|Column nr. 8 2006|
Feather River Quincy To Graeagle Part Two
Fly Fishers contemplating tasting the waters along the fabled Feather River watershed can look forward to peace and quiet unbroken greenery, clean mountain waters... Upon leaving the town of Chester situated near lake Almanor and driving toward the village of Quincy. The headwaters of the Feather River begin to descend gaining power, the river hugs the road allowing fly fishers easy access until the river drops into a canyon. This area will move your soul as you wind down toward Quincy, it reminded me of the Bible, Revelations, And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the lamb."
Fly fishers who seek truly uncrowded mornings in an atmosphere void of cheaply made cabins where water clarity and abundant trout flourish can realize their dreams especially in early mid week! In my travels through out California rarely can one access truly pristine wilderness without crowds. I saw no other fly fishers along this corridor and found many fine areas within walking distance of my car! Upon finding a shadow strewn area about 8 miles toward Quincy I assembled my 4 weight Bamboo with 9 feet of 4 pound test leader, #5 Tippet and a #16 Yellow Stone attractor fly. Staying well back from the brilliant green water and throwing up stream into converging currents allowed the fly to dead drift until surface film swallowed the pattern. This routine was repeated about 12 times until at the end of the swing as the line drew tight a series of three quick hits announced a trout. The fish played wild and strong coming to hand displaying vivid markings indicative of a healthy well nourished life...
After spooking a few holes it was easy to drive a mile or two and find another spot. Just before the Feather River begins to descend into a canyon the currents quicken. In this area I tied on a Wolly Bugger dressed in black with one single split shot tied about 16 inches above. After throwing and allowing the pattern to sink for about 5 seconds, I worked it in short jerky pulls and moved it around in a natural manner. This at first did not produce any hits, until I began working the pattern against the deep shore line undercuts. Now resident trout hiding and saving energy were impressed and the fun began. I caught and quickly released two more 10 and 12 inch Bows before hiking about a half mile down into the canyon. An outstanding morning with complete solitude and beautiful trout to boot! By 11am I became a Feather River devotee and wondered why it took so long for me to play in this fly fishers Xanadu? I cannot stress enough the high quality of this fishery and the absolute solitude waiting for those who love the sport conducted like a seasoned symphony with all the players on key! Excellent maps and precise directions can be found on the web at www.plumascounty.org or call (800) 326-2247 ask for Susy Brakken.
Fly Fishing on the Feather River means experiencing three kinds of action, up high near lake Almanor perfect for small boaters on glass like water, then into head waters crystal green flowing toward the town of Quincy, ending in slow meadows near Hamlet of Graeagle. You can't go wrong seasoned bug thrower, no matter what your preference this watershed can accommodate easily. Quincy population 6,711 blissed out happy campers will tug at your heart strings... Much like the town of Chester up higher this little community exists in a state of timelessness...
I stayed at Ada's Place owned by Valerie and Mike Nellor, a wonderful series of custom high end cabins complete with kitchens and gardens and song birds. Highly recommended, contact on the web www.adasplace.com. Before and after enjoying the river I ate at the " Morning Thunder Café where the waitress's smiled and local canines waited contented for their masters. Quincy will get under your skin, back in the days when logging was dominate this town flourished. Today with careful resource management Quincy is still an oasis of calm. Contact on the web the Quincy Chamber of Commerce at www.quincychamber.com Best area sports info contact Sierra Mountain Sports at (530) 283-2323. Gold Rush Sporting goods owned by the Milby family is another fine source in regard to local fishing action at (530) 832-5724. Looking at photos of Quincy taken in early 1900s, the town looks almost the same today! This gem of the high Sierra will satisfy the whole family from kids to dogs, I will be back another time for sure!
Continuing down the mountain ending in the meadow strewn area known as Graeagle that is the middle fork of the Feather River, waters slow down and the temperature rises just a tad. This area rich in trout and excellent for those who seek high quality dry fly action! Evening and very early mornings in this meadow rich area dry fly action is superb! I recommend Molly's Bed & Breakfast (named after the dog of the same moniker!) Contact on the web www.mollysbedandbreakfast.com.
Flies & Set up
Fly fishers contemplating working the Feather River would be best served accessing the Plumas County web site mentioned above because available maps are precise ! My set up was fairly constant unless lack of shadows or water transparency dictated longer leaders and tippits. I tie my own leaders using 4 weight monofilament, strike indicators are optional. #5, or 6 weight tippits work well at least 4 feet in length depending on water depth and clarity? In the early season when water is still running quick, small split shot placed around 12/16 inches above your fly is about right. Your fly box ought to have an assortment of Yellow Stone flies in size 10/12 the more hackle the better, either Golden Stone (Acroneuria) or small Yellow Stone (Isoperia). All year long many Caddis hatches occur, Elk Hair Caddis tan or dark olive size #10/16 will come in handy. Blue Winged Olive ( Baetis ), Pheasant Tails work from July till late Fall. Old stand by PMD (Ephemerella) Size #14/18 work til end of July. Yes, my friends the infamous Screaming Yellow May (Hexagenia) in late afternoon evening is deadly! Use your own yellow attractors and bring a good assortment of Wolly Buggers and my favorite never fail dry fly used everywhere all the time, the humble Mosquito size # 16/22 will save your hide nine out of ten times.
If quality waters easy access and complete solitude light your fire? I cannot recommend the Feather River enough, bring your dog and leave your too fast city life behind. You will be hooked as I'm by this timeless river and it's attendant towns... Plumas County stream restoration alone is worth the trip, you will be educated in the balanced sensible philosophy evident as you roll through Chester, Quincy and Graeagle, in these communities everyone wins!
"ADVENTURES OF FLETCHER QUILL"
Peace, tranquility and the ancient enveloping comfort of Raven's Haven have enchanted Fletcher Quill and his best friend Timba the cat. A night of King Salmon sight fly action near the castle walls with Slick Brainy, Jason Aki and Jive Boy kept the boys up until 4am. Jive Boy caught and released a 75 pound super stud King he fooled with Quill's "Karen's Comet" pattern, life as usual is awfully good in Quill's hood... Timba and Quill are up early watching Sea Eagles swoop down on giant bait ball's while tying a new series of streamer patterns tied with famous pubic hairs sent to the castle by the famed Hollywood personal waxing salon " The Bald Feline". Word is Ophra and Pam and Selma tried to take their hair with them, Quill's on sight spy took care of that post haste! Timba wants nothing to do with this hoard of famous follicles and turns his spoiled nose away.... Secure red phone breaks the concentration...
"Mr. Secretary, what up homey?"
"Good Morning Mr. President, kinda early for our little chit chats sir?"
"Just back from that G8 thing son, still licking my wounds from the cold neck I got from that German Bioooch I tried to neck rub, big ass mistake! Man, she was hot, course Tony and Putin laughed their butt's off."
"Sir, if I may suggest? Perhaps that country boy smooth as honey stuff ain't gettin it on the big stage? Look around the whole planet is coming apart and we got more hot spots then Prince Charlie after Camilla caught him with that twenty year old maid!"
"Listen San Francisco Marine General, your last one to give your Commander and Chief advise, I just got word about that clandestine Pubic pilfering operation you pulled off at "Bald Feline". How low can you go Jarhead?"
"Yeah, Yeah, Mr. President did you watch that video I sent you on Pyramid Power Grid Energy?"
"Slick and I loved that idea, free energy will keep the oil boys on their over fed toes son. How about we keep this discovery quiet until our lab boys tear into this new easy free energy thing?"
"No can do sir, Dali Lama and the Pope already been briefed. Old 666 and his crew are ready to roll this puppy. One more thing sir, just heard from General Parker in Paris, he has contacted his old Vietnam Sniper Spotter " Bigfoot". They sent me a photo of the two of them on their last Nam whack job before it all went up in smoke, it is on the way to you this morning. Duke is about to close out our two sweetheart's when they stroll through the Luxemburg Gardens this week. They keep changing their routines and giving the Dukester the slip."
"Thanks for update, hey man you ever do another chapter for your "Care & Feeding of your Blond" book Quill?"
"Actually, yes sir I have finished the latest called "Understanding the words little & cute"".
"That is real friggin swell there Marine, gotta bolt have to hang with Slick on his new chopper. Oh yeah, we ran a check on your boy the Abbott Sammy Kinnison and his Golden Gate Park underground faire world. He is one sick gerbil son, he and that other gang of geeks, Tommy the ghost hunter and his crew of ultra hot female helpers are making names in neon. Better keep them under close watch!"
"Excuse me sir, it appears the Dali Lama and Sharon or about to go toe to sandle and need my diplomacy!" (Staff announces.)
"Gotta roll Mr. President. "
"Sharon what is all the yelling about sweet cakes?"
"I found your holy man here dishing about me with the Pope?"
"Now easy there Blond Goddess, I'm sure it was innocent chin chatter hey Dali?"
"Of course Fletcher, his Holiness wanted Sharon to autograph her latest DVD and I could not help speaking to him about her etherealness, did not mean any harm..."
Another cell call from San Francisco alerts Quill that a serious situation may need his attention pronto!
"Abbott Sammy, is that you wild man?"
"In the almost flesh baby... We got two potential meltdowns all over our Human Interactive Screens this morning. Hard to concentrate with the above ground chaos here in Golden Gate Park. Man, every weekend it's a walk for this a walk for that. Don't these people know I got a show to run down here?"
"Sammy, just heard from the Cowboy, he is all over you like Al Sharpton at a "We are the World Concert", Dude we are about to set a date for the first Tibet kite Olympics. We all want you and Tommy the ghost dude and his biooch's to make the trip. Looks like next month after which we hang in Paris with Duke and Bigfoot."
"I'm down with that, this Pyramid grid energy deal is insane. Man, the oil boys will go goofy over this. Oh, how about letting me borrow the Ferrari you keep out at Sea Cliff, thinking a little trip down the coast would be sweet!"
"I'll get back on that my friend, gotta roll here comes Sharon and Jennifer looking way tooo cute!"
Hotline rings before Blond Goddess comes through the door, " Quill Duke Parker here, man we got trouble Marine! Bigfoot and I just left the Luxemburg Gardens where we stashed my DNA Sniper rifle. Looks like we been compromised, two guys roll up and start running their mouths about being paid to set up your hometown hero Barry Bonds in that steroid bullshit. They say it was all arranged by same people who paid them to confront Bigfoot and me?"
"What the hell, your kidden me Marine, listen up you two keep on task and I will have Abbott Sammy run these boys down pronto! I always knew Barry was a set up, Coopers Town is full of fallen angels much worse then him. Drunks, abusers, fools, liars and so forth deck those halls Dude..."
"Listen man, I want to make this whack happen and get out of Paris, enough of this sissy food and skinny babes."
"General Parker your going to Tibet with us next month to get the Kite Olympics off the ground. Lets get busy and remove the dirt bags Marine. We got world peace to work on before the whole Middle East goes up in smoke Dude! Here comes Sharon again, later."
"Ok fly fool, a call just came in from my old Hollywood hang " The Bald Feline " what on earth are you doing with famous pubic hair you pathetic grave robbing soul stealing lying ass moron?"
Blond meltdown? Barry Bonds set up?
Read about Fletcher Quill in earlier chapters:
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2006
For Dan Fallon's earlier
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