The practice of fly fishing tends to be a
solitary endeavor, where our thoughts of any
'outside' influences hopefully disappear in
the flow of the stream. Job, boss, gas prices,
family problems pretty much are flushed out
while we concentrate on the fish, the flies,
getting a nice drift once we've figured out
where the fish might be. Truly an incredible
Gift? From who? Where?
Very few fly fishers are totally self-taught,
nor is the fly fishing knowledge magically
bestowed in the automatic systems of our bodies.
The information came from somewhere. It may have
been a friend or family member, fly fishing club,
classes, magazines, books, videos - lots of
Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) is proud to be one of
those sources - and delighted to be able to share
the information and pass it on. We hope to
encourage you to pass on your knowledge as well.
On the Bulletin Board, under Fly Tying and Fly Swaps, you will
find a post by Steven H. McGarthwaite (Parnelli)
about the results of his Beginner's Fly Swaps.
Take the time to read it, Steven has mentored a
couple of hundred FAOL readers from non-tier to
some he says are beyond intermediate. He founded
the Beginner's Swap, helped out when folks didn't
have the right materials by suppling the stuff
they needed and answered a zillion questions on
"how to." A wonderful, encouraging way he has
found to 'pay forward.' Steven learned a great
deal of what he knows from FAOL - and encourages
his 'students' to pass it on.
He isn't the only FAOL reader who is involved in
paying forward. We have folks who help out with
the Boy Scout Fly Fishing Badge programs; Kathy Scott
a teacher in Maine, who has started middle and high
school fly fishing programs, others who are casting
instructors who teach without charge, some who
have started fly fishing groups
and clubs - all part of paying forward.
We had news this past week of another FAOL reader,
John Colburn who is heading an effort to teach fly
tying to wounded soldiers at the Bethesda Military
Hospital. (John lives in Washington, DC.) With a
little help from some of the FAOL Sponsors, (Mustad,
Hook & Hackle and BT's Fly Fishing Products) John
will be able to teach 8 - 10 of the wounded in each
class session - and he is working on a way to get
them all fishing locally as well. He is also trying
to get the FFF to pick this up as a permanent project.
In this issue of the Mid-Atlantic Flyfisher,
the quarterly journal of the Federation of Fly Fishers'
Mid-Atlantic Council, is an article on the two programs
their council selected to be forwarded to the FFF for
adoption as major FFF programs. Quoting John Colburn,
"The first is Project Access, which is a program for
clubs to construct paths and sites so disabled persons
can get to reasonably good fishing sites in wheelchairs,
on crutches, or with other infirmities which make
walking over moderately rough terrain difficult if
not impossible. Anyone with such a disability knows
that his or her fishing might be limited to watching
the "hook'em, yank' em, toss'em' programs on ESPN2."
Project Access was started some years ago by Joan Stoliar and the
Theodore Gordon Fly Fishers, and fell to the wayside with
Joans death. John hopes to bring it back with full FFF
"The second program, the I PASS (I Pledge to
Avoid Spawning Sites) Pledge, is
an educational program with conservation elements.
It encourages anglers to not fish to spawning fish
and to avoid wading through redds. Both practices
are detrimental to the future of our fisheries."
A tip of the FAOL hat to the Mid-Atlantic Council
Board of Directors for recommending these programs
to the National FFF. Pay it forward? Big time!
Our email here at FAOL has been very active too.
We have received and granted requests for permission
to translate Al Campbell's instructional series on
Fly Tying to Russian for a club website in Kazakhstan,
from an Italian website, requesting the same thing,
but translated into Italian, and some of Al's
individual flies with instruction for a website
in Hong Kong. That's quite international - but
there is one more. One of our readers, a
professional photographer in Columbia translated
Al's series into Spanish for his mother who wanted
to learn to tie flies. David Marin contacted us
and asked if we would like the translations for
use here on FAOL!
Our answer was YES! We will start the series,
(providing the creek doesn't rise) with this issue; the
first two will be online, and we plan on adding
one lesson a week - just like it was done originally.
We are really pleased to be able to offer this
translation to our Spanish language readers, and
our sincere thanks to David.
All through the year we receive requests for individual
articles, flies or cartoons to be used in club newletters or
on their websites, and we do allow that too. This past
week we had a request from a school to use the Rod Building
series for their students. The series has been printed out
and bound for each of the students use. When I requested
they put the FAOL url on the books, the teacher told me, "Our
students know who FAOL is, we've been assigning a Fly of
the Week to be tied for our evening Tying Club!"
Just as we hope to pass the knowledge on - pay
it forward - we hope you have the opportunity
to help out a friend too. Invite someone to go
fishing with you, offer to teach a friend to cast,
show someone how to tie flies - write something
about your fishing experiences for Readers Casts,
send in a Fly of the Week for the many fly tiers
to enjoy, or if you have a 'different' method,
share that here on FAOL as well.
In our own way, we can each Pay It Forward. ~ DLB
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!