Updated
2008-05-31

Swedish version
 

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing
 

Column nr. 6  2008  

  

Fall River Memories With Bamboo King

"Tiss from high life high characters are born"
Alexander Pope 1688-1744

  In my travels few truly unique sportsmen left psychic foot prints impossible to ignore.

  Walt Powell Bamboo rod maker, fly fishing legend, son of E.C. Powell world renown Bamboo rod gods both unforgettable American legends who impressed this slightly jaded Irishmen...

  In the last years of Walt’s blazing fly life adventure I had the honor of being introduced to this mythic being by two brothers who owned a construction company near Redding California. My fortune in first meeting the Miller brothers and then Walt Powell was a gift from the fly gods! Walt and his lady were living on the Miller’s property in Fall River my old home. I spent much time with Walt just sitting around and telling stories (I mostly listened). This man’s life in reflection continues to be an example for me of a strain of American male that no longer exists.


Dan Fallon and Walt Powell on Fall River

  My old pal Mike Garragus and I spent several days with Walt in preparation for an article titled, "Lord Of The Flies" published on the WEB many years ago. Humor was Walt’s calling card and he played those cards well indeed! One of my favorite Powell tales is his time with President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalind. "Old Jimmy was a nice enough fellow once twice a year fly man I’d guess. No time to get really proficient. His wife Rosalind asked me to help her gain more casting distance while we were working the Williamson River. Had her throwing out 60/70 feet and she did well. Now Jimmy was not as proficient as his wife. Never said anything of course, Jimmy could get a bit testy!" Another US President got a better review from the Lord Of The Flies, "Hoover was pretty good at all basic fly skills, did not like his company much as he was kinda self contained closed down. He could fly fish well as any other big shot I guess."

  Among Walt’s favorite fly fisher celebes two stand out Bing Crosby was a dear friend who often had Walt look after his son’s. Walt loved Bing and spoke highly of him, "Best thing about Bing was even when nothing was going on and we were just sitting enjoying the water and being alive. He would never complain him and Phil Harris always enjoyed just being out on the water. His moods were always the same, no dilettante that man. His wife kinda hated me because every time I showed up her husband would soon be gone. Man died a perfect death coming off the 18th hole in Scotland it was over."

  "Phil Harris was a lot like Bing in that if the action fell off or failed to get going he would sit and savor the day in fine spirits... Phill was very good at fly fishing and do miss his company. Many of our illustrious leaders are really about as dull as old paint. Of course Bing , Phil and I did partake on occassion with distilled spirits."

  In my outdoor life and endless parade of socalled American big shots have come and gone with little fanfare. Many were just simple men who got lucky or were given gifts of great families excellent genetics and much good fortune. People like Walt no longer exist as society, polite society and the insidious bullshit called political correctness ended the era of the individual who speaks his mind no matter what the situation. Fly fishing and all that it entails were Walt Powell’s dominion. Fly rod building and innovating kept him happy till the end. I have one of his last hand made Bamboo fly rods signed. Have been offered crazy money for it and will never sell it. That little six weight and I caught everything that swims in Alaska during a memorable week dedicated to Walt and his Bamboo passion.Because of my time with Powell I attempted and pulled off the near impossible. Landing a 35 pound King Salmon with a little six weight Bamboo the absolute highlite of my fly fishing life, thanks again Walt.... (See Monster Kings & Sweet Bamboo)

  It takes much time true obsession to understand and excell at this complicated sport, a sport not for everyone. The amount of time and practice and general water knowledge will always keep the number of new fly fishers low. Schools keep playing games with the uneducated novice. Telling he or she that in three days they will become fly fishers, nonsence! I had two fly schools for many years, taught all kinds of sportsmen and wannbe’s. Less then five percent ever went near a fly rod again! Why, because it ain’t easy and no matter what school you go to a long gestation period awaits.... If you think otherwise, how many proficent fly fishers have you watched catch a fish? If you live in Alaska, Montana you will have seen afew who know how to consistantly catch and release fish. Not an easy game to learn if quick and easy floats your boat table tennis might do Cowboy…

Scarlet Harlot

Scarlet Harlot

Hook: Streamer, long shank, size your choice, barbless
Thread: Red Silk
Body: Bright red fluffed groomed dubbing
Wings: Red Marabu
Head: Red silk

 

© Phil Frank 2002

  "ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
Illustrated By Phil Frank,
San Francisco Chronicle Cartoonist, creator of "Farley "

 

"Character Is Destiny"
George Eliot 1819-1880

General Fletcher Quill perhaps mortally wounded while leading his last Marine Corps combat operation has been transferred from the Hospital Ship Hope to his old familiar healing sanctuary United States Naval Hospital Philadelphia. This healing place where America’s real heavy lifting Hero’s are pasted back together is sacred. General Quill spent six months in this Naval, Marine Hospital during the Vietnam war. He was a young teenage Sargent pissed off with a real bad altitude and a hair trigger! This time the grey haired General is in a coma and has been for thirty six days. He has been moved to a private three room suite to accommodate the many visiting friends and dignitary’s. Hospital officials are livid because Keith Richards Rolling Stone, Dali Lama, and a band of worthless looking characters attempting to awake the legendary flymaster have been running wild for days! His beloved cat Timba has just arrived, Sharon Stone is in and out. The awfully hot San Francisco Nun Mutha Sereana is in route, chaos has turned the hospital up side down. An awfully hot 50ish Blond wearing a Gold Monkey charm keeps showing up?

  "Dude I know you’re the friggin Holy father and all, But, man you got to try and remember the words to these tunes. Now once more Dali baby, it’s, " Under my Thumb squirmy dog once had her day " It ain’t hard to remember! Don’t think our sleeping beauty here will respond to those slow Tibetan chants mate!"

  "This room is a toilet boys! My nurse’s are getting tired of seeing all these twelve inch little fairy like things coming and going? Are they your’s Mr. Dali lama Sir?"

  "Oh no, they are Fletcher’s other worldly friends who follow him every where. I like them!"

  "Excuse me gentlemen the news on General Quill is not good. We aren’t sure why he is not coming around, vital signs are ok, his blood loss did not cause brain damage and we saved his leg. If his vitals stay strong we can move him closer to Ireland and his castle soon. We all can’t help but gape at the parade of Celebs, X Presidents.

  "Well look what the ice cold foggy San Francisco breeze blows in the uber hot Frisco Nun Mutha Sereana come to whisper in her almost dead man’s ear sweet cakes...."

  "Nice mascara Sharon, your pet raccoon apply it sweety, those shaky scaly old claws can’t get her done?"

  "Girls please my best friend is slipping in and out of (NDE) Near-Death Experience like crazy.You two do look fabulous, its so Blond in here I need sun glass’s..."

  "You do flatter Keith, other woman have been trying to see him. Some other Blond 50ish hotty from Northern Californication land. She had a stunning large gold monkey on a neckless. How many babes does the old Marine have Keith?"

  "Ok Dali baby, now here we go, try, try!" You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you can get what you need."

The atmosphere has changed because his lowliness Glimmer twin and blood brother of the sleeping one has emptied 50,000 mics of pure Owsley LSD into the water picture and the room has come alive. Even the Dali lama sings in tune and the sleeping war hero ‘s foot is tapping as another old friend Buddy Guy blues legend stops in to sing Quill’s favorite medley down and dirty Chicago Blues, " Dam right, I’ve got the Blues " , " Midnight Train ", " I Smell Trouble ", Innocent Man " all off Buddy’s album Buddy’s Baddest Best of Buddy mother fu-kin Guy Baby!!!!!

  "Buddy, look here we get right into another set after you take this, here Buddy Guy take this I said, take this you bad motherr fu-ker !"

  "Excuse me boys how about a request from Quillies home girl Mutha Superiaaaaaa Baby! Do you two rock/blues giants know anything from Howlin Wolf’ original Chess compilation, " Back Door Wolf ‘ or " Lightin and the Blues " Lightin Hopkins my main man fellas. Now if they don’t ring notes in those LSD soaked hat racks how about Little Walter’s, " You better watch yourself " or his killer " Tonight with a Fool"...."

  "Dam, not bad for a recently hospitalized fallen Nun. Where the hell did you learn about those mean boys?"

  "Hang with Fletcher, you learn to love down dirty harmonica screaming blues, you have no choice, none..."

Fletcher’s beloved cat Timba adjusts his sleek Absyinnian body on his masters right arm and breathes with him as they communicate on their own silent terms. The little cat adores him and is rarely away from his side or his mind.........

  "Sharon who is that very hot fiftyish Blond friend of your’s who keeps popping in and out and holding his hand?"

  "Lets find out shall we? Dear excuse me how do you know General Quill?"

  "We had a steamy affair highly sexual at my northern California B& B, I almost married him. He was just a little hard to handle, that hair trigger, you all know what he is like when pushed. Still can’t get over him. That water picture spiked or something I feel like a movie theater is playing in my head suddenly! Every time I’m around that bad ass Irishmen I get hot flashed!..."

  "No worries dear, in six to ten hours you won’t feel a weird thought promise. Now come over here and sing harmony with Dali and me on, John lee Hooker’s " Crawlin King Snake " Quilly loved to play harp on this one. You fall in behind Dali on the 2nd verse. You ready Gold Monkey Blondy?"

Two hour’s of slow hard Chicago Blues in harmony with a major dose of Sandoze Labs best batch of purple bad ass Owsley brain food has the two hot Blonds up and dancing as Keith, Dali, and back up singer’s put it down thick and sweet........ Inside the deep dark inner sanctum of Fletcher Quill’s mind the Arch Angels have dropped by for a little chat.....

  "Look at our grey haired General lying near St. Peter’s door. You hear me in there old man? This is Michael speaking to you. I have the deal of the eternity good today only Marine bad ass. You and I know you used up your nine lives years ago and have been getting last minute reprieves to do angelic work for me. I didn’t think we had another deal for you old man. Alas this just in, Putin Russia’s latest wannabe dictator is the Anti Christ. We know you have the right stuff left to take his ass down before he takes control. So here it is Bad Boy Irish fly fishing fool. You agree to go after him with everything you have and we take your back. Or it’s the Oblivion Special with your name carved into the Vietnam Memorial and eternal sleep. Your call tough guy? I’m Michael, the Chief of the Angelic legions of the Lord of Hosts. The one chosen to battle the Leviathan."

  "Dali Baby I think you finally have it Mate! One, two, three. Man, did just see Quill’s eye’s flash, nah can’t be, has to be the brain food...."

In an instant the room’s atmosphere goes haywire as the lights blink off and on and the room temperature suddenly drops.... Smell of ancient sulfur announces his arrival... It is 666.

  "Alrighty then, My boy, my boy. Look what that insane GI Joe stuff has done to my boy. This man has Shaman blood coursing through those bad ass Irish vain’s. In his day he could see through steel baby. Blond magnet, pirate, fly fishing master.... What have they done to this magnificent beast! Now you listen my General Quill, I brought all my most brightest faerie healers son, we going to put Humpty-DUMPTY all the way back together. Give me some room boys, light this Frankincense & Myrrh incense . Pour me and Fletcher six fingers of that Glenlivet in me sack and give us some elbow room. Going to call on my dear angelic friends from the upper triad, the Cherubim and Seraphim. In the name of Rahad Angel of Death I call on thee to lift thy Vail on this flawed man and allow him to fulfill his destiny. I plead his case on the strength of his life long resolve to seek absolute adventure and when possible assist those angels who have use for his tools."

  "Quilly Baby, move your right thumb if you can hear all this?"

  "He did move just then, his eyes are moving under the lids. Dude, get the Doc’s in here now!

  "Soooo, ahhhh is it my birthday or is this a sleep over?"

  "I’ll be a son of a gun, son your back, back...."

Russia Bound? Putin Anti Christ?

 

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  70

 

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

For Dan Fallon's earlier and later columns;
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