WHAT FAOL MEANS TO ME
I started fly fishing when I was 45 in 2002. It was just before a family reunion and my wife, as a birthday present, got me an Orvis fly rod, vest, and all the trappings. The family reunion was being held in Estes, Colorado so off we went. Unknown to me almost all of my relatives fly fish and one was a guide. He taught me the basics of casting and off I went to try my hand. I drove into Rocky Mountain National Park for my first fishing trip. Now let me say that, to me, it seems as if everyone else is going say, “Big Deal, I go there all the time.” well I don’t, this was the best and most beautiful place to begin my fly fishing odyssey I can think of. Of course all good things must come to an end and I had to head back to New Jersey but only 5 more years till I can come here and do this again.
Fast forward to 2004, I have been fishing and getting more and more ‘hooked’ on this whole fly fishing thing. I decided it was time to get more involved and learn to tie. I’m not the kind of person that likes to attend formal classes, maybe I have ADD or just very little patience, but I have never liked doing the same thing over and over and over. Once I learn to do something I am ready to move onto the next step so I started looking for step-by-step lessons or videos on the web when I stumbled on a web site called ‘Fly Anglers On-Line’. I found exactly what I was looking for by some guy named Al Campbell.
As I got into the lessons and had questions Al seemed to go out of his way to answer them rapidly. His step-by-step instructions are so detailed I didn’t have many questions and I’m glad they are still available for review. Then Al was gone but his legacy remains in those lessons.
I have tried to take the example of Al and others on this site to help others by passing on some ‘stuff’ I have learned. This knowledge is very limited compared to a lot of the others here but I have to try so I have shared some “Tying Tips” and even one article about my last Colorado fishing trip.
I visit FAOL daily and took the request for submissions to heart but what to write? With no subject or much writing ability I was stumped. The last entry in the thread ‘Writers Wanted - Fly Angler's OnLine Needs Help’ from Ladyfisher said in part, “Our editor Neil Travis posted a Editors Note at the bottom of the front/main page two weeks ago on that issue to the effect that our files are pretty much bare and we aren't prepared to write all the articles for each issue ourselves (been there and did that) and that because of the lack of articles and the loss of sponsors due to the economy we are going to publish a NEW issue every other week. That isn't carved in stone and if we have the material to use we will go back to an every week issue. But for now, it is every other week. There will be a new issue on the 28th. I'm really disappointed in the lack of response. “
This was the prodding I needed to at least try but still had no subject, I don’t know enough about fishing or tying to be considered an expert so I decided to try to describe what the site means to me.
This site has been my ‘go-to’ for information and instructions. It has suddenly dawned on me that my fly fishing journey started at a family reunion and that every time I come on here I’m back with family. Everyone here is helpful and not judgmental just like family should be.
While I might not be an expert like some I will continue to work for the sport by trying to pass on what I have learned here. I hope others will also take up the torch and at least try to submit something and keep this site up and fresh. Plus I don’t think anyone wants to read any more of my dribble.