Outdoor Writers Association of America
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

March 27th, 2000

You're Invited!

Consider this your hand delivered, personal Invitation! Sorry, it's as close as I get get.

You may have read about the FAOL Fish-In 2000 on this website, perhaps even given some thought to going. But . . .

Well maybe you thought it was just for a 'special' group - or it was some big organized thing where you had to register, pay a fee, attend certain functions and decided it just wasn't your sort of thing.

If that was the case, I wouldn't be going either!

The neat thing about fly fishers is we are all family of sorts. Any time you get more than three of us together we are talking about what we fish, how we fish, where to fish . . . fishing stuff! The first time we had a Fish-In we really didn't intend to have one at all. It just happened. Folks met up with us in West Yellowstone, we fished together, had a picnic or two stream-side and had a great time. By the time we got home from that trip Al Campbell (Host AC) had decided the next Fish-In was going to be in the Black Hills. A couple of local guys helped him do the planning and about 37 folks showed up in Hill City, SD! We had a couple of meals together (one really planned) shared some campfires, tied some flies (Al Campbell did a tie-to-order demo one night after fishing) saw some slides and FISHED! There were unplanned events like sharing brook trout cooked over a fire and a tying lesson by Coleman lantern! We met some great folks and had a wonderful time. Really was nice to be able to put faces on some of the names we knew from the Chat Room - and of course just to meet and visit with everyone. See the photos from last years Fish-In.

Even before that Fish-In happened, some folks in the East decided the Fish-In 2000 would be in the East! Ron Koenig (Host Osprey) gathered a few people to help. The place chosen because of the availability of the variety of water to fish is the Nittney Valley, State College PA.

For JC and I it is a chance to fish some of the traditional water we have read about all our lives. Since we really don't have much for trout water where we live, we will very much enjoy fishing our small rods for real trout who eat insects! The way fly fishing is supposed to be.

What is different about a FAOL Fish-In is everyone is really on their own. There will be a no-host get-acquainted breakfast on Monday morning May 1st and a closing dinner on Sat. night. Both of those are optional, in fact everything at the Fish-In is optional! It's just a bunch of folks who all read Fly Anglers OnLine who will get together to fish and share some comradeship. You are responsible for your own reservations, meals, travel and how many fish you catch or lose. There are no fees to FAOL for anything.

There are a few things planned, including a local tying expert Dave Rothrock doing a slide presentation, tying demo and short talk about the local creeks to bring everyone up to speed the evening of May 1st, The Fly Tying Competition will be held from 9 to 12 at Fly Fishers Paradise in State College on Wednesday, May 3, an open to the public event, a Cane roundtable on Weds. evening - after fishing, and the casting competition on Sat. morning at 9:00 We had a casting competition at the last Fish-In and it was a great success! This one should be even better. Ron Kusse is in charge of the Casting Competition, and there are even medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, plus some surprises. Check the Fish-In 2000 on the Bulletin Board for more on that soon.

Two local fly fishing organizations, The Spring Creek TU group and the Penn State college fly fishing group have offered to help - and I can't imagine anyone who wants to fish not having a buddy to fish with if he chooses.

For those who wish to camp, a variety of campgrounds are available and listed on the accommodations page. Various bed and breakfast, hotel and motels as also listed on the same page. The Holiday Inn in Milesburg has given the FAOL group a discount rate of $50 per night, the phone number and person to call is listed on the Bulletin Board (under Fish-In 2000 info) as well.

JC and The LadyFisher

We sold our camping gear some ten years ago or more, so we will be staying at the Holiday. Besides, flying with waders and rods is bad enough, I can just see us with camping gear too! I just hope the Holiday has a good coffee pot and a hook-up for my lap-top!

JC and I cordially invite you to come and fish! There are no rules which say you have to stay the whole week, and if you can make it for a day or two great! Please make a point of introducing yourself to us, we would love to meet you. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. ~ LadyFisher

P.S. There is a rumor that J Castwell and the LadyFisher will hold a casting clinic for folks interested in improving their casting. Free of course!

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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