Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr.6 2004  




  We who have had the uncommon good fortune of living and waking each morning in the California Sunshine are blessed with each new morning created as if Diana and Artemis protectors of wild things had woven, spun, created out of magic angel dust including sparkling colors that flash as healthy trout dart in ice cold waters, a place of singular unique properties every single morning without fail...

  Mornings especially along this rugged large boulder strewn Pacific Ocean shore is best described by my favorite California Poet Robinson Jeffers, 1887- 1962, "For our country here at the west of things is pregnant of dreams; and west of the west I have lived; where the last low land out flings its yellow-white sand to the edge of the bay; and the west wind over us every day blows, and throws with landward spray dreams on our minds, and a dreamy unrest".

  All those who have lived and enjoyed the far west be they fly fisher, surfer, hiker or bird watcher can share in the glory of early morning and late afternoon evening light exploding into vivid colors orange, purple, and blue. My fly fisher life has consisted of endless glorious mornings either on small boats or wading streams misty fog all around, birds, water sounds bouncing off moving cold water. Often early mornings are the most interesting and instructive for fly fishers no matter if they are on home waters or afar. One might imagine being back- stage at a famous Italian Opera about to raise the curtain as birds and various varmints move about in their morning routines a joy to behold!

  This time is perfect for finding ones center most calm place before gently descending into the natural order of the insect and the timeless dance of feeding trout or salmon in their liquid fourth dimension. One of my most cherished early morning memories has to be the 6:am glass smooth Fall River encounter with a new born Mallard Duck who seemed to enjoy staying close to my 12 foot boat all morning as I threw lines near his home.

  During the very early morning period from around sun up until I actually begin presenting my humble hand made offerings to potential dance partners usually trout or salmon, I spend many quiet moments just watching and trying to understand what the currents and structure (boulders, logs) are doing to the overall flow of the stream. It is usually quickly made apparent exactly where fish might be holding to stay safe, conserve energy and feed. These areas include deep pockets, twists and turns or meanders that usually hold fish as do quiet waters directly behind large boulders.

  It is best to stay well back from stream or river edges if one wants to watch fish come and go unmolested. One can be certain as soon as your shadow or vibrations resonate near stream edges all resident trout are no longer swimming or feeding naturally, this is the number one fact and most over looked aspect of actually finding and catching releasing trout. One must at all times sneak or even crawl up to within twenty, thirty feet and just sit and watch and pay attention. In a few moments the sounds and behavior will return to normal and you may see several large trout dart in and out of moving currents and gulp every possible opportunity for a meal.

  In the years I have sat and watched trout swim up to inspect an odd looking new insect like your pretty Royal Coachmen, it seems as often as not they will come up close and suddenly turn away. I have never seen a trout turn away from a drowning moth or butterfly, in fact almost any ugly black and red insect caterpillar appearing bug will get swallowed by feeding trout.


Hook: Dry Fly # 12 - 16.
Thread: Black.
Body: Peacock Herl covered with black thread.
Wings: Green, brown, black, white hen tips or whatever color is appropriate.
Head: After tying body create larger head with black thread, shape and finish with head cement, black marker or burnt mono for natural effect.
Legs: Black paint brush knotted and left dangling as in natural dying insect.
Antenna: Black paint brush.
Eyes: Beads colored with marker or eye profile of your indigenous common moth.

  My favorite unusual flying terrestrial is a pattern I call the Fallonious Actias a newly discovered sub species of the Lepidopteran family. This pattern closely resembles many common moths native to Western United States trout streams, I like this generic moth pattern because thanks to modern over use of pesticides these little moths are becoming a rare trout treat. In my experience there will be a time in every fly fishermens life when all the usual dry flies, streamers, or nymphs or whatever will fail. It is in this period of nothing enticing or causing trout to rise I turn to either a dead on natural native terrestrial fly like a Black Woolly Bugger that looks like many leaches found in countless streams and rivers. If streamer type flies are failing because water is simply too clear and fish are educated and weary, try this moth tied with the correct color and plumage indigenous to your area. By simply changing the size, shape of head or color size of wings, almost any indigenous moth can be created.

  The Dance

  I usually allow this moth to dead drift and sink as slowly or quickly as water flows dictate, trout seem to hit it when it sinks quickly in fast water and the moth appears freshly drowned with its black legs flailing away most seductive to world weary trout... This never ending game of enticing and seducing trout reminds me of a famous phrase from the "Adventures Of Fletcher Quill";

"Every early morning I spend stream side ice cold air blowing every breath - water crashing all around waking birds singing first notes - the smell of wild pine and wet grass in my nose.

The seduction begins and soon I’m lost and defenseless at the mercy of the water gods Neptune and Aphrodite, as they begin weaving their eternal aqua spell.."


© Phil Frank 2002

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

  At the end of the last episode Fletcher Quills good friend master fly tier Jason Aki had found Quill and his new best friend rock guitar god Keith Richards wondering around in an altered state after being held captive within an ancient fairy mound in Northern Ireland. The two lost international figures had been declared dead by the end of thirty days of intense searching by Quills old Marine buddies in 3rd Force Recon. As the fast little boat approaches Ravens Haven landing dock three choppers are circling above and a bevy of other water craft including Slick Brainy's Black CIA chopper sitting on the Hilo landing pad. Quill also catches a glimpse of two workman getting their daily orders from her Blondness who appears to be quite comfortable ordering the staff around and carrying our her remodeling plans?

  "Man, I can hardly believe my eyes - is that Sharon Stone telling workman what she wants done to my castle dude?"

  "Oh boy Quill its bloody true alright-look at her hand on her hips with a clip board no less, this will be ugly!"

Fletcher jumps out of the speed boat and after hugging and high fives with Slick and Jive boy and staff members, makes a beeline for an audience with the new master of Ravens Haven. Before walking up the long gang ramp leading from the boat landing, Quill asks Slick for his custom made short barrel 44 auto, he grabs the hot pistol and throws the well oiled slide that puts a loaded round in the chamber. The old master of Ravens Haven then walks directly to where Sharon is standing with her workmen and as he walks by the builders fancy trucks he opens fire and lets three shots loudly scream his arrival.

  "Sharon my dear nice to see you have kept things just as I left them- if you would be so kind as to let these fellows know they have exactly twenty seconds to leave my island and castle - you my dear have a little more time to vacate the premises."

  "Fletcher Quill thank god your safe - I was only thinking about a few tiny insignificant changes that all."

  "Sweety, how long did it take you to call Home Depo and start tearing down my cherished castle?"

  "That is harsh and completely unfair, now you sound like the newspaper boy when I used to make him put on his cute tuxedo and bring me the morning paper on a silver platter! Oh yeah, those were the good old days..."

  "Touching Sharon, brings tears to my eyes, now if you'll excuse me - I have a month of catch up and by the way where is Timba?"

Keith and Quill say goodby with hugs and solid hand shakes as Keith starts walking toward the chopper that will take him back into his own world and the coming home party to be remembered, he suddenly stops and turns around shouting over the rotor blades to his new pal Quill, "Fletcher would you consider going out on tour with us next year-I know the boys will be thrilled?"

  "Just pick up the phone and I'm there."

Quill now heads back into the castle and before fielding the press, the cowboy and all that jazz, its time for a Timba reunion. As Quill steps foot in the castle entry hall Timba at full run leaps into his arms and begins laying on one thousand kind of raspy tongued cat kiss's while everyone keeps quiet and drinks in the scene of total love and devotion.

Fletcher grabs his lead staff man and orders all press into the library and then asks that the phone calls come orderly with the Cowboy first. He then asks if the ancient Chinese shaman priest feathers have arrived from the dig inside the Forbidden City temple Shrine? Now all pressing business come crashing into his mind at once. He signals staff to get the Cowboy on the horn first.

  "Fletcher, man I was sure you and Keith were history by now- great to have you back in the family son."

  "Looks like you have had your hands full Mr.President with all the middle east chaos and now Africa catches fire!"

  "Things are worse then few can imagine and your back just in time to really help your country face a blackmail threat imagine. Do you remember the whole deal about space aliens crash landing and somehow we got hold of the wreckage and began reverse engineering that led to Micro Chips, lasers, plastics, and many other applications."

  "I always thought those discoveries happened a little too close together to be plausible-it was back in 1947 if I recall, designated the Roswell incident."

  "Exactly, we have reversed all they had on that little lighter than air space vehicle and the human race is far better for it.Back in those early days we had the upper hand on the alien situation we thought! Now things have changed and we are in a very dangerous blackmail scheme. The new alien generation is far more militant and has declared this planet as an ideal experiment for cross breeding their highly evolved genetics and human DNA. The whole idea is for them to eventually take over the planet."

  "Oh my god, sounds like a bad sci-fi tale at best, is this all signed sealed and a done deal?"

  "We have been making every kind of overture to their leadership and as of today we are under this ultimatum- either we allow general unsupervised mating with our species or they invade and wipe us out in less than an hour is how they have put it."

  "Mr. President, what the hell could I possibly do to help?"

  "Quill, we have arranged to have two of their people come along on one of your fly peace trips, you were to take the Irish combatants out first until this came up. In three weeks two little space dudes and Slick Brainy will be heading to your place and the trip will be for two days- you will not be going into the fairy area again I promise."

  "Thought I might rest a bit, her blondness almost made the castle into a "Queer Eye Salon". I don't know how to say this any other way sir, Keith and I were captured by the king of the fairies and held in their well appointed fairy mound. I wonder if they might be able to help on this space alien deal, I mean they are probably about the same size and live in different worlds?"

  "Quill, this planet needs all the help it can get my friend - as your old buddies in the Marine Corp use to say,"It has hit the fan."So Sharon was nesting in your castle hey, your lucky you came back in time or her and Jive Boy would be skate boarding off those castle walls."

  "Gotta go, much to do and prepare for- good grief what kind of food do I tell staff to prepare for the space dudes?"

Stay tuned for next episode - Will Quill give her blondness the boot? Will Aliens like Timba?


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


Written by Dan Fallon © 2004
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2004

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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