This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

September 30th, 2002

Fish-In 2003

The Western Fish-In, Lowell Idaho on the confluence of the Loscha and Selway Rivers was a great success. Fishin Injun (Dick Lane) picked a great place which had everything our group could ask for.

As often happens at such events, there were all sorts of spur-of-the-moment events, or as they said in the 60s, "happenings." Folks got together and tied, taught each other neat stuff, went fishing, shared a meal together, compared rods, had a casting tune-up; all shared in good humor. My husband JC and I meet many of our FAOL readers we had not meet in person before - but because of the Chat Room and Bulletin Boards there never really are any strangers at a FAOL event.

Some who said they were going to be there didn't show - too bad, they missed a great time and we actually had fish! Beautiful, fat, shimmering gold Westslope Cutthroats, Rainbows, and Steelheads. What a concept.

We had many suggestions as to where the next 'main' Fish-In should be. Many cast their vote for a return to the same place, same time, next year. We have not made any concrete decisions, other than we will not go back to the Delaware River Club again in summer.

That said, I would like to encourage you to make suggestions as to where you would like to see the "official" FAOL Fish-In 2003. There are some basic requirements. The location must have camping, motel or cabins all at the same place. It just works better. There must be catchable fish in water which is appropriate. (Not 80 degree water in July) We need someone who can be involved. That is, recommend specific places and methods for that fishery. The 2nd Fish-In in the Black Hills was very successful because all those criteria were met. Some since then were less successful because all the parts weren't there. The Idaho Fish-In, just past, had about 35 people. The largest was the 1st one in NY, and we had 130 for that one, but they were staying at several places, and it was not as cohesive a group.

There will always be problems on one sort or another. Many of our folks will drive, some will fly. Is there an airport nearby? How about within an hour or two driving time? Is your fishery a specialized one? Is different equipment or techniques required? (I ask that because a salt-water Fish-In has been suggested, and that does require special gear, which might limit who could afford to attend.)

Give it some thought, please? I really would like your ideas on this.

Also keep in mind, we will always encourage 'Mini' Fish-Ins. That is local gatherings of folks from FAOL who just want to get together and fish and spend some quality time together. It doesn't have to be elaborate at all. No one expects to be wined and dined, just the company of good people and the opportunity to catch fish. And frankly it is fun to show off a fishery you know.

FAOL IS the Fraternity of Fly Fishers. It is the 'fraternity,' - brotherhood part - which we would like to encourage and grow. Please send your ideas, suggestions to: ~ 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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