|Column nr.9 2002|
| Powell Bamboo Takes
Last Bite Out Of Alaska Part# 2
The Raven aka Louie Gonzales my guide and I had loads of laughs while catching and releasing numbers of silvers and bows with lots of chums and Dolly Varden mixed in. Waking each morning and knowing various local bears had most likely come within a hundred yards of the homestead lodge was a major part of the Lake Marie fly/thrill package.
This Alaskan wilderness adventure dedicated to Walt Powell and his masterful skills, as both an accomplished international fly-fishing legend and keeper of the treasured secrets used to handcraft tough fighting, yet artistically pleasing Bamboo Fly Rods. The little 4/5/6 weight Powell Bamboo held its own taking down everything from 20-pound chums, big silvers, and many rainbows. All guides have their own twist to the final dressing of the flies used and featured at Lake Marie. Its usually a variation on either an Egg Sucking leach or one of the very loud marabou feathered bright chenille bodied Salt Water type flies. These flies can be viewed via Lake Maries website at www.Lakemarie.com or call John or Dave Wilson at (907) 333-3477. The flies are gaudy to look at and have quite flamboyant showbiz qualities to be appreciated by those who love to tie their own flies.
My everyday fly set up was simple. I alternated with 4/6/10 pound leader material only as tippets are not needed in this part of Alaska. In fact perfect presentation and any kind of real sophisticated casting or catching experience is not needed. It is actually landing fish that is the trick
The flies were all weighted and at times different colored sliding red, orange colored beads were used with split shot a couple of feet above the fly. We fished in areas where you simply threw the big fly and waited maybe five seconds for it to drop far enough, and then slowly or quickly mended in line at differing speeds. The action was non-stop all week long. One or two periods of no action followed by a short boat ride into non-stop arm ripping big ocean run silvers, serious bows, an unbelievable trip was echoed by all clients and guides. Moments of insane bliss go home with me after this trip to remote Alaska, Bald Eagles, Swans and countless migrating bird species dot the sky. Bird watchers, nature lovers Mecca out in the middle of nowheres ville my friends
If you or someone you know thinks learning how to fly fish in a place where you will catch more fish more quickly then perhaps anywhere you will ever fly fish again interests you cowboy? Start your career in the Brotherhood Of The Long Rod by booking a trip to this wild game fish explosion called Lake Marie Alaska. I have been here in June when fifty-pound kings rule the waters, great time to move your fly fishing bar up about five thousand notches. This is very serious ten weight fly rod man against large beast kings action not to be missed. The newest twist in the lake Marie bag of fly tricks is John "Surface Popper" " Wilsons off the wall, but deadly surface dry fly hunting silvers with impressive skill and much faster action then Sub surface fly work. I witnessed John who is the other brother of the infamous Wilson Brothers break new ground! John has devised special flies and techniques that have allowed him to fool Silver Salmon with great accuracy both sight fishing and in semi silty waters with absolute success (see lake Marie Website) Yes, thats right me hardies, who think you have seen and done it all type fly fishers. Sight fishing and dry fly surface work that produces unbelievable slamming surface action on Silver Salmon up to ten pounds!! I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. Hats off to " Surface Popping John Wilson one of the new Alaskan breed of innovators risk takers, salmon masters. On another note, Alaskan newspapers feature local state stories that lower forty-eight journalists only dream of!
"White Spirit Bear Wins Protection"
Larry Campbell, who writes for Associated Press, published this feature in the Anchorage Daily News www.and.com on August 24th, 2002. It seems a rare white colored black bear got a last minute reprieve from the Alaskan Board Of Game. An emergency closing of all " White Phase " black bears in the Juneau area. This timely exemption is directed at one particular bear spotted and photographed by Pat Costello. Costellos website at www.juneauphotos.com was bombarded with e-mails from around the world expressing grave concern for the rare white bear. This special bear is creamy white with a raccoon mask and now has a world wide following. South East Alaskan Biologists say they have never seen another bear like Spirit Bear.
This little taste of Alaskan soft heartedness makes me think of the famous A.E. Houseman Poem " Infant Innocence" " The Grizzly Bear is huge and wild; He has devoured the infant child. The infant child is not aware it has been eaten by the bear."
(It gives me great pleasure to introduce a new partner in the ongoing adventures of "Fletcher Quill". The internationally known syndicated cartoonist who created the comic strip "Farley" 27 years ago. Phil Frank will be illustrating this fly serial beginning this update. Phils humor has appeared in many venues including illustrating the book "The Trout, The whole Trout and nothing but the Trout" See Phils "Farley" comic strip featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Welcome aboard Phil)
Timba and Quill are burning the Irish midnight oil in the castle tower fly tying room. Fletcher has much work to do with back orders of rare flies and the big fly peace trip coming up. Solar energy panels on the castle roof collect and save enough energy to light the tying room until the wee hours. Six custom fly tying vices adorn an antique monks dining table turned into a tying bench, Row after row after box after box of exotic rare feathers garnered from archeological digs around the world keep Quill well stocked. He usually has all six vices going at once with either his legendary killer streamer patterns or the occasional dry fly.
A laptop monitor is connected to a camera to aid Quills middle-aged eyes. Timba has his own favorite feathers he keeps throwing around the room. Timba loves the tying room with all the bright colored materials, especially the cache of feathers. Orders worth many thousands need to be filled before Fletcher can write his monthly fly column. A new solid gold rotary vice that allows the vice head to rotate at any speed helps quicken the work pace. Timba suddenly stiffens and launches toward the castle window staring across the water. "Whats up old friend? Another surprise visitor of course! Here at Disney World, man, getting tired of the no call show up when ever syndrome my furry Egyptian friend". Timba has begun to track a lighter than air rare Mongolian Ostrich feather Quill keeps dropping from the twisting stairwell that Dunluce Castle has been famous for. Famous since Alexander the Greats Great grand son visited and stayed in the same suite our next house guest, The real deal Whitehouse fly fisher Slick "my hearts always in it" Brainy
A black CIA type chopper approaches and lands on the roof helo pad. Its Vice President Slick Brainy with enough baggage to keep Gretchen Moll happy " Welcome to my humble abode Mr. Brainy, I have arranged for you to stay in St. Patricks Suite, right this way. "Fletcher, heard a lot about you and your fly adventures, semi legal rare flies and a widely read monthly fly column. You got it made way out here in no mans land. Love this castle, how about the tour? You know I just left New York City after attending a funeral for a noted writer artist you may have heard of Charles Henri Ford, heard of him Quill?" "Oh yes, that poet who was editor of Little Magazine Blue founded in 1929. Lovely smart man Ford was. His other magazine "View" was a Mecca for surrealists. "I spoke with a guy who said Mr. Ford was a fan of yours Quill, read your monthly column, as an adjunct to his outdoor surrealist thirst was what the fellow said. It seems like your work reaches out to many worlds. I suppose thats why "The Cowboy" thinks you and I can move this stalemated Middle East Rubiks Cube".
Hanging With The V.P.
Im thrilled to help my country sir, tell me, is that your own personal six ship battle group I see floating out my window? "Indeed it is, its good to be almost king! I may have my own personal traveling Battle Group Fletch, but I dont have sweet little female rock stars knocking at my door?" "Ahh, perks of the game I guess, been wondering how much input you had with the cowboy on this peace fly trip scheme?" Guess you know whom the real Whitehouse Fly maniac is hey Quill? We have spent much time trying to convince the inner circle of advisors why this peace fly trip idea might be the answer. In every instance, diplomats do their give and take in as neutral a place as possible. We think one necessary ingredient has been missing. Fun, and adventure may cause these guys to drop their guards and come into a more reasonable common ground. Makes perfect sense to me as I mentioned to the President many months ago. So, we have the basic itenerary and I have been tying a mess of special streamers and dry flies just for this trip. Thinking about naming and presenting each negotiator his own unique fly? "Excellent, lets start in your tying room, man I been waiting like Federal Prosecutors drooling about poor Parffa Whoweirds insider trading mess". "I have the utmost sympathy for that creative gal, wonder if she fly fishes?" "What about the guide situation for the peace trip, who have you corralled so far? I have to have them all cleared before we are good to go."
Red Rocker on board
Reminds me of that little cartoon Raven that stars in my hometown newspaper. Oh yeah, that cartoonist dude whats his name Pill Thrill, Chill Hill, whats is that guys name?" "You mean the guy who has the strip called Harley or Knarley. That Raven sure seems at home on the castle roof, that raven is a hometown bird. This Raven seems a bit too at home and wants to hang with Timba?"
Stay tuned for Quill & Timbas December Adventures
(To be continued)
Written by Dan
Fallon © 2002
For Dan Fallon's earlier
and later columns; visit the table