fraternity: 1. The state or quality of being brothers; fraternal relationship or spirit;
brotherliness 2. A group of men (or, rarely, women) joined together by common interests, for
fellowship, etc; specif., a Greek-letter college organization 3. a group of people with the same
beliefs, interests, work, etc. (the medical fraternity.)
Pick any or all of the above, your choice. This is what this
website is all about. It is the essence of fly fishing. It is what existed some 20
years ago, for the most part what local fly fishing organizations were formed for,
and what many have stopped doing.
There are exceptions to that of course, some of our readers talk about wonderful
fly tying groups, cane rod making, trips to local streams as a group outings, and
programs getting kids involved in the outdoors (not just fly fishing.)
My daughter (Chat Host TN) attended one of these kids "do's" this
weekend - the women's group, Golden West Women's Flyfishers had the release
of the 'tadpole to frogs project' which it sponsors for local kids. No it's not fly
fishing, but it's getting kids aware of their surrounding and having a
hands-on experience outdoors. Hurrah for the gals!
Somehow being a fly fisher is about sharing. Maybe it's like having something so wonderful
happen that you just can't wait to tell somebody. Or at least I like to think it is.
We get stories, articles, flies, jokes, poems - all sorts of goodies from our readers. ( Please know
you are welcome to contribute material to this site as well, but not required to be a member of the
If the word 'fraternity" some how doesn't ring true, let me remind you no other fraternity in
the world has a tougher 'hazing' than fly fishing. None has the life-long learning curve either.
And none - including the most prestigious Greek society - will have the friendships hewn over
fish and flies which last until we die. And some beyond.
Over the years we have had many acquaintances. Some through our former business, others from
places we have lived. None have been as warm or meaningful as the true friendships we made
through fly fishing. People we do not see except every few years when the budget allows are
still our friends. We pick up conversations as though we had been chatting with them yesterday.
If they hit my front door now unannounced, I would make sure the coffee was hot and fresh and
check to see how much of a disaster the guest room was. They would do the same for us.
What is even more amazing is I know for a fact that we would be welcome in the homes of many
who are part of Fly Anglers OnLine whom we have only met via this website. We have been
invited to their homes, (and hopefully will even get there.) They have invited us to share their
favorite piece of water! Not a small thing - indeed a real honor.
This is part of the reason JC and I are so looking forward to the
FAOL Summer Fish-In.
It is an opportunity to get to meet in person people we have not seen. We have
spoken with some on the phone, and had email correspondence with others; but it is
so neat to be able to put faces with names, and have a real handshake (or hug)! Campfire
conversation will be interesting.
All of us who fly fish are blessed to have the opportunity to share our passion for fly fishing with
others. And to really belong. It is the common frame of reference that brings us together.
Like-minded, sharing a common interest. Or, fraternity!
There are no cliques here, everyone is welcome at FAOL. If some in the fly fishing world wish
to see themselves some other way that is their loss. We are all members of the fly fishing
fraternity - the nicest group of people anywhere.
And I for one am very grateful. ~ 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!