|Column nr.5 2003|
When one of my early literary heroes first arrived at a sportsmens paradise of a place (Cuba) where he could indulge his fishing, writing passions to the utmost! Earnest Hemingway probably felt very much like I felt this first morning as I was awakened by the ancient cacophony of several hundred Speckled Geese dropping like ten pound bags of discarded car horns over and over upon a gently meandering Fall River up in Fall River Mills, CA (Shasta County)
My first morning as an official new riverside resident was splendid and surely an omen of what lay ahead, as I slowly begin to unravel this fabled 17- mile stretch of pure fly fisher heaven. My fellow occupants of the stretch of Lower River where my small but comfortable cabin is situated include a Bald Eagle, hawks and owls, a variety of finches and Robins, marmots and riverside creatures of every description. This place exists as if it were first created with fly fishers in mind.
The river meanders at a constant rate and the conditions for endless hatches are everywhere you look. It is humbling to know this place exists almost exactly as it did fifty years ago. No evidence exists of a building boom or main street neon franchises like you see in every town in America. Here in Fall River Mills California its as if Norman Rockwell and the ghosts of past overly contented souls conspired with higher authorities to forever maintain this wonderland of perfect waters that flow at constant predictable speeds while maintaining near perfect year round temperature. I have worked the waters here with one of the true character legends of this sport, the late Walt Powell and quickly became hooked on the beauty of the place and its wildlife diversity.
One of my fly-fishing utopian experiences is about to begin, as I become a new student of the River of Endless Dreams.
Summer homes or rather estates dot the serene green fields where cattle graze and countless hawks own the sky until migrating geese, ducks explode out of nowhere shattering the silence. My mornings will consist of watching the sun come up and the river less then twenty feet from my cabin door gently move as it always has. Then slip into warm clothes and ease the new boat out into the current and head upstream in search big rainbows that average 13-18 inches and occasional fat boy browns. This monthly column will be dedicated to my education on this river and the many other world class fly waters near by that include: Hat Creek, Pit River, Eagle Lake home of trophy size trout is only about an hour away, so many grand choices all within an hour or so.
Fall River Mills California has attracted many sportsmen from Teddy Roosevelt, Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Clint Eastwood, Walt Powell and now Fletcher Quills best friend! This area is about as holy to fly fishers as the Vatican is to Tony Soprano. In the coming months as my first full spring and summer unwind an education awaits! The trout here hug the edges of the weed beds and wait for emerging nymph larvae or the occasional fat brown may be enticed from the deep cut edges where these elusive creatures dwell. The technique touted as the " Fall River Twitch " in which one gently lets out sinking line with a split shot over emerging larvae from up stream is my first lesson to be sure. Stay tuned for the ongoing " Fall River Chronicles ".
Single Fly Pro AM - Fly Fishing For A Cure June 2003
Preparations for the first annual single fly pro am for womans breast charities are now moving with the momentum of six serious months of hard work. The three day single fly pro am will consist of 15-25 teams of both seasoned professional fly fisher and an amateur. Each boat will have a guide who will also be an official as he will measure the fish and take photos for verification. On the morning of each of the two days each team will be given three examples of one single pattern for the entire day.
The guide will be the final official call in regard to the rules of the event. All teams will be placed on the Fall River in different beats to be chosen by random draw the night before the event begins. Many media will likely cover this event as the Monterey Herald, Sacramento Bee, Record Searchlight, Mt. Echo and many other area newspapers published announcements. ESPN and Sports illustrated have been informed and may cover the festivities. The list of VIPs fly fishers include Fly Tier/guide extraordinaire Jay Fair who rules the kingdom of the mightiest of all California fisheries "Eagle Lake". A lake that is a natural nursery for overly fat and healthy record breaking trout. A.K. Best who is possibly one of the most widely known stars of the sport. Im most humbled to have these great sportsmen on board along with my new friend Cliff Sullivan of Orvis/guide fame an accomplished fly-casting instructor. Cliff will be joining our team as a public relations outreach specialist.
My co host Karen Graham ESPN2 fly fishing hostess and Vogue cover model who has established a beloved reputation in the fly fishing community with her many contributions that include working with womans groups and now covering the sport globally for ESPN.
It is an honor to have Karen join us in this first event. Karens fly show titled "In Search Of Fly Waters" can be seen Sundays 9:30am EST on ESPN 2. We are all excited about the event auction and have many people to thank including Randy Johnson a gifted bamboo rod maker who has donated one of his finely made rods for the auction. If youre interested in finely made Bamboo Randys work is excellent contact Randy at Volcano Fly Rods (208)- 296-5802. Our wine distributor is John Gay of Southcorp- USA (Australian Wines), Beverley Hills designer Timmy Woods donated a one of a kind art fish shaped womans purse a true rare art piece worth $500.00. Those interested in donating fly related items to the event auction please contact me via this column or phone (415) 332-3803 Sausalito, California for donation instructions and information. See the front page of my own web sight at www.danfallonflyfishing.com for a page dedicated to this exciting event.
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
The morning sun filters through the large stained glass window that Quill had restored in the small sunroom that he and Timba use for their daily breakfast and poetry reading routine. Life has become as near idyllic as Fletcher can arrange it.
As if on cue the phone lines begin their relentless and chronic ringing. "Quill, it's one of your homies from surreal Marin county, my man. That, baby!" "Ahhh, let me guess, Sean (I got no beef with them Iracki's) Finn? Star of more gut wrenching dramas then Al Sharpton? Once married to her lowness Mawanna?" "Dude, none other than he himself... Got your number from Sammy Hagar who was hanging at the Sweetwater nightclub in Mill Valley. Look, Fletch I know you've been blowing a lot of hot air about some kind of annual Wild Turkey and Coyote Shoot in downtown Sausalito right?" "Yeah, that's the idea Kemo Sabe. You want to ride with Tonto on this little deal now don't ya, my anti-establishment gun-toting homie?" "Yeah, sort of, yeah I do want in on it, but that is not why I called. Quill, are you aware they're now letting a herd of several hundred goats eat up the dry grass on the hillside you used to live on in the Marin Headlands" "No, I did not hear about that, are you sure? Tell me more." "The media has really gone whacked over this herd of goats in Sausalito causing traffic jams as onlookers gawk like they never saw a biblical surreal lawnmower before!" "Wow, I love it, except the powers that be have let a group of coyotes roam free in the same area and all hell may break loose, my friend. Maybe we ought to ask the goatherder dude who manages the goats to assist us with the Sausalito Shoot-out next month, hey?"
The other phone line screams at Quill, "Hello, Mr. Vice President what's up Slick, long time no hear. Hold it. Let me dump Sean Finn on the other line." "So what is the latest, Slick?" "Fletch, that little back alley skirmish went down like clockwork as the cowboy and I imagined. You can be proud of your boys in the Green Machine. They led the way and kicked some serious booty, my friend. How about I hook you and Timba up with the first downtown Baghdad Shell Gas Station and food mart franchise?" "No thanks Slick, Timba and I have our hands full here at Raven's Haven. How about bringing that nuclear sub back and we see what other trouble we can get into?" "Sounds good to me. Listen, I do have one other bit of news for you. It's your girlfriend Clare's Island full of newly reconstituted carnivores, ancient birds. The cowboy has asked me and you to take a close look and report on what she has actually created. If she has managed to replicate and clone a mass of these beasts, we might be able to use them in our negotiating with skittish Asians; you know how easily they get spooked about otherworldly stuff. Imagine if I lean over and tell Chairmen Yingbing "Sir, thought you might like to know we have installed two million man-eating carnivorous giant birds just off the coast of island of Spywhan. If you even dream of attacking, we will let the birds go and you will not even have an army left to bury!"
"Man, Slick, is anything taboo in the big picture these days?"."Not really, it's like when we came up with the term "Regime Change" it all sorta works when you think about it. Now we have every two-bit dictator ready to do whatever it takes to get with the winning team." "Ahh, Slick gotta run and feed Timba, talk to you soon." Timba and Quill stare at each other both wondering if the conversation they just experienced could be believed if retold. "Thank our angels for this castle old friend". Quill mumbles out loud as they both retire to the tying room for rest and contemplation.
The phone rings again and Quill lets the answering machine take the punch. "Fletcher Quill, I know you and Timba are in residence and I demand you pick up that phone this instant or I will think of some nasty way to pay you back. Oh well. Listen...sweaty great news from my little island experiment. The gals and I have found a new way to feed these hungry little devils, by the by, they're not even vaguely cute when infants, my dear!" Quill watches Timba play with a big white Marabou feather as Clare drones on and on. Last minute plans for the Sausalito shoot occupy all the brain space Quill can muster today. He really needs to do a little solo fly-fishing very soon...
Quill, part 1
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2003
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