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Neil - Nov 17, 2013

Seventeen years ago this last September Deanna and Jim Birkholm, aka The Ladyfisher and James Castwell began a radical new venture; an online magazine dedicated to fly fishing. They were endeavoring to supplement their retirement income through selling advertising space and initially that was successful. Since both Deanna and Jim had been involved in fly fishing for many years they had many contacts in the fly fishing industry and they were able to pick-up many sponsors to help fund their endeavor. At that time the Internet was still a novelty and the idea of presenting an online magazine which allowed anyone to read the content for free was an untried and untested business model, but they had the desire to provide free content to anyone that was interested in the sport of fly fishing. They also wanted to provide a forum for anglers to exchange information and to give the average fly fishing angler a chance to have their ideas and stories published. Thus Fly Anglers Online was born.

Many things have changed in the last seventeen years. JC died while on a fishing trip to the Bahamas in the spring of 2009 and time has taken away several long term supporters and contributors. The Internet is now a major form of communication and many other online publications have appeared; luring away readers and sponsors. Today many former sponsors have their own websites and are no longer interested in paying a fee to FAOL to attract customers.

FAOL has always been a "mom and pop" business. We have never had any major investors to help fund the magazine. All of our writers have contributed their material for free, our IT and site administrators have never received any compensation for all their efforts, and the limited income that FAOL has generated has been used to pay for the costs of keeping the website online. No one, including yours truly, receive any compensation from FAOL.

Given these realities we will be making some changes to our website and our publication schedule. To produce a new front page every two weeks requires several hours of work each week editing and assembling the material. This has become increasingly difficult since we are receiving very few articles except from our regular contributors. Our IT man has to spend a couple hours of his free time every other weekend to code the material and get it uploaded to the server. Starting in December we will be producing a new front page on the first Monday of each month. We will be moving some of our feature articles to a spot on the bulletin board and we will be running some spot advertisements that will generate some additional income for FAOL when readers click on those ads. Hopefully this will help offset the revenue that we have lost due to the lack of paying sponsors.

We will be assessing the idea of allowing some limited advertising on the bulletin board for Friends of FAOL. We will be looking at the Chat Room to see how many people actually use it. The Chat Room is an extra expense and we will continue to offer it only if enough people are using it.

These changes will not affect the bulletin board or other aspects of the website. These changes are being made to help insure that we can continue to provide a service to our readers given the current realities that exist in the industry. Thank you all for your continuing support.

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