"Dear nice people, i am going to learn
flyfishing, please send information. my email
address is." Or this. "I need 2 know how 2 tye
fli's. R thier any good webs 4 this?"
And yes, they do get answers, even the ones who
sign the Guest book. One person at a time is how
this thing became what it is today, whatever that
is. One thing it is, is... big! But it was not
always so big. Like many things, it was small at
birth, joining the world at just one page at about
two am in September eight years ago. It's been all
up hill from there.
The LF was writing for a newspaper string and
syndicated in a few hundred papers and they also
put her column on a web site. When it went under
they offered her a thirty-page contract which
didn't thrill her. Two neighbors convinced her
that she should have her own URL. She was not
convinced, but they insisted and off we went.
She was publisher, I was editor, we had a
promotion guy and a web-master.
Our first electronic waves drizzled out from
part of a hard-drive on a rented server in Salt Lake.
Our technical guru did not have phone contact with
them, only email. Assured us there would be no problems.
Ha! We were off line more than on line. Within two weeks
the four of us attended a big fly tackle dealers show
in Denver, CO. This was to let the world know about
our venture. We talked, they listened and patting
our pointy little heads wished us well and great
success. And to let them know next year how it was
going. As we actually knew most, they were polite,
but not quite ready so sign up as sponsors, not
just then anyway.
Our promotion guy tried to sell sponsors on the
idea that ten grand was a very reasonable price
to be on our site. They all disagreed, both of
them. I found a server outfit six miles from home
and scheduled a meeting with a top 'techi' down
there. The four of us went, I bought lunch. We 'chatted'
about 'techi' things. Mostly I was completely lost.
During the meeting I noticed I was not the only one
lost. I made a decision to switch server locations.
My guru and promotion guy bugged out. We stayed with
that location for a few years. LF learned how to
write code, I had some background in graphics and
the guys at the server controlled the 'techi' stuff.
Things went well mostly. After the first six
months, we had cut our staff by fifty percent,
signed a contract for a year of server time,
had bought a graphics program and a code book.
Look out world here we come. I had some
requirements. A guest book, a good BB and a
chat-room that could be controlled. Fast loading
pages, no flashing banners, nothing on fire or
spinning or popping up, no place where you could
buy anything and no place to enter a credit card
number. Period. Ever.
You guys, our readers would be number one.
Sponsors second. Actually the sponsors seemed
to agree with that. Without readers, not much
use for any sponsors I guess. Eight years later
nothing has changed. I wanted a low price spread
so the small guy could be a sponsor but listed
right beside the big-boys. Worked that out too
on the sponsor page. Some have requested things
like a page of all sponsors who make reels for
instance. We do not do that for several reasons.
Perhaps you are not looking for a reel but happen
to see one while looking for leaders or something.
Works equally for all.
More than once in the earlier years when the new
issue was to go on line at nine Sunday evening it
became three am before the code got all straightened
out and the LF got the Main page loaded. Time and
practice have improved our graphics and code and
things seem to go some smoother these days, but
there are still a few trying times.
So far we have only been sick once at the same
time and allowed a line of text to slip thru for
a few days in a column. Lost a big name sponsor
over that one, bummer. The rest has been a gradual
increase in pages, files, graphics, and servers.
Wow, have we spent the bucks on that stuff but,
that is what it takes to provide you with the very
best we can produce. The new equipment is about to
go on line and is faster than many of the 'gamers.'
You may not notice any change, or you might, rest
assured, it is fast and well protected. My server,
(make that servers, all four of them) are in a vault
protected like 'Fort Knox.' Twin power supplies from
two different sources come into the building and it
can run for 18 hours on a generator with out
refilling the fuel tanks.
Our writers are the best we can find and continue
to get even better. The truth is, we don't find
them, they find us, for which we are most grateful.
The support of our sponsors has allowed us to give
the writers a showcase for their talents and us
an opportunity to become involved with all of you,
often in person, on the phone or by email. The
'Fish-In's' are great fun, just that we can not
attend them all. We wish could. Our work day starts
at about 7am pacific time and ends around midnight
(we check our tracking numbers four times a day).
Mostly we are here seven days a week but that is
what it takes to make this thing work.
Our most sincere thanks to all of you who have
given us the opportunity to produce this web-site
over the past years and we hope to be around for
a few more. I mean, if we hadn't done it, then
who? ~ JC & LF