This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

September 3rd, 2001

Happy Birthday FAOL!

We knew a minister who was often put in the position of saying 'something' to new mothers about their babies. He came up with "my what an interesting baby!" Always with a smile of course.

That pretty well covers the past four years. It sure has been interesting.

We've grown as a website, covering much more than we ever expected, and we've weathered a storm or two. We have been very fortunate to have some great people write articles for us, host in the Chat Room, and contribute their ideas and suggestions.

The Fraternity of Fly Fishers lives.

Many who were here at the very beginning of Fly Anglers OnLine (FAOL) are still here. A special thanks for their support and loyality. Some through job changes, circumstances or health problems are no longer an active part of FAOL, but we know they stop by from time to time and their continued encouragement is appreciated.

Original Fly of the Week

The look of FAOL has changed over the past four years too. Some out of necessity since we outgrew the original layout, and other cosmetic changes just because we wanted a 'friendlier' look. We have paid attention to what our readers read here, (Fly of the Week is number one,) what they look for, and tried to make those sections as user friendly as possible. There is always room for improvement so don't be too surprised when you see some new sections appear.

JC and I were reading the first articles each of us wrote for FAOL. His first Castwell column from September 1, 1997 pretty much says it for him. We don't have a book or a shop or any product to sell. You can't insert your credit card and buy anything on FAOL. If you missed that column please do go back and read it.

As for me, my first column here resembles one of the strings on the Bulletin Board. It's Born in a Barn? and gives some basic rules for stream ettiquette. I was standing on my soap-box then too, but it was/is obvious some folks never quite learned the rules.

FAOL was and is about sharing the information. We can all learn from each other. That is what commonly happened in families some years ago. Dads, uncles, grandfathers all taught the kids to fish and probably hunt too. At least those outside the big cities. It was part of growing up.

Al Campbell One of the original people who wrote for FAOL has contributed a huge amount to this website. He has done articles for the Lighterside section, Eye of the Guide, all of the Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Fly Tying series, the How to Build Your Own Graphite Rod series and many of the Fly of the Week. He is currently doing a series of articles for the Saltwater section of his recent trip to Belize. I'm of course speaking of Al Campbell. We are proud to announce the next issue of FAOL will include a regular weekly column by our new Field Editor, Al Campbell. Look for it on the left-hand menu next week.

We met Al on a jitney from the Denver Airport to the Fly Tackle Dealer Show four years ago. We talked over coffee in the restaurant a couple of times, and then on the phone. Eventually he wrote his first article for us, the first one in Lighterside! It's called You Might Be a Fly Fisherman If . . .

Next week JC and I (and Al Campbell) will all be at the annual fly tackle dealer show, this year in Salt Lake. We hope to have some neat new stuff to tell you about, and as has become our tradition, we each will have our "Pick of the Show."

The past four years have been a great education for us - we hope you will also share the results of our education (FAOL) with your friends and family. Happy Birthday FAOL - here's to year number five!

We aren't done, there's more to come. Stay tuned! ~ 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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