Sometimes the FAOL staff has something to share with our readers that doesn't quite fit in a normal category. These items can be found here.
NEW BEGINNINGS (from Jan 10, 2011)
from Deanna Travis
New beginnings are wonderful. There is always a sense of optimism and hope.
Each time we go fishing it's a new beginning. A chance to correct what we did wrong the last time, try a different fly, work on our presentation, fish a new place, extend our horizons. The success of our outing is in our own hands and capabilities to persevere. If we have success we smile, and walk a little taller. Our fishing success, in other words, is our responsibility. What we do is who we are. The fish need to co-operate, and fishing in fishless water is an exercise in futility. To avoid that we do our homework and try to fish where fish reside. We do a number of other things to help increase our odds. Some of us even have a lucky hat or fly to protect us against those things which keep luck from smiling on our endeavors. But the final responsibility for our fishing success is the same as it is in all of our daily lives.
Those who work hard pay attention, and as my grandmother used to intone, "Keep your nose clean," succeed. Grandmothers advice has probably even has more relevance today with rampant drug use, but in her day it simply meant not doing anything against the law - or giving your neighbors anything to gossip about, have pride, never do anything to bring shame on your family. Times sure have changed.
America has become a country where what you can get away with is the way people gain fame and notoriety. "What will the neighbors think?" is not a question that you hear raised much today. In many areas people don't even know the names of their neighbors. Nor are they concerned if no one shows up at the home for days. (Living in the close community we are wintering in isn't like that at all - people actually do check on you if you don't show up for coffee, a good thing with us elderly folks.)
We fly fishers tend to be loners. Some of us aren't terribly social, the big party scene isn't really comfortable, we would prefer to have a nice dinner with a couple of friends or share a pot of coffee around a campfire. We aren't very politically active nor are we great 'joiners.'
We also tend to analyze things rather than just accept the given 'facts.' That in my view is a laudable attribute, and one I'd like you to put to good use.
I'd like you to give some analytical thought to this: How can we as fly fishers improve our fly fishing? What are there we as individuals can do to help our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans? Are there local regulations which need to be changed? If you had your druthers what would you do? Seriously.
I'm not looking for an instant answer on this. I'd like you to chew on it. All of my adult life I've heard the phrase "Your vote counts." Regardless of how you would have liked this past election to have turned out, the truth is your vote does count. So does your opinion and voice as shown so vividly in the recent election.
Part of my job here is to be an encourager. By providing good information each week we encourage our readers to learn, share, improve their skills and knowledge. In short we try to provide information that will allow you, our readers, to improve yourself in the sport of fly fishing. That improvement pays off as fishing success. It also becomes part of how we think and act. Success breeds success. Not just in fishing - in our everyday lives.
With knowledge comes responsibility.
I'm sincerely hoping it is a new day in America. And it's payback time. I know what fly fishing has given me; hope, serenity, an incredible respect for the natural world, a thirst to learn and know more about fish and where they live, and most of all joy. Fly fishing has affected most every part of my life, and shaped who I am. I am grateful for that, and I accept the responsibility and consequences for my personal actions.
Payback time? Isn't it time you look at what you can do for fly fishing? As a community, the readers of this website are a very large group of people, well over a million strong. We can't all get together in a hall somewhere and decide on a plan to improve habitat, revise legislation and get it done. But we can, as concerned and informed individuals, perform small acts, something beyond just writing a check to Trout Unlimited or your local fishing group.
Give it some thought. What can you do? ~ The LadyFisher