Tag: secret holes

Time, place and other vitals withheld to protect the guilty

redfishatdawnI feel pretty fortunate as this fishing season has cranked up. I’ve simply had a load of fun so far. But spring has not been without it’s minor disappointments. A fishing trip I eagerly anticipated was left high and dry due to an accomplice’s last minute scheduling conflicts, and a second slated to take its place fell victim to the same from a different partner-in-crime.

It’s always darkest before the dawn (side note: the fishing is often full tilt around the same time). And as it turns out, an old and dear friend rang today. One I’d lost touch with quite a while back, and one I’ve spent countless days on the water with. We’re talking old like BMX bicycle transport and dear like full heads of hair dear. And while we did some catching up (no pun intended…really), the conversation quickly turned to something like this…

Hey Grace, I read your blog. Good stuff…see you’re still fishing. Listen, I found this place where the redfish are thick as thieves. Never another boat in sight. I see you’re heavy on the trout…but you can still cast a nine, eh? I can get you inside fifty feet, on huge schools tailing without a care in the world. All day long I tell ya’. Last weekend we knocked off 18 in just a few hours. You interested?

This particular person is, without a doubt, one of the finest anglers I have ever known. We fished together in grade school. I quit the junior high soccer team because he told me the fishing was other-worldly, and I just had to be there. I had no regrets about that move – it was the spring to which all other springs have been compared since. Few have even come close.

The answer was obvious.

In the not too distant future I must disappear. Ticket in hand, to a point sworn secret. Chase a fish that fights like a carp (or visa versa, depending on your own perspective). One I know…tastes better blackened.

MG signing off (to stretch some saltwater tapers)

Reversing the downward trend in fly fishing

A fly fishing geek’s disjointed broad brush perspective

Rods and reels too high priced? Cantankerous farts told one too many newbies how it must be done? Or is A River Runs Through It just last century’s metaphor?

It doesn’t matter which way you cut it, interest in fly fishing has been waning…

Google Trends - fly fishing

…at least as long as perennial search engine Google has been keeping tabs on search trends. Seasonality is quite apparent, and you really couldn’t say that news coverage of the sport is the issue – while there’s a little volatility it has otherwise been fairly steady.

Around the world, South Africans, Americans, and New Zealanders top the charts in fly fishing searches, with the Irish and Brits rounding out the top five.

Fly Fishing Regions

Among cities the US pounces, and the Denver metro area definitely has fish on the brain – Boise, Salt Lake City, and Portland follow.

Fly Fishing Cities

And note, the heaviest concentrations of the search term actually occurred in Montana, followed by Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, and Alaska – no surprise, but the leader doesn’t have big population centers to garner it a city spot.

Still, the trend is disturbing.  As Matt Dunn noted after working in a fly shop for a while, knowledgeable catalysts can help:

I’m spent several years here exploring local creeks, finding access, finding fish, and now I have to tell every random person that wants to know where it all is. Well, at least where some of it is. This is necessary, of course, because without places to fish, people won’t buy tackle and flies and new Fishpond chest packs. And the more people fish, the more things they will buy. And this is good because, at least from one perspective, the more they fish the more passionate about fishing they will be and the more they will protect fisheries and the better those fisheries will be.

A chain reaction kicks off, and the benefits come on the back end.

The fishing mindset has always been about the top secret hole and the fly I’m not telling you about, and that must change. I think the discussion taking place amongst blogs, combined with information/social networks such as Fish Explorer and The Fin, are a step in the right direction.

What more is needed still escapes me, but it makes sense on all levels (personal, commercial, and environmental) for those of us who love the sport to find it.

Put a smile on someone’s face – tell them where the fish are. Ok, start with a hint?