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Thoughts on Keeping ‘Secret Spots’ Secret

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Thoughts on Keeping ‘Secret Spots’ Secret

One question I often wrestle with is whether or not to name certain places in the stories I write. After all, I’m an angler too. I appreciate solitude on a fishing stream as much as the next person, and I fully understand that you can love a place to death by writing about it in every detail.
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For example, I’ve written about this place, but I’ve never named it. Sorry, I’m not going to say where it is now. But those of you who fish in the Rocky Mountain high country know that this is one of thousands of little trout streams that look and fish the same way. It’s no great discovery to chance upon a scene like this… certainly nothing an angler willing to dedicate a little hiking and map reading effort couldn’t find on his own. The way I see it, my job isn’t to tell you exactly where this is, rather, it is to motivate you to go and find it on your own. If you’re willing to huff and wheeze your way up to this water, you’re no intruder. You’re a kindred spirit.

On the other hand, in this day and age of instant access to information via the Internet (some of which is good, and some not so good), are there really any secrets anymore? More to the point, is anything worth guarding, especially if you are a guide? I have many guide friends, I used to guide myself, and I certainly appreciate how hard guides must work sometimes to produce results, especially when conditions are tough. But I just laugh to myself when I see some of them getting all worked up after somebody else “discovers” that special side-tributary to the Colorado River that they’ve been pounding with clients for days.

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