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Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 7 2010  

Montana Grasshopper’s Set To Explode

  Montana dry fly fishers are looking forward to a banner late summer treat as weather forecasters and water experts expect conditions will be perfect for a serious Grasshopper infestation! Of course not good news for farmers, gardeners or cross country drivers (tough on windshields). In my fly fisher life flying terrestrials have been a wonderful memory. In the 1950s Lake Merced then a prime inner city trout fishing water storage located on the edge of San Francisco near Ocean Beach. An early trout training ground watching migrating Monarch Butterflies in mass. I saw large trout slam them!

  In later years on the Mekong Delta in Vietnam I watched huge Carp hit flying bugs on the surface and flop back in the water. In Thailand up country I saw prehistoric looking fish hit and swallow whole large Black bugs that resembled flying beatles! In America during the time I lived on the fabled Fall River the annual late summer Hexagenia hatch is a local gathering and a party. Huge trout that are usually finicky gobble up this once a year high protein treat. Those fly fishers who live in the country understand the down side when several million unwanted voracious flying eating machines destroy crops in one day! I watched first hand many times waves of Grasshoppers turning the sky dark as they descend and strip young crops, a sight city people never witness. Alas every so often natures scales are tipped just right for game fish who rarely get a break with all they contend with. Grasshopper fly patterns are easy to purchase and not to difficult to tie. Those fly fishers who dream of watching, feeling 16/20 inch trout slamming massive quantities of high protein flying fast food will not be disappointed. Contact the highly respected "Five Rivers Lodge" located in Dillon Montana, www.fiveriverslodge.com Phone 800-378-5006. These experienced guides scream, "Best Hopper action in 30 years! No Question!"

  Five Rivers Lodge has a world class dry fly reputation and a seasoned guide staff who will put you on waters where hungry wild trout slam these high protein fast food treats with serious intent! Montana, Wyoming, Idaho western states known for outstanding Hopper surface action even in normal years. Slow drifting and sight casting to big fish is the sublime upper stratosphere for me in fly fishing. My year’s working the Mount Shasta watershed near the northern California border included many evenings throwing big Hexagenia patterns at trout in the 26 inch class, nirvana. No question some adapting is necessary because the larger heavier Hopper patterns can be difficult to throw if your used to casting tiny mosquitos. I would advise a little practice session on your home waters before embarrassing yourself in a guides drift boat at 740pm when your having problems reaching that fat trout out fifty feet away? All of you avid fly tiers can easily attain or buy a few Hopper patterns with an E-Mail to any of the numerous fly lodges that exist in the above mentioned states. A quick web search can result in many photos of contemporary patterns to consider? Of course the biggest pay off in mastering Hopper/Terrestrial patterns are the large fish that hit these super meals. Trout rely on far less substantial offerings all year long until the arrival of super flying protein mouthfuls. I love to sit and watch big trout cruise up fast and slam, at times jumping high and splashing back, ahh pure joy to behold indeed...

  It is clear to all western fly fishers paying attention this season 2010 will be memorable because of the sensational late spring rains. Insect populations and stream flows will favor brothers and sisters of the long rod until late summer! In recent decades this is unusual to say the least, in California a drought has shortened many fly seasons.


© Phil Frank 2002

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

"The greater cats with golden eyes
Stare out between the bars..."
Victoria Sackville West 1892-1962

  Justice Quill and his new BFF the leader of the free world have just left the Golden Gate Death Bridge after watching two American’s, hopeless, bankrupt, jump into the big black abyss known as the Pacific Ocean . In about four and half seconds of sheer terror quite possibly breaking every bone in their bodies including the almost certain severing of limbs and heads which are quickly searched for and scooped up by Coast Guard choppers and cutters. San Francisco Coast Guard Command is quite used to multiple body searches up and down the coast near the fabled Cliff House Restaurant as diners enjoy Cocoanut Curry Prawns over white rice.... Quill has decided to make sure the new boy president never forgets his trip to Sodom on the left out coast his predecessor X Cowboy president never visited in two terms? After ingesting copious amounts of the best Orange Barrel LSD Dr. Owsley ever created !Along with six huge super man spliff’s loaded with Graftganistan Hashish and San Francisco cannabis legendary Trainwreakbrainwkackpolio purplebudbitch! Both new best pals are now standing in the San Francisco Zoo lion House kitchen, its 3am and they have one hour before night security makes an on sight visual check of the pathetic last aging lions. Now spending their last years in semi make shift mini Savannah landscape by day and concrete cages by night. King of beast reduced to a side show for little brats slurping snow cones...

"Ok General so what exactly are we doing here? Man does it stink in here and these old boys are so fucking loud! This may help me forget that goddam leaking oil rig BP going to roll my Chi town ass back to the Pump Room or that big mouth warrior General Stanley may explode again? You know Pilgrim that acid is kicking in and we only have about 53 minutes before I have to explain this late night insanity to the entire world Quill! "

"Lighten up with the tighten up your lownesssss. Listen follow me, grab those two buckets of Hamburger balls and giant marshmallows and I’ll tote these two cages of live chickens Cowboy. We are headed up stairs into the rafters above the lions open cages 20 feet down. Remember do not sit or reach down, they can smack you and pull you in for snack treat if your careless. Part of the fun is the cold fear you will be running. Come on Chicago lets play."

"Here your lowness drop this big old fluffy white giant marshmallow on that big black maned male in the middle cage, he will hit it mid air like they used to when I was a kid sneaking up in here. Kinda like our man Al Gore following Tiger and Jessie into high profile millionaire promiscuity baby! You know you might get hurt."

"Man, he did fly up after it. Yeah baby here how about a nice fat hamburger ball King of Beasts."

" You got it right fearless leader, now I know you never pulled shit like this in Chicago back in the basketball days?"

"No way Quill, Dude we don’t even think the same man. My priorities were food, shelter, basketball and maybe scoring a little strange pussy. Now you were on Haight Street hustling postcards while ingesting every psychedelic drug known to man! Hey watch this big noisy brute is trying to get a piece of these cool Tiger Woods tennis shoes. Look I’ll tease his big dumb ass and see if... (suddenly the fully grown adult male stretches his long body out to over ten feet rear paw to front paw and manages to dig three claws into the Black Messiah’s right calf muscle. Blood begins shooting everywhere!)."

"Stay still while I get my belt around your leg for a turnecut. I’ll have Nurse Caron prepare her team at the Farm before we chopper there. Dam, have to leave my new F1 Ferrari parked at the fucking zoo! Dam it!"

"This is complete bullshit Justice Quill, how we gonna cover this up from the press Cowboy?"

"No worries my super hot 36 DD nurse Caron who owns the Farm will take care of the privacy. You have an emergency suite there whenever your in the area just in case. I’ll get us both outside the chopper’s waiting. Remember if I have to leave you alone, no fucking drug tests until all this shit we took begins to clear out, drink this water your losing a lot of blood and may get shocky before we get to the Farm. " (Quill begins treating for shock anyway- like any Marine could easily do!)

  Within minutes a Marine Chopper lands and a medical team begins hanging bags of blood products and dressing the three gushing wounds now visibly pumping less blood as The Black Messiah loses consciousness as the four Medics load him and pull Justice Quill and two Secret Service agents aboard before take off. Destination the most famous, highest rated teaching hospital in the world. Where a team of specialists awaits the chopper and will quickly take him to his private secure suite. As the chopper descends 5am the Farm is still asleep except for the small crowd of medics waiting on the roof top helicopter pad.

"Excuse me I’m the lead RN for his majesty, Nurse Caron, lets move him to V2 my old ward where we can hook him up to a bank of the latest high tech monitors almost no one can actually read! He has lost so much blood we already hung two bags, lets take over all functions from breathing to peeing. We have a surgical team scrubbed and waiting to sew him up, lets roll straight to the operating theater and let the attending physician make his call. Operate, sew him up now or wait till we stabilize.

"Excuse me has anyone seen Nurse Jerry I could use another set of hands getting him off the stretcher. Is Nurse Tricksy the Charge Nurse on duty tonight? Have her meet us at the OR stat."

"Justice Quill how the fuck did this happen on your watch Marine? Were you running wild on some crazy ass adventure that went south or what Mr.?"

"Little miscalculation out at the old Zoo Lion House early this am went just a smidge wicky dicky sticky if you get my drift their Florence Nightingale. It was a Lion’s claws that ripped his leg open, better tell the surgeons before they start hacking and hewing sister. One more thang my 36DD heart breaker, can’t have a word of this leave the hospital or national security could be compromised! Especially when you run a test on his urine, blood work up. More psychedelic naughty stuff then the lord created and bear in mind that fucking oil drip down south has already cost him a 40% approval rating! Does this historic hospital want the destruction of his lowness to hit the Press from these sanitary hallowed healing halls? By the way your looking fabulous angel face."

"Ok La GeneralismoJusticewhatever, can you keep your eyes off my tits while we converse, might be too risky when his heart stops again to opt for some safer method to restart. Hell he could Code or bite the farm before they can figure out a safe alternative comprende’ Quilly, it ain’t no cake walk in major hospitals anymore, all luck of the draw. By the way do you speak any French?"

"Your scaring the shit out of me sweety! I thought this place was as safe as it gets for critically ill? Did you tell me the whole ten floor hospital never opens a window for fresh circulating air because some one jumped out of a top floor and squished destroying lunch for about 100 employee’s? Law suits medicine is all about law suits period."

"Please This fucking hospital is doing everything it can to get rid of experienced nurses to save money and build another wing or two for wealthy alumni who bequeath trillions to the Farm baby! Be warned even the leader of the free world ain’t going to get any better treatment right now then he would at any general hospital emergency room Quilly. Hell we have a whole race of French nurses who dominate the ranks, myself Nurse Jerry and the few white honkeys can’t understand a fucking word they say to each other let alone to patients or doctors. How about the new defensive medicine protocol in vogue right now! If these boys fresh out of med school and their mentor teacher’s scared stiff attending 50 year old attending Doctors think a little too much Nitro Glycerine might CODE (dying fast!) the Black Messiah Baby, it’s Sayonara time. Now we are among the best of the best when it comes to critical care cardiac specialists, but, its still luck of the draw what kid doctor and inexperienced teaching nurse combo platter you might draw on any given night? They will determine your fate. You finally getting my drift Fletcher, surviving or dying a fucking crap shoot no matter who the fuck you are!"

"Much sympathy for you and your beleaguered mistreated sisters, the entire known world goes to sleep each night thinking that at least the Farm is keeping souls alive! I gotta jam, listen no drug tests at all we are so wasted on those killer Schroooms. My friggin F1 is parked at the Zoo and 100 people waiting for us at the Fillmore West right now! Call me and keep the fucking Press away from The Black Messiah, his Secret Service crew wants to keep this quiet unless, unless...."

"Just got a call from his people in Washington, they want him to go a head and do my Fly Fishing trip deep into Yosemite Park’s north end. He can heal there and Prss photos can be manufactured so this little mis step never happened! Soooo listen how about we sneak into that locked linen closet and let me revisit your blond charms?"

"Yeah right Valentino, guess I’ll just let the Black Messiah manage his own respiratory functions!"

"Ok, Ok, keep me posted, gotta get my F1 out that Zoo Parking lot before endless brats write their names on it with cotton candy. I’ll be at the Fillmore West rock palace, here is the stage manager’s personal cell."

  Quill climbs into his 600 HP Baby and screams down the Great Hiway that runs next to the Pacific Ocean at just under 145 MPH, no cops no cars at 5am. He hangs a hard left at 75mph on the long slow turn onto Point Lobos puts the hammer down and 180 + is reached in three seconds. Blowing down Geary Street the Fillmore West sign looms straight a head...

"Where you been Dark Prince? And where is the Free World Leader Dude, Dude?"

"No worries he has cell calls to make and take, where is Keith Richards and Duke Parker?"

"Parker Dude, we had a little miscalculation at the Zoo, our fearless boy President lost some red and gooey. Look Duke hush-hush on this Pilgrim. I just heard the secret Service say he is no longer critical, so lets boogie. I can hear mean Harmonica, Little Walter, Jeff Taylor, John Lee Hooker that has to be hooker?"

"You guessed it, first we do the Blue Room and get your head fixed properly before you get on stage with these long dead blues harp greats. I had one of your boys bring your kit full of new Hohner’s in the key’s of C, G,F, flat. Come on man, everyone is waiting."

  Gunga waves are moving through out the closed rock palace as the main stage is lit with classic 1966-67 Psychedelic light show effects. John lee Hooker and little Walter are trading licks on Hooker’s " One Bourbon, One Scotch, one Beer ". On stage left Duane Almond is working his killer slide guitar mojo as Justice Fletcher Quill slowly takes one long hit of Graftgaistany Train Wreck picks up a shiny new Mississippi Tin Sandwich ( Harmonica ) slowly walks center stage and falls right in behind Duane and its on, all night long slow down low Frisco, Chicago bluer then blue wailing from behind closed doors..... Spirits of blues masters Muddy waters, Willy Dixon come and go on stage all night long.. Justice Quill is home in the Pacific Ocean salty San Francisco air.

(Black Messiah cut long deep & wide! Next stop Deep Yosemite North Woods Baby!)


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  71  72  73  74
75  76  77  78  79  80  81  82  83
84  85  86  87  88  89  90  91  92
93  94  95


Written by Dan Fallon 2010
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2010

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