April 6th, 2009

By James Castwell

"Well, mostly I just don't have anything that important to say." That's my response when, on the rare occasion, someone will ask me why don't I write a book. Another reason is that I respect books. Respect for them, and those who produce them, was drummed into my little noggin at a very early age. Actually it was my fathers mother who first started on me. She would read to me when I was very young and would encourage me to try to become a writer when I grew up. Bless old Nellie, I tried lady, but just did not quite make it.

There might be a few exceptions; some things important enough to write about. There was a book that impressed me just a few years back written by a most remarkable gentleman from Chicago. Jim Chapralis was his name and the book is Fishing Passion.

Jim wrote so well that he could break the rules of writing, and not get caught at it. By that I mean, most authors will fill a whole volume with things just so they can get to the main point, the last chapter, sometimes just the last paragraph in a book.

Jim didn't. He hid his in the next to last chapter. Not that the rest of the book was not entertaining, informative and delightful, it most certainly was. Even on my short list of books worth reading more than once. I kind of stole this, but, "Some books are too valuable to read just once". But the meat, the heavy lifting was covered under I.C.S. The International Congress of Sportfishing. It was his dream, his goal, yes, it was his passion.

I am here going to break several rules of writing and ethics. If you are in any way connected to the Chicago Casting Club please let your friends there know about this flyanglersonline.com/features/casting/archive.php column. I am going to try to help Jim promote his passion once again. Why? Because I agree with him. I hope someday it can come to pass, that someone, somewhere, at sometime can head up such an organization. If I and other writers will keep reminding folks every so often, it may have a chance of fruition. Without it, it won't.

Jim's idea was roughly this. We need one central organization of sportfishing. Hunting has one, the N.R.A. We need a collective voice to get our message out loud and clear and united. Not that each of our separate fishing and fly fishing groups are not necessary and are not effective. They are. But we need one collective group that covers it all. One strong, united opinion and voice. One truly 'International Congress of Sportfishing.'

If you don't already own the book, look it up and get your copy. Then, read it. Especially the next to last chapter on the I.C.S. Here is Deanna's review of the book on our http://www.flyanglersonline.com/review/week235.php web site.

We were very honored to have known Jim and the casting world lost a great promoter when he passed. We spent many hours discussing fly casting and many of the other elements of fly fishing with him. In some small way I would like to think that we might help to carry on a bit of his message and a hope for an organization which will represent each of us and collectively protect all of the interests of the sportfishing world. ~ James Castwell

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Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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