Outdoor Writers Association of America
Northwest Outdoor Writers Association
This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

August 23rd, 1999

We've Come a Long Way

Officially this is the first weekly issue of our Third Year! The first issue of FAOL went up two years ago. This issue marks Volume 3, number 1!

Amazing since 'they' said it couldn't be done. But not unlike "Field of Dreams" we built it and you all came. For that JC and I are very grateful, and indeed humbled by the great amount of participation on your part.

Here are some interesting facts about you. 80% of you are male. 40% are new to fly fishing! A hearty welcome to you! Your enthusiasm brightens our lives. Another 20% are from outside North America! Every country in the world (except Tibet and China) has visited this website. In fact a couple of countries we had to look up since we were not aware they existed - shame of us.

We are delighted our foreign readers have found us, and wish more would write something for us on their fisheries. We all learn from each other, who knows what insights might be out there, just waiting for a place to write them. This IS the place.

We have an active Chat Room, which usually has adult leadership in the form of a Host. Our Hosts come from all walks of life and diverse places. The common thread is they are all avid fly fishers, great folks who are willing to help and make you feel welcome. You won't find a nicer bunch of people anywhere!

Somewhere between 10 and 15% of our total readers use this resource. I call the Chat Room a resource because of the number of really interesting conversations about where to fish, how to fish, which fly or which knot to use! I understand not everyone is comfortable trying something new - but if you haven't yet tried it, please do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. (If you can't access the Chat Room, send me an email and we'll 'talk' you though it.)

We've had a great informative series on Fly Tying this past year. It comes to an end with this weeks lesson. Al Campbell will concentrate on finishing his book, and come sometime this fall Al will begin a new tying series on Advanced Tying, which will feature more difficult techniques. We will miss Al's lessons, but he will still be part of FAOL. (You can catch him in the Chat Room as Host AC on Thursday nights, just in case you need a little help.)

Our 'Man in Canada' has gone through a job change, a major move and now Clive is on a business (agriculture) trip to China. There is an update on all that in this week's "Our Man in Canada" article. We hope his life gets back to normal this fall, and he will find his way back home to FAOL.

Mike Connor who so faithfully wrote our European Angling articles has moved his business, bought another and is up to his ears in paperwork. We appreciate anything he can do for us at this time, and hope to be able to fill in until he returns. You will find an interesting letter exchange from him and a reader in European Angling this week.

Tying Tips, added some 20 weeks ago, has a large following. If you haven't found it yet, it is listed on the Fly Tying menu. George does a terrific job! (He has a neat sense of humor too.)

There are new things in the works - do check out the New Feature beginning this week, Reel Fish Tails. This is intended to be a place where you can 'post' a photo of you and your fish! Kind of nice to share with us all.

If you have not looked at Friends of FAOL lately, do that too. The list is growing! Sincere thanks to all those who have joined.

As you go from page to page, you may also have noticed some new Sponsors. We have added a few and more will be up soon. A special thanks to those who have mentioned us to sponsors (and who have suggested someone who might become one.) Some of our Sponsors have received 'thank you's' from our readers. Wow! That made an impression.

Finally, to you my friend, the biggest thank you! You are what makes this website what it is. It is your views on the Bulletin Board, stories in Readers Cast, or Eye of the Guide, your fly pattern - your readership that keeps FAOL here. Folks just seem to like reading fly fishing stuff from real fly fishers who write something for us. Rather than reading something from a writer who happens to fish. It is you the reader who make this an honest site.

THANK YOU! ~ 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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