|Column nr.8 2001|
EAGLE STILL FLIES
Reflecting across the almost endless landscape of my America, tears and broken hearts huddle together and listen for the sound of eagles wings. As I stare at the rippling stream waters of my outdoors life in this cathedral of freedom. I remember that day in Danang Vietnam 1965 when I was 17 and caught fishing during off duty hours. The young major who managed to sneak up on me. Screamed into my ear without introduction. "Thank god Marine we still have youngsters like you crazy enough to not let this ugly war get in the way of what they love". This country will always exist with an endless supply of crazy youngsters who will not throw down hopes, dreams and fly rods walking away in fear After the tragic events that have forever affected the hearts of all of us who have the honor to live in America. It is clear to me that the Zen style focused reverence for the moment that has sustained me all these years. Will without doubt allow me to attempt to clearly digest what has happened and its potential impact on all outdoorsmen, especially fly fishers.
The loss of imagined security and the slipping away of the last vestiges of free unencumbered travel by air is a blow to all of us. Yet, walking around near my own home and its many waters from the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and the huge bay that surrounds Sausalito and its wild game filled outer edges, the headlands where I live. The water is still just as awe inspiring as it was before September 11th.
The air is just as crisp and clear in the mornings when coveys of quail and deer feed all around my home. The various hawks and migrating ducks are flying as usual and we are all trying to take deep breaths and prey for the least destructive and most healing response to the unforgivable events that have fallen on America. Fly fishers perhaps more then any group are extremely close to and usually found standing in Americas rich waters embracing her freedoms. We will continue to embrace her many gifts and remember freedom is never free.
The upcoming Pacific Rim Wild Salmon & Steelhead Conference is being held in Portland Oregon at the World Trade Center November 5th & 6th. This ground breaking international gathering of concerned experts will discuss and present papers exploring the current state and expected fate of the last remaining wild salmon stocks. The quickly vanishing wild stocks caused by having to compete with mans voracious appetite for more expansion and the efforts to coordinate and assess the state of Pacific Rim stocks are the main items on the agenda. I have been honored to lead two expeditions next year into remote Kamchatka where scientific based catch and release by fly fishers help gather data on these remaining vigorous wild stocks. Those interested in more info please call "The Wild Salmon Center" at (1-800-687-0411) Fax- (503-222-1805) on the net www.wildsalmoncenter.org.
UPPER & LOWER SACRAMENTO FLY GUIDE & WRITER
Early lazy afternoons spent gazing into the mesmerizing southern Wisconsin bass pond near his childhood home, old bamboo heirloom fly rod in hand. Chip OBrien this months featured fly fisher was introduced to and captured by the air ballet! This Northern California dedicated fly fisher, writer, teacher, guide. Has very carefully examined the many wonderful waters that contribute to Californias fly-fishing adventures. There are few lucky souls who are able to enjoy an addiction like spending as much time as possible out in the water working ripples you know like the back of your sun burnt hand Chip lives almost on the river, he says, "I can go out and play with my many pets that range from 12-24 inches any time I like all year round". Teaching several fly-fishing classes at Shasta College in Redding and active duty as the President of Shasta Fly Fishers. While maintaining a busy writing career keeps Chip out of the water at least some of the time. His work with Frank Amato Publications keeps him thinking and contributing to many books on northern California angling.
I have read a little of Chips work in the highly acclaimed manual for true California fly fishing adventures Seth Normans "Fly Fishers Guide To Northern California" Chips work and prose are very well executed. Those seeking a near perfect treatise on Upper & Lower Sacramento River fly-fishing must get this outstanding book.
Chip and his club are involved in catching and taking scale samples of 50-200 wild rainbows as part of a fishery study to determine what to do with giant bows that may be steelhead or just extra healthy year round residents? Hats off to Chip and his associates combining conservation with fly-fishing adventure! Contact Chip for guide or book info at Clear Water Trout Tours (415-381-1173).
"GUIDE TO FLY FISHING MAGDALENA BAY"
Gary and his equally famous wife Yvonne Graham who just happens to be the most honorable current President of the International Womans Fly Fishers. IWFF. Must be the two most fortunate sportsmen in the western hemisphere? They have established one of the crown jewel salt-water fly-fishing venues in the world. A billfish Shangrila within the natural nursery waters that cradle Magdelena Bay 800 slow miles from the international border that separates Mexico and the United States. "Baja On The Fly" Their world-class salt water and surf fly fishing operation nestled on the East Cape or tip of Baja is special.
Gary has written a definitive bible for understanding every aspect of this complex ecological wonderland with a reputation for record setting - Marlin and billfish opportunities at times limitless. In Garys words "Today despite pollution, over fishing and just plain recklessness with resources. Magdalena Bay offers some of the finest fly-fishing available in Baja". This is no idle boast to those mariners and avid outdoorsmen who have ventured to and fought the local blue water and surf game fish that live in this natural marine nursery year round. I have surf fished some of the coast within the Cabo San Lucas area and will never forget the variety and fast action from the many almost deserted snow white beaches. I highly recommend contacting Gary in regard to up coming Marlin/Billfish blue water charters with openings this Oct/Nov. Contact Gary or Yvonne Graham at ( 1-800-919-2252 ) or on the web www.bajafly.com. Hey, want to know what fish are hitting right now today in Baja? Check out this cool website!
Garys new book "Guide To Fly Fishing Magdalena Bay" makes my fly fisher heart pound when I open it to page one and find this little book is not just another "Come fly fish at my lodge type vanity book!" This book outlines all the natural wonders from birds to whale watching and common flora found in the area. The bird section with well-researched species names makes all of us birdwatchers smile. Gary has taken the time to highlight the native plants and illustrate many of them as well. World-class surfing in bathtub water is highlighted as another unique past time enjoyed by lucky residents and travelers.
The most exciting aspect of the book is the way each section of this sportsmen paradise is mapped in some detail. Those who only care about fly-fishing opportunities wont be disappointed. Every fly and possible equipment needed is laid out and explained by this writer/guide/adventurer who has certainly lived a charmed life in a truly special cradle of infinite fly-fishing adventures. If your looking for the real deal in fighting billfish, marlin, swordfish. This book may be your first intelligent step. Then call Gary or Yvonne and do a few thousand push ups a day for several months! Youre going to need the extra forearm strength cowboy Copies of "Gary Grahams No Nonsense Guide To Fly Fishing Magdalena Bay" is published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Books, contact on the web at www.nononsenseguides.com.
RARE SIGHTINGS & DISTANT RUMBLINGS
I was very happy to hear my favorite Botswana African fly fishing guide/ fly super star/friends voice on her special phone beaming off distant stars. Cindy Garrison is alive and well and thriving in Botswana. I asked her if the current world instability would impact her hardcore fly fisher clients? (See feature on Cindy in contents section.) "Dan, do you think you might stop fly fishing because of whats going on?" Enough said Cin, miss your regal presence take care.
Another good friend fellow guide John Wilson from Lake Marie Alaska checked in after one of the best seasons ever for late fall rainbow and salmon. I asked John what was on the agenda for lake Marie in the coming year? "We are always looking for a few very strong fly fishers of either gender looking to stretch their limits. We also look forward to having President Bush spend time with us and Dan Fallon hopefully early next year". I too John look forward to guiding our president at some point when things have calmed down. I can only prey this latest assault on America does not lead to a rush to drill in the Artic wildlife Refuge? My personal hope is for calm and heartfelt soulful examination of all of Americas natural bounty before we fire up those earthmovers
Written by Dan Fallon, Oct. 2001 ©
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