This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
September 1st, 2008

Happy Birthday FAOL!

We knew a minister who was often put in the position of saying 'something' to new mothers about their babies. He came up with "my what an interesting baby!" Always with a smile of course.

That pretty well covers the past eleven years. It sure has been interesting.

We've grown as a website, covering much more than we ever expected, and we've weathered a storm or two. We have been very fortunate to have some great people write articles for us, host in the Chat Room, and contribute their ideas and suggestions.

The Fraternity of Fly Fishers lives.

Many who were here at the very beginning of Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) are still here. A special thanks for their support and loyality. Some through job changes, circumstances or health problems are no longer an active part of FAOL, but we know they stop by from time to time and their continued encouragement is appreciated.

Original Fly of the Week

The look of FAOL has changed over the years too. Some out of necessity since we outgrew the original layout, and other cosmetic changes just because we wanted a 'friendlier' look. We have paid attention to what our readers read here, (Fly of the Week is number one,) what they look for, and tried to make those sections as user friendly as possible. There is always room for improvement so don't be too surprised when you see some new sections appear.

JC and I were reading the first articles each of us wrote for FAOL. His first Castwell column from September 1, 1997 pretty much says it for him. We don't have a book or a shop or any product to sell. You can't insert your credit card and buy anything on FAOL. If you missed that column please do go back and read it.

As for me, my first column here resembles one of the strings on the Bulletin Board. It's Born in a Barn? and gives some basic rules for stream ettiquette. I was standing on my soap-box then too, but it was/is obvious some folks never quite learned the rules.

FAOL was and is about sharing the information. We can all learn from each other. That is what commonly happened in families some years ago. Dads, uncles, grandfathers all taught the kids to fish and probably hunt too. At least those outside the big cities. It was part of growing up.

Now with our extended families spread all over the world, the familiar gatherings on the river are long gone. We noticed this summer at Gates Au Sable Lodge the huge number of 'places' for sale on the river. Michigan's economy is one of the reasons, but the other underlying reason is that families no longer spend summers on the river. It just isn't the 'in' thing. The college age kids are off on their own adventures, the younger kids are involved in soccer or whatever and it just isn't worth the effort and money for mom and dad to maintain a big place.

But we are still here. We will continue to 'hold the fort' and keep a light in the window for you. Happy Birthday FAOL! ~ 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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