely disturbed at the sound of Keith Richards leased jet helicopter hovering over Sere Monastery. Fletcher Quill’s relationship with his High Holiness The Dali Lama has been getting a bit tense as the totality of the new Shaman’s sphere of interests become evident! Quill has been in Tibet for many weeks and is starting to feel the gentle tug of that shiny new Ferrari F1 gathering dust in his San Francisco Sea Cliff Mansion. Many twists and turns await.

"Sharon sweety put Timba near the phone, oh ahh, how are you dear?"

"Wonderful you ask about your cat before me!"

"Baby, Keith is landing right now, here is the itinerary. We cut a few sides and then we glide on down the road , our work here for the moment is done. These people now have new hope and will become safe and independent as the good Lord intended..."

"Very sweet you pathetic moron. Listen up I’m real tired of explaining to your fan club their are no more Selma or Pam or Brittany or any other pubic hair streamers. Your Anna Nicole flies are all sold. The Ophra ants are not moving no one seems to care, and lastly I’m very sick of staring at these old walls fly fool."

"No worries your Blondness, Keith and I will pick up a few things from my San Francisco crib and then we are Raven’s Haven bound baby..... You know its Saint Pat’s Day this weekend, do me a favor and call my boys Lamont & Tenelli & Sully at 107.7 The Bone FM Radio in San Fran. Ask those idiots where my Ta Ta Tuesday tee shirts are? " Gotta run it’s the Cowboy on line two."

"Good morning Sir."

"Great news for you General Quill, you have been chosen by the Joint Chiefs to submit your Battle Plan for taking the capital. You and General Duke Parker will be in charge of this operation, any questions?"

"Sir, Duke and I have already drawn up a plan, we want Mad Dog in on this equal to us!"

"Excellent, so newly minted Shaman, Mr. Peacenick Secretary of the Interior lets hear it?"

"First we took the liberty of a complete Marine Corps redo! Instead of the old Corps set up, we have come up with ten Super Mobile Divisions of 360 highly mobile reinforced Rifle Company’s backed up by seasoned Scout Sniper Team’s. Each Super Division will have ten Special Mobile Teams consisting of both land sea and air capabilities. We believe the Old Corps in one respect is the only way to go in these modern Gerilla conflicts.

  With the Corps arranged as we see it, two Carrier Groups armed with these Super Divisions can easily take any city in the world in three days! Repeat Sir, ANY city in three days! World Management ala "Own Any City Three days".

"Your saying what exactly General Quill?"

"We give the local residents three days to evacuate. Three groups consisting of the new Highly mobile reinforced rifle companies come at the capital in three directions like Patton did back in the day! Three days later we have them all 20 or 30,000 of the fanatics trapped in the center of the city. You sir or Duke and I give them the 1st Division Deal Of The Day! Complete absolute surrender or oblivion period. The worst of the worst get tattoos and ankle bracelets wrapped in plastic explosive for monitoring. We then turn over the theater to the Army and move on to the next hot spot. We believe its time to use the big hammer correctly, concepts of clean, neat tidy wars insanity! The Corps ought to be used as it was in the past, get in get the ball over the goal post and get the hell out! No more fooling around, lets get it done and move on before this mess goes further south and its too late. I don’t like how it started or where it is now! One thing Duke and I do know we ain’t going to loose this one because a bunch of ladies back home have their spoiled panties in a twist. Semper Fi. This Marine only operation we will call "3 Days For Chesty" for obvious reasons. Any questions sir?"

"You mean Chesty Puller the greatest of them all of course?"


"My gut likes this, my American gut loves this idea! But, what is left of my political cache thinks this could either float my boat or give me numbers lower then my SAT!"

"In my mind sir, my Marine Corps has been misused period! Any thinking historian or pathetic pedestrian understands ridiculous concepts of clean warfare will only hasten the end of this countries world domination sir. You once spoke of shock and awe campaigns, let the Corps clean out the vermin quickly and move on."

"How about you and I and General Parker inviting Nancy and the girls over and you can educate them?

"Set the time and date sir."

"Sir I’m afraid I have to go, the Dali lama has organized a goodby party."

"Keith, what up Dude?"

"Quilly, Bloody good to see ya mate! Lets stroll and I will give you the tour 411 and go over the three tunes you and I will dub. I brought the latest version of ProTools, we can set up anywhere and do digital studio quality jamming my main man..."

"His High Holiness is planning my By By soiree, that ought to get us pumped enough for tune making hey Glimmer Twin."

"We wrote two new ones with you in mind very bluesy old school early Claptonish stuff buddy."

  The friendship love fest is sadly interrupted by one of the Dali Lama’s personal assistant’s his usually calm face has a tint of panic....

"Excuse me Sir we have a situation and need your Holy presence in the main dining hall at once!"

"What is it Lonback you look upset?"

  As the morning sun breaks through misty clouds, the usual low hum of morning chants and still waking young monks has somehow undergone a rainbow metamorphosis of the San Francisco variety?

"Keith, these young boys look like they might be, Dude, did you slip a little something of the mind expanding persuasion into the boys morning yak tea?"

"You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you can get what you need.... Just a tiny taste of 1967 San Francisco Sunshine General Sir (Keith salutes while laughing). Listen Mate I’m getting bloody tired of Sir Mick this General Quill that!"

"Oh my God, Dude they are frigging having a food fight and face painting! How the hell is this going to go down with Dali Dude? I smell 666 in on this hey Mate, maybe Abbott Sammy from San Fran Buddy? You boys throwing a curve ball at General Quill , that it? You think That’s it, right Mate! You know were heading back to my Frisco Crib where all my big toys reside including that bad ass 250 mile per hour F1 just waiting for Daddy’s big heavy foot. Look here Glimmermeister, I just happen to possess a pocket full of special mushrooms, three million cash and to tell the truth I’m feeling like my poor dead Grandfather used to introduce me!, "Meet my Grandson he’s got a hard-on and a bad attitude..."

"Chill 3rd Glimmer Twin, took the liberty of making sure the old boy and his cronies get the same San Fran Cool Aid my man, they ought to be peaking right about now! Soooo you want to throw down and do old wild ass San Francisco like it ought to be done by a native bad boy with a bad reputation and a wad cash? Is that about the short and long of it Mate?"

"Dude, You are getting all Whitney Houston on me Buddy! This ain’t going to fly. How the hell are we going to handle an entire whacked out monastery, first we gotta fix this little island of mass confusion, we have to explain what has happened ? Or maybe we just gotta bolt dude, maybe stand by to fire that chopper guitar player!"

"Get a hold of yourself Quilly, we can talk down any bummer’s hey? When we start recording these boys can be our backup vocalists, lets go see how his High Holiness is coming along."

  As they enter the sacred private quarters of his High Holiness, the sounds of Axel Rose’s new album "Chinese Conspiracy" comes blasting out..... His Holiness standing still wearing what appears to be a very accurate Richard Gear mask reciting the famous Officer & A Gentlemen soliloquy to bad boy behavior seemingly as if he were at the dais lecturing?"

"You can’t make me quit, I will never give up!"

"Your Holiness how are you feeling this morning sir?"

"Never better my friends, such clarity cannot be a charity... I feel truly emancipated. That Gear boy, I do really love that Hollywood heart throb."

"Clarity Sir, lets sip Yak Tea and breath in the chilled morning air..."

"Suddenly my vision is clear and clean as in my old friend Timothy leary’s Book "Psychedelic Prayers" Quill, Keith have your read Tim’s homage to Tao Te Ching, his poem "Take In-Let Go", "To hold, You must first open your hand and let go..." This philosophy explains how my people and I have endured the insanity, persecution at the hands of the Sleeping Dragon..."

"Your Holiness no one feels your pain more then the loving peaceful, the timid. Man, was that an insect or some kind of flashback Keith?"

"Quilly, Pour me another Yak Tea, that tea rocks Danny California."

"Yeah, I love that tune, those boys can carry the rock."

"My vision seems stronger, streaks of vivid color appear while my hearing is at a much higher volume. Your arrival brought this new fire to me and my young monks Keith?"

"Yes sir, Mick, Charlie, Woody and I thought liquid sunshine would help you all adjust to your new life of freedom."

"Is this like the magic powder Philosophers Stone?"

"Very much like that your Holiness. The day will be full of loving nurturing harmony as the ancient doors and windows become clear..."

"Yes, those western minds who wonder why I stay passive and in a state of forgiveness while my people have been slaughtered, abused, lied to. Now may understand that I see the oppressor as an uneducated sullen infant. His treatment of my people is a lesson in his evolution. That is why I leave this madness to the highest authority, humble, smiling.

  Only he will allow the sun to warm their ignorant frozen souls. I could never speak like this in public my friends."

  Loud sounds of blaring Donovan tunes filter into Dali’s private quarters, young monks are now break dancing to the lilting strains of Hurdy Gurty Man.........

  (Its Only Rock n Roll Danny California!, Duke and Quill Back in The Saddle again?)


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 
  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39 
40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48 
 49  50  51  52  53  54  55 

Written by Dan Fallon 2007
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2007

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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