What is the purpose of trip reports and...

Hayden Creek

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To me the purpose of trip reports is to inspire. This can be done without divulging the exact area or flies/ techniques used. Too much info diminishes the spirit of adventure and discovery. The unknown is exciting and allows one to approach a situation in their own unique way with an open mind unfettered by the clutter of TMI.
 

myt1

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To me the purpose of trip reports is to inspire. This can be done without divulging the exact area or flies/ techniques used. Too much info diminishes the spirit of adventure and discovery. The unknown is exciting and allows one to approach a situation in their own unique way with an open mind unfettered by the clutter of TMI.
Wow, you nailed it.

Thanks.
 

yikes

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My current set of rules:

1. If the area is already a famous fishing destination (e.g. "the Madison"), I have no problem with saying "I fished the Madison today".

2. If the area was told to me in secret, I will keep it a secret. If your secret is already famous, I will speak in generalities. Example: If your secret spot is "Lake Tahoe", I don't feel like I've betrayed your trust when I say "I fished Lake Tahoe today". If your secret spot is a particular cove or rock outcropping in Tahoe, I won't share that, I'll still just say, "I fished Lake Tahoe today".

3. If the Secret Spot is one that I discovered on my own, I will speak in generalities ("fished today in the eastern Sierra"). I may or may not divulge more in a one-on-one private chat, but I won't post specifics on either social media or a forum where a search engine can uncover it.

4. If the spot is in southern California, I will almost always keep it generic ("great time in the local mountains today!"). That's because there are over one million fishing licenses issued in metropolitan So Cal annually, and we have very few cold water streams/rivers, and our population does not share a common ethos for care of the environment. If even 1% of those licensees go to a cold water river, it WILL get trashed and poached. And for every licensed angler who follows the rules, there's someone else who flaunts them. I can't tell you how many times I've seen spin casters carrying buckets up to our local C&R area.

5. I have no problem sharing flies, tactics, etc., on a river I have left unnamed.
 
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el jefe

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I like the trip reports, and like Hayden Creek they inspire me.

I do have some doubts about how much trip reports destroy fisheries. For instance, I could post a trip report of a stream in my neck of the woods, and put exact GPS coordinates where that picture was taken, and what flies I used. But you would be foolish to hop on a plane and come out to that exact spot, to fish a stream that typically runs at 20 cfs. You may find it at 5 cfs, or blown out. One good rainstorm on the wrong day and that hotspot you sought is unfishable.

There are so many variables in the details of a trip report that one won't find the same river that was posted about. Flows, weather, seasons, runoff, all change the landscape and the conditions. What was a "secret spot" today may be barren tomorrow. Follow the details in a trip report at your peril. I think any trip report that is in so much detail is bound to be a disappointment to the next guy; the river is just never the same. Now, another river in the same area, or the same river way upstream or downstream from the "hotspotted" area may be turned on, while the original "hotspot" goes cold.

I can't tell you how many times I've gone back to places I've had great fishing, only to find a completely different river. To me, that is part of the challenge; it tests your skills. Like Hayden, the trip reports inspire me, but even if you gave me GPS coordinates to the spot you wrote about and posted pictures, I am not expecting to replicate your awesome experience. And accordingly, I am not going to go there just because you posted about it. In fact, if I go to your hotspot and clean up, I don't find satisfaction in that, because it wasn't "me." But your trip report will inspire me to go find my own little slice of Heaven on that particular day by using and sharpening my own skills. And to me, that is the hot spot, where you bring it all together to create your own, which will move with your portable skills, and not be a pin on a map. There is nothing more dull than going to the same spot on the same river with regularity, so even if I found a reliable secret spot, I wouldn't fish it that often.
 

mikemac1

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There are so many variables in the details of a trip report that one won't find the same river that was posted about.
In other words - @el jefe said ‘Hotspots’ are where you find them. Angling success is a multi-dimensional endeavor and the following must be answered by individual preference.
  • Where to Fish?: Where the fish are and other anglers aren’t.
  • When to Fish?: When the fish are biting and other anglers aren’t around.
  • How to Fish?: Whatever works
  • Why to Fish?: Hunting fish is euphoric
When you hunt fish and are successful, you’ve found YOUR hotspot.

I fish several local rivers within a few hours of Bozeman that are notorious for radical changes from season the season. The post-runoff stream is never the same year to year. But the formula is the same-Where, When, How and Why? Although it takes years to sort it all out, you learn both how the stream and its fishy inhabitants adapt to the annual changes, how the general angling public behaves and what works and doesn’t work on any given stream. No trip report can convey the complexity of such knowledge.
 

al_a

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I seldom write trip reports here, but do for my smallmouth trips in Missouri on another website (non-fly-fishing). The site has separate forums on all the major rivers in southern MO, so I put the report in the appropriate river forum. But I won't say which stretch of river. If I post a report on a stream that doesn't have its own forum, I won't name the stream. To me, fishing reports are valuable partly for explanations of HOW fish were caught--or not caught, which in many ways is just as informative if not more so. And they are valuable for the simple description of a fishing trip, what you saw, what you enjoyed, maybe what was a disaster. You don't have to name the river. Place it within a region and that's good enough. Or if it's a famous river, name it but don't name the specific little stretch you fished.

Somebody above noted that there are no secrets, that with various publications, and Google Earth, you can find any stream big enough to hold fish in a given state. Yup, you can...but you do have to work at it a bit. I like to think that those who have to work at it are going to appreciate it a bit more than somebody who reads all about it on Facebook. I don't know how many times I've seen somebody post a gorgeous hiking spot on Facebook, and a whole bunch of people immediately ask where it was, how to get there, and tag all their friends saying "we need to go here." Just this past week, which was very cold in the Ozarks, a couple people posted on Facebook about this really cool spot where a tiny creek dropped through a hole in an overhanging cliff, and because it was so cold there was a huge ice falls from the hole to the pool where the the trickle of a creek dropped into. It was something really cool to see, for sure. The spot is on an established hiking trail that gets a significant amount of use. But...nothing like the use it got this past weekend after those Facebook posts...we're talking over a hundred cars spilling out of the tiny trailhead parking lot and up and down the gravel road for a quarter mile in each direction. Most of those who posted in the same hiking groups after going there said they would never have known about that cool ice falls if it hadn't been for those first couple posts on them. So don't tell me the same thing can't happen if you publicize a fishing spot where you had great fishing. Just because it's a known spot doesn't mean everybody knows it's great fishing, or just was great fishing last week. But if they see a report of great fishing, suddenly it's not only on their radar but it goes to the top of the list.
 

Meuniere

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I think, on a very macro level, that there needs to be a way to harness/focus some of the energy of all those who are getting out "there," wherever that is, for the first or second time, so that these folks can become part of the greater effort to preserve as much publically accessible outdoors/wilderness/parkland/you-name-it because it is obviously so necessary to do so. This is an enormous country and there's a hell of a lot of cool stuff "out there" even if it is "just" open prairie, or a section of forest or swampland.

How do we go about doing this? Get people's contact information at trailheads? I don't know, but these people we might otherwise disdain for being in our special little areas when we don't want them there (!!!) are actually resources, if we can figure out how to make it work.
 

benglish

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First off, I will NEVER post a pic, brag on a fish or hot spot MOST rivers that I fish. I will however, consider "helping" through PM's. I believe that those of us that have been doing this for 25 years or longer have a role in helping those without as much expertise to "navigate the waters" (see what I did there ;)) That said, and some NOT going to like this but, .but barring attacks on others, profanity or other obvious no-no's, I WILL POST WHATEVER I DANG WELL PLEASE!!!
 

sasquatch7

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First off, I will NEVER post a pic, brag on a fish or hot spot MOST rivers that I fish. I will however, consider "helping" through PM's. I believe that those of us that have been doing this for 25 years or longer have a role in helping those without as much expertise to "navigate the waters" (see what I did there ;)) That said, and some NOT going to like this but, .but barring attacks on others, profanity or other obvious no-no's, I WILL POST WHATEVER I DANG WELL PLEASE!!!
Thumbs Down
 

sasquatch7

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I've only seen a few Steve and they were scrawny little things . One up on ****** creek was a little aggressive but I think it was my dog rather than me thankfully he went scurrying up the canyon cause I cant outrun him or her and I didnt want to put some Panda Kung Fu on him ! lol






i.
 
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ifitswims

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I've only seen a few Steve and they were scrawny little things . One up on ****** creek was a little aggressive but I think it was my dog rather than me thankfully he went scurrying up the canyon cause I cant outrun him or her and I didnt want to put some Panda Kung Fu on him ! lol






i.
I know the creek of which you talk about all to well. Awesome canyon, many bear.
 

Hayden Creek

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Your opinion means NOTHING.
Which means that neither does yours. All opinions mean something, whether you like it or not. Relax man.
But an intentional "Thumbs Down" to someone's opinion IS ok???? Guy must be your buddy. Typical American Hypocrisy.
I don't know the man. And I never said it was ok. But he has the right. As you do.
 

AZFalconer

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Another opinion; feel free to ignore if needed... We live in an information age. Just about anything you want to know can be found with a little searching. We also live in an age of sharing. Helping others is a good thing. We share a common interest here. Each of us can choose what level of sharing we want to provide. But in the end, there's no restricting access to the info; there will always be other ways to find it.
Does it mean sharing your honey-holes? Probably not. Does it mean teaching someone how to avoid the pitfalls of a particular location? Maybe. Does it mean telling someone "river X sucked this week" or "river Y was great on terrestrials this week"? Quite likely.
I think most folks who would follow these forums will be reasonable humans and not destroy a location. They want to fish it too. We're all in this together. If your fishing requires you to be secretive about your pursuit of the sport, so be it. But not everyone has to be that way. Just because "we never got that kind of help when I was starting out" doesn't mean it's not OK now. Times change, the world shrinks.

Just my feelings.
Charlie
 

rsagebrush

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When I see someone fishing a stretch of water that in the past has been kind to me, I move on, they will possibly fish it wrong and the secret will be safe, I return at a later time. Besides I find a lot of favorable water fishing in new nearby areas I have passed up earlier, you can get in a rut just fishing your favorite runs anyways, lots of surprises out there and it's much more rewarding discovering them yourself.
 

corn fed fins

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First off, I will NEVER post a pic, brag on a fish or hot spot MOST rivers that I fish. I will however, consider "helping" through PM's. I believe that those of us that have been doing this for 25 years or longer have a role in helping those without as much expertise to "navigate the waters" (see what I did there ;)) That said, and some NOT going to like this but, .but barring attacks on others, profanity or other obvious no-no's, I WILL POST WHATEVER I DANG WELL PLEASE!!!
I don't think anyone here said you can't post what you please. Post away. I've tried but there is someone with the authority that just pulls it. lol

I have PM'd people with info. They are known waters and I'm helping fellow NAFFF members enjoy a trip. No problems there. It's not the PM's that are of concern to most, it's the info out there for the general public that tarnishes the water. The vast VAST majority or anglers and hunters are LA-A-A-A-ZY.

I've been "Bumper @!#$ed" hunting. People see a truck and next thing you know you're getting blocked in. It's to the point I'll park 1/4 away, or even get dropped off, before ever leaving the road for the game trail. It's the same for fishing but the fact is many anglers are too slow to catch on. "But there's miles and miles of water". Tell you what. There is more ground than water. Go ask a hunter where they hunt. If your LUCKY they might give a unit/region (about 400mi^2 using the smallest game unit). Just remember that there isn't fish in all that water; just like there isn't game animals on all that land.
 
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