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.