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Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 5  2008  


Shingletown California Trout Mecca!

  Shingletown road sign boasts population 3000 awfully contented souls! Visitors urged not to blink when passing by or they will be in the tiny hamlet of Manton. These days the population is more like 10,000 and slowly climbing. Crime free with real seasonal changes blazing Fall colors and for all you dedicated brothers and sisters of the Long Rod more choices to throw bugs then this column can address! Pacific Gas & Electric holding ponds are well stocked and open year round where one can stay sharp and get ready for April trout stream opening. As mentioned in my April column the area is resplendent in outdoor activities from the Wild Horse Sanctuary www.wildhorsesanctuary.org which can be seen from the back porch of Westonhouse Bed & Breakfast www.westonhouse.com.

  Fly Venues

  Fly fishers are the big winners in this still wild mountain paradise which ought to be renamed Trout Central! Beginning with Keswick Canal, Rainbow’s and Brook trout are planted every other week at small ponds like Grace, Nora, one must be alert for rattlesnakes in the spring! McCumber reservoir 85 acres Rainbows planted three times in spring, fine place to throw deep diving nymphs. South & Cow creek many pools and riffles which mean excellent fly action early and late. Crickets, grasshoppers, deep diving nymphs and when the late summer hatches explode be prepared! Each month all summer 2008 I will feature one the more legendary fly venues from Fall River to Hat Creek...

  Irish Phantasma Dreamscape Opening Morning Hat Creek

  Pacific Ocean salty sea odors mixed with San Francisco 3am fog horn’s undulating in and out of my almost asleep self lingers on the last tastes of wild African Impala steaks sauteed in Tibetan hallucinogenic magic mushrooms with just a touch of 2oo year old single malt scotch and the evaporation of reality overcame me.....

"Excuse me is the private number of the Irish fly fishing writer Dude?"

"Yeah Wolf in repose, who is this?"

"This is The Secretary on the Interior’s private appointment manager Sir. I have a message that will be sent to you on your encoded line in next two minutes. The Secretary would like to speak with you now."
"Good morning, Sir I have been authorized by the President of The United States to grant you one wish for the Summer 2008 trout Opening morning, anything, Sir, anything at all?"

"Yes, You can grant me exclusive use of three miles of the best section of Hat Creek in upper northern California my friend!’

"No problem, send the G.P.S. points and its yours until dark, all yours."

Ancient Leprechaun, Nis, Boggart, Kobold, Fly Fisher Nirvana?

  By 427am my fly surrealistic sojourn mushroom fueled flight by King Oberon playing Pan’s Irish bagpipes haunting me like the Sea Monster Eagle that is the mighty talismen of many northern California native creation myths captured my spirit. My one and only absolutely perfect alone dream fly opening morning on sacred public waters began to unfold..

  Haunting sounds of chanting black Buffalo robed medicine men, llmai and Atsuge native peoples thanking the gods for the never ending abundance of pure waters that flow from the eastern lassen intermingle with magical underground waters conjuring trout nirvana, Hat Creek legendary ! As I gazed at my pockitful of carefully tied Pale morning Dun’s # 14, 16, Mahogony Dun’s # 1, 18 tied with wild fox face hairs, several crippled Trico’s Maroon & Black Marabou, half dozen mixed Green Drake’s tied with local wild Turkey feathers...... My arsonal complete with ten deep diving gold nypths and assorted Black, Green Wool Buggers.....My personel section includes all the water from powerhouse # 3 ending near the fish barrier. No humans have been near the area for two weeks as morning sun warms the air I slowly approach the clear deep pool and catch fractured glimpses of shiny twenty inch Rainbow’s and dark green torpedo Browns lurking in the shadows. My deep diving dark gold nympth sinks for less then three seconds and is hit hard.

  Moments later my size seven tippit breaks of at the fly and the healthy 18 inch Rainbow is long gone. Every throw yeilds a hit or a hook up as I work one end of each of my favorite pools., deep nympths are replaced by Flashing Black Wolly Buggers worked under ledges and near large builders, under tree limbs and prove equally effective securing a fish every other cast regardless of my imperfections... Eagles are gliding over head ignoring me and moving with the wind, brand new early spring wet grass, running water, birds singing, sun warming my wading jacket as I reflect on what a lucky man I’m this morning and in life.... I change to another weighted diving nymph tied with flashy gold chenille and let in drift and sink quickly, it is hit and the fish rejects it.
On the second throw the flashy nymph is hit before it drops three feet, the fight lasts four minutes and a nice 18 inch Bow is released. Ten trout are caught and released and its time for a break...

  As I take a long pull on my ice cold milk the sounds of slow ancient native drumming fill the atmosphere around me while visions of Ilmawi, Atsuge elders appeare watching with long sad faces...

"White man with Bamboo and feathers catch and let go these fish we ate and caught with our hands under rocks or with sharpened sticks baited and pushed under and near rocks."

"We in the spirit world are saddened beyond words at what our poor uneducated dumb little white brothers have done to the rivers, streams, creeks birds, game animals, air, everything you have touched has turned out polluted and near death. You have destroyed a land and its never ending natural resources with unbridled greed and absolute ignorance. Now pathetic wannabe outdoors men like your self fly fishing writer play games with fish we revered and caught to feed and survive. Yes, this makes us sad indeed white man."


Hook: Streamer, size your choice (Barbless of course!)
Tail: Yellow died wild fox hairs
Thread: Purple silk tied thick
Body: Purple crushed Nun’s sash donated by a friend
Hackle: Wild Wolf face hairs groomed cut. (Recently killed Canadian Wild Wolf)
(Option, eyes can be applied for more realism!)


© Phil Frank 2002

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

Noise levels on the flight deck of a modern aircraft Carrier are more tactile then audibly understood. This is because the sounds of screaming jets coming going, afterburners glowing red into dark night skies is more like a calidescope surreal Stanley Kubrick film! The absolute maximum most ugly ass in your face be careful you could be swept over by jet blast in less time then Bill & Hillary spend on foreplay these days Pilgrims... Point is night colors, sounds even highly muffled with fire breathing beasts a few feet away about to pounce like insane steroid fed cats that can fly, over load all sensory organs! In the last 24 hour’s General’s Fletcher Quill and Duke Parker have memorized their company’s objectives and will of course lead the 3rd Force Maniacs’ into the sudsy surf. In small boats swim the last 200 yards loaded with the latest assault machine gun’s, grenade’s, knife’s, code ear mikes connected to all platoon leaders and captains, jet fighter coverage and if needed the entire 1st Marine Division locked, loaded and sitting on several ships within one hour of arrival. Its’s almost go time and each General has retired for prayer’s, last ship to shore phone call’s and these day’s hurried dramatic E-Mails to loved one’s......... The highly touted Top Secret THREE PRONG assault will be led by General’s Quill, Parker and the legendary great Grandson of Chesty Puller General Lucius Puller will command the third prong.

  "Parker what do you have on your IPOD Dude? I have old Stones, Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Elmore James, James Brown, Duane Almond, Clapton....."

  "Lets see here my IPOD brain food for this mornings little swim, house to house greet and whack will be Guns & Roses, Velvet Revolver (now defunct!), Philip Glass, Aaron Copeland, and movie score to Clock Work Orange. You ready to dance old man? You ready to look rock steady when those kids look in those ancient eyes Marine?"

  "Born to fight, if your looking for trouble you came to the right place. Get your ass into that rocking little rubber Zodiac Jarhead and lets get this thang on son!"

Thirty minutes later ten small boats holding 3rd Force Recon’s most blessed, experienced , drop into the black surf one hundred yards from rocky shore and the timeless endless swim begins. Memories of Vietnam, Laos, Africa, spin around General Quill & Parkers LSD soaked inner minds sandy beach bottom signals drop the fin’s and find cover.........

  "How you feeling Marine, breathing a little hard are we old man?"

  "I got your breathing hard swinging right here Parker! Where is the G.P.S. points on this assault? Ok, you take the east side coming from the back door, we go straight down main street, no hiding till we smoke out snipers. We meet at 1300 hours back here Parker either you or your number two meet me here 1300. How many frag grenades you packin Parker? Give me three more.

As the two hundred man elite 3rd Force moves within sight of the first street lights glaring grey shadows, snipers come out of the wood work and take three young Marines in moments. Quill grabs the most wounded and begins first response triage as the Navy Corpsmen arrive and take over. General Quill on the cipher radio listens to General Parker work his boys right up front.

  "Parker I’m looking at you and your boys from a roof top we just took about twenty clicks to your direct left past the church steeple, copy?"

  "I got you Quill, you have about three hundred hard core fools heading your way Marine, we got us a showdown brewing fast here. Real OK Corral potential. Now let em all assemble in that shot up warehouse sitting near the fountain in the center of town. When we get close I’ll pop a blue flair and you hit the west side and we go front door, copy?"

  "How many you lost Duke, we just hit seven KIA!"

  "Five KIA, twenty one evac. Not bad for a shoot out this size. After we light up these three hundred, I mean peaceafi them. Not bad one days work. Marines are in the dying, killing bidness and today bidness is very good."

  "I will be in position to take the warehouse in about 12 minutes Duke copy?"

  "Man, I got some real live studs working with me this morning, looks like two Navy Cross’s and five Silver Star’s to write up this evening. Still making these young Jarheads out of old wood Marine! Better give the Cowboy a situation report before we take the warehouse."

  "Mr. President we are six hours in and about to secure a warehouse full of bandito’s. So far mimimun air cover used, not much left of this city of course. We have few KIA’S though its very early in the game."

  "Just what we expected to hear General Quill, how is Parker and his boys this morning?"

  "He is alive and kicking, we are about to take this building and I have much to do."

  "In our prayers son."

  "Parker Copy?"

  "Live direct!"

  "Call for screaming jets Pal, I need serious air cover quick! Your three hundred turned into 1500 in eight blocks. We will pen them down with enough ammo to go about thirty minutes. Have your boys bring us mortars and small arms rounds. Better bring shoulder missiles as well. We are waiting Jarhead."

General Quill’s situation turns butt ugly fast as lead begins flying in all directions. He is suddenly hit twice, in the lower leg and left hand!

  "General Quill we are going to Medevac you now Sir."

  "My ass, wrap these surface wounds sign the papers and get out my face young man."

Quill moves back into the frey walking behind an armored Hummer with two Colonels old friends. His leg is still bleeding through the bandages... A call comes in Parker and his boys are penned down twenty clicks straight ahead....

  "Parker you worthless bad ass Irishmen, I gotta come save your pathetic ass again Marine? Stay put give me ten minute tops."

  "You got five maybe Pal, we are stinky with bandits. Come in on the right side, come in blasting..."

Quill arrives and its hand to hand balls to balls.......

  "Parker get your dumb ass to the Med Evac fool your in worst shape then me. Least they taught these rag heads how to shoot hey country boy?"

  "Shoot this Quill, shoot this right here. Lets get up in this beef one more time. You take the back door with your crew and we go in the front one more time."

General Parker is hit again more seriously and waits for Quill before the Corpsmen pulls his ticket for good.

  "Dam Parker just when we start having fun you get a ticket to nurse land on me again!"

  "Get your ancient ass back in it General Quill, we ain’t quite finished here. Catch you on the hospital ship if you make it, I mean when you make it! Get the ball over the goal post so we can go fly fishing Frisco Kid. Man, that LSD did hype the action this morning, excellent!"

  "This is General Puller, you city boys all beat up! Gonna take your marbles to the old cozy hospital ship hey Marine’s, more meat left on the bone for me! Chesty would smile at my good fortune this morning..."

  "Easy now son of the legend. We ain’t bright and cheery and we ain’t out yet! Parker is Med Evac meat for sure. I got a few hours left in the tank Puller, what say I gather up Parker’s boys and my crew and we meet you center of town one hour. By then we ought to have this beast tied and sedated."

  "Copy that, tell Parker to keep his filthy hands off my nurses’s, how many purple hearts that old man have now?"

  "Number four this morning by my count. Looks like another Silver Star as well."

  "You got smacked as well Quill. So far I’m clean and pressed. See you in one hour."

The highly touted Three Prong take the city in three days assault has been under way for six hour’s with light casualties as the three prongs near the center of the city General Fletcher Quill has sustained another shrapnel wound in the same leg as the first hit. He is now about to make the final push General Puller has his ear...

  "You got enough blood left Jarhead, three wounds six hour’s not bad JYD. What say we not wait for dusk and perfect conditions. In the name of my Father Chesty and all the boys we have lost in our lives Quill. You me and Parker’s boys get this thing wrapped right now!"

  "Ok, Puller, Gloves off go time. You get your boys off there ass’s and double time straight down main street, we come from port door. No more tactics Marine, balls to wall time."

  "Quill give me twenty minutes and I pop a pink flair its go time. I’m taking my running mortar team to throw fire before we hit it. Jets have done their thing, this deal is close in my head. Not going to loose any more boys on my watch for nothing. You see us smoking down main street in about eight minutes. Game on!"

Incoming mortar’s hit Quill’s unit dead on, Quill is hit and hit good...

Your going home General, if we can stop the bleeding, if we can keep you going long enough for the cutters on the hospital ship to do their magic, maybe, maybe!"

Hospital Ship Hope sitting five miles off shore treats the old war horse as it does youngsters, excellent care, latest techniques. Loss of blood and infections have Quill still not out of harms way. The President has been alerted and will be choppered aboard the hospital ship by morning......

  "Parker how long have I been out Dude?"

  "You been here three days, we took the city at a pretty high cost including you and me. Doctor’s think I’m almost good to go. How you feeling old man."

  "Shut that pie hole of your’s Irishmen, where the hell are my fatigues? I’m going back to my boys, nobody’s pinning those hearts and stars but me Jarhead. Now how much more of this safe and cozy you need Marine?"

Suddenly due to much lost blood Quill feints and is helped back to bed by his old friend....

  "Listen carefully General Parker all clothes are removed and door under guard. You two aren’t going anywhere Kabish Marine?"

  "Ok, Ok Doc got your point."

  "Oh, this dispatch came in for you General Quill, "Mutha Superia Serena" headed back to San Francisco, feeling much better, little trouble walking!"

The end of Quill’s Marine life? Will he survive the wounds?


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 31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38
39 40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47
48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56
57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65

66  67  68  69


Written by Dan Fallon 2008
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2008

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