|Column nr.7 2003|
| RESULTS OF FIRST ANNUAL
SINGLE FLY INVITATIONAL
Cool breezes and 90 degree warmth greeted six distinguished fly fishing teams from around the United States in Fall River Mills California June 26, 27, 28. Karen Graham Super Model, Vogue Cover Girl and ESPN 2 Fly Fishing Hostess, world renown fly tier, fly fisher A. K. Best, equally well known far and wide where ever game fish dwell Jay Fair, Cliff Sullivan Orvis instructor, guide, and myself had a splendid three days of camaraderie and higher education in master fly fishing techniques. In the end when all the inches were added up it was Dorothy Zinky and her very fishy partner Allan Christian who were guided by Danny Milligan that took the title of first winners of the annual fly event for womans breast cancer charity and local river conservation. Dorothy and Allan landed over 255 inches in two days of serious fly action on the Fall River in upper California. The second place winners led by fly fisher/Orvis qualified guide Cliff Sullivan and Steve Potter guided by Jean Rodgers Fooled over 245 inched of fat. Fall River Bows. The contest came down to one ten inch trout that could not resist the charms of Dorothy and Allan. Congratulations to the new King and Queen of "The River Of Endless Dreams", Allan an accomplished fly fisher with many rivers and streams under his waders was a perfect partner, Dorothy Zinky already equipped with a serious history of steelhead catch and release all over North America. Hail to the new King and Queen!
Mythic Fall River provided all the thrills and chills these teams could handle, one fly pattern either a nymph or a dry was issued to each contestant. Each team had three examples of one pattern for the day either a wet or dry. When the flies were gone the day ended, the techniques used to catch and release these over educated well fed rainbows include; long 7x tappets, tiny #20 or smaller nymphs, and mastering the art of moving your fly downstream without line, tippet finding the trout before your fly does! A.K. Best first words to me after day one "Dan, this aint easy, I like that it will take some finesse" The teams consisted of Jay Fair & Guide Steve Marugg, Cliff Sullivan and Steve Potter,, A.K. Best & his lucky young guide Kevin McAlerney, Dorothy & Allen, Karen Grahm and myself. Cliff "Southern Comfort" Sullivan one of the real class acts in fly fishing provided 100 proof fun and many great fish tales. A rousing three days of good fun was had by all and more importantly the bar may have been raised a notch or two when the winning team of Dorothy and Allen edged out Cliff and Steve By a mere ten inches with 255 total inches of hard earned Fall River Rainbows caught and released.
THE GREAT STORY of the event has to be Dorothy and Allan kicking the butts of all the big boys by a country ten inches! What a joy to behold this graceful lady of the long rod. Dinner with Dorothy included a little story about her husband asking how to get in touch with her during event days "I told him I would be somewhere between the Oregon border and Fall River Mills California?". Steve Vaughn supplied all flies for the event and his famous fly shop in Burney California can be reached via the web at www.vaughnfly.com Thanks very much Steve, the flies worked! Dick Recchia from www.ultimateflyfishing.com furnished excellent "Frog Hair" Tippits Leaders and other fly stuff, thanks again to Cliff Sullivan who worked very hard on this event.
PIT RIVER LODGE
Day one, guests arrived and headed either streight for the gorgeous old world front porch of the historic Pit River Lodge or on to one of the many hiking trails near the Pit River. The lodge history dates back to before Bing Crosby, Walt Powell, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, dominated the still used pool table or laughed till the wee hours in the dark wood dinning area. The lodge and its manager/chef Paul Voltera and skilled staff created the perfect atmosphere. Cliff (Souther Comfort) Sulllivan was on board with expert fly fishing advice, a heart of gold and 100 proof shots for the bolder fly fishers.
The atmosphere at the lodge started on a high friendly note and never stopped the entire three days. The pool table fish stories were in high gear by late afternoon. Guests turned in with the sounds of good cheer among their brothers and sisters of the long rod. I personally suffered extream public humiliation at the hands of the most attractive Mrs. Steve Potter who apparently grew up in the pool hall next door to Wellsley? On the subject of public humiliation and humbling in the eyes of the entire fly fishing community, world, and cosmos wide. Karen Graham and I finished a dismal 4th out of the six teams. I take full responsibility except for the fact Karen kept reminding me that if we did fail to place or even actually catch any fish which we did (93 inches ) the failure would rest souly on my shoulders ! As I have experienced considerable public humiliation at the hand of these absolutely gorgeous woman in full view of my peers. I can safely say this humbling has done me a world of good. Thank you Karen and the entire female staff including Milly and Sandra who also beat me senseless at pool then joined Karen for a rousing sing along with yours truly as the goat...
Day two began with a quick breakfast and then guides were chosen, the personal highlight of this day was the choosing of a young guide in his early twenties and the legendary A.K Best, The look on his face when I threw him that fast ball out of fly fisher heaven... The Fall River provided all the challenge necessary as all contestants spoke of the high degree of difficulty in mastering "The Fall River Silent Stealth Presentation. Wily experienced pros arned only with 7x tippits and #20 nympths. Tempertures hovered at or near 100 and then the winds would pick up and throw ripples across the river. Most fish caught were 16 icnh or better, many fish over twenty inches were reported and the overall reports were excellent for those lucky enought to find the big pods of fish. Jay Fair and A.K. Best both felt the event was a success and a authentic challenge.
My time with Co-Host karen Grahm was sublime and I feel blessed to have spent two long days floating and throwing bugs with an expert fly fisher, gracious friend and the prettiest lady to ever step foot in my 12 foot aluminon boat. Thank you Karen for your kind help, bless you. One or two little moments in regard to my personel memories of the event held to raise awareness and money for womans breast cancer chariety CFR do stand out. The spirit of all that is rich about the brother and sisterhood of the long rod. The gracious underplaying of ones fly history and accomplishments was touching, except for the growing size of many of the days catch after a few rounds of this spirit or that didnt hurt matters too much I guess... I did notice Cliffs arms gained about six inches by dinner time.
The wonderful touching work of all the angels who both give time and love to so many healing woman, god bless each of you and may your spirits stay in the high perfection which mortals rarely encounter. I have so much love and respect for all of you and your work. A special thanks to CFR President Seline Skoug and Susan Balch, CFR is so lucky these two angels fly in the same winds together, bless you both.
WRAP UP 2003 EVENT
Special thanks to Bass maniac, Skeeter Boat high horse power all around great guy John Barron who came and helped with every aspect of this event . A mans man with a big heart, he and Gary Drain of www.landbigfish.com have been outstanding partners in creating this event from scratch. Milly and Sandra and Robert were great help and are a joy to hang around with. Thank you all very much. Special thanks to premeir chef Paul Voltura manager Pit River Lodge www.pitriverlodge.com.
Another wonderful personal highlight for me is the opportunity to have stood in a room of very well known international fly names and look straight at young twenty year old guide Kevin Mcalerney and say A.K. Best will be your client for the next two days. Looking back he and I must have been the two luckiest fly fishers alive on that morning. I slowly drifted and chased trout with a butterfly and Kevin had his guide reputation just about set for life.
The chariety which will receive any and all donations given to this event is CFR Casting for Recovery. They can be reached at www.castingforrecovery.org. Anyone wishing to donate to this worthy cause via this website or my own at www.danfallonflyfishing.com This event is also being underwritten and produced by Gary Drain of www.landbigfish.com.
HONORABLE MENTION AWARDS to Cliff Sullivan for catching the most big fish with several caught over 16 inch and one over 20 inch. Also hats off to Marin City Banker and all around solid fly fisher Steve Barlow who never gave up and with the help of guide Dale Dennis many fish were caught and released. Last but not least a special hug and kiss award to Karen Grahm for putting up with a off the wall fly fisher best friend of Fletcher Quill for three perfect days.
Dell Computers really came through in the last moments of this event by sending me a complete laptop/ printer/scanner by mail to my new cabin out in no mans land. Thanks "Billy" Dell Supervisor for all your help getting set up. We are going to have an internet auction for all the great items left over from the event, Bamboo fly rods, art work and many outstanding items I will detail and explain next month. Next month a more detailed list of our dear sponsors who donated great gear will be printed when more space is available.
One last thought A.K. Best is the best and a better legend never passed my way, tight lines my brothers and sisters of the longrod.
Hope to see all the same faces and more next year, until then, thank you all who preyed for us and kept the faith. The first event was a rousing success and history has been made by all concerned, God bless everyone of you.
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
(MILL VALLEY CALIFORNIA SWEET WATER SALOON ROCKS WITH PHIL & QUILL)
Before Timba and Quill hit the front door of this legendary northern California rock hangout and showcase. Opening chords to John Lee Hookers English version of "Little Red Rooster" can be heard crawling under the door., Phil grabs Quills arm and says, "Man you think that is E.C. (Eric Clapton) hitting those licks" Quill thinks back to when he and Clapton hung out on the "Whiskey & Cigarettes tour of the mid 1970s." He loves to fly fish Phil and we are about to have just a taste more fun before leaving little Sausalito in the dust Mr. President.
The Sweetwater Bar has had every famous rock star from Mick Jagger, Bonny Raitt, John Lee Hooker, you name the act and it has played or more likely hung out at this long time Marin County watering hole.. The other more famous aspect of this little palace of good vibes is the ultra careful selection of waitresss. The place looks like a nursery for would be models. Quill would often come in and bang out his monthly fly column while shooting the breeze with Sammy "Red Rocker" Hagar or talking poetry with Allan Ginsberg or Bill Grahm or any of the main line famous that warmed those halloed seats. More deals. Record contracts, have been cut here then any other place in the entire San Francisco area period. Quills longtime soul mate Clare is wearing her see through tiger pattern jump suit with various save this animal or that animal pins scattered.
Quill and Timba head right for the "Green Room" where all VIPS wait for Showtime. They clean off the coyote and wild turkey dung and change into the same black velvet matching jumpsuits they wear at all formal Ravens Heaven dinners and affairs. The infamous ex President Phil has on his best southern "Im still more famous then youll ever be leisure Armani summer suit with out tie. Clapton has just finished a killer version of "After Midnight" and heads right for the man of the hour "Fletcher Quill" holding a bored Abyssinian Cat named Timba.. Also in route and closing fast on the guest of honor two local network Anchors and a rock radio personality. Quill motions to Clapton and Phil to meet in the mens room, another equally famous San Francisco power room. The door slams behind them as Phil like any quality raised southern party boy slaps a chair into a wedge and the place is secure.
POW WOW IN THE MENS ROOM
"Quill you bodacious bas----, man its good to see you, last time we hung out I was still wearing a beard, white suits and dating rich woman". I was rollin down Sunset and vine shootin the breeze with Jagger and Bowie when Jagger says "Listen Eric, do you know anything about this Fletcher Quill cat man, my daughter says he is kicking some quite famous booty in his web monthly column. If that is the case man, then you know me and my girlfriend here Miss Bowie got to get in that monthly rag dude." So, I look your name up on the bloody web and you own fly fishing Quillmeister, you are the god, the inner soul man, its natural order dude." "Thanks a heap Erik, but dont try and run that dog anywhere but here among the faithful or you will be dodging more bricks them Martha Steward." The ex President chimes in "Boys, Boys, hey, the three of us in this already famous mens room arguing about who is more famous, this is so cool, if I were still speaking with Hillary, she would so dig this." "Quill sensing a great opening line" Mr. President has her new book kept you hopping? "That is not a book it is a biblical experience that all American citizens ought to be required to read. Then I could get the hell off this crazy publicity circuit, sorry dont mean you Quill and Eric, you know, the stage dudes, the stage." Silence moves across the cold mens room floor faster then Hillary exits dinner parties where Bill is in attendance.
Suddenly the door flies open and the chair crashes against the wall! "Ok, now what we got to do to get invited to this party" says Jagger and company. No one in particular starts humming. "Under my thumb a squirmy dog once had her day...." and it was on, Jagger and all six Sweetwater Mens Room attendees start belting out old nasty Stones songs one after another. It is Quill who keeps it going with "Brown Sugar" "Ruby Tuesday" "Street Fighting Man" one after another the little room rocks with Eric now plugged into his famous Stratocaster x100000. The jams go on for at least two hot hours and are recorded by house engineers, such a night it was, oh such a night it was, it really was...
Next morning Timba licks Quills face at 6am, like usual and they both get up and look out the 18th floor panoramic window of Quills favorite San Francisco Hotel. "The Miako" The smell of fresh baked Dim Sum comes off the street as Chinatown and Fishermens Wharf awake and wipe off the fog and begin greeting the endless army of happy tourists who never stop marching up and down the city. Quills cell phone goes off at about 7am. "Fletcher, Its your President son, are we in a secure area?" "Yes, sir we are, Timba and I have not even dressed yet" "I just off the horn with The Irish peace team your going to meet with in a few months, looks like the Irish fly peace games will happen for certain, That is not why I called. I hear your about to get involved with a group of fly fishing super models based in Paris?" "Yes sir, man news travels fast!"
"That is a perfect cover for you and your work for me and your country. I will issue you a priority one diplomatic passport so you and Timba can move around easier." "Thank you so very much Mr. President, I will do whatever is asked" "Well, first off tell me how that southern charm machine is getting along with the "Hot Tubbers"?" Like Strom Thurmond used to say "It aint the getting along that worries me, its the getting out alive Im interested in." "Ok Fletcher, do you need anything special from me." "Yes sir, I do have one request, would you consider coming along on a private trip with Slick Brainy, myself and maybe Jive Boy?" "Will tell my girls to work it into the calender, will keep in touch." Fletcher picks up Timba and they both stare out of the 18th floor out over the Golden Gate Bridge and then past the Ferry Building and down to the Wharf. Quill and Timba take the elevator down for a taxi to the Haight Ashbury district where time stands still and its always the Summer Of Love June 1967. The taxi lets them out at the Panhandle arethe neighborhood and they walk past young beggers dressed like time wary hippies lost in a clockless haze on a street that never ages in a town that always forgives and welcomes you no matter who you are... Fletcher always makes sure he has a pockit full of neatly folded 100 dollar bills that he and Timba drop in every outstretched hand as he has done everyday he ever lived and loved in this city that never holds grudges and welcomes all of gods children, no matter what, no matter what they may believe.
Quills cell phone blasts him out of the poetic state and into girlfriend reality "Fletcher, where are you right now? I have been waiting here in this ugly little Chinese Café "Wong Fats" or something and you and Timba are no where to be seen. So get your butt over here now Mr. Do you hear me Quill?" "Loud and clear sweetheart, Timba and I have a bit of shopping to do and then..." Just then from out of nowhere a brand new blood red Ferrari F150 pulls up and out comes the current super model hottie of the moment Christy Misty "Mr. Quill I presume? If you and Timba have a moment?" "Of course Ms. Misty, what can we do for you?" "My girlfriends and I are fans of your monthly column and would like you to spend a week or two and teach us how to fly fish, would you be interested?" "I think that might be a fine change of pace for Timba and I, where are you located?" "We all live in Paris, you live in that Castle in Ireland, maybe we could go to your Castle for a week?" "Perfect, here is my card, my girls will call your girl and set a date." They Hollywood pretend kiss each other and Misty strokes the humming Timba who seems to love the idea of super model house guests.
Back to Ravens Heaven and endless peace and solitude...
Quill, part 1
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2003
For Dan Fallon's earlier
and later columns; visit the table