This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

January 20th, 2003

I'm Going Fishing!

I hate to shop. Christmas is alright, because that's for others. But shopping for myself is not something I enjoy. I know there are those who love it, but it always seems like a terrible waste of time. I do like grocery shopping, farmers markets, and hardware stores. Shopping for clothes or shoes is the worse.

This past week I made an attempt to find a couple of things for our upcoming trip. Most of my summer clothes are well worn, and to be perfectly honest, I spend most of my time connected to the Internet and working on some part of Fly Anglers OnLine. There are weeks when I don't leave our property. We really don't have much of a 'social' life - at least removed from FAOL. I wear comfortable stuff, jeans, denim skirts, sweaters, sheepskin lined suede clogs - not exactly 'resort wear.' I do have fishing clothes, probably more than some shops. We are also well outfitted for fishing - rods, reels, lines, flies - we have a couple hundred bonefish flies alone.

The fact that my husband, Castwell or JC (both the same guy), and I are going on a trip is nearly a miracle. This one is not FAOL related, (well on the other hand it is and we will write about it), but it is a vacation. We haven't had one in several years, and we were invited to spend a week on South Andros Island in the Bahamas. Yes, that means bonefish. We will be staying at what was known as Emerald Palms. Emerald Palms was owned by the Bahamian government and was purchased by a group which owns other resorts. It has been renovated, and some one and two-bedroom villas have also been built. The new name for the property is Ritz Beach Resort.

Anyway, I went through the closet and decided a needed a couple of things to be presentable at dinner, and for the one meeting we have while we are there (hmmmm, guess it is a working vacation?). Mid-January is between seasons, and spring/summer clothes aren't in the stores here yet, and probably by the time they are (in another month) we will be on a jet plane flying south. So I'll dig around and see what I can find to wear, but I can assure you, I won't be making any fashion statements. (Like I ever did?)

We've had an unusually warm winter even for the Northwest, so the trip is not so much to get away from the bad weather, as it is to go fish. And trust me, I need to go fish!

The winter steelhead are not returning in Washington state as expected, any salmon are few and far between and trout are a non-entity. Sure makes warm-water bonz very attractive. I really enjoy fishing for bonefish. It is a form of hunting, spotting and casting to fish - not blind casting and hope. The fish themselves are sleek, all muscle and produce magnificent runs. We have a standing joke with a friend that a 6 pound bonefish could pull the scales backwards off a 12 pound steelhead.

One of us will write more about what we are taking for gear later, it's about a month from now; we fly out on Thursday, February 20th and return on the 27th. If you look at a calendar you may notice we will be gone on a weekend. There will not be a new issue of FAOL that week. After over five years of not missing an issue, we will miss one. Not to be too worried however, there will enough in the previous week to keep everyone in reading material while we are gone. We will probably hang a "Gone Fishing" sign on the front page.

We are not taking the lap-top, Al Campbell will monitor the Bulletin Board in our absence, and I will put an automatic return message on my email. The bad part of that is coming back with several thousand emails to sort through.

JC and I are really looking forward to the trip, we have our tickets in hand - and we have set appointments for the next month at the electric beach (tanning salon) so we don't fry our bodies and ruin our vacation when we get there. Now if I could just lose about 15 pounds... ~ The LadyFisher

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