September 2nd, 2002

Membership in FAOL
By James Castwell

"Dear Sirs, I have been reading your site for some time now and would like to know how to become a member."

Well now, just what are we supposed to do with an email like that? And, not worded exactly as that one is, we get quite a few similar to it. We did create the 'Friends of FAOL,' for those who feel they would like to support our goals and that works for many, but a membership? In what? For Pete's sake, this is a web-site. But, perhaps there is a way.

What are we all trying to accomplish? Good clean water for fish for one thing. And honest information and instruction in fly-fishing is important. Creating a feeling of fraternity and comradeship are high on our agenda. Stewardship of the environment seems to come with any education in fly fishing too. We all become involved with the surroundings of where the fish live. We start to realize the difference between fishing and fly-fishing, the difference between catching fish and fishing for fish.

I think we mature in our concepts and attitudes, things like civility and concern for each other in a world which seems to be on a different course. As these things evolve we become members of many things, members of the world each of us creates for ourselves, our own private sanctuary. A few steps off to the side of the maddening pace. We join with others, who mostly will choose to fish in solitude, but more than willing to share any and all experiences with each.

A strange mix for sure, but each of us in our own way eagerly joins a nebulas group, a constantly changing, evolving and developing association, it's course dictated only by the enthusiasm and newly created materials of the day. Just as each season changes the bends and rifles of all streams, so too, the makeup of any fraternity of fly-fishers is ever-changing. As one becomes a fly-fisher one also becomes a member of FAOL. The goals are inseparable.

You want to be known as a fly-fisher? Buy some gear and go stand in a stream. Want to be a member of FAOL? By merely wishing to do so, you already are. There are no dues, no officers, no rules and no requirements. We are all equal, involved, hard-working, conscientious, learning, teaching, sharing and bound by a single thread. We are world-wide, we are the guy next door, we are all here for each other.

We are all fly-fishers, we are all members of fly-fishing.
~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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