A wonderful high school teacher of mine once said, "You are absolutely entitled to your opinion. But nobody is going to take that opinion seriously if you can't support it with the facts."
I don't know a single member of this forum personally. What I do know of them comes strictly from what they post here or through other communications that originated here. I don't read every post, or even most of them. However, based on what I have read over the past 7 years, I do know the following:
1) There are a number of active, ardent conservationists in the Speypages community. Look no further than the generous, consistent donations that are made to the Fly Fishing Collaborative for evidence of that. Many more are members of the Steelhead Society of British Columbia, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, and similar organizations.
2) One of the reasons that I read and post here is that the community is civil. There is a minimum of "scoffing at other anglers." Compared to other communities that I abandoned long ago, the Speypages gang is highly respectful and welcoming to all those who show a similar level of respect for others and to the resource we all love, regardless of how they fish and the equipment they use. I would encourage you to consider your own accusations against and stereotyping of Speypages members in this light.
3) Releasing wild fish is a valid practice. I release all the wild fish I catch not because I'm on an elitist crusade or because I get a charge out of putting myself on some sort of warped, imaginary pedestal. I do it because a drainage with one more wild fish in it is better than a drainage with one less wild fish in it. That's it. That's the only reason. I arrived at that position based on experience pre-dating my Speypages membership by a couple of decades. I came of age just before striped bass stocks collapsed on the East Coast. I'm old enough to remember the fishing in the "good old days" of the 1970's. I also vividly recall the crash of the 1980's when they were virtually non-existent in my local waters. One of the things we learned when bringing those fish back from the brink was that sport anglers were touching (by that I mean hooking and landing) about 1/2 of the entire striped bass population on the East Coast every year. That's still the case today. We realized that if we wanted a more robust fishery, we, too had to limit the number of fish we were killing. Pointing our fingers at the commercial guys wasn't going to solve the problem, particularly when they could justifiably do the same to us. In the end, it's pretty simple math. For every wild fish killed, there's one less fish in the system today and one less fish to spawn the next generation tomorrow. You and I can probably agree that a future (and even a present) with more wild fish is better than one with fewer wild fish.
I think I speak for more than just myself when I say that there's room to challenge "mainstream" values here. But it's best for the entire community if it is done respectfully, thoughtfully, and with a bias toward facts rather than speculation and emotion.
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"
- Duke Ellington