Every once in a while a comment or phrase
will strike me just right, and I hang onto
it. The one above is one of the better ones
I've come across. Why? Because it's true!
We've had several instances where a person or
company became a Sponsor here on Fly Anglers
OnLine (FAOL) because their name came up often
on the Bulletin Board; good products being
recommended by our readers. We encourage our
readers to share the good stuff with each other
as well as good fly shops. In fact there was a
string a while ago on the Bulletin Board where a
person didn't put the name of a fly shop because
he thought it probably wasn't acceptable because
they weren't a Sponsor here. I posted and said
please give the name. It is just the right thing
We receive articles from everywhere - sometimes
with a comment that the writer has been "lurking"
or reading FAOL for a long time and thought it
was time to give something back. I'm sure many
of the folks who become Friends of FAOL join in
because they want to support this website, but a
little guilt probably figures into the equation too.
(Nice to have the pin and bumper sticker too.)
Just so you know, we really do want your articles,
personal experience, flies which work for you - all
are so much better than anything we can do from
books or other websites. We appreciate being able
to use print materials, or flies from websites which
have great tutorials but we are just like you in that
we'd rather read something by a 'real' person who
reads FAOL than by just another writer.
So if you've been sitting on an idea, an experience
or successful fly for your region - here is a serving
of guilt just for you! Share the knowledge.
There are a lot of ways to give back to the sport
we all love - FAOL in fact is the way my husband,
JC, and I try and give back for the many years of
learning, enjoyment, frustration and pure joy we
have had from fly fishing!
There are of course many other ways. You can teach
someone to cast, or tie flies. Get involved with a
local stream restoration project, join a fly fishing
group. (You may not agree with everything they do,
but you can find a group which mostly fits your
values.) No fly fishing group/club in your area?
Start one. JC and I founded the first FFF chapter
in Saginaw, Michigan, the Freestone Fly
Fishers - about 1971.
Sometime remind me to tell the story about trying
to get a Trout Unlimited chapter started in Livingstone,
Montana in the mid 70s.
If you have access to a middle or high school, you
might offer to do a fly tying demonstration - or
a basic fly fishing class. The Boy Scouts are always
looking for folks to help with the new Fly Fishing
Badge. I haven't heard anything about the Girl Scouts
taking on fly fishing, but since I was a Brownie, Girl
Scout and Senior Scout leader, I surely don't see any
reason why the girls shouldn't be doing a fly fishing
badge as well.
Rivers, streams and beaches all need clean ups. See
if there is such a project locally - get involved!
But wait - there's more! (Don't you love that on the
TV commercials?) How about taking someone from the
Senior Center fishing? Maybe someone who isn't driving
any more? It doesn't have to be fly fishing. Such
an outing would really pick up someone's spirits. A
phone call to a senior facility would get you the
information you need to pursue that one.
Another really worthwhile project is Trout in the
Classroom (also Salmon in the Classroom out here
in the Pacific Northwest.) Most states have a
fishery department which is thrilled to get fry or
eggs into schools where the kids actually have
hands-on experience learning the development cycle.
If you've never seen the kids releasing their 'finny
friends' to the river or ocean you have missed
something really precious.
I realize everyone is not a 'joiner' if they were TU
and FFF would be busting at the seams with members,
but fly fishers I believe are some of the finest
folks ever. And since they are, they know instinctively
they also have responsibilities to not just preserve our
sport - but to protect it and to pass it on. To be
stewarts. That is your responsibility.
This weeks Readers Cast
is an article about politics - yes, really. I encourage
you to read that one too - we do have an election coming
up this fall and you need to be informed. Don't miss
Some folks spend a good chunk of their lives not
fishing, so the rest of us can have a fishery to
enjoy. One who comes to mind is Peter Van Gytenbeek.
Pete (or Van) was the first paid Executive Director
of TU back in 1958, went on to be a president of FFF
and later publisher of Fly Fishing in Saltwater,
has just taken on a new job. Pete is now the Executive
Director of FFF and will oversee the restructuring of
FFF so it can become a larger and more effective
proponent of our sport as well as conserving it.
Pete is an old friend - and a very capable man. He
and his wife, Liz, are in the process of house hunting
in the Livingston region - if you live in the area
you might stop by the FFF Center in Livingston (where
the offices are going to be) and offer to lend a hand.
Our congratulations and very best hopes for recreating the
FFF organization to one which provides a real 'home' for
its membership. ~ 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!