or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

Month: December 2011

Always the last to know…and OK with that.

Christmas is still 16 days way, but I got an early present today. And it was quite a surprise.

Thanks to a Facebook post from Montana Fly Company today, I found out that Olive got shown some love in the press: on page 63 of the current issue of Fly Fisherman magazine (Gear Guide 2012).  I had no idea this was planned–nobody ever tells me anything ;). I guess it’s a good thing when Olive is getting attention without me knowing about it…that means it wasn’t because I begged for the coverage. I see this as a sign that momentum is gaining, and I could not be happier. I’m pretty sure Montana Fly Company had something to do with it, so thanks for that, pardner.

My issue hasn’t shown up in the mail yet–now I’ll be waiting with baited breath for the next mail run.

For the visually challenged, which includes yours truly, the blurb reads as follows:

Getting kids interested in fly fishing takes more than just time on the water. You can instill a passion for fly fishing between fishing events by tying flies together, and bringing the culture and entertainment of fly fishing into your home through books and DVDs. Olive the Little Woolly Bugger is a fictional character in a three-book series ($13 each, Johnson Books) created by Kirk Werner. Werner is the co-founder of the website takekidsflyfishing.com, and has done an excellent job of weaving fly fishing into a story line and illustrations that kids find captivating. The other books in the series are Olive and the Big Stream and Olive Goes for a Wild Ride. Montana Fly Company (mfc.com) also sells accessories with the Olive motif including Olive the Woolly Bugger nippers and plastic fly boxes with Olive on the front.


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