March 26th, 2001

By James Castwell

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 you should.

"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

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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