"Dear Sirs, I have been reading your site for some time
now and would like to know how to become a member."
Well now, just what are we supposed to do with an email
like that? And, not worded exactly as that one is, we get
quite a few similar to it. We did create the
'Friends of FAOL,' for those who feel they would like
to support our goals and that works for many, but a membership?
In what? For Pete's sake, this is a web-site. But, perhaps there
is a way.
What are we all trying to accomplish? Good clean water for fish
for one thing. And honest information and instruction in
fly-fishing is important. Creating a feeling of fraternity
and comradeship are high on our agenda. Stewardship of the
environment seems to come with any education in fly fishing
too. We all become involved with the surroundings of where
the fish live. We start to realize the difference between
fishing and fly-fishing, the difference between catching
fish and fishing for fish.
I think we mature in our concepts and attitudes, things like
civility and concern for each other in a world which seems
to be on a different course. As these things evolve we become
members of many things, members of the world each of us creates
for ourselves, our own private sanctuary. A few steps off to
the side of the maddening pace. We join with others, who mostly
will choose to fish in solitude, but more than willing to share
any and all experiences with each.
A strange mix for sure, but each of us in our own way eagerly
joins a nebulas group, a constantly changing, evolving and
developing association, it's course dictated only by the
enthusiasm and newly created materials of the day. Just
as each season changes the bends and rifles of all streams,
so too, the makeup of any fraternity of fly-fishers is
ever-changing. As one becomes a fly-fisher one also becomes
a member of FAOL. The goals are inseparable.
You want to be known as a fly-fisher? Buy some gear and go
stand in a stream. Want to be a member of FAOL? By merely
wishing to do so, you already are. There are no dues, no
officers, no rules and no requirements. We are all equal,
involved, hard-working, conscientious, learning, teaching,
sharing and bound by a single thread. We are world-wide,
we are the guy next door, we are all here for each other.
We are all fly-fishers, we are all members of fly-fishing.
~ James Castwell