This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
May 15th, 2006

Where's The Kids?

Several people at the Central Washington Fish-In last weekend in Ephrata asked about the kids who have been present at previous fish-ins there.

One who was asked about most often is Jonathan, known as FFB and other various names. His dad Bob, a music teacher in the public schools, was not a fisherman, much less a fly fisher. He made a point of getting Jonathan to Ephrata and did the whole camping bit with him. Bob hadn't camped before either. Steve "Z" took them on a float trip on the Yakima and got dad fishing as well. Good stuff.

Over the years we've had a number of kids who were active on the Bulletin Board or Chat Room and most acquired enough gear and knowledge to catch fish. FAOL is an information site after all, and from our email we know there are other young folks here who don't post. We hope we give them what they need to start out. One of the newbees went on to be on the American Youth Fly Fishing team. Of course he is now an expert and has surpassed his mind anyway.

Some have taken up fly tying and rod building as well, which in our minds speaks well of them and us.

But kids do 'go away.' It isn't anything specific to FAOL which causes them to disappear. Most have found us before they have their own driver's license or wheels. When they reach the age of driving, they are off. Maybe fishing, but more likely they discover girls at about the same time. It's hard to compete with hormone-driven passion, no matter how good the fishing is.

One of the boys from Canada started up his own fly tying company. His dad is a web developer and created a website for him. We noticed he showed up in the Chat Room again the other night. So they come and go - we do have a few young men who frequent the Bulletin Board now.

The interesting part is once learned, fly fishing is 'in there.' We receive email from folks all the time who fly fished early in their lives and stopped. Usually it's the same story, school, marriage, lack of fishing opportunities, kids, house, college and now they have the time and money to get back to fly fishing.

Usually they are quite surprised at the improvement in gear, especially rods. When one started out with a fiberglass Wonder Rod, the new graphite rods can be a shock. A man wrote recently saying he still had his old fly box and wondered if the flies would still catch fish. I told him most of the old flies are still 'standards' and by all means fish them.

A common question is about what rod they have. Many were acquired before the current AFTAMA standards for line to rod weights were started. The questions are what rod do I have, what is an HDH etc? Thankfully we have a chart which lays that out and we can help.

Then there are these:

I just got my first fly rod in 40 years. I fished a fly in the 1950s in the rivers and streams of Northern California, Mt Shasta. After joining the service I layed down the fly rod. The kids are raised now the last one goes off to collage in August and it's time to go back to the fly rod. I live in S. Florida and do alot of trips thru Central America. I have a 9ft 8wt and go after bass in ponds around our home and looking forward to our next trip to Central America. I am just learning to cast again and I enjoy casting and learning that catching fish which is just a little bonus. I surf a lot at work and found your site to be the best.

Thank you for your web site! I just found it a few days ago and already have learned a few things. I am now trying them out.

Thanks again!!!

49 year old beginner!!!
Put them back where they the water!

I am new to fly fishing and belong to a club here in Ontario, Canada. I have used your directions for tying fly's for the last three years. I find them very informative and up to date. Keep up the good work.


Regardless of age, background or even country (we now have 137 countries reading FAOL each month) we provide the best in fly fishing information for all who come here. We hope the young folks who have wandered off to have a life retain what they learned here. When the time is right they'll return to the joy and challenges they found in fly fishing.

And just maybe they'll pass it on. ~ The LadyFisher

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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