Swedish version

Dan Fallon's World of Fly fishing

Column nr. 8 2007  


Fly Fishing With The Dark Poet

  Smells of Turkish pipe tobacco and old leather fill my mind when I think back to the quiet moments when my Grandfather would read either "The Conqueror Worm" or Edgar Allan Poe’s classic "Israfel".... Fire sparks flying , wind howling while my best friend Gramps tied endless examples of his favorite flies, sipped single malt scotch... I felt special being allowed into his fly fishing tying study and even as a little kid was proud to be asked! During one of these extended blissful evenings he asked me, "Danny boy did I ever tell you the tale of your Great Grand Father Col. Black Jack Fallon and the poor Poet Edgar Allan Poe?"

"It was the Poet’s 21st Birthday celebrated at a special gathering hosted by our illustrious ancestor in 1828. Poe was born in 1809 died in 1849 poor as a church mouse they say. He was dressed like a pauper died under mysterious circumstance.... His last words were, "Lord help my poor soul!". Now I’m getting way a head of this tale Danny California, hand me that fine Marabou feather, no the black one."

"As I recall old poor poet Poe as my old man used to refer to him had just bought a beat up old handmade red manzanita fly rod. He was excited to maybe start catching his supper instead of going with out because of his general poverty struck condition which he could not seem to shake. He tried getting a literary magazine started called Stylus but could not raise the revenue. He did publish poems and was becoming known young poet. Only problem was the age old problem all young poets run into, poverty. Raise your nose Danny San Francisco and smell, smell that musty poor scarce old odor boy? That is another poor poets soul going up in smoke as it pass’s through the pearly gates and St. Peter queries him, "So Mr. Poet, did you write any important poems that changed peoples lives for the better?"

"Gramps were they out on some river or stream when this alleged cornversation, I mean conversation supposedly took place Sir?"

"You questioning your dear old Grand Pappy’s Irish understanding of the naked truth there Danny Boy? Good thing we been teaching you how to Box with that mouth of your’s your gonna need a fast good right upper cut to start with."

"No I ain’t questioning your verisimilitude Gramps!"

"What the hell was that word you just used? Say that again slowly and spell it college boy!"

"Ok get back to the story, so they weren’t out on some smoky perfect chalk stream throwing dry flies like Brad Pitt when he was letting that river run through him?"

"They were in upstate New York on a creek near a little hamlet called Hamburg. Brook Trout were abundant and rising to tiny size 22 Mosquito’s tied neat and pretty with just enough black and white to really drive the Brookies wild. In fact they wrote a poem together about that long quite morning catching glistening golden Brookies and reciting Shakespear."

"Your saying they wrote a poem together, your telling me I have a relative who hung out with, fly fished, and wrote poetry with Edgar Allan Poe, man I got another obtuse, bizarre doctoral dissertation Gramps, outstanding...."

"I’m afraid once again Mr. College boy you underestimated gramps! They also created and tied a special fly named " Poe’s Recluse Spider" a long hackled spider like pattern which I will tie for your edification right now."

"Copacetic Gramps that’s right and I ‘m sure you recall in absolute high literary articulation every historic fly fishy word right?"

"My my, my worthless son your worthless father never would have even questioned this rather astonishing high historical fly fishy rant.... But, what we have here is a perfect case of what Sherlock Holmes had he lived in this era would call Genetic-Generation-Skippage or G.G.S. Syndrome Bright Boy...... Yes as poor still young, but all ready well known poet Poe whined into your ancestors sympathetic ear something like this transpired." Thanks so much Col. Fallon , I know I’m washing out of West Point after all the trouble my family went to get the appointment, I go and mess up. Guess poor boy poets ain’t really cut for high official military type thinking. Hell I barely can stop watching birds fly and flowers bloom and pretty woman even though I’m married and such. You know I been trying every legit literary avenue available from that failed magazine Stylus to several other journals. Did make one magazine work, increased circulation 200 percent! Didn’t matter just like a fly in sticky spider web I lost the ball just before the goal line. My life has been a study in Spiderfication by way of spiderization and constant spidersplendor mixed in for good measure....."

"I like that Spider-Scape your working on Edger, how about you and me writing a spiderific type poem maybe little fly fishy thrown in, want to young poet, lets try shall we?"

"I think that is a spiderific suggestion sir, perhaps we should weave pardon the pun a new spider speak and while we do that I’ll try and invent a new spider dry fly pattern right here while we compose very spiderfiscous sonnets steeped in web like spiderverity! Yes that’s its heaping, dripping amounts of fly fishy spiderverity..."


Weightless silent movement in dark musty places the Sun only dreams.
Spiderific moments of pure glee as rising Brook Trout gently slurp wiggling long legs. Dancing spider spirals in endless arabesques, Spiderflying hungry fish mesmerized by the spider splendor performed with great dainty danggling spiderfication...

Only fairies and demons can follow trails left by spinning spideriferous spidererections fooling helpless humans and trout. Wiggling dancing spiny legs each controlled by its own hand of fate.... Spiderflycation spins its silent web before entering the fishs belly....

Poe’s Recluse Spider

Hook: 18/22 Dry Fly Barbless.

Thread: Dark red silk tied fat for spider belly effect! Twist four loops of thin copper wire.

Tail: Light tan colored Pheasant tips.

Body: Light orange very thin silk tying thread, be careful use sparingly Pilgrim’s.

Hackle: Extra long combed and fussed over light brown hackle, has to be very long and tied carefully as it will come apart if fished hard without careful glue/tie work...

***** This fly tested, it is sweet and fast.


© Phil Frank 2002

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

  As the jet copter moves into California airspace jagged still wild looking coastline begin it’s ancient mesmerization... Cell calls hit Quill like protesters in Crawford Texas.

"General Quill is that you Jarhead?"

"That’s affirmative Duke, where the hell are you and when do we hook up?"

"I’m out at the zoo where we will pow wow on all things military, copy Dude?" (http://www.sfzoo.org/ go to Grizzly Gulch link.)

"Copy that, we are ready to land on top of my Sea Cliff Mansion, look boys see that wild ass pink monstrosity on the corner, that palace is Robin Williams crib. Love that man! Ok take this beast down and lets get this party started..."

  Wisps of grey colored fog dance among the cities most historic mansions placed like rare tea cups at the edge of San Francisco’s Bay entrance. Once home to those who brought home great treasures and built palaces that challenge the worlds finest personel fortune tombs. Quill’s digs are just across from the Golden Gate Bridge, he bought the property from his main squeeze the noted vamp/actress Sharon Stone who lived there with her X hubby a struggling paper boy. Quill and his mates land smoothly as neighbors barely notice.

"Quill old Dawg, this your crib Dude??

"Affirmative Glimmer Twin, almost as nice as your Barbados Hang. Wait till we roll into the brand new recording studio! It ain’t just friggin digital, I got The Grateful Dead’s own sound men to replicate their infamous wall of sound. We be rockin hard I and I.. Pro-Tools just did a fine tune, we be rockin."

  Quill’s resident staff welcome the rarely seen master and his crew with servings of his favorite Irish Single Malt Glinlivet while an endless loop of old school Chicago down and dirty blues create an atmosphere designed to allow his best pals Keith Richards, the spirit 666 and soon General Parker to feel right at home...

"Wonderful to see your healthy Sir, you have a myriad of messages many from General Parker. OH almost forgot his highness our illustrious boy Mayor wants to pay a visit with one or two of the cities supervisors. Also a registered letter came from the Dept of Motor Vehicles."

"Keith, Dude look at this the Cowboy came through, a special international diplomatic life time license. Man, when we fire up the F1 at three in the morning we will be clean as Ophra’s barbecue plate baby! No offense love her, she gets people to read Dude!"

"Franklin did Marin Ferrari do the special tune up I requested? More important did those packages from Bear Owsley arrive yet?"

"Yes Sir, Mr. Owsley has also left a DVD he would like you to peruse Sir. Here are the packages, such odd color schemes remind me of the 1960s.."

"Keith look at this Dude, pure undiluted and from the magic wizard himself. What say we sample like now Dude!"

"Bottoms up old Mate. Reminds me of when Mick and I gave Charley and Ronnie a little booster before we went on stage in Moscow last year. I turned and looked at Ronnie about half way through "Under My Thumb" and his eyes were completely dilated and he was gone Dude. Took a quick peak at Charley as his hands moved faster then that new guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepard..... "

"Ok, all righty then after we start peaking its off to the Zoo to meet General Parker who also may wish to sample our little stash of Reality Twister."

"Hold it Mr. San Francisco you forgot the recording session and all the boys coming over hey?"

"Dam, your right, too much temptation in my City by the Bay. Quick lunch and then we break in the new recording studio, Santana and Kenny Wayne ought to be showing up soon, maybe Charlie Musslwhite. Man, we need some horns Keith?

Staff whispers, "Our illustrious cover boy mayor has arrived with only one not to be trusted stupidvisor Sir!"

"Mr. Mayor or rather our little detox Mayor! You been taking care of my home crib sportsfan?"

"Easy now Quill, you were not exactly Mr. Rodgers in your day if I recall? This tea is delicious is it not Mr. Daylate"

"Fletcher what kind of tea is this? Has a vaguely metallic taste?"

"Little something Keith and I brought back special for my San Francisco brothers and sisters."

"Oh my was that your cat that just darted across the table or was that a flash of light?"

"Quill what the hell is in this tea? Did you dose us Dude?"

"Correct a Mundo my pathetic wannbe detox city leader. Time to hear what your favorite 5th generation bad ass Irish General thinks about what you and that pathetic fool Daylate sitting next to you have done to my beloved city. Listen carefully son only going run this dog one time and then the brain food will take over. You and those other idiots our boring ass Board of Stupidvisors have finally pissed me off. You allowed those two wild Coyotes in Golden Gate Park to be shot and killed because owners of over weight brain dead domestic apartment imprisoned dogs were being bothered. You dumb sons a bitches. Here it is quick and sweet, better take notes fool"

"Just a minute I don’t have to take this from anyone!"

  General Quill launches the Boy Mayor against the wall and moves within a half of an inch of his pretty face and explains in detail the situation...

"Shut up Butthead!. If you and these other so-called civic servants think your immune , the penny stops right here. I have a folder on all your lovely exploits fool, drugs, hookers, kick backs, back room deals, wealthy local family connections, its prettttty stinky Amigo! The whole friggin enchilada Cowboy."

  Quill slides the manila envelope under the boy mayors shaking under developed arm thin arm...

"Now take your Armani clad ass out of here with your court jester. This will be perfect light reading while your hanging out at local watering holes looking for your next squeeze. You will not run for mayor again, if at any time I get wind of another incredibly stupid move of yours Mr. Moron, it will be By By time comprende Amigo? One last thing for you two public fingers to chew on, Daylate if I hear that out of control uneducated, uncouth, mouth of yours spew one more foolish thought? I will have no choice but to expose your lovely past as well, you got the picture Sportsfan?"

  Fletcher has the whole meeting on taped on VCR and hands the shaken public servant a copy as the Brain altering hits high gear. The mayor very slowly finds his way out into the foggy city Quill loves....

"Excuse me Sir it is your beloved on the Red Phone!"

"LaSharon my one and only and greatest of all blond loves up to and including all models, actress’s, and any other Blonds that have stumbled into my web.... oh how I miss that Perfect face and..."

"Nice start General Moron, remember Mr. American war hero, JYD, Junk Yard Dog with a hair trigger, blondaholic, fly fool, psychic idiot to the other ingrates who actually listen to your drivel. What do we do with the 86 pieces of world class Louis Vuitton ship board luggage our little Nasty Blond Felon brought along with her? It’s friggin everywhere I step blond thong panties, and security ankle bracelets, it’s insane me and Timba are getting the flock out of here flyfool!!!"

"How much of, "The View", Quattripple, and Coal Black - lattes are you slinging down girlfriend? Here is the proper road map for dealing with our little jail bird Paris. I have had staff stock all her favorite items; chewing gum, Sky Vodka, Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker Red & Black, Bushmills and a continues running loop of George Througreat singing, "I Drink Alone". If that fails we have her suite equipped with ten 70 inch plasma’s kicking out a medley of her greatest video hits including x rated......

"Now why don’t you be a loving big sister and give her one of those tiny Orange Barrels I keep in the freezer , that will take her on a 12 hour mystic tour with all the sensory overload I programed in to Raven’s Haven. Man, I miss you, Timba, may castle. Be home in four days then off to another serious bad ass Marine shoot out with General parker who sends his love, gotta run, kiss’s my sweet! Get some rest your going to need it!"

Is this the beginning of Quill’s fat Elvis period? Can Raven’s Haven survive Blondplosion?

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 
57  58 
59  60

Written by Dan Fallon 2007
Illustrations by Phil Frank © 2003
Photos by Dan Fallon © 2007

For Dan Fallon's earlier and later columns; visit the table of contents


Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



To get the best experience of the Magazine it is important that you have the right settings
Here are my recommended settings

Please respect the copyright regulations and do not copy any materials from this or any other of the pages in the Rackelhanen Flyfishing Magazine.

© Mats Sjöstrand 2007

If you have any comments or questions about the Magazine, feel free to contact me.

Mats Sjöstrand

Please excuse me if you find misspelled words or any other grammatical errors.
I will be grateful if you contact
me about the errors you find.