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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was a recent post requesting area fishing information for a first time OP visitor / fisherman. I tried to help, but was not totally forthcoming. Now I am entertaining feelings of being a bit of a water scrooge. I have benefited from help given on this site by someone I've yet to shake hands with. So what is the appropriate thing to do ??? I have taken people to favored spots in my past only to find them or other friends of theirs on future visits. Where should the line be drawn ? I have no interest in helping a bait/gear fisherman so that I might fish a fly behind them in the future. Is there not a certian amount of paying your dues to be honored ? I also want to know that anyone I choose to help w/ detailed fishing info. has and practices a regard for the resource and the environment. Yet neither do I like to turn my back on someone looking for help. Anyone willing to share opinions on this dilemma ?
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Garry,

An excellent post in my opinion. I'm from the school of thought that believes that yes, there are dues to be paid. This is especially true of particular runs and in some cases rivers. While I have no problem pointing someone in private to a river or maybe even section of a river (e.g. - the lower XXXXXX is fishing well), I would never do it in public. And specific runs are shared only with a few of the close brotherhood.

And then there are those rare hidden gems that don't get shared with anyone but the closest of buddies. I have a reciprocal agreement with a close friend in that we have each showed the other a pet run with the understanding that they can't divulge its location to anyone for 2 years. I have been fishing this run for two years and other than two out of state friends; Nobuo and Sean andd my buddy JJ, I have not given up the secret. One of these days I will find another fly-fisher in it but so far, it is mine. :lildevl:

Of course, each river has a couple of runs that are well known and no secret to anyone. They can even be highly productive at times. These runs I don't have any problem pointing someone to. This way they get to fish a productive run, get onto a river they don't know and maybe hook a fish. Anything else is up to them to learn on their own. The way I believe it was meant to be.

Besides, I personally think that there is great pleasure in discovering water on one's own. Either by reading the river or by slipping round the bend to discover someone fishing a little piece of "nothing" water I would never have given a second glance. I have two favorite little 3-4 cast buckets on the Bulkley I found this way. (Thank-you Harry L. :D )

Finally, since I know that people car watch to find runs, I change vehicles ever two months. Just kidding, I have had the same charcoal colored Dodge Durango for years :smokin:
 

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Top Secret

This post strikes a cord with me. As a young trout fisherman, I recollect occasionally asking successful local experts what fly they were killing on with great successs. I remember well the feelings of disappointment when the reply was less than forthcoming eg oh it is only a wee black number I tied up myself, and pains were taken to hide the fly from view.
The same thing happens with salmon fishing and I was quite shocked when, despite a few years of syndicate fishing on a particular beat, our gillie declined a request to ellaborate on a secret hotspot, saying that it was for him to know and for us to find out.
What a strange paradox that us brothers of the angle should be so inclined to secrecy, with other than our chosen friends.
Wonder what the shrinks would make of this.
Mike
:rolleyes:
 

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If you don't know the individual...general or common knowledge is a good idea to not be 'rude'. Even then don't post it on a public forum. Crowded runs only get more crowded the more they are marketed. If you get into the finer details of your hard earned knowledge be prepared to have new 'friends' fishing 'your' spots. And don't whine about the crowds if they are. You helped it along.

Mike,

Look at it from their side...they took the time to either learn the 'tricks' or get to know those that would include them in their 'inner circle'. Why should they give it away? Maybe they were sworn to 'secrecy' on the pattern and didn't want to break trust of their friends??? It's just a bit of fun anyway. Why not pay your dues and either find or create your own 'inner circle'? Are you sure the Gillie isn't just yanking your chain??? If you truly believe he is telling the truth then go out and explore your beat beyond the normal. It's pretty amazing how often water that just looks like crap, fishes like crap, ends up being a diamond in the rough.

William
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I have always closely guarded secrets shared with me. I am a suspected blabbermouth to begin with because I write about fly fishing and there are folks out there who believe that outdoor writers will do anything for a sale. I can understand this concern so I don't push things.

I cut my teeth fly fishing in Alberta surrounded by a group of Traver fans for whom every creek was "French Creek" and still follow that philosophy.

An important topic!
 

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Interesting topic:) and one that has been battered locally:)-

My own approach - I stay tight lipped- I have two confidants I trust- while working out new species/tactics/presentations/patterns on a new spot/area. Once I,m happy and confident I have the groundwork done to return there and be successful at will, I don,t mind mentioning it,s existance/location. Reason being I usually have a new(tight lipped) spot to do the same thing , in privacy. I guess I like the exploration over the guarantee of catching fish:)) . Call me crazy, but it keeps me interested:))

Will
 

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pearl jammin'
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Hello new here. Isn't part of the fun in fishing finding your own secret spots? Personally I don't want it to be too easy for me or it won't be fun. Just my opinion.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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My thoughts on secret spots...

On my river pretty much all the secret spots were somebody else's secret spots when the current holder found it.:saevilw:

As a fly shop owner I am constantly ask the question "where should I fish?"
I am also of the school of "you should pay your dues" but I have to balance that against being rude to my customers so my usual answer is "if it looks fishy it probably is". That really is a straight answer, at least here. Beyond that I might say "go up or down" and for those that still can't figure it out I have two special places. The "Woodpecker" hole is a fine example of slower holding water and "Big Rock Riffle" is a nice example of a streamier spot with buckets. Now I have given two of "my secret spots" but that is all you'll get from me.:smokin:

What most people don't realize is if you go to the river and catch one right away, the "Steelhead Gods" have been exceedingly generous. I don't think it should be easy. Someone said "steelhead are the fish of a 1000 casts". Sometimes that is an understatement.:whoa:
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Like many others, I won't divulge specific spots unless they are very well known or public access sites, especially on an internet site. I don't want to see areas I put in the effort to find become overrun with folks simply because they read it on a public internet forum.

I have provided very detailed information to an out-of-state friend on several steelhead rivers I fish right down to the best times of year, exactly how to find some of the very best water and runs on these rivers. However, because I learned these placed the old fashioned way through walking miles and miles of river bank on each of these rivers, I will not share this info with anyone but good friends.

I will for instance gladly tell someone that the lower river, middle river, upper river, etc. is fishing well. But I will not tell them where in that section of river the best runs are located. If a person is a good angler, he will be able to read the water and find the good runs with no trouble.

However, if someone is looking for information about what flies are hatching or what artificials are good matches for them at a specific time on a river I trout fish on, I will gladly provide that information. But again, I will not provide information on which runs have the best fishing, most fish, etc., that is information I don't think should be shared with any but close friends.
 

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Hey Poppy...very 'clever' disguise there!!!

Ah, come on Poppy, you know the 'new' rules that apply to your river. The ones that came into 'effect' recently by 'that' handful of anglers one state to your east.

1) Must be a trout guide on holiday.
2) Montana Plate.
3) Drive an older suburban.

If you are there fishing and don't meet said regulations, at least #1, one must fish below the 95 bridge or be alone. (If you meet condition #1 you are automatically given the hall pass of freedom 'in the name of the sport') Going fishing with close friends and family now qualifies one as an 'illegal guide'. All because 'you' are 'seen' fishing THOSE 'secret' spots with somebody 'they' might not know. Doesn't matter that 99% of THOSE spots were found fair and square through exploration or PAYING attention to WHO was fishing where. Better, yet, the angling public that doesn't fit this mold probably ought to find a new place to fish all together. Because there is at least one out of stater that has placed all claims on the Clearwater from the 95 bridge to Kooskia. Heaven forbid if you are fishing some of the water he likes to fish.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea...this 'rant' has nothing to do with Poppy. He too is facing similar attitudes of 'who owns the river' by 'that' certain VERY SMALL group of anglers. Poppy is a straight shooter and his shop is by far a great addition to the Clearwater. He is one of the most responsible owners around when it comes to NOT HOTSPOTTING runs. Top notch in anyone's book.

William
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hee, Hee, Hee...

William don't be mean spirited. I knew I would get a nibble with my post but if you "kids" don't quite bickering over who found the secret spots "ole Poppy" is going to take the tip section off of Bruce's 18 ftr and whip your hides.:whoa: :lildevl:
 

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being behind the counter in a fly shop changes things a little, no doubt. i personally would rather be thought of as the grumpy SOB who won't give detailed info than the blabbermouth. let's face it when in the business you will be forced to wear one title or the other, i will take the former everytime!






edited after gaining full understanding of the english language
 

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Guess why I chose my nickname?:saeek:
Howvere, if it were not for the many friends and others who have openly sherd information with me, mostly via PM's or by joining me on a particular "new" river, new to me, my overall fishing fishing experineces would be that much lesser. I'm all for sharing but I also do so selectively, as many others have posted here. I'm just very thankfull to all who in the past have allowed me to join them at their "secret" spots, in return, I become somewaht forgetfull of the details when asked about it later on! I think it's a matter of courtesy and I am quite comfortable in telling someone who asks about my "buudy's" secret spot that I was privileged to get to go there and that I must respect the code of honor that accompanies such wonderfull gifts. So whenever any one of you wants to join me on the Bow river, be assured that i'll show you all of my secret spots, because you will need a drift boat to get back to them on your own, and they ususally only last for a few weeks until the hatch changes and the trout create a new secret spot for me to find!
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
Gaelforce
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William, with the truck you drive I was able to take years off of my learning curve:saeek:
 

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Bruce,

That is the name of the game. Getting a new truck every year that is!!! Better be careful though in 'getting caught' fishing...that too might get one accused of guiding. ;) ;) ;) Besides all of those spots you saw the truck were empty frog water. Completely empty. And I park at least 1/2 mile from where I fish too.

William
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
Gaelforce
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William,
I did notice that you try to park a ways away from your spots but your ummm.....distinctive casting style and diminutive size give you away:saevilw: so a new truck will only get you so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Gents

I'm feelin about better about my practices. I've not yet bothered w/ changing vehicles or parking 1/2 mile away:) , but perhaps in some regards more guarded than some. I have four levels of security. 1st is The Cowlitz, ( factory water, blood holes, meat lines etc ). 2nd is water put at risk through sharing to see if it becomes further shared. 3rd is water for the "inner circle" and 4th is water I test on my own for at least a year, ( maybe longer ), to see if it is worthy of the inner circle:saevilw: I further feel that most references to entire river systems or sections are openly sharable. With the practice of no trace left behind fishing, more us can have "exclusive" water.
 

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Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
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I don't give up much on the internet. If you come fishing with me you will fish all of the places I would normally fish. I hide nothing from those I fish with.

When I first got into fly fishing for steelhead I hung out with a couple of fairly good steelheaders. I asked a lot of questions and I bugged them to take me fishing. They always answered my questions and always took me fishing and showed me the best places to fish. I will do the same with those that I fish with.
 

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Inland and MJC,

Are we talking about the old Montana hippies that have been fishing your fine river from the begining of time? The 3 guys that now own long grey hair and they used to drive an old blue van. God they could cover more water than any army of fishermen in their prime.

This being one of my favorite subjects along with fly fishing jet boaters I can only say that sinktip has done a great job over the years in keeping all my discoveries to himself. Our agreement works well but I am really surprised that he would tell JJ about our best run.:saeek: Guess I'll have to even up the score and tell one of Tippers favorite guides about one of the new runs the Tip actually found on his own.

Fly fishing has tradition and half the fun of that tradition is in keeping things a mystery. Keep the new used cars coming and sweep your tracks.

Happy New Year
OC
 

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Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
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Hey OC,

Want to know some secret spots on the Skagit? We can use my sled to get to them. That way we can beat the drift boaters there.:devil:
 
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