This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
July 11th, 2005

When Bad Things Happen

We've all been through a very tough few days in the past week. The London bombings by the terrorists filled our television screen for hours on end. We would probably still be watching that if it weren't for hurricane Dennis striking the gulf coast as I write this. Natural disasters are just that, natural. We can't change how or when they strike, and the states affected do their best to prepare and have emergency services in place to handle the devastation. It doesn't make the financial hardship or emotional shock any easier on those who are in the hurricanes path. We pray all come through it alive. It does make it a little easier for those of us concerned with our readers welfare if they can put a post on the Bulletin Board letting us know they are okay when their conditions allow.

For those still suffering from the London bombings, we extend our condolences - and if it helps at all, we are all as outraged as you. We haven't forgotten our 9/11 here - although to hear some of our politicians you would think it never happened. I hope those people are gone when the next election is over. What we need is non-politicians who can work together to make this country stronger and safer. Stop the finger pointing and get the job done. Just do what is right for the country - not your political party.

That said, there are some things happening which are really good.

Jack Hise had a wonderful experience teaching young girls to fly fish recently. He has mentioned it on the Bulletin Board and sent me a terrific article on it. As soon as the photographs show up it will be in Reader's Casts.

Roger Stouff called us this morning from Browning, MT. Our Louisiana bayou guy has finished filming the first part of his adventure and is headed home. He called to see if we could possibly meet him at Sea-Tac airport tonight. As much as we would have enjoyed that, it's a minimum of two hours each way, and this is 'changeover' night - the new issue goes up. He had a wonderful experience and caught (yes, really) trout! It also turned out it was Indian Days in Browning so he had an opportunity to catch some Indian dancers as part of the festivities too. His Montana guide, Joe, will take a trip down to Roger's native water in the fall, and Roger gets to play guide for him. Interesting story line.

Dave Micus has also been tapped by the same film company, Barrett Productions to do a program on fishing for stripers in October on the northeast coast - so at least two of the tv fly fishing programs will have content of value to our readers! Pretty neat stuff.

Another of our folks, Jeff Pierce (Dr. Fish) has also been hired to be the saltwater Host for the Canadian tv program, The New Fly Fisher. You've read some of Jeff's adventures here on FAOL - he does a great job, and here is exactly what you've been asking for. Not just fishing, but the flies, the locales and the various parts which make up the whole of a fly fishing experience.

So while our name (FAOL) may or may not be mentioned, we feel we've had a part in changing how some of the television programs are done.

Fourteen weeks ago we began the Spanish language version of Al Campbell's fly tying instructional series. It didn't take long for the search engines and robots to find it. This past week when I checked the stats, several hundred readers were accessing it per day. Since we already have a large foreign readership, it's difficult to tell if we've added any new countries (we already get 120 each month) - but I do know the contribution David Marin (dphotoco on the Bulletin Board) has made and continues to make with the translations is a very good thing. We sincerely appreciate it.

Even though it is early summer time for us here in the US, there are already trout waters which are too warm to fish. Even if the waters remain legally open, be aware any stream over 70 degrees is too warm to fish. Don't do it. The good news is there are lakes and warm water river and ponds which you can fish. If as a 'trouter' you have not availed yourself of those opportunities, FAOL does have excellent information in our Panfish and Warmwater sections on how to do it. We also have an extensive section on fishing lakes. Lakes are probably the most underutilized fishing resource we have. Now may be the perfect time to do some exploring and try something new. You have absolutely nothing to lose - and you just might be surprised at how much fight those 'other' fish have.

My husband, JC or Castwell, and I have made our reservations for the Idaho Fish-In. You will find the information on this years gathering listed on the Fish-In menu. We reserved one of the A-frames, and Jim's heart doc has given his approval. The good Lord willing we might even get to fish this year. It is a lovely time of year in the Idaho mountains, and we look forward to seeing those who can make it.

So while the world seems to be whirling out of control around us, FAOL is still here, alive and very well. We find the same solace and meeting of the minds here as you. We too read the Bulletin Board and share vicariously your trips and successes. We both wish from time to time we could spend a half-hour with you to fix your casting problems in person. We will get to do that with some of you at the next Fish-In.

But for us too, FAOL is the one safe community we have. We know the commonality of our pursuit of fly fishing and the life it has lead us to live is shared by others who value the various parts of it too. We know when bad things happen, we have a place where we are safe and the others folks here accept us for who we are. Sometimes warts and all. ~ 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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