Dan Fallon Fly Fishing Article Column 1 2013
Wyatt Earp Fly Fisher
William James Fallon born in San Francisco in 1900 grew up in a city transitioning from a quaint West Coast Port where sailors, actors, poets, scoundrels and a host of America’s most famous frontier characters like the legendary Terror Of Tombstone Wyatt Earp came to play. My Grandfather had only one job his entire 106 years, working for the California Ink Company in San Francisco California.
During his 65 working years he became a Principle in a trade that enabled him to mix with and become friends with people like the famous Earp who loved to hunt and fish. According to my Grand, Dad Earp was a frequent San Francisco visitor coming from or heading to Alaska in his later years. A truly historical Bar named Molly’s that still exists in the tiny town of Colma near San Francisco was a hangout for Wyatt Earp when William Fallon and he hung out.
On two occasions they decided to take a Boat to Marin County (very wide open space in those long ago days..) spending much time working the creeks and waters near the coast for days at time. This particular trip took place circa 1920s when Earp was still relatively young and still half crazy remarked my Grand Father....
"Wyatt what’s your poison my friend?"
"Love this old bar, Hell reminds me of Saloon’s back home in Tombstone William. Molly’s has a history of loose woman, little gambling, and one or two fist fights hey Bar keep?"
"You ought to know Earp, I recall your last visit ended with you jerking that rusty ass six gun and planting it some young fools face Sheriff! This first round is on me and the House, maybe we better take your photo before you fade into the Sunset? Where you boys headed?"
"We hired a boat to cross the Bay into the Headlands and chase trout with Willy’s Manzanita Fly Rods he makes, hey Willy!"
"We better get to it pretty quick, that horse and buggy may show up any time Wyatt. Take us round three hours to get to the Bay pick up pier..."
After several hours on horseback Earp and my Grand Dad found several mountain spring fed creeks now on private expensive property and settled in for three days of fly fishing true wilderness close to San Francisco.
"Looks like your none the worse for the Bay Crossing Fallon, you ain’t no sailor Irishmen! How many of these little flies do you have? I get bites on every cast."
"Got a bunch I tied. How are your family and friends back home after the OK Corral gets further behind you Sheriff?"
"Some stories start telling themselves after while I guess Fallon. Every time I read another man’s version It gets more ridiculous! Was a bad day that all concerned deeply regret! Lost a Brother."
"People call you a Heroic man Wyatt. In my mind the day you held off a large angry crowd who wanted to lynch your Prisoner alone defined your character Sheriff ! That one minute you were a real Hero!"
"How much good do you imagine that does for me and my family when we have empty chairs come Christmas Willy?"
"Doc Holliday was some kind of six gun slinger Sir. People will be writing about you and the OK Corral shoot out for many years I expect. Lets try another section of this creek before Supper."
Written by Dan Fallon © 2013