This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

February 14th, 2005


It has been an interesting week. We knew a preacher years ago, who when presented with a particularly unattractive baby, (and not wanting to insult the proud parents) would smile and say, "My, what an interesting baby!"

It hasn't been THAT bad, but busy with an twist and turn or two.

We got to see some of our Sponsors, and that is always great! There were also a few of our FAOL folks there who we haven't seen in a while, so that's a real treat too. Not as good as fishing, but it sure beats being chained to the computer seven days a week. By the way, the picture on the front page is one of our Sponsors, Yellow Dog Travel! We never did get to visit with them, they were really busy every time we came by!

A few high lights. We have been asked about a particular entry level cane fly rod which one of our Sponsors, Elkhorn is selling. I 'wiggled' it a year ago, but did not have an opportunity to cast it - mostly because the casting pond was booked with programs and finding a spot to actually cast was very tough. The situation this year wasn't much better, but I did make a point to make time to get on the casting pond. The rod I cast was the 7 ft., 4 weight, 2 piece with an extra tip and nicely finished. The normal retail price of the rod is $595. So how did it cast? Just dandy! For the person wanting to try cane? Go for it. By way, the show special price was $325. How could you go wrong? You might check to see if Elkhorn is going to be at a show in your area. I can't guarantee what price any of the rods will be, but I do know the 5 wts. were all gone by 10:00 am on Saturday. It's hard to argue against purchasing a brand new cane rod when the price is equal or less than a graphic rod.

We also took the Cortland Sylk line along on a reel for a couple of folks to cast who had not yet had an opportunity to see or cast one. The response was the same from all - very pleasantly surprised! We understand at least one company is already trying to reverse engineer the line so they can come out with one of the same type. That is a real compliment to Cortland. Also a good indication that the line companies realize the cane 'facination' is more than a passing fad. Even better for the folks who really love cane rods. Wait until you try one on a graphite rod.

Another good thing this past week, you will be seeing three new Sponsors soon here on Fly Anglers OnLine. Good companies who we have been trying to bring on board for some time. We are delighted to welcome them to the FAOL family of Sponsors. We have also re-designed our Sponsor page, so if you haven't checked that out recently you might take a look.

We did spend just a few minutes with A. K. Best - I've talked with him on a phone, exchanged emails with him, but yesterday was the first 'in person' meeting. He is as charming as I expected. I was surprised to learn he checks out FAOL twice a day, and we are the first thing he reads Monday. He has new book coming out, and we'll keep an eye out for that too.

Castwell did treat me to a very nice dinner in Seattle before we took the ferry back home, so it was a nice close to the day. Don't let anyone know, (I don't want to ruin his image) but he quite often brings dinner home when I've been busy so I don't have to cook, and it's not from the fast food joints either.

A good-sized bunch of folks are headed for Florida for the Fish-In down there, in fact, some have already made it according to the posts on the Bulletin Board. We expect to hear from them this week with a blow-by-blow report on who caught what. Should be a great time! Since we've got a bunch of rain forecast here (and I see snow in the east) I guess we can envy them without anyone complaining much. Enjoy it folks!

We've had an unusually large amount of email, some from of out of the country asking about Al Campbell, and we've done out best to answer their questions and help them to get email to Al. For those who haven't followed the posts on the Bulletin Board, Al is headed for Great Falls, MT on Tuesday for a week or so to see his family up there while he is able. So if you don't see any posts by him on the Bulletin Board, or if you have emailed him, don't expect a reply for a while. Our 'normal' email here is several hundred a day, and it's been doubled recently. If I haven't responded to yours, forgive me, I will get to it.

I've also been contacted by a couple of folks who stumbled onto my articles on my old summer home in Michigan. One has moved back there and is putting together a web page to try and connect folks who lived there. Turns out his family lived on the same street my grandparents did, just down the block. Small world, connected by the Internet.

That's been our week here - hope yours has at least been 'interesting' as well. ~ DLB

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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