We are getting quite a few new folks here on FAOL; some on the Bulletin Board,
some in the Chat Room and some just writing us e-mails. It is normal, it's
spring! Many have not even reached the point where they can ask the right
questions, let alone understand most of the answers. Not a slam, they are
just new and they know it. They struggle with the most basic of questions,
one of which is, "Should I join some organization?" In a word, yes. Yes
"Well, why should I and what do I get?" That is the subject of this column. And
it has been one of the things we have advised over the years of teaching as well.
The main reason, is it will help to keep a 'newby' focused for twelve months
straight. Most organizations have a magazine which contains something for
nearly everyone. This approach helps the organization provide interest for
all of it's members, and continued revenue. This variety will serve most anyone
who is not only new to the sport but involved to the hilt. Something for everyone,
gosh, what more could the 'newby' want.
I usually advise, try any of the organizations, T.U., F.F.F. or whatever appeals
to them. Beside being focused, a person will have the feeling of belonging, that
is a good thing, tends to make one responsible. There are always the patches
and decals which accompany membership, they are good too for many reasons.
The money spent for dues probably goes for some good use, we all hope and
believe it does at least.
After a year of membership, take a look at where you are and see if you
want to continue, change outfits, or drop them all together. Either way, you
will have received your moneys worth for that critical first year. You will
have learned and advanced faster than you would have if you had not joined
up with something. Local clubs and groups are fine things to check out, most
of us have some group moderately nearby which hold meetings for many
reasons. Nearly all of those meetings are designed to help everyone attending.
Often they are the 'old-timers' helping the 'newbys.'
So, it's spring, you have some fly fishing gear and only a fair clue what
you are supposed to do with it. Welcome to fly-fishing, we all started
there; most of us lived through it. It's kinda like puberty, you're all fired
up and don't know for sure what to do. Spend a few bucks, join
something, it will help, lord knows, ya need it.
~ James Castwell