This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

October 6th, 2003

In Passing

Some of the comments at the recent Idaho Fish-In were quite interesting. There is always the fun of putting faces on names we've seen in the Chat Room or on the Bulletin Board, but one of the very intuitive comments made to me was what a joy it was for folks to meet Al Campbell.

Al hasn't been able to make a Fish-In since the one he hosted in the Black Hills several years ago. He manages the fly-fishing department of a Sheels All-Sport store in Rapid City, SD, and has, up until this year, always had a 'date' for an annual trip to the Big Horn River. His fishing partner was building a new house this year and wasn't able to make the trip - which allowed Al the opportunity to come to Idaho. It was still 'touch and go' as to if he could since his fly-fishing department was being expanded and he was doing a great share of the remodeling work. However, he did make it and that was a real treat for the folks at the Fish-In. He did some tying instruction and made a point of fishing each day with someone he had not fished with at the Black Hills Fish-In.

One of the recipients of that was Cole Martin, the youngest person at the Fish-In. Cole is from Great Falls, MT., and has been active in the Chat Room. His fly fishing and tying got a super jump forward with Al's coaching, as did Cole's Uncle Kurt.

Al also made a point of fishing with the oldest person at the Fish-In. Ray Donley, Salt Lake City, UT. Ray has been a "Friend of FAOL" for several years, and emailed me early to say he was going to come. He may have been the oldest, but trust me, there were a lot younger people at the Fish-In who would have difficulty keeping up with him or his schedule. He also skis and fishes for stripers and salmon. We hope he will join us on South Andros to play with the bonefish!

Another of the comments regarding Al was how nice he is - that he is just like 'us.' I laughed and told the person, "hey, we're all just folks!" And we are. If you think Al, JC or I walk on water, guess again. We sink.

The only difference is we are/were all writers who felt there was/is a need for a website which would give the fly fisher good, honest information. Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) gave all of us an opportunity to do that. We all wanted to see a place where folks could come together and be part of a community. The Chat Room, Bulletin Boards and Fish-Ins are both an end and a means to do that.

The world we live in is less and less personal and caring - but here at FAOL you can find as much or little interpersonal relationship as you wish. It is a place to share the best and worst in your life. And in that sharing you enrich the lives and understanding of others. Pretty cool stuff.

Trust me, all of us are very grateful for the opportunity and success of FAOL.

To all who were at the Idaho Fish-In '03, thanks for the hugs - and the memories! ~ 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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