|Column nr. 6 2005|
she as kind as she is fair?
It is with much personal pleasure I share the latest news in the life of Karen Graham Arthur dear friend, expert fly fisher, 27 time Vogue Magazine Cover Girl, all around wonderful human being! Recently married to Tom Arthur one of Wyoming's most fortunate rancher/sportsmen...
Karen relates having just wrestled a 125 Pound leaping Tarpon into passive submission while fly fishing off the coast of Key West Florida, " Sorry Dan, no photos of this noble fish as I never took her out of the water and gently let her go." Several years ago I wrote a feature article called "Butterfly & The Trout". That piece has been republished many times, not because of any talent on my part. Karen's effect on her fan's be they budding models or seasoned fly fishers is quite moving even to aging outdoor writers. Karen's ESN fly fishing show was just as popular with the ladies as the boys, "Although I'm not doing the television show, my home fly-fishing waters are truly paradise! I now live half the year in Wyoming and wade the North Platte River, a freestone totally free flowing river descending north of Colorado into Wyoming. In the tail water huge browns and rainbows exist, I'm content with the 18 and 20 inchers I pick up on nymphs."
During our three day fly fishing event held in Fall River California a few years ago, Karen took me to school and fooled several wild rainbows with her serious dry fly skills. The event was held to raise awareness and a few peso's for the distinguished woman's fly fishing group "Casting for Recovery". Karen and her new husband Tom were the bright lights among many distinguished guests that included legendary fly tier A.K. Best, master tier Jay Fair and the one of the finest men I have ever known Cliff Sullivan. I asked Karen where she goes to fool fish and commune with mother nature near home, "For a change of pace I sometimes hike into the Snowy Range Mountains and play with little Brookies in alpine lakes. This area is near national forest and is a scenic joy! This summer Tom and I will be going to Alaska for dry fly action, though I hate to leave Wyoming in the summer and miss late summer dry fly season."
In my forty odd
years impersonating one sort of scribe or another many larger then life
characters have come across my bow, usually most failed to live up to the
hype, the spin...
Realm Of The Snow Queen
Before the hordes of human's, dogs, brats, descend like locusts upon my favorite trout sanctuaries, I like to make a silent pilgrimage to these cathedrals while only the snow gods rule the kingdom... With Memorial Day looming just up ahead and summer's first hot breath waiting in ice cold shadows, my favorite three piece Bamboo traveler "Quill Three Piece Traveler" and I began the late spring tour of both the American and Carson River's that one can access via a South Lake Tahoe base camp. By now those who have followed my fly writing impersonation have noticed my complete lack of any herd instinct! It is no secret I live a life much like that of wild eagles, that is rarely if ever do I find any joy in encountering other humans on or near my fly fishing adventures...
This late spring trip from San Francisco winding up the High Sierra Mountain range where the magical American River runs often quite close to the road is as pretty as any river anywhere! When this river is running much slower and the dreaded rafters are still asleep, one can enjoy ethereal aquatic atmosphere and 10-22 inch rainbows. I had no fortune in finding or fooling local underwater residents. As one can see in this months photos, both rivers thanks to this years heavy rains are swollen and fast! I did manage to move wollybuggers and deep diving live hackle nymphs down thru several slower moving channels to no avail. The magic of working the American this early is the reward found in seeing baby birds, newly hatched Garter snakes and deep azure blue waters ice cold and full of fury...
After spending day one exploring many American River forks and bends, it was on to the east fork of the Carson River running from Markleville California all the way down to the desert area near Carson City Nevada. It is the 14 mile middle section way up high that usually interests fly fishers.
This now high rapid flowing river is surrounded by jagged mountain scenes and during the 23 degree early morning hours I was honored to hear the soulful echo of coyotes and watch the ever present crow's glide just overhead. Hiway 89 near the world famous Sorrenson's Resort is a good starting place and before summer arrives when conditions are in ones favor, no more breath taking fly fishing can be experienced only 25 miles from South lake Tahoe California.
In the ice cold early morning hours, my Bamboo rods eyes were icing up and I was thinking about that warm dining room serving hot breakfast over at Sorrenson's. This old bug thrower didn't come to lake Tahoe to sit and tell tall fish tales over hot chocolate! As frigid morning turned to 40 degree heaven I was mesmerized by the ice cold quiet and thinking just one good hit on my carefully tied green live hackle matuka would be just splendid?
As if the trout gods were mocking me an immature Osprey swooped down not fifty feet from where I was standing and grabbed a nice ten inch rainbow and flew just over my grey head making ancient squealing noises and I'm certain it had a smile under it's beak...
woods are dark and deep
Robert Frost 1874-1963
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
San Francisco's often dazed and confused prodigal fly fishing maniac son and his two invisible surfer associates fresh from ripping up the pavement in shiny new Ferrari's, are just getting into the Marin County endless party mode. When Chaos and his two brother's Fate and Chance roll the dice...
"Dude, where are we? Is this the "Sweetwater" or "The Last Day Saloon?". Man go outside and look at the sign dude!"
"Fletcher, man I'm really feelin weird and kinda spacey all of a sudden-must be that insane ride. Look at the Cowboy and Duke Parker ( Global Marine Sniper ) bonding and hugging, it's getting freaky in here dude."
"Jive you and Jason better help me keep an eye on the Chief, something just ain't right here dudes?" Man, where is Keith and that friggin Football?" ( Leather briefcase all Presidents carry with nuclear launch codes.)
Duke Parker Quill's lifelong pal and Vietnam partner pulls them both into the men's room.
"Listen man, we got bookoo trouble Marine, I saw your Frisco pal radical gay political activist/ photo journalist Terry (T-Man) Kennedy empty several envelopes of something into the punch bowl, and your other left coast gal pal Shelly Simon informs me four of your very pissed off X girlfriends are walking around out front carrying signs man?"
"What, first the punch dude, do you think Terry has doused us, man would he slip LSD into the Chiefs coolaid?"
The party now in full swing is listening to Charlie Musselwhite blowin serious blues harp and motioning for Quill to bring his mouth harp and help him run down the great blues riff, " I'm a King Bee Baby, buzzin round your door!" When everyone begins to notice the Cowboy appears to be acting just a tad odd?
"T-Man, great to see ya bud, your lookin fit and feisty. So Terry did you drop happy powder in the punch dude?"
"It was really Shelly's idea man, of course how could I resist. Look around this party is now at 10,000 feet and rapidly rising..."
Out front of the fabled Marin watering hole, four of Fletchers savagely jilted X babes are now chanting in perfect four part harmony
"No thrill's with Fletcher Quill, we always had to pay the bills, excuses and lies is why we despise!"
"Jason, man this is not turning out like I planned dude, now I'm getting way whacked from that sledge hammer punch, oh man, look at the Cowboy talking into space like that!"
"Hi ho silver and away, away with the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, away with no roads cut into all national forest lands, away with all that bull about I bought the election, away with all you cowardly left wingers here on the left out coast! Who's your daddy, Who's your daddy baby?"
"Dude, listen Duke take Jive with you and find a Toy's r Us and buy the cowboy one of those wooden stick ponies kids ride on and get back here pronto dudes!" (Quill calls Keith Richards)
"Keith, listen man you got the Football dude, gotta have that Alligator briefcase man?"
"No worries Quill , got it right here with me and Eric and some of your lovely local birds who are rolling special cigarettes on it- we will be heading your way soon as I get these old hippies from the Greatfull Dead to show me the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, me and Clapton have been just a tad naughty their mate!"
The Fillmore house manager draws a map on the Football and the well lit aging rock gods head for the parking lot and crawl into Clapton's twin supercharged rabid dog coal black 911 and as the German guided missile warms up, Keith shouts over the screaming 450 horses, " Eric did I tell you Quill and his blusey mouth harp will be on stage with us in San Fran in November?"
"Gotta have him either do ' Little Red Rooster or Crawling King Snake. That bug throwing old man can flat boogie Glimmer Twin!"
Mean while back at the main Marin rock star hangout, the noise from Quill's X girlfriends is getting louder and more pointed as each of them take a well aimed shot at the master of Raven's Haven
"Fletcher you lying back stabbing two timing low rent wise ass!" squeals the still lovely one time Ms. Chinatown 197? Windy K., "Quill you limp ---- phony, sorry I ever saw that pathetic egoistic face cowflop" echoed Liz P. once the supreme beauty of all San Mateo and the hottest of the hotties Fletcher met at the College Of San Mateo circa early 1970s. Not to be out screamed, Kay? Another blond goddess who's daddy was the number one real estate salesmen in Marin County in the 1970s opined, "Quill I'm still cringing and fuming about that forty bucks I lent you to fix your red Porsche's brakes you lying two faced Irish dog!"
Fletcher and his boys are now in a complete state of over amped red faced hysteria, when the soft cries of Jive Boy now riding around on the childs wooden stick horse meant for the Cowboy, " When are we going to lake Merced and catch some trout, that what this trip is really about!"
(Lake Merced once a wonderful inner city trout lake- now dying because of neglect...)
An urgent phone call comes from Ravens Haven as Quill and Duke Parker sit staring at the Cowboy now headed toward downtown Sausalito looking very cowboyish hopping along completely whacked on 5000 mikes of Orange Sunshine LSD T-Man had stored in his Bush Street apartment freezer since Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters brought Neal Cassidy by for milk and cookies...
"Duke, he does know how to handle that stick horse don't you think?" (Call comes in from Martha Steward)
"Hey, Hi Martha, girlfriend, you and La Sharon bonding like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin baby?"
"On my way home Fletcher, just called to say by and thanks a heap. It seems my Chow dogs are getting freaked with out me and now it's time for the Ankle Bracelet routine and all that jazz. Want you to know how deeply touched I'm that you rogue of all left coast bad boys would take up my sad plight. You know I wined and dined many of the back stabbing big shot white boys that did me in. Such is life, look at what is happening to those poor uneducated kids now getting the shaft over that bull---- POW prison deal! Just another instance of the BOYS covering their own ass's hey Quill?"
"You got it Martha, song remains the same sweety, you have a life long friend and a place to hide in northern Ireland any time pumpkin!..." ( Sharon Stone grabs the cell phone!)
"Quill, this is Sharon, when are you getting your aging ass back here? I may have another pathetic film shoot as it seems Basic Instinct # 2 without the killer chair scene is dropping like a rock!"
"Listen Sharon, Timba and I still have to check out my new diggs where you and the newsboy lived in Sea Cliff, so tell me where is the safe where I asked you to stash that copy of " The Book Of The Dead blondy?"
"Oh my that reminds me Quill, you have several urgent messages here from someone calling himself the ghost of John Dee the Queens Conjurer? What the hell is that all about and why do I keep hearing a voice calling himself Dagda Irish god supreme? And what the hell are these tiny little creatures running everywhere making fun of me wearing my best French panties over their heads?"One more thing west coast madnenm what the hell is this telex from Randonhouse advancing you ten big ones for your new book " Blond Care & Feeding"?
"Calm down their blond goddess, will explain when I get home, now I gotta go after the Chief and his wooden stick horse, later.'
Once again all eyes turn to Jive Boy and Jason Aki, " We want to go fly fishing at Lake Merced and we want to go right now!"
(Next stop Lake Merced or what ever happened to home on the strange range baby?)
Read about Fletcher Quill in earlier chapters:
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2005
For Dan Fallon's earlier
and later columns; visit the table of contents