or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

Month: February 2011

Olive sighting

A friend of mine, Pat Konoske (who happens to be keeper of the Fishing for Words blog) was recently at the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, California.

While perusing the many offerings at the show, Pat stopped by the booth of The Angling Bookstore and saw something he recognized:

I hope Pat wasn’t so distracted by the Olive sighting that he forgot to drop some coin on a bunch of gear that he may not have realized he needed.

Thanks to the good folks at The Angling Bookstore for taking Olive the woolly bugger on tour with them again this year, and thanks Pat, for taking time out of your busy day to snap a photo.

Oprah Part VI: Could this time be different?

Anyone who has been following this blog for a few months knows that I have attempted, on many occasions, to get the attention of the folks at Oprah. All I want is for my Olive fly fishing books to be considered for inclusion in Oprah’s Reading List for Kids. I realize there’s no guarantee that even if the books were reviewed that they would be deemed worthy of inclusion. However, without Olive at least having been seen by the folks at Oprah’s empire, the chances of being included on the list are non-existent.

And so I began a weekly email campaign in which I wrote to Oprah for several weeks. Not surprisingly, I never heard from anyone even remotely associated with the Oprah show. Not so much as a generic reply to acknowledge receipt of my messages. Chalk it up to a dream being unfulfilled. A voice in my head told me to move on. Get over it, right?  Well stubbornness perseverance being one of the messages in the Olive books, I didn’t give up so easily.

I posted a few different blog articles thinking that Oprah might find them while surfing the internet in the evenings. When content is published into the internets, it sticks around forever. In light of that fact I’m still hoping to see her gravatar show up in my comments section. I have not lost all hope, yet.

In Part I I posted a brief mission statement and also linked to some articles about Oprah’s fly fishing adventure in Yosemite National Park last summer. To date it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

I wrote about the benefits of fishing in Part II, which tied in nicely with the reason behind Oprah’s great camping adventure, which was intended to open peoples’ eyes to the benefits of getting outside and exploring our natural resources. No eyes seem to have found my article, yet.

Part III was written immediately after I saw the episode of Oprah’s introduction to fly fishing. I wanted to strike while the iron was still hot. It was as if there was a hatch coming off and I wanted my fly on the water in case the fish were looking up. The fish didn’t seem to be biting.

By the time I wrote Part IV, I was clearly getting desperate. I created an Xtranormal animation about a dream-like encounter with Oprah along the banks of a river, with fly rod in hand. Do dreams come true?  This one didn’t. Not yet, anyway.

I’d all but given up hopes of a miracle when I wrote Part V. A chance discovery that Oprah was exploring the power of miracles hit home. I felt that it was Olive’s destiny to miraculously be discovered by Oprah.  But there was no miracle. Yet.

Which brings us to the present. Wearing her best poker face, Olive has sidled up to the Oprah poker table one final time. The last bet has been placed and Olive is hoping her final hand is a winner. There’s one more chance for a dream to come true—for a miracle to happen…

Last Call for Harpo Hook-Ups!

Here’s what it’s all about, according to Oprah’s website:

“Last Call for Harpo Hook-ups! If you have a dream you need help making come true we are here to hook you up. Maybe there someone you’ve always wanted to meet or something you’ve always wanted to do? Is there a job you desperately want or an exciting event you would love to experience? Is there one moment you feel could absolutely change your life? Perhaps you or someone you know has been through something difficult or done something extraordinary that makes you deserving of a Harpo hook-up, please let us know! The Oprah Winfrey Show is looking for one last group of viewers in desperate need of a hook up. Please only write to us if you are willing to share your story on National Television.”

I think Olive’s chances are about as good as they’ve ever been, and as good as they’re ever going to get.  With the reference to “hook-ups” it’s clear that at least Oprah is thinking about fishing. Maybe she’ll finally get hooked on Olive.

Oprah, I submitted my plea for a miracle. Please, don’t crush Olive’s dreams.

A Little Angler

I was recently fishing the Yakima River in Central Washington. Despite being a beautiful day with moderate temperatures, winter still had the fish firmly in its grip. If there were fish in the river they were hunkered down deep, nearly comatose. The result was that catching wasn’t real good. In fact, it was non-existent.

As I was returning to the truck to call it a day, I observed a little girl, who appeared to be about 7 years old, and her dad with fly rods in hand, doing their best to entice a fish to come to their offerings.  The little girl was all business as she flailed her rod wildly back and forth. Her strike indicator looked  to have been wrapped around her rod so that her fly wasn’t even getting out on the water.  That didn’t seem to dampen her enthusiasm as she kept at it while dad watched from a safe distance. I hope he stepped in and gave her some assistance with her tangled line. 😉

Watching this little girl having fun, spending some time with her dad on a beautiful day served as a reminder that fly fishing is about more than catching fish: it’s about getting outside, enjoying nature, spending quality time with friends and family. I was tempted to holler to her as I crossed the foot bridge, “Hey, little angler- have you gotten hooked on Olive the woolly bugger, yet?”

I opted not to interrupt her fun.

Another Reader Review

I’m absolutely privileged to post a reader review of the Olive the Woolly Bugger books. My favorite reviews come not from fly fishing magazines, official book reviewers, or adults – the best reviews come from kids! Not all fans of Olive hail from a fly fishing family, either, which supports my contention that Olive is for everyone, whether you’re a fly fishing veteran or you’ve never wet a line

The following photo was sent to me from Carla, whose daughter, Hannie, has developed a certain fondness for Olive. Carla writes:

“I have to tell you that out of hundreds of books (I’m a teacher…I have HUNDREDS) my little Hannie, who’s 3, wants to hear about “Olive” ALL the time. 🙂 ”

I love seeing bent corners on books, a clear indication that they’re getting lots of use!  Thank you to Carla and Hannie for getting hooked on Olive the Woolly Bugger!

The Next Generation

I came upon this video by way of Midcurrent and thought it was so excellent that I wanted to share it here for those who might otherwise have missed it.

It speaks to the essence of simplicity and a love of fishing.  As adults, we tend to over-analyze everything and make things more difficult than they need to be.  Kids on the other hand, haven’t yet mastered the task of tarnishing something by making it more than what it is. They do things just because. They just do it.

This is a great video by Brian Wise (Fly Fishing the Ozarks), head guide at River of Life Farm. The two boys in the video are Brian’s sons, Parker and Carter.

“What are you fishing for?”

“A lot of rainbows and some brown trouts”

“What kind of brown trout?”

“Um, like…um, a really big one.”

Ya gotta love the youthful enthusiasm these boys have for fly fishing, not to mention skills that would make most adults green with envy! It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see that these two young fellas are going to grow up to be not only great, passionate anglers, but advocates for fish and fisheries: stewards of the resource.  For right now, they’re just kids having fun catching fish, and not getting too caught up in the details. And therein lies the beauty of getting kids hooked on fishing.

Clearly these two boys don’t need Olive to get them hooked on fly fishing, but hopefully they have the books anyway. You know, just for the fun of it.

Idaho Outdoor Getaway Auction

The Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association (IOGA) is holding their 8th annual Outdoor Getaway Dinner and Auction event at the Coeur d’Alene Casino in Worley, Idaho on March 5, 2011 beginning at 5:30 PM.

A portion of the proceeds from the Outdoor Getaway fundraiser will benefit the Children’s Village in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Children’s Village provides a safe, loving, nurturing and healing home for children.

The Outdoor Getaway features up to 36 live auction items including professionally guided boating, fishing, hunting, and guest ranch trips as well as unique merchandise. The Outdoor Getaway also features a quality silent auction and several fun raffles. One of the featured silent auction items again this year is a set of all 3 Olive the Woolly Bugger books, autographed by yours truly.  It’s not exactly a big ticket item, but I’m honored that Olive can help support this great cause.

A listing of the live auction items can be found HERE.

An interview with 2 fly fishing sorta guys

Recently myself and Derek Young (owner of Emerging Rivers Guide Services) gathered in the comforts of Derek’s garage and via Skype were interviewed by Kathy Nelson of Ovaleye Web Solutions/Cloud Services.  Ovaleye hosts two of my websites, Itchy Dog Productions and Olive the Woolly Bugger (which includes this blog), as well as my other blog, The Unaccomplished Angler.  Derek’s website is also hosted by Ovaleye.

Kathy Nelson and her daughter and business partner, Jenn Donough, offer small business solutions to the entrepreneur-minded folks, such as but certainly not limited to the likes of Derek and myelf.  Huddled around a propane heater to stave off the chill of a late January day, we successfully avoided setting fire to our pants and pulled off an interview in which we talk about what we do, our goals, and how we use social media to help market our businesses.

If you’re looking for a guided trip on the Yakima River in Washington state, or perhaps a walk and wade on one of the Forks of the Snoqualmie, give Derek a shout.  If you’re looking for web hosting, web design and other internet-based small business solutions, check out Ovaleye. For graphic design services or engaging children’s books, come see me.

My name is Kirk Werner, and I approve this message: