olive the woolly bugger

I’ve never met an idiot on a blocked call

It’s been a while since I wrote of my progress on the Olive film front and the reason for that is simply that I have nothing to report. There have been no blips on the radar, as it were.  Well, there was a blip on the radar this evening, but that blip went undetected.

A week or so ago I sent a set of Olive books to the second Big Fish I’ve targeted since beginning my quest. This Big Fish met all the criteria to be an invaluable asset in bringing Olive to the big screen: this Big Fish is a well known Hollywood actor and a published author. His published works include a recent and popular fly fishing book as well as a series of children’s books. His work on television and the big screen makes him a household name. I thought that if anyone would appreciate what I am trying to accomplish, it would be him. I hoped he would be interested in the project. Heck, I even had him earmarked as the voice for Clark.

So when my phone rang tonight, it displayed “blocked call”. Naturally I anticipated a solicitor or some other shady individual, so of course I didn’t answer. Why would I? It’s my policy to not answer calls unless I recognize the name/number. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message, right? Well, apparently it was important because much to my surprise there was a voicemail from “blocked call”. I listened, and my jaw dropped because of whose voice it was–yes, it was the second Big Fish. It was the nicest, most heartfelt rejection I could have ever hoped for. I was upset for sure, not so much out of disappointment in being rejected (well, OK maybe a little- or, a lot), but because I’d missed the call. There’s no way to call him back because the number was blocked for obvious security reasons.What I wouldn’t give to have that chance again.

With regard to his book, I’ve not yet read it, but I will be doing so soon. The author is actually signing books at a fly shop in LA in a week, and a friend of mine is going to be there, standing in line, to get me an autographed copy (thanks in advance, Aileen). I’ll read the book with great interest, knowing that I came “this close” to talking to the author. At least I’ll have his autograph.

So, this is strike two when it comes to Big Fish. I’ve got another one in mind, so I shall forge ahead. If Olive never makes it to the big screen, I am better for the journey she has taken me on. I’ve had close encounters with some well known people, and the Olive books have found their way into the hands of people who may have never seen them otherwise. There is victory to be found in that alone.

So thank you, Mr. Big Fish, for the courtesy of the call. I’ll be listening to your voicemail over and over as I bang my head against the wall. And if you ever have a change of plans, Olive eagerly awaits you. Next time I’ll take your call.

And we proceeded on…


Getting to know: Clark, the Steelhead Fry

Steelhead fry

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.

Read the first interview here, the second interview here, the third interview here, and the fourth interview here.

Today, Olive talks with a very good friend whom she met when she went for a wild adventure in book #3, Olive Goes for a Wild Ride. This friend isn’t a fly, but rather he’s a fish. Welcome, Clark the small fry.

Olive: Hey Clark! I hardly recognized you!

Clark: Hi Olive!  Yeah, I’ve been eating a lot and growing quite a bit since our wild adventure.  I gotta get bigger and stronger so I can swim out to sea!

Olive: I want to talk about that, but first let’s go back to when we met. Who knows what might have happened to me if you hadn’t gotten me untangled! I’ll never forget that day.

Clark: Me neither.  But I didn’t just help you…you helped me in so many ways. I didn’t know much about anything when I was small. Heck I didn’t even know what you were. I thought you were some sort of fish!

Olive: Well, you weren’t very big and hadn’t learned many things yet. But together we went on a great adventure and we both learned a lot.

Clark: You were an awesome teacher, Olive.

Olive: I don’t know about that, but I had an awesome teacher myself–Mr. Muddler Minnow!

Clark: Everyone has to have a great teacher–it’s the only way we can learn new things!

Olive: So, Clark, you’re a steelhead fry, right?

Clark: Actually, I’m a steelhead smolt, now. I used to be a fry.

Olive: What’s the difference, for those of us who don’t know?  And also, what is a steelhead?

Clark: Well, a steelhead is a rainbow trout. We hatch from eggs in rivers, but the difference is that rainbows remain in the rivers for their entire life, living the life of a trout.  Steelhead are anadromous.

Olive: Anadromous means that you swim out to sea, right?

Clark: Exactly. Remember Sockeyed Jack, the Pacific Salmon?  He taught us about that. After we swim out to see we spend a few years getting really big and and strong. Then we return to the river where we were born to spawn. So, that’s the difference between regular rainbow trout and steelhead, even though we’re really the same species of fish.

Olive: That is so amazing.  How do you know if you’re a rainbow trout or a steelhead? I mean since it’s the same species?

Clark: I really don’t know.  I just know!

Olive: So, you mentioned that you’re no longer a fry. Now you’re a smolt?

Clark: Yep. When we first met I was really little. Now I’m quite a bit bigger, and I’m almost ready to head out to sea. But I’m nowhere near being as big as I’m gonna get! Man, the ocean is gonna be like a smorgasboard of food!

Olive: Are you excited for that?

Clark: Totally!  I mean, living in the Big Stream is cool- it’s an awesome place, and there are lots of bugs to eat and stuff. But out in the ocean there’s a lot more food. I can’t wait. I’m always hungry!

Olive: Oh, I remember.  You were always munching on bugs.

Clark: You really should try a grasshopper sometime. They taste like chicken!

Olive: (laughs) You’re so funny, Clark. So will you promise to come back to The Big Stream someday?

Clark: You betcha!  We never did get to go fishing, so when I come back maybe we can do that!

Olive: You can count on it!

Clark: 1..2..3..4..

Olive: Um, Clark, what are you doing?

Clark: Counting on it!  (laughs)

Olive: I’ve sure missed your sense of humor.  I can’t wait until you come back from your adventure at sea. OK, I know you’re getting ready to go, so let me ask one more quick question before you head out to the ocean. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Clark the Steelhead Fry, who would you choose?

Clark: I think my first choice would be Henry Winkler. He seems like a really nice guy, and I know he really likes fly fishing. In fact, he recently wrote a book titled, I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the Water and he’s also the author of children’s books. So yeah, definitely Henry Winkler. But if he’s too busy, then maybe Dana Carvey, ’cause I’ve heard he likes to fly fish, too.

Henry Winkler

Getting to know: Polly the Partridge & Orange

Partridge and Orange

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.

Read the first interview here, the second interview here, and the third interview here.

Today, Olive interviews one of her closest friends, a very quiet and soft-spoken fly whom she first met at Camp Tightloops, Polly the Partridge and Orange.

Olive: Hey there, Polly! Thanks for coming on the show today.

Polly: Oh, thank you for inviting me, Olive.

Olive: You’ve always been one of my favorites, Polly. You’re so nice.  Tell us a bit more about yourself.

Polly:  Oh, I’m not very comfortable talking about myself. Must I, really?

Olive: Polly, you are so pretty and you’re such a good fishing fly. I’m sure everyone would love to know more about you. Lots of people probably don’t know what a Partridge and Orange is.

Polly:  Well, thank you. I appreciate the nice words.  OK, well, a Partridge and Orange is a soft hackle fly, and even though soft hackles may not be very well known to some people, they’ve been around for a long, long time.

Olive: You’re not a dry fly, right?  I mean, you have hackles, but they’re not the same as dry fly hackles.

Polly:  Right, my hackles are made from the soft feathers of a partridge, and instead of sticking out straight and causing me to float like a dry fly, my hackles are swept back. I’m actually a wet fly, designed to fish under the water, where my hackles move back and forth like the legs of an insect.

Olive: So, do you swing in the current like a streamer?

Polly:  Yep, I can do that. Or I can also dead drift in the current.

Olive: Like Gilbert!

Polly:  Right, just like Gilbert. He’s such a good guy.

Olive: He is. I’m so glad we’re all good friends. We have a lot of fun hanging out in The Fly Box. Are there any other ways that you can fly fish?

Polly:  I can also be used in lakes and ponds where I’m usually fished just under the surface, like mayfly that’s just emerging from a nymph into an adult. I can also be used to imitate a caddis. I’m sorry, I feel as though I’m talking too much about myself.

Olive: That’s so cool! You sure can do a lot of different things. For someone with as much talent as you have, you’re so humble. I like that about you, Polly.

Polly: Thank you, Olive. That’s very kind of you to say. You’ve always been so encouraging. On that very first day that we fished The Big Stream, it was very frustrating. I’m so thankful to have had you there as a friend.

Olive: That was a very tough day for everyone. We were all so new to fishing and I think our expectations were that we’d all catch a whole bunch of fish. We sure learned that isn’t always the case!

Polly: Indeed.  And if one isn’t going to catch fish, it’s certainly much more fun when you’re with good friends.

Olive: Absolutely!  Spending time with friends is what fishing is all about! Hey Polly, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but you have a slight accent to your voice don’t you?

Polly: (shyly) Yes. The Partridge and Orange was originally an English creation, so that’s where my accent comes from.

Olive: That’s so interesting. See?  You’ve got so much to offer!  I’m sure everyone has enjoyed learning more about you and I’m really glad you agreed to do this interview today.

Polly: Well, anything for you Olive. We’ve been through a lot together.

Olive: No kidding. Remember that day at Camp Tightloops when we had to get our barbs flattened? We were all so scared.

Polly: It was absolutely terrifying! Luckily it didn’t hurt one bit, and I’m glad you went first. That made it much easier for me.

Olive: And it was all worthwhile because without barbs on our hooks it’s much easier to remove our hooks from a fish’s mouth without risking injury to the fish.

Polly: Right.  We wouldn’t want to hurt the fish. It’s important to release them unharmed so that we can try to catch them again.

Olive: OK, Polly, I have one more question for you if you don’t mind. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Polly the Partridge and Orange, who would you choose?

Polly: Oh, I wouldn’t want to choose. There are so many talented actresses. I suppose someone with a British accent would be the perfect choice. May I suggest Jane Seymour? She’s lovely, and she’s also a fly angler.

Jane Seymour

Getting to know: Stan the Stimulator


This is the third in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.

Read the first interview here, and the second interview here.

Today, Olive welcomes one of her favorite friends from The Fly Box, the very lively Stan the Stimulator.

Olive: Hi Stan, thanks for taking the time to stop by today!


Olive: (laughs) Oh, man, Stan–I almost forgot how enthusiastic you are!  Can you do me a favor?


Olive: (still laughing) Can you, um, use your indoor voice…please?

Stan: NO SWEAT, WOOLLY B!  Sorry, I mean, sure– no problem! Sorry I guess I get a little excited when talkin’ fly fishin’!  WOOT WOOT!!!

Olive: Well, let’s talk about that, then.  So, you’re obviously a Stimulator. Tell the audience a bit more about yourself.

Stan: You got that right, Olive–I am a STIM-U-LATOR. I’m all about action…STIMULACTION!

Olive: (still laughing) What do you mean by that, Stan?

Stan: Well, you can see for yourself, I’m big and bright and bushy. I am the HACKLE MASTER!  I’m all about getting fish excited. You can call me STAN THE FISH MAN…I am LARGE and IN CHARGE!!!

Olive: (rolls her eyes, smiling) Are all stimulators just like you?

Stan: Well, not exactly. There are different color variations, but I’m tied with a yellow body, so when fish see me, they see a big old golden stonefly, and anyone who knows fly fishing knows that fish go CRAZY for GOLDEN STONES!!! (hops up and down)

Olive: Well, I must admit, you are hard to ignore!

Stan: That’s right, Olive–not much about me is…um…

Olive: Subtle?

Stan: YEAH, that’s the word…subt– see?  I can’t even SAY it!!! HA HA!

Olive: So, it’s safe to assume that you’re a dry fly, right?

Stan: ROGER THAT. Stan the Man is a Dry Fly Guy! I am ALL about the FLOAT, just like a BOAT!

Olive: So let’s talk about that for a minute. You do look like you would float really well.

Stan: WORD!  I’m at my best in extreme water…you know, when the going gets ROUGH, Stan gets TOUGH!

Olive: Can you explain that to those who don’t know what you mean?

Stan: I’m built to float HIGH and DRY in fast water that would sink most other flies. I’m built like a TANK, but I bob like a CORK!!!  You see, stoneflies skim along the surface of the water, in riffles and rapids where they lay their eggs. The best fly imitations are ones that can skitter and skate over fast water without becoming waterlogged or soggy. BADDA-BOOM, BADDA-BINGULATOR–it’s time for STAN THE STIMULATOR!!!

Olive: Oh Stan, you crack me up! But even though you kinda like to brag, I know that deep down you’ve got a heart of gold.

Stan: Stan is all about sharing the love. My heart is GOLD like a GOLDEN STONE, baby!!! I love EVERYONE!

Olive: And everyone loves you, Stan. You are a LOT of fun to have in The Fly Box. We’re all different, but that’s OK because we all do different things.

Stan: I KNOW, RIGHT?!! I think it’s SUPER COOL the way you can swim UNDER the water…I mean, WOW–I couldn’t do that even if I tried!  Well, maybe if someone tied a boat anchor to my line, then I might be able to sink, but I wouldn’t know what to do if I did! IT WOULD STINK IF STAN WERE TO SINK!!!

Olive: Well, I don’t think we have to worry about that. It’s sure fun to watch you do what you do, and you always have a great attitude. I’ve only seen you discouraged once. Remember that?

Stan: Oh yeah, I remember. It was our first time at the Big Stream, and NOBODY was catching fish. I was beginning to think there were no fish in the river until you rocked that Rainbow–BOO-YAH!!! Score ONE for O the WOOLLY B!!!

Olive: Thanks, but I think I just got lucky that day.  We’ve all learned a lot since then. OK, Stan–I know it’s hard for you to sit still for too long so I have just one more question. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Stan the Stimulator, who would you choose?

Stan: (silence)

Olive: Stan?  This isn’t like you to be at a loss for words…

Stan: Sorry, my mind is SPINNING IT’S WHEELS…OK, I got it…definitely JIM CARREY!!! No, WAIT…ROBIN WILLIAMS!!! Oh MAN- this is SO HARD!  Either of them would ROCK! Oh hey, look- a SQUIRREL!!!

Jim Carrey

Robin Williams

Getting to know: Gilbert the Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear

Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear

This is the second in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.

Read the first interview, here.

Today, Olive talks with her best friend whom she met on her first day at Camp Tightloops, Gilbert the Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear.

Olive: Gilbert! Thanks for stopping by to chat with me today.

Gilbert: Thanks for inviting me, Olive. This is pretty cool that you have your own blog. Maybe I should call you Olive the Woolly Blogger!

Olive: (laughs) You’re silly, Gilbert. So, tell us–what is a Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear? By the way, that’s a mouthful so we’re going to abbreviate it with GRHE, OK?

Gilbert: (laughs) Sure thing! I’m not very big, but I definitely have a big name! A GRHE is a nymph fly tied to imitate baetis (mayfly) nymphs. Most mayflies aren’t very big, so that’s why I’m small.

Olive: What’s a nymph, for those who don’t know?

Gilbert: A nymph is an immature insect, before it hatches into an adult with wings. Nymphs live underwater where they swim around or crawl on rocks.

Olive: So how do you go about fishing? Do you zip and dart like a streamer?

Gilbert: Mostly what I do is bounce along the bottom of the river like a real insect nymph tumbling in the current. It’s called ‘dead drifting.’

Olive: Dead drifting? That sounds kinda scary!

Gilbert: Oh, it’s not scary at all. It just means that the fly drifts naturally in the water as if its not attached to a line. I need to look as realistic as possible in order to fool fish, because as you know, fish can get pretty smart.

Olive: You look pretty real to me! I bet you fool a lot of fish.

Gilbert: Thanks! I don’t always catch fish, but nymph fishing is a pretty effective way to catch fish since fish eat most of their meals under the water.

Olive: I’d never met a nymph before I went to Camp Tightloops. Do you remember when we first met at camp?

Gilbert: Of course I do! You were feeling pretty sad because the dry flies were teasing you. That wasn’t very nice of them. The dry flies were sort of a clique, like an exclusive bunch of popular kids. Since I wasn’t one of the cool kids I knew exactly how you were feeling.

Olive: That was really nice of you to approach me and become my friend. Luckily the dry flies didn’t all turn out to be snobs, except for Randal the Royal Coachman.

Gilbert: Yeah, I don’t understand why Randal had such an attitude problem. He was never nice to anyone if they weren’t a dry fly. But karma came back to haunt him because he didn’t make it into The Fly Box.

Olive: Yeah, I actually felt bad for him on graduation day. I wish the best for Randal. Maybe he’s changed by now. I think everyone can change and become better.

Gilbert: I agree. Change is what makes fly fishing so much fun, because sometimes the fish like one fly, and the next minute they want something different.  We have to be willing to change flies and try something new. There’s no point in arguing over what works best, because what works best now may not work at all tomorrow!

Olive: That’s so true. And we all have our own talents and that’s what makes us unique.

Gilbert: Yep, and I love to watch different flies at work. It’s fascinating to me how the dry flies can float, and how streamers, like you, can zip and dart.

Olive: And I like watching how you can dead drift. I’m gonna try that sometime–it actually looks fun!

Gilbert: It is fun, and you should totally try it. Woolly Buggers are great for dead drifting!

Olive: Thanks, Gilbert. I’m going to do that next time I go fishing. Speaking of which, have you been fishing much lately?

Gilbert: Not as much as I’d like. It’s winter time and trout fishing can be pretty slow this time of year. When the water gets cold the fish aren’t very active, but I still like to go as much as possible. Fish still have to eat, after all, and nymph fishing can be very effective during the winter months.

Olive: So, we’ve been best friends for a long time. Not only were you my first friend, but you also rescued me in the third book, Olive Goes for a Wild Ride. Thanks for that, by the way!

Gilbert: You’re very welcome, Olive. That was quite a surprise to me when I found you in the third book. I’m sure glad I did because you had been on a really wild adventure. We were all glad to have you back in The Fly Box!

Olive: Thanks. It was great to be back home, too. One more question. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Gilbert the Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear, who would you choose?

Gilbert: Jimmy Kimmel. He’s funny and seems like he’d be a nice guy. And I know for sure he’s a fly fisherman because he’s talked about it and shown photos of himself fishing on his show. I think I look a little bit like him, too. Just kidding, Jimmy (laughs).

Jimmy Kimmel

Getting to know: Mr. Muddler Minnow

Muddler Minnow

This is the first in a series of interviews with characters from the Olive books. If you’re already familiar with the books, you’ll know these “folks” being interviewed. If you’ve not yet seen the books, these interviews will give you some insight into the colorful cast of characters who help to make Olive’s adventures so engaging and fun.

Today, Olive interviews her mentor, Camp Tightloops counselor, and all around good guy, Mr. Muddler Minnow.

Olive: Hi, Mr. Muddler Minnow–it’s great to see you!

MMM: Thanks for having me on the show today, Olive.

Olive: Let’s get right down to business.  You are, of course, a Muddler Minnow. What’s your favorite way to catch fish?

MMM: Well, I’m a classic old streamer, easily recognized by my spun deer hair head. There’s nothing I like more than swinging through the current and being strip-retrieved in short tugs. I love to zip and dart!

Olive: Me too!  In fact, you’re the one who taught me to zip and dart!  Up until then I thought I wanted to be a dry fly, but after you showed me my purpose in life I never looked back. What is it you like so much about zipping and darting?

MMM: As you know, Olive, big fish like to eat streamers because streamers represent very large insects, wounded baitfish, or just about any other form of aquatic food. And we represent a large meal. All size fish will try to snatch us up, but it’s the big fish that really go for streamers. When streamers are tugged in short bursts, the action of zipping and darting drives fish crazy!  I’m specifically tied to look like a sculpin, which is a small type of fish that larger fish love to eat. Streamers are irresistible.

Olive: I agree!  So would you say that streamer fishing is the best way to fly fish?

MMM: I don’t want to say that one method is better than another, because all styles of fly fishing have their benefits. I can also be used as a dry fly in certain instances, skated across the surface of the water. That can be a very exciting way to catch fish as well. It’s all good–that’s what makes fly fishing so fun.

Olive: That’s so cool. Sometimes I still wish I could float, but it’s OK that I don’t.

MMM: We’re all different, Olive, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all need to embrace what makes us unique and do our very best. And we also need to acknowledge that everyone has a purpose in life, and we shouldn’t judge others just because they’re different than us.

Olive: That’s for sure. You taught me that, and I may have never made it into The Fly Box if you hadn’t! So, tell me, are you retired now?

MMM: Well, I’m not sure if I can ever retire. As you know, I’ve been retired before, but I seem to have a hard time staying away from the water. I love to fish. I may not fish as often as I used to, but I love being in The Fly Box where I can help some of the younger flies learn their trade. And some of those grumpy old veterans can get a little bit critical sometimes so I need to keep them in check.

Olive: It’s fun to listen to the old timers argue and tell old stories.

MMM: Most of the stories they tell aren’t quite accurate, Olive. Much of what they’re saying are half-truths.

Olive: What do you mean by half-truths, sir?

MMM: (laughs) Well, most of the time the old veterans don’t remember how big the fish were that they caught a long time ago. Over time, the size of those fish tends to get bigger.

Olive: That’s funny.  But isn’t it true that long ago there were a lot more fish in the rivers? You know, back when the veterans were just rookies themselves?

MMM: Yes, that’s absolutely the case, Olive. I can confirm that when I was a much younger fly, the rivers had a lot more fish in them than most do today. It was a rare thing to go fishing and not come home with your limit.

Olive: So back in the olden days you kept your fish?

MMM: Sadly, yes.  We didn’t practice catch and release back then. We caught fish and kept them. We thought the fish were in endless supply. We didn’t mean to do anything wrong, we just didn’t know differently.

Olive: But now there aren’t as many fish, and most of the time it’s catch and release when we go fishing. Do you still enjoy it?

MMM: Oh, absolutely. The thrill of finding a fish and convincing the fish that I’m a real meal–that’s what I enjoy. I love the game of tug-of-war once I hook a big fish. I don’t mind releasing the fish one bit. You’re familiar with the expression, “There’s more to fishing than catching fish.” That’s very true. I just enjoy being outdoors in a natural setting, being cast into a beautiful piece of water, and looking for fish. And now I get a lot of enjoyment out of helping others become better fly fishing flies.

Olive: Do you ever keep fish any more?

MMM: Not often, but occasionally. When I’m fishing in a lake that has stocked trout, for example, I enjoy keeping a fish or two. Or when I have the occasion to fish for steelhead, I’ll definitely keep a hatchery fish. That’s why those fish were placed there: to be caught and kept. But I always release wild fish.

Olive: One more question. If you were in a movie and you could choose a famous actor to lend their voice talent to the role of Mr. Muddler Minnow, who would you choose?

MMM: Wow, that’s a tough choice, Olive. There are so many great actors with very distinct voices…three come to mind immediately: Wilford Brimley, Sam Elliot and Tom Selleck. There’s something about either of those gentleman that I can identify with. I hear they’re all fly fishermen, and I’d be honored if they were to play the voice of me.

Wilford Brimley

Sam Elliott

Tom Selleck


Olive the Woolly Bugger in 3D CGI

Anyone who has seen the Olive books knows that the illustrations which bring the stories to life are of a traditional, 2D style (the way all animated films used to look).  Thanks to Pixar’s 1995 groundbreaking Toy Story, the first feature-length 3D computer animated film, the majority of animated films are now being done in 3D CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).

I’ve been itching to see how Olive might look in a “Pixar-ish” style so I sought a 3D animator to interpret my characters.  Through the Animation, Media & Entertainment group on LinkedIn, I contacted UK-based animator Simon Cornish to inquire about his availability to render Olive and Clark in 3D. When I saw his website, Itchy Pictures, I thought, “This is the guy for the job.” It seemed my destiny to connect with Simon since Olive is a brand of Itchy Dog Productions, my freelance business. Great minds, or at least itchy ones, think alike.

Other than classrooms of elementary school kids, I’ve never had anyone draw Olive before, so I was a bit worried about how another artist might interpret characters that are so near and dear to me. My trepidation was for naught as I was thrilled when I received Simon’s renderings.  Now that my itch has been scratched and I know how she might look in this computer-generated medium, it’s time to forge ahead…

Thank you, Simon, for doing such a wonderful job with Olive and Clark. I’m hoping your work will help launch Olive and Clark toward big screen stardom!



Olive the Woolly Bugger film: The End

A while back I shared with you my idea for the opening scene for the Olive animated film. Based on this concept, those familiar with the Olive books recognize that this film will not just be a recycled version of the stories from the books.

The opening scene precedes a dream sequence in which the magic of the story is contained. After the dream has concluded, the closing scene finds Olivia and her father standing together along the edge of a river. It’s Olivia’s first time fly fishing, and she is filled with wonder and intrigue. Like any child she wants to catch a fish, but thanks to her dream from the night before, she has gained insight that goes well beyond her young years and lack of experience. As she casts her line into the water she asks her father, “Dad, do you think the river can talk to us?” Her father is delightfully caught off-guard by the question. Through their conversation we learn that a river does talk to us, if we’re willing to listen. And thanks to Olive the Woolly Bugger we come to realize that there is much more to fishing than just catching fish…

Olive the Woolly Bugger as an animated film. This is my dream.

Olive is 1% behind the environment


Olive the Woolly Bugger is 100% about introducing kids to the great outdoors through fly fishing, and by doing so she hopes to instill a sense of stewardship in kids today so that can lead tomorrow.  Now she will be able to do more to help with conservation because of her membership with 1% for the Planet.

1% for the Planet exists for the sole purpose of building and supporting a world of businesses that are financially committed to creating a healthy planet. Members commit to giving one percent of their revenues to non-profit organizations working for a healthy planet. Funds flow directly from the member company to the organizations of their choice.

Started in 2002 by Patagonia CEO and founder Yvon Chouinard, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1%  of the Planet includes more than 1380 member companies in 43 countries. Its members are a varied assembly of companies of all sizes with one common goal: to be a powerful force for change.

Olive the Woolly Bugger may be small, but she can be mighty. And she will be doing her part to help insure that future generations have fish to catch thanks to 1% for the Planet.

Thank you to everyone who supports Olive. By doing so, you’re effectively contributing to 1% for the Planet. And by virtue of that you’re giving back to the environment. Without a healthy planet, we wouldn’t have clean waters and fish.

Please check out this 1% for the Planet video to see how they’re making a difference.

Getting started: 1% Ambassador Program with Terry from 1% from 1% for the Planet on Vimeo.

“Olive, the doctor will see you now…”

In this day and age of cyber-reality where online networking has redefined the social norm, I definitely consider Nick Hamill a good friend, even though I’ve never met him in person. A few years ago when the Olive books were first published, Nick and I struck up an online correspondence (truth be told, we met in a fly fishing chat room). Since then he and his kids have become fans and big supporters of Olive.

For example, a couple of years ago, Nick, who is a very talented fly tier, created these very unique versions of Olive and friends to entertain his kids.

One-of-a-kind Olive Woolly Bugger

Custom Olive and Fly Box Friends

When his daughter had a birthday at the beginning of this year, she requested an Olive the Woolly Bugger cake.

But Nick’s enthusiastic support of Olive didn’t end there. Most recently he asked if I’d be willing to send high res images of illustrations from the Olive books so that he might decorate the walls of his medical practice. Of course I eagerly obliged, and Nick had the images digitally printed on canvas and stretched over frames. The results are exceptional–I want a set!

You’ll also note the presence of some artwork by artist Derek DeYoung hanging on the walls of the waiting room of Nick’s practice (below, left).

Says the good doctor,  “I was attempting to keep my fishing addiction subtle, but I think I blew it.”

I would agree.  Well done!

So the next time you’re in Tacoma, WA in need of a ears/nose/throat specialist, I recommend you schedule an appointment to see Dr. Nicholas Hamill at Pacific Otolaryngology. Nobody likes going to the doctor, but Olive may help reduce some of that fear. And you’ll be in very capable hands. After all, anyone who can tied flies like Nick can must be pretty good at tending to other delicate matters.

Thanks to Nick and his family for being such great friends of Olive. Your support is very much appreciated!