This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
July 16th, 2007

A Super F.I.

If you have never attended a FAOL Fish-In, you can skip this column because you probably won't understand what it is all about anyway.

Fish-Ins are something which we never really created. Several years ago JC and I said something about the fact that we were going to Montana to fish. We lived for 17 years in Montana, and while I don't wish to live there again, I sure do love the country, the people and the fishing...not necessarily in that order. Anyway, the next few weeks prior to us leaving on the trip we had a couple of phone calls and emails from people we knew from our Chat Room or Bulletin Board asking where we were going to stay, how long would we be there, where were we planning on fishing and - could they come and fish with us. So Jeff from Atlanta, Mike and his two boys from Portland, Oregon met us in Yellowstone. We had a grand time.

While we were gone, the late Al Campbell talked to the folks in the Chatroom about a Fish-in which would be held in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He said something to the effect of, "If they're going to have Fish-Ins, the next one is going to be in the Black Hills. It was Al, (AC) who gave these events the name. About 35 people showed up for that one.

I've lost track of how many we've had and where all they have been - but I do remember one in Texas and two in Alaska. There is a garish yellow banner proclaiming FAOL Fish-In which has traveled to almost all of the events - and it is signed on the back by the people who organized each event.

It indeed is a wonderful way to meet other like-minded fly fishers, to put faces on names you have seen on the Chatroom or Bulletin Boards. Everyone is most willing to share what they know about fishing, casting, or tying a special fly for the area...The folks from FAOL are just the best.

This year's event was held at the Gates Au Sable Lodge near Graying Michigan. Rusty Gates, owner of the lodge, along with his wife Julie, made all of us feel welcome (and they fed us great food.)

Last year Castwell made an appearance (and gave a great casting demonstration) in black tails. Not to be outdone, this years costume produced our own Superman. He did a different demonstration this year. The costume was well appreciated... but it does make it a little difficult to top it for next year.

Almost everyone wanted to have their photo taken with the great Castwell, below is Ed Dillon with Superman.

There were individual and group fishing trips, lake and streams, below is Deb (Mato Kuwapi) coming in from fishing right in front of the lodge.

We had a terrific group dinner on Wednesday evening, more photos to come. Great food...Fat Bill outdid himself.

There was the 'usual' distance casting event. The distance was won by Jackster (below). See Jack, that practice really did work!

There were two Scientific Anglers "Ready to Fish" outfits given away (courtesy Scientific Anglers) John Campbell below with his new rod, (name drawn out of the hat).

We always encourage our readers to get kids involved in fly fishing. The photo below is Jim Flammings son showing off his form.

Brad Sherrick, one of this year's organizors, presenting $200 to Rusty Gates (on the left) for the legal fund of the Anglers of the Au Sable. The money was left over from a free-will donation to cover the food and other costs of the Fish-In. We are delighted to be able to help out the Anglers group.

Castwell and I spent a bit of time helping out folks with their casting problems. We enjoy being of help, so it's fun for us. As a matter of fact, there isn't any of us who couldn't use a little help with our casting.

More photos to come, check back often.

We're glad to be back and be back in touch with all of you. ~ 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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