Welcome to Panfish!

Part One Hundred-three

Randy Fratzke

Panfish Chat- Host Wind Knot (substituting for Fritz Fratz)- Monday. 6-8 p.m. PST (9-11 EST)

Didja Know?

By Randy Fratzke

This is a kind of "did you know" article this week. Some of you will read it and say, "Yes, I know that." Others will say, "I know that, but don't really care to go there." But maybe, a few others, new to the site or new to fly fishing (or both) may say, "I didn't know that, I need to check it out." I'm talking about the site your already at, FAOL, a.k.a., flyangleronsline.com. After reading this, some of you are going to think that we at FAOL are just "tooting our own horn," but like someone once said, if you don't toot it, nobody else will!

First of all, FAOL is a weekly online magazine. It's similar to one of the monthly or bimonthly magazine you get mailed to you or pick up your local magazine source. The biggest differences are it's updated every week, giving you the latest information, more information and a greater variety of articles than a monthly, printed, magazine. The articles in printed magazines are many times written months in advance in order to get the publishing, printing and shipping done on time.

That's not the case here at FAOL. It's also free, at least once you pay for your internet services, it doesn't cost anything. The other thing that's unique at FAOL is that its contributors are all volunteers. We don't get paid for writing or being hosts in the chat room or giving out advice, we do it for the love of the sport and the opportunity to help others. Let's take a look at some of the areas here at FAOL and what they're for and why they're here.

Sponsors area: This is about the only 'paid' area of the site. These are equipment manufacturers, guide services, lodges, and publications that believe in the site enough to pay to advertise here. These are top quality places, screened by the site owners who know the sponsors. These are also the people who help pay the bills to keep the site alive. In short, check them out, if you like what they have, buy their products, and most of all, let them know you appreciate their support.

For Beginners: This is an area designed to help people who are new to the sport of fly fishing. It gives tips on what to buy for your first fly tying tools, beginning fly tying, basic fly fishing techniques, and an explanation of the many fly fishing terms. The fly fishing terms, I think, is one of the most important areas on the site. Knowing what things are and what they mean really helps a beginner.

Bulletin Board: The bulletin board area is broken down into more than ten separate categories. There's a general area called 'Fly Anglers Online' where you can post questions or comments and get responses for others. There's a place where you can list things for sale, another for things wanted (you can pick up some good deals in these areas.) There are areas on fly tying, rod building, salt water fly fishing. There's an place to post or read events which are coming up in different parts of the country, or post events that you know of. There's even a 'Sound Off' area where you can express you opinion on things (as long as you keep it on a mature level and not rant and rave). Coming Up is an area that lists events that are coming up in different parts of the world having to do with fly fishing. If you want to know if there is a show or an exhibition coming up, take a look. If you know of something that is coming up in your area post it.

The 'James Castwell' and 'Ladyfisher' areas are editorial sections. Their editorial articles are relative and timely to fly fishing, giving many of us an insight into areas of fishing techniques, casting, new or proposed regulations, or other areas of interest.

The 'Chat Room' area is where you can talk with fellow anglers live, on various topics. At times there are set topics, other times it's an open forum (or you pick the subject). This is an area where you can get real answers to real questions quickly. The Hosts are all experienced fly anglers. Most also tie their own flies and some are experienced rod builders, a few are guides. All are trained in helping you enjoy the chat room. So you know you're going to get good information from reliable sources.

The 'Features' area encompasses a wide variety of specific subjects. There's 'Flies Only' that shows you how a fish sees your fly from its point of view, under water. 'Entomology' discusses a different insect or insect group each week, its local and life cycle. 'Panfish,' which is where you are now, usually features articles on the different aspects of catching warm water species of game fish. 'Old Flies and Stuff' deals with classic fly equipment, fishing history and methods, and personal observations. 'Readers Casts' is a place where you can write an article and perhaps have it published. 'Saltwater' deals with in-shore fly fishing in the salt water environment. If you're interested in getting into this area of fly fishing check it out. 'Tying Tips' helps fellow fly tyers come up with inexpensive ideas related to fly tying. From where to get inexpensive materials to short cuts in tying flies.

'From Canada' deals with fly fishing as it effects Canada. It's often interesting to get another perspective on different subjects. 'World Wide' deals with various fly fishing subjects from Africa, Asia, Down Under (Australia, New Zealand & environs), Europe, India, and South America. Locals, people who either live in the areas or travel extensively in that part of the world, write all of these articles. 'Reviews' are articles written by people who have tried out new products, books or services and write a review on it. The articles are as unbiased as possible so you know what your getting if you purchase the product. 'Eye of the Guide' is written by a professional fly fishing guides, from their perspective. If your thinking of traveling to a new area and want to hire a guide you may want to check out some of these and learn the "do's and don'ts" of hiring a guide. It'll help you both make the trip a lot more productive.

'Reel Fish Tails' and 'Fish Photo Album' are sort of 'bragging boards' where you can send photos of your finest catch and have it posted on the site. (an added plus is that you get a chance to match faces and names of people you've met at the site). 'Rod Repair' deals with what you can do when you have that untimely accident with your favorite rod. 'With Bamboo' discusses the various aspects of building, history, repairing and renovating bamboo rods. The articles are mostly written by cane rod builders.

Back on the main menu, 'FAOL Travelin' shows you where some of the FAOL group has been, along with pictures of some of the activities. 'Fly Tying' shows step-by-step, how to tie a different fly each week, using photos and narratives. 'Free Drawing' is pretty self explanatory, FAOL gives away something each month. Just register and take your chances with the rest of us. 'Friends of FAOL' is a listing of people who have made donations to the site (and got their free hat!) 'Guest Book' is where people who visit the site can sign in and tell what they think of the site.

'Lightside' is a section of cartoons, humor and poetry related to fly fishing. If you have something to contribute please feel free to submit it. 'Link To Us' gives the instructions on how to link the FAOL site to your home page or site.

So, as you can see, if you haven't taken the time to look through the entire FAOL site, you're missing things that could help you become a better, more knowledgeable angler. Please, if there's something missing, let us know and we'll try to find a place for it! ~ Randy Fratzke

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