This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

July 29th, 2002

We're Back

We're back!

A week in New York and Pennsylvania, sitting on the banks of the West Branch of the Delaware and other smaller streams. We did some walking about, spotting fish for others, a ton of things actually - but we (my husband JC and myself) didn't wet a line.

That's not literally true now that I think about it, I did get my line wet in the accuracy competition, and there was a fly, except it didn't have a hook.

Fish-ins are gatherings of folks from Fly Anglers OnLine who get together to swap lies, tie flies, fish and share the stuff anglers like to share. We liken it to the old days 'opening day.' Folks then didn't have computers, and couldn't 'visit' in Chat Rooms, or post to bulletin boards, asking questions or sharing neat information. There were phone calls of course, but the big deal was everyone getting together on opening day. Some of those old-time gatherings were family affairs, brothers, uncles, brothers-in-law, sons and dads...a great time which really passed on the information about fly fishing from one generation to another.

The FAOL Fish-in is the closest we have to that in today's society. Yes, there are TU and FFF Conclaves, but those are paid-for events where there are charges for classes and so on. The Fish-in is more like the family group than the group grope of the organized conclaves. FAOL has become a community - family.

Each year it is a joy to meet people we have only spoken with on the phone, or in the Chat Room or seen their posts on the Bulletin Board. We seem to add some new faces with each year that passes, and some of the old-timers no longer attend due to various reasons - but their input over the years is still valuable to all of us.

We will have a page or two of photos from this latest Fish-in for you to see in a few days. There were folks who fished, and Jeff Fields (Grizzly Hackle) took the largest, a 22 inch brown trout. He also took an unplanned swim from a canoe with fellow angler Shep Parrish (Rapidan)...we don't have all the details yet, since they were both in the river, wet and the canoe didn't tip over.

We had both a distance and accuracy competition this year, we will have the scores on those too, but the distance was won by last year's Most Improved Angler, Eric Reilly (Fishstick) who took the bus down from Canada to be at the Fish-in. Nice to see a young man beat out the older men. We had the first fly tying competition, which ended in a three-way tie. A 'Tie Off' was held, and the winner was Bob Montuori (Monty). We have the winning fly and a photo of that will show up as well.

We had a new face at the Fish-In, one who many of you already know from the chat or bulletin board - Bob Nunley (Caneman) who has discovered distance casting. He did pretty well too - he came in third after Ray DuBois (Saltfly) who took second.

There are more, as soon as JC sorts out the photos, we'll get lots of faces for you all to put names on. There were certainly some surprises, and some disappointments too. More on that later.

It's good to be home, nothing like knowing your bed is there ready for you, (even though we do take our pillows with us on the road) and I don't mean to be crass here, but no matter where one stays, it's very nice to sit on your own toilet when you get home.

Stay to come. ~ LadyFisher

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