This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

July 12th, 2004

Come One, Come All!

A couple of our readers have contacted me recently to have their names added to the "Going List" for the Idaho Fish-In.

If you are reasonably new to Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) the term Fish-In may have you scratching your head. It's not that difficult, a "fish-in" is just a group of folks who all happen to read FAOL getting together to fish. There is a full explanation of what one is HERE.

The idea is those who attend really enjoy putting faces on names and having an opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal basis. Fishing of course is a large part of a fish-in, but there is also the opportunity to tie flies with others who may be more experienced. Last year Al Campbell took some of the folks under his wing and not only helped with their tying, but also played 'guide' as well. He wasn't the only one to do that.

Those who show up run in age from 16 to I think the oldest was Ray Donley from Salt Lake (82) - if I have that wrong I'm sure Ray will let me know. By the way, Ray also sails and skis.

The experience of those attending is also widely varied. This year we have warmwater folks from Florida and Alabama coming who have never fished for trout. Hurrah! They will have a terrific time. Everyone helps each other. It's just a great time of sharing.

You'll find a few campfires and meals being shared as well. Oh yes, there is a steak fry and pot luck on Friday night after fishing. My husband, JC and I made a grocery run about 20 miles downsteam for extra steaks last year, and I'm sure we will do that again for those who need it. Richard Weaver did some terrific dutch oven goodies last year too.

The whole event in Idaho is very unstructured. The days are not planned with something to do every minute - it's just a group of good folks who get together to do some fishing, some tying, compare rods, reels and whatever goodies they've found. Folks pair up to fish, or fish alone. Whatever they feel like doing. There are no auctions, no raffles and no one will hit you up for money to support anything (including FAOL).

We did have a swap or trade table set up last year - some free things (including a big selection of wild furs for tying) a couple of used rods for sale, and as I recall a float tube! We will do that again this year. It was a big success!

For those staying in the motel units or who don't have cooking facilities (like us) there is a good restaurant just across the river serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with bar service. There is a gas station with a limited supply of staples next door to the restaurant.

All in all, the Three Rivers Resort, Lowell, Idaho, (where the Fish-In is held) has about everything we could ask for. It's not the Ritz, accommodations are adequate, but sure not fancy....but it's not expensive either. (Yes, there is a good hot water supply.)

When the idea of having some kind of a gathering of folks from our website to get together to fish and exchange ideas came up, JC and I were reminded of the 'old' opening days on the trout streams where we grew up. There were many large log lodges on the main stream of the AuSable River where a bunch of guys would get together to celebrate the new trout season. A few of those old lodges remain, but the get-togethers don't happen like they did years ago.

Times change. Our family responsibilities and work have changed as well - but for us, and those who attend the Fish-ins we have captured a bit of the lore and feel of those days.

You are cordially invited to take part in any of the Fish-Ins too. Drop me an email if you have any questions which aren't answered here. You can read about the Idaho Fish-In '04 HERE.

We'll be there, hope you can join us! ~ DLB

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