Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 6  2006  



  As a youngster learning hard lessons in regard to the innate strength and power of fast waters either in the surf or on rivers, one outstanding experience leads my list... During summer months Stripped Bass move in large gangs along the California Coast, balmy warmer weather and abundant bait fish change what is usually a pot luck exercise for whatever may be in the area. My hunter gatherer family was spread out all over the city and along the coast line, at the first signs of prowling sea birds hunting huge balls of bait fish the word went out and it became time to use 12 foot and longer surf rods armed with quite gaudy looking feather arrangements my Uncle Dan fashioned when Jack Daniels allowed him a little free time!

  I grew up thinking everyone knew how to pry Abalone off rocks and throw surf outfits at least 70 yards or more. I learned the pendulum method of swinging my extended surf line back and forth before throwing and at age ten made the 70 yard club. Many warm memories of my Grandfather bragging about my supposed prowess were severely dampened one late summer afternoon when at Ocean Beach near the fabled Cliff House my younger brother Mike and I decided a large rock about 20 yards off shore was a fine place to chase Strippers. Within an hour or so we were deep in fun city thinking what brave smart boys we were. Mike hooked into a small shark and away we went laughing and carrying on while a city cop having lunch watched a large rogue wave almost take us both down and out. He started screaming and waving his hands, "Get your young butts off that boulder and do it now!" We didn't need anymore convincing as the incoming tide had cut us off and it was time to swim back (serious undercurrent) or face our family in shame for being idiots! This adventure had a sobering effect for about a week......

  One early Spring wading the mighty Merced river that runs from the Yosemite National Park winding down the valley for some miles, I found what I imagined to be a safe deep hole behind three large boulders. Usually water flow is what you see on this river, surges that occur in rivers that are controlled by man can be startling and sneak up on you! On this early morning I did not take my wading staff thinking I knew the waters well enough...

  No other fly fishers were around as most stayed away until the Merced slowed down, working my streamers all around large rocks hypnotized me and I began to slowly move into the faster current. Within twenty minutes I slipped and fell face first and began sinking quickly in the swirling currents. The water was numbing and I had managed not to drop one of my prized Bamboo fly rods as the current threw me around like a rag doll. It felt like five minutes tumbling and feeling panicky when I hit my head again and was caught half under water in a bunch of fallen branches caught between big rocks. I cut my waders off by cutting the straps as they were filled with water, thankfully I found branches that allowed me to pull myself onto the river bank having lost almost all my gear and saving my beloved Bamboo...

  Of course every once in awhile taking a little risk separates the boys from the men.... This great photo of what I believe is a relative of the Tamin group of giant fresh water fish was caught by one of Slovenia's best anglers. A memory to be reckoned with indeed? I have lucked into large trout hiding in deep holes when water runs quick, but this giant humbles me out completely...

  In my annual river stream scouting trip starting with the Upper Sacramento River that is running about average this time of year, then heading for South lake Tahoe and the American River that hugs the road heading for Tahoe. Finishing with a the Carson River that eventually winds down the mountains toward Reno Nevada, all rivers are still running very fast and deep! I saw few fly fishers on any of these rivers, after throwing streamers for two days and only managing a few small planter trout taken near the stream edges. America's big Summer welcoming holiday Memorial Day three day weekend is almost upon us. I prey all of you kids and adults are very careful this year, conditions are ripe for accidents involving fast dangerous waters! This years abundant rainfall has made conditions unusually dangerous, please be careful out there...

DRY BADGER, by Dan Fallon


Hook: 16/18 Barbless Dry fly
Body: Thick red thread tied in rows
Tail: Yellow dyed porcupine quills
Hackle collar: Road kill Badger
(This fly tied stream side after finding fresh Badger road kill )


© Phil Frank 2002

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

  Abbott Sammy (man do I miss the bright lights and the babes) Kinnison Lord and Master of all spirits that exist underground, under San Francisco's famed Golden Gate Park. High, high lowness Abbott Sammy has been quite busy monitoring three exciting breaking stories. It appears Shannon (I'm the baddddessst bioccch in unholy Hollywood) Dority and Paris Hilton got into a parking lot bitch slap fest that ended in Shannon taking her best red lipstick and writing " Do not mess with any of my boys bitch!" While at the same mini instant an Emergency Human Interaction Screen picked up Keith Richards getting knocked down and hitting his old rocker melon after the lovely Jennifer (I wish I was still a stewardess, NOT!!!) smacks him for getting abit toooo friendly with her perfect exhaust system!. If that is not enough human interaction to meddle in? Fletcher Quill and his Raven's Haven Castle are now under a spirit siege led by none other the Beast hisself old Mr.666 Al (I'm waaaay tooo famous!) Crowley, the Queens own favorite Conjurer John Dee and Mr. Kelly are running much negative energy as the world fly tying, trout chasing, ladies man attempts to reclaim the usurped clean, balanced, blessed energy of Raven's Haven....... The two hour medley of Frank Sinatra sings classic bar torch songs has quieted the visiting spirits and the Taro Card flipping gals from Hollywood and Sunny San Diego baby!

"Sharon honey, look at this tarot card sweety. See that ugly little demon holding the staff?"

"Yeah, bummer is he looks just like Quill early in the morning.... What was all the noise over Terry Kennedy's three day Birthday Fez Party held at the Mayor's mansion last week. Quill let T-Man as he is ordained sleep it off in my old Sea Cliff mansion near Golden Gate Bridge. Terry is one of the ring leaders who gave the visiting whacked out Cowboy a serious dose of high grade LSD. Fletcher has photos of him riding his toy wooden bucking horse down Van Ness Avenue 12 Noonish!"

"Sweety, your boy Quill and his band of Indians live a rather fast life don't you think? I mean now they are planning special street theatrics for Quill's old Marine buddy Pete Mc Closkey who's running against an over weight little clown who is in the back pockets of the rich who run central California. Better warn Quill these republican religious geeks under educated zealots are nasty evil dudes.... How is Fletcher's " Mother's & Disabled Vet's " thingy coming?"

"Quill and his gang know the ropes dear, his main man Duke Parker now out on a Paris whack job will make short silly fun out of the central valley California dreamers if they step out of line!"

  The feasting has settled into a blusey easy where is the Single Malt kinda fun fest... Timba and Quill are rebonding in an extended session of head butts and cat kiss's. Keith Richards is complaining of a bad headache as the Dali Lama sits engrossed in Quill's rare watch collection. Jive Boy and Jason Aki are completing final touches on all fly gear as Quill may decide its go time and take a run at the migrating King Salmon just outside the castle walls.

  Peace, harmony and the thin veil of tranquility move like summer fog among guests at Raven's Haven, then here comes Mr. Chaos and his brothers Fate & Chance.....

"Excuse me Mr. Quill, this little gathering is terribly sweet and nurturing, how about John Dee Mr. Kelly and I giving you boys a demo on the potential of Pyramid Power?"

"My Casa is your Casa for the moment."

  Suddenly as if one were watching Disney movies when they used to work well. The castle library floor is covered in row after row of tiny three inch pyramids lined up like grids in a waffle iron. Above this odd configuration twenty long kite strings dangle about one foot above the grid.

"Ok boys and your Holiness, I have in my hand twenty shiny new copper pennies. As you all know kite string and copper will not conduct electrical current off of any plastic we know of? I would like each of you to tie all these pennies to the hanging strings. Before we do that inspect the rows of pyramid and verify no trickery ala Houdini."

"Ok Mr. Beast, looks like a cool experiment, lets tie on the copper pennies."

  As soon as a penny is tied to a kite string it begins flying all around at will until stopped.

  Dali Lama is speechless, Keith, Quill, Jive Boy and Jason Aki begin looking for the trick.

"As you all can see, the energy that is either collected or invented because of the Pyramid shape is strong, pure and easily harnessed by windmills, or any number of counter balanced weight systems. This pure no pollution, no waste, easily assembled energy is a new concept that will change the world as we know it! No more energy war's, no more starvation, anyone can do this. People in Africa, China, wherever can now have all the free, no pollution energy they need without the Sun, Wind, Nuclear Reactor, without any hassle at all for ever..."

"Mr. 666, My people in Tibet have been left to the wolfs by almost every country who could have helped us overcome the ugly genocide we have endured! It is wonderful yet not enough to have a few Hollywood glamour boys helping us, this and Fletcher's International Kite Olympics to be held in Tibet every two years may change our destiny?"

"Is that an invitation for us to join in your activities your Holiness?"

"If Fletcher and his team vote yes, how can we all ignore this new energy that might bring peace to all of us?"

"Yes your Holiness I concur with some serious reservations. Mr. 666 how can we feel comfortable your not setting us up like a sharp used car salesmen?"

"My friends and I feel it is time for all energy units alive, dead or whatever to begin working for true world peace before it all goes up in smoke... If you understand that, perhaps we can bring about peace and allow mankind to "Do As Thou Wilt!"

  Suddenly a cell call comes from General Duke Parker on a whack job in France, his targets are elusive and crafty, he has an idea that may solve the problem?

"General Parker here, listen Quill these turd's are hard to pin down. I have one of my DNA prototype Sniper rifles with me. Think I may go this route and get this job done right!"

"Duke explain your new weapon Dude?"

"I have designed a 7.62 MM old NATO weapon that fires a bullet that has a fluid micro genetic hunting bubble inserted in the tip. When this baby is activated by me, it will be impossible to miss. I have attained DNA samples from an operative and we have dialed in the data which creates the footprint in DNA language. When I find these two sweety's and pull this trigger, it's a one way ticket to the resurrection Baby!"

"DNA Sniper General Parker you're a frigging genius, lets get this done we have other duties son? Oh yeah your hits will be at the Hippo Café on Montparnasse in two days Duke"

  The welcome home feast is now full tilt buggy to the max! Jennifer and Sharon are throwing darts and watching Timba lick his masters old face over and over. These two are complete pals and it shows...... Keith is doing his Chuck Berry meets ACDC routine even with a serious headache the joint be rockin!"

"Boys I just saw a nice herd of King Salmon rolling by fifty feet from the castle walls, lets get busy!", All hands get their gear and begin throwing bright red Salmon patterns Quill made out of Queen Elizabeth's feathered purse she always carries to public affairs. It holds her credit cards and her ID just in case. Fletcher acquired ( had it stolen ) by a English fan who works on the Queen's staff. It cost him big time and he wants as many of these fly's saved as possible when this session ends. Quill's favorite new fly Karen's Comet gets a work out as well...

"Quill Dude did you see that 70 pounder cruise by, man here he comes for a second peek, Ok easy, easy, smack that daddy!"

"Jason Aki, you are the man Dude, play that bad boy son....."

  Quill's cell goes off at the wrong time, it's the new Pope looking for the Dali Lama.

"Dali, I have news my friend! It appears your host Mr. Quill has been meddling in my backyard?"

"Yes, he knows no bounds your Holiness, yet our old friend Mr. Beast has presented an amazing solution that may impact world peace and allow my Tibet to flourish in divine tranquility once again. I will e-mail you the details."

"Sooo whats up with the babes and the feast Dali?"

(Has the Pope become a party animal? How serious is Keith's headache?")


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


Written by Dan Fallon © 2006
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2006

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


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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