or, perhaps Olive the Woolly Blogger...

Tag: olive fly fishing (Page 1 of 2)

It’s official- Olive’s apps are now available on iTunes!

August 21, 2012 at 10PM (Pacific Standard Time) Olive the Woolly Bugger and Chuckin’ Bugs 101 are officially available for download!

For detailed information about the apps, please check out this page HERE.

App descriptions are also available when you visit the App Store.

For Olive the Woolly Bugger, click this link.

For Chuckin’ Bugs 101, click this link.

Obviously I’m very excited to finally launch the apps. I would appreciate if you’d take time to review the apps once you’ve downloaded them.

Thanks for your continued support as Olive spreads the word that fly fishing is fun for kids!

App Update, once more

Beta versions have been tested…

Bugs have been eradicated (hopefully, every single one of those nasty little pests)…

The apps have been submitted to Apple for their blessing…

And now we wait…

In hopefully less than ten days, it’ll be launch time!

Here’s what the past 4+ months of hard work have resulted in:

Olive the Woolly Bugger

Olive the Woolly Bugger (paid version)

This is the full meal deal which includes the entire 41-page story, complete with a narration mode (or read by yourself), interactive pop-up screens, animations, and the game, Chuckin’ Bugs. The app price will be a very modest $1.99 at the time of launch.


Olive the Woolly Bugger Lite

Olive the Woolly Bugger Lite (free version)

This is the scaled-down app that includes half of story (22 pages). It also includes a narration mode (or read by yourself), interactive pop-up screens, animations. The idea here is that people will download this app without a second thought, and get hooked on Olive. Naturally they’ll then proceed to the App Store and purchase the full version.


Chuckin’ Bugs (101)

Chuckin’ Bugs 101

This game is a standalone app (included in the paid version of Olive) that will also be free to download. It’s a simple, 4-level game that will provide some challenges for younger players. Older kids may master it fairly quickly, but achieving a perfect score will take a bit of effort. The ‘101’ designation is indicative of plans for a more robust version of the game in the future. Chuckin’ Bugs 201 will have additional levels and a greater degree of difficulty, plus a lot more.

Thanks once again for your continued support, and stay tuned for the formal announcement within the coming days!

If you want to see some screen shots and more detailed info, please go HERE.

Olive the Woolly Bugger app update

As many know by now, Olive’s Kickstarter campaign was very successful, exceeding the goal and allowing for additional features in the app. Many thanks to all who supported the project and a very special thanks to the corporate sponsors: Angling University, FlyFishMap.com, Redington, Orvis, Mill River Fly Rods, Fly Fusion Magazine, Peak Fishing, Montana Fly Company, Blue River Fly Company, and Al Ritt Flies.

Development is nearing completion for the book part of the app, which is a condensed version of the stories from Olive the Little Woolly Bugger and Olive and The Big Stream (books 1 and 2 of the 3 book series). In addition to the illustrations and story that have made the printed books popular, there are many additional features in the app that make it a more robust learning tool for young readers. For example, kids will be able to tap an object or a word and the definition will pop up. In this instance, the words “woolly bugger” are highlighted in the text. When tapped, this screen will load:

Another example is the word “trout”, which when tapped displays this screen:

Many of the illustrations have simple animations that play when the reader taps an “animate” button. Not all pages are animated as I didn’t want animations to become too distracting or gratuitous. The animations are very short and simply bring a little bit of added dimension to the reading experience. But kids will be kids, and no doubt they will want to play the animations over and over. I know I will.

This is going to be a popular button.

I’ve really enjoyed creating the graphics for the app and it’s been a thrill seeing it take form through several beta versions. I guesstimated that I would spend about 80 hours on the app myself. I passed that mark a looong time ago. It has been much more work than I originally estimated, but it has really scratched my creative itch. I’ve gotten to wear many hats during the process: animator, illustrator, interface designer, etc. Working with the guys at The Pixel Rebel, the app developer, has been great. Their suggestions, expertise and enthusiasm has really helped the app take shape into something we’ll all be very proud of. Kudos to Jonathan Foos for his technical wizardry in being able to implement everything I’ve wanted to do. I hope I haven’t driven him crazy, yet ūüėČ We’ll see. The next phase of the app will be really cool once it’s completed and I can’t wait to see how it turns out…

A bonus feature in the app is a simple game called, Chuckin’ Bugs. It’s really just for fun although there are elements of real world fly fishing as a basis for the game. For example, the fish don’t always cooperate and there is always the threat of getting skunked! Kids love games, there’s no denying that. As an author and someone who worked in educational software development years ago, I really want to offer kids something with some substance. But when I got the idea for this game I just couldn’t help but indulge myself. Besides, if kids are going to be playing a game, it’s best that it be something that gets them thinking about fly fishing, right?!

If all goes as intended, the app will be completed within the next few weeks. After de-bugging (a term that seems oddly fitting) the app will be submitted for approval by the powers that be at Apple. Once that has been accomplished the app will be available on iTunes. At least that’s how I think the process will go. Once all is said and done, then comes the vastly important part of the app’s success: spreading the word.

You’re going to want to acquire an iPad if you don’t already have one.


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‚ÄďMr. Muddler Minnow!

Clark:¬†Everyone has to have a great teacher‚Äďit’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‚ÄďI 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‚Äď 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‚ÄďI 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‚Äďnot much about me is…um…

Olive: Subtle?

Stan:¬†YEAH, that’s the word…subt‚Äď 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‚Äďit’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‚ÄďI 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‚ÄďBOO-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‚ÄďI 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‚Äďwhat 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‚Äďit 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‚Äďit’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‚Äďthat’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‚Äďthat’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


5 Star review: Olive and The Big Stream

A while back, the first book in the Olive series, Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, was reviewed on Amazon.com by Jason Kirkfield. Mr. Kirkfield recently did the same for the second book, Olive and The Big Stream:


July 31, 2011

As with the first entry from this series*, author/illustrator Kirk Werner offers a uniquely enjoyable means of learning about flyfishing. Where the first book sees Olive the Little Woolly Bugger attending camp, here she gets her first chance to catch a real fish. Olive is in fact a fishing fly, and the anthropomorphized heroine is a perfect stand-in for a young child. Kirk’s illustrations are energetic and expressive, and his story is both empowering and educational.

Olive and the Big Stream is obviously a perfect choice for kids going fishing for the first time. In broader terms, the Olive books are just as wonderful for any new activities your child may be starting. Olive continues to set a good example with her positive attitude, using both physical as well as mental strength to catch a fish, thus earning a coveted top-row spot in The Fly Box.

This book continues to champion Catch and Release: “Olive was glad that the trout was set free because she wanted nothing more than to come back to The Big Stream and catch him again.” Indeed, the co-star of this second book (Mr. Trout) is immensely likable, even with no dialogue. Kirk Werner entertains the dream of seeing Olive turned into an animated film, and I would love to see that happen.

We recently took our kids fishing for the first time, and these first two books were the best preparation I could have hoped for. In addition to learning about the equipment and mechanics of fishing, Olive and her pals share the real joy of fishing: just being out there in nature is a worthwhile endeavor. We even used woolly buggers. (To no avail, sadly.) The best part? The kids can’t wait to go fishing again. That’s an unqualified success for Olive and for Kirk Werner, too.

The appendix of a dozen photographs of real flies (again, not real “live” flies, but real photographs of flies used in flyfishing) is the same as in the first book, and I frequently referred to it both during the story, and especially afterward during our preparation for the trip.

* I also reviewed the first title in the series, Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, and will be reviewing the third and (at the moment) final title, Olive Goes for a Wild Ride.

[The reviewer was provided with a complimentary copy of the book.]


To read the review on Amazon and to see all other reviews by Jason Kirkfield, go HERE.

Take Kids Fly FIshing

There’s a new kid on the block, or rather there’s a new kids site on the internet…Take Kids Fly Fishing.

The site is, or is destined to become, a comprehensive hub of information for all things kids fly fishing related. From the ABOUT page:

Getting kids into the wonderful sport of fly fishing is an exciting endeavor, and one that comes with the need for certain equipment and helpful information.  For parents it can be a daunting challenge because you cannot walk into most fly shops and find a wide selection of gear for kids. Searching the internet can be frustrating because again, there isn’t one single location that sells all manner of gear for kids.

At Take Kids Fly Fishing we hope to simplify your quest for kids fly fishing gear by providing a comprehensive listing of manufacturers of all manner of gear, from rods and reels to waders, boots, clothing, accessories, books etc. We also aim to bring you other helpful information that will help enhance your kids fly fishing experience.

If you are a manufacturer, a guide or casting instructor, please contact us so that we can add you to our listings.

Please bookmark this site for future reference.

Stay tuned, tightlines, and take a kid fly fishing!

Word on the street is that there will be a kids contest in the near future, with some seriously excellent prizes for several winners.  Sounds like a win-win for everyone so bookmark Take Kids Fly Fishing and stay tuned!




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