Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Introduction.....

“A what!?  What’s a blog?”  Man, I felt old having to ask my little sister for the definition. I always figured I’d stay far, far away from keeping a “blog”. An online diary filled with updates about my scattered life and sometimes chaotic days on the water….  Hell, it even sounded like a messy word; like some sort of stain or gross spill on a sheet of paper.
But as I miraculously began to gain some knowledge about computers and inevitably, the internet, I soon realized that I am a woman who has a lot of things to say with no one to say them to. Hmmm.  A blog was starting to sound quite interesting….
I suppose an introduction would be fitting right about now, wouldn’t it? My name is April Vokey and I am a fishing bum who has built my life around this passion. There are several questions that I find I am asked fairly regularly and would like to address them first and foremost:
April Vokey holding a small but sweet piece of steel (Aaron Goodis photo).
What/Who got you into fishing? How long have you been fishing for? What else do you do? Are you one of those girls from ‘Fishing With Shelley and Courtney’?  (Yeah, I really love that one).
I always cringe when the question, “so, what else do you do?” is shoved in my direction. I especially love it when it’s asked by one of those guys who makes David Beckham look unathletic. (You know, the good looking guys with the spiky hair and uncomfortably tight shirts who stink of adrenaline?  The ones with pecs so huge, I find myself covering my own chest in embarrassment…)
My answer is always the same.  I shift feet, turn a funky color, and stammer pathetically trying desperately to think of another interesting sport or hobby that I may have tried once in previous years. “I studied jazz and classical music in university, and have had a number of roles in musicals…..”  I watch their eyes glaze over.
Acting a fool, as usual.
Truth is, I really don’t (and never have done) much of anything else.  I fish, I write about fishing, I read about fishing, I tie flies for fishing, I take other people fishing…and I love it.
Onto the next question.
I started fishing when I was three.  Dad wasn’t much of a fisherman, though I must give him credit for trying.  We trolled worms around the lakes and were equally excited about the bites we missed, as the fish that we caught. Mom, always got a kick of how fast I could race into shore with a chain full of blood soaked pan-fries. (*Note to fathers with young daughters:  These are the days that your girl(s) will cherish forever.  If you don’t already, take her with you on your next outing to the water.  Though you may not realize it at the time, you may be starting something truly wonderful!)
Three years old and crazy about fishing already....
As the years passed, our roles began to change, and it was I who was waking up at the crack of dawn to catch the first bite. By the time I got my drivers licence, there was no hope for me.  I spent every waking minute at the river learning about fishing.  Lord knows, how many spinning reels I blew up before buying my first bait caster, and consequently, how many bait casters I banged up before buying my first fly rod. For years I slugged away alone on the river bank, learning how to read water and find sitting fish.  These years were filled with innocence, excitement, scares, enlightenment and countless other emotions that turned me into the woman I am today. I found inner strength and a true sense of independence, all the while meeting some genuinely wonderful people along the way…..
Last question.
Nope, not Courtney. And certainly far too short to be Shelley. But while we’re on this subject, my friends call me Ape (as flattering as that may be), and ‘April’ usually means I’m in trouble….. It’s up to you.
So there you have it.  The basics.
NOW!!!  I would like to take a moment to utilize this blog for its true purpose.  Please read the following:
B.C. Steelhead numbers have been on a steady downwards spiral for far too long than most of us would like to admit.  These fish are wild, native, unique, and loved by anglers from all over the world. I have conveyed a message to all of my fellow anglers, and to anyone else who is willing to listen. It is as follows:
Listen up!!! This message is for you whether you live in Norway, Oregon or British Columbia.... Our steelhead are suffering and need your help! I have started a fundraiser called Flies For Fins. I don't want your money, but I do need some of your time and tying materials. I am working with Reaction Fly and Tackle, Pacific Angler, Michael and Young Fly Shop, Whistler Fly Fishing and Sea-Run Fly and Tackle to raise money for the Steelhead Society ( Each location will carry a cork board that is full of steelhead flies MADE BY YOU. These flies will be sold at the shops, where proceeds will be donated to the Steelhead Society. In the middle of each cork board will be a graph that is updated weekly to show how much money had been raised.  (I will also update the graph on this blog) Mailing flies only takes a couple stamps (just make sure that they can be flattened in an envelope.) This is for a great cause, please choose to take some of your time and flies out of your box for it. I will have a Face Book page up in the next several days for Flies For Fins, however, we need flies RIGHT NOW.
"Wizard Of Oz" Design and tied by Vokey.
Flies can be shipped to: 8505 Norman Cres. Chilliwack, B.C. Canada V2P 5C6
Feel free to send one fly, or ten! Make them as fancy or as plain as you would like. Please include your name.
Envelope, stamp, fly. It's that simple. Please do your part and help us make a difference!