Oprah fly fishing

Olive is Crushing it!

Until I saw the video below I had no idea that I was “crushing it”, let alone what the term, in this case, means. There are instances where I’ve heard the term used to describe other things such as when one smashes their finger with a hammer (“Dude, I just crushed my finger!”); when stomping grapes in the wine-making process (“Dude, come on over and let’s crush some grapes”); or when a really great day of fishing is enjoyed (“Dude, I totally crushed the browns”).

Apparently “Crushing It” also means maximizing one’s online presence to promote a business, product, or idea. In the book  Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk, the author talks about many ways the social media revolution has changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business, and the book gives you the tools to take advantage and WIN.

I hope my crushing it will mean that people find out about my kids fly fishing books.  I’m also going to remain hopeful that Oprah will finally hear about the books as well. If I never hear from Oprah I’ll be disappointed, but not completely crushed.

Thanks to my friends, Kathy and Jenn over at Ovaleye Web Solutions for the shout out in their vblog.

Olive and Oprah, Part V

Miracles.  Do you believe in them?  That’s a question recently asked by Oprah on Facebook. I don’t know if I believe in miracles, but I do believe in perseverance. So does Olive the woolly bugger, which is one of the important lessons in my children’s fly fishing books.

If you’ve been following my exploits in recent weeks, you know that my mission in life is to get Oprah to bless my series of kids books and add them to her recommended Kids’ Reading List.  I figured that since Oprah recently went fly fishing for the first time and proclaimed an interest in doing more, the time is now for her to see my books.

As the saying goes, the last key unlocks the door. I’ve knocked on the door and so far nobody has answered. I’ll keep trying different keys, and if that doesn’t work I may have to jimmy the lock.

Olive and Oprah, Part IV

You all may know by now that Oprah went camping in Yosemite this past summer, and while she was there she tried her hand at fly fishing for the first time. For a little inside scoop about the experience, guide Brian Grossenbacher talks about it over on About.com

If you have been following along with my blog for the past few weeks, you’ve read about my attempts to email Oprah, hoping to get her attention and request that she consider Olive the Woolly Bugger for inclusion in her Kids’ Reading List.  Thus far the attempts at establishing a communication link with Oprah have proven futile, but I shall persevere and eventually I hope to hear back. Recently I had a dream in which my wishes came true. It went something like this (and I apologize for the 13 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back):

Olive and Oprah, Part III

Well, Oprah’s show featuring her camping trip to Yosemite aired last week, and it did include a brief segment about their fly fishing experience. From Oprah’s website:

Oprah and Gayle begin their day, and the first thing on the agenda is a lesson in fly fishing—something Oprah has always dreamed of doing. “I like the idea of putting on the boots and going out in the water and catching and releasing some fish,” Oprah says.

After watching the show, it was painfully clear that Oprah’s friend Gayle was WAY out of her element and she won’t be fishing again anytime soon.

“I’m all done with fly fishing,” Gayle says. “It’s just not for me. I like a pretty pool; I like a pretty colored drink with an umbrella sitting in it.”

To each their own. Afterall, if everyone fly fished, there wouldn’t be a lot of room along the banks of the river. Oprah, on the other hand, had a great attitude and seemed to catch on to the casting fairly well. She indicated that she enjoyed it and will be trying it again.  Conditions didn’t look favorable for catching fish, and they didn’t. But it seems that Oprah quickly grasped the meaning of “there’s more to fishing than catching fish.” In fact, she said that she wants to put together a group and take a trip.  I can imagine that there are any number of fly fishing guides and outfitters across the West that will be vying for a chance to book that trip, but my hunch is that Brian and Jenny Grossenbacher (Grossenbacher Guides) may have a lock on that since they were with Oprah on her trip to Yosemite.

Here are a couple of photos posted on Oprah’s website from their fly fishing lesson.

Strike while the iron is hot

With Oprah’s show featuring her fly fishing experience still smoldering like a nights-old campfire, the time is now to let Oprah know about my books. With that in mind I continue to send an email to her on a weekly basis, although I readily acknowledge that my odds of hearing from Oprah are miniscule. I wonder if maybe I should start my quest with something a little more reasonable?  Perhaps I should send a set of books to the Grossenbachers. Maybe they would forward them to Oprah since they’re all fishin’ buddies. I’m sure they have each others’ cell numbers.

One way or another there has to be a way for my Olive books to get into Oprah’s hands.  What she does with them after that is up to her, but I would sure love to have Olive added to Oprah’s Kid’s Reading List.  More kids need to learn about fly fishing and the great outdoors.  It’s good for kids, as I wrote about HERE. I think Oprah can see the value in that after just one camping trip and one brief fly fishing lesson.

Oprah, are you listening?  I just sent you an email. Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

Olive and Oprah, Part II.

Oprah and Gayle with guides Brian and Jenny Grossenbacher

It’s widely known that fishing is an activity that leads to an interest in other outdoor sports. This is not my own assertion, it’s simple fact and I talked about it in a previous entry, HERE.

If you’re an Oprah fan (my wife is) then you likely know that she took a camping trip to Yosemite this summer and one of the things she did was try her hand at fly fishing. I touched on that previously as well, HERE.  Today’s Oprah show will feature part 2 of Oprah’s camping trip. I hope it also touches a bit more on Oprah’s introduction to fly fishing, because no matter what your opinion of Oprah, she is widely respected and has the power to influence. If her popularity leads to an interest in fly fishing, I see that as a good thing. The sport needs new participants, not just to boost the economic side of the industry, but to create new stewards for the resource. There’s an article over at Field & Stream about Oprah and Gayle’s fly fishing experience. Kirk Deeter writes:

“This episode really revolves around our National Parks, and is intended to inspire more people, particularly African-Americans, to get out and enjoy the wonderful natural treasures therein… fly fishing being one way to do so. That’s a darn solid ideal, if you ask me.”

See, there it is again- the reference to fly fishing being one key way to experience the great outdoors!  Oprah reported on a previous show that “not enough black people go camping.” Perhaps there’s a correlation with the fact that not enough black people go fishing as well? Well, no matter the color of one’s skin, fly fishing is a great activity.  Oprah has the power to influence millions of people, black, white, brown or any color in between.  One way to influence any person is to spark an interest at an early age, and that’s the goal of my Olive books: to create an awareness of what fly fishing has to offer.  My books don’t concern themselves with human characters so they appeal equally to all, no matter the color of their skin. Olive is for everyone. She hails from a colorfully diverse family: her mother is a brown woolly bugger, her father a black woolly bugger. She has friends that are yellow, orange, and purple.

Deeter also says:

“One way or the other, I’d suggest to you that, in reaching out to her massive audience and saying nice things about fly fishing, Oprah will do more to stimulate interest in this sport (and our National Parks), perhaps since A River Runs Through It hit the silver screen in 1992. Certainly more than a lot of companies (including some selling you gear, and not putting back) have done… more than making movies of ourselves to show to ourselves will ever do… and more than any writer “preaching to the choir” can hope to accomplish.”

I agree.  Let Oprah’s power of influence ring beneficial.  Heck, I’m hoping she’ll finally see that Olive the Woolly Bugger is worth considering for her Oprah’s Kids’ Reading List. Olive needs Oprah’s help in spreading the word about fly fishing and outdoor recreation.  And yes, if that results in an increase in book sales, I wouldn’t mind that as well.

Oprah, I wrote to you again. I look forward to a reply, eventually.

Olive and Oprah

A while ago I tried to find a way to contact the folks at the Oprah show to see about submitting Olive for consideration in Oprah’s Book Club List. I had visions of grandeur that Oprah herself would see the books, deem them awesome, have the author on her show, and give away a set of Olive the woolly bugger books to everyone in the audience. Olive would be an instant household name. Oprah has the power to make best sellers out of previously nobodies. Actually, I don’t even care about getting on Oprah’s show, but I would be tickled if my Olive books made Oprah’s Book List for Kids.

Unfortunately I never even got a reply when I submitted the contact form so I’m still a nobody. I wasn’t surprised. After all, Oprah doesn’t strike me as the type of person who would be particularly interested in fly fishing. But wait! Apparently she has actually tried casting a fly before!  Maybe there’s still hope for Olive to break through the fortress and get into Oprah’s hands.

Here is an entry on Field & Stream’s Honest Angler blog.

And Midcurrent also covered the story.

If anyone knows Oprah personally, please have her contact me. I’ll be waiting with baited breath for her call, which should come soon because this is her last season, afterall.