March 25th, 2002

Free Fly Fishing Help
By James Castwell

Let me say right off, I think it is perfectly alright and reasonable for some to charge for fly casting, fly tying and fly fishing lessons. There are those who actually make a living by doing this. Others have a large investment in equipment so as to provide good gear for others to learn on. There are many schools that also include some pretty good fishing as part of the course.

I also feel it is appropriate to charge for such information when the fees are being raised for some worthwhile charity or non-profit organization. Often these are used for stream improvement etc.

There has been a lot of discussion on the Bulletin Board and in the Chat Room lately about charging for this kind of thing, and like I said, under most situations, I feel it is a fair practice. But there is another side to this picture. It has to do with how our society has changed over the past years. How the individual family is constructed now compared with those in the past. How it was tighter knit then compared to now. How family members seem to be scattered all over the country as never before.

Uncles and grandfathers and dads were the teachers of the past. Most relatives lived closer than a long distance phone call, often in the same town, or at least, county. Those days are history, long gone probably forever. So just who is left to do this job? Good question. Is it up to you and me to take over and spend the hours and days indoctrinating our youngsters in the game? In a way, yes, I think it is. Why? If we don't do it, who will? It is not so much that parents don't care, heck, I think they care as much as at any time in our history, it is just that conditions do not present the opportunities, or in some cases, actually prevent them at all. There are more single parent families than any time in our history, too.

For myself, if I owned a fly-shop I would not charge for casting or fly-tying lessons. I think the more I could teach, the more would buy rods and materials from me and think I was a nice fellow. I know not all feel this way and I am not suggesting they are wrong. But we have started something here on the Bulletin Board they may not approve of. A new section called Free Fly Fishing Help.

This is a place for anyone who would like to help with instruction, at no charge, to list their names, email, city, state, and perhaps phone number. Some of you may be professional 'Certified Casting Instructors,' the majority will not be. However, I am sure, those of you placing your names on the list will be dedicated and caring folks who will do a wonderful job for anyone who decides to take you up on the instruction. When you list the subject, add the name of your state like this example, (Michigan), or abbrev., (MI)

It would be wonderful if there appears thousands of names, guys and gals from not just the U.S.A. but all over the world, willing to take a hand, and with the watchful eye of a father, grandfather or uncle, place a fly rod in it. And teach.

As I write this I see that several of you have already listed your name and what you are willing to help with. Our sincere thanks, it is not surprising you already have offered. We can do this; we can bring the family back together.

We knew that if we built it. . . ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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