On the Fly column: Secret spots don’t exist anymore, the secrets are how to fish them
On the Fly
We get a lot of asks about “secret spots” to fish here in the Roaring Fork Valley. It seems in this age of the onX app, Google Earth, plus the Facebook and Instagram bragging boards, secret stashes are an antiquated notion. I can’t remember who I heard say it first, it might have been Kyle Holt or Kirk Webb, but it’s true — “There are no secret spots anymore. The secrets are how to fish them effectively and consistently.” They can both take credit.
We’ve all done it — whether it’s searching online for DIY off-the-beaten-path bonefish flats, a “new” section of public river access, or trying to find an alpine lake our friends haven’t heard about. Technology is immensely helpful; it’s nice to be able to check the real-time flow on our phones before we drive three hours to find a completely blown out river, for example. But I’d argue the plethora of fishing websites and apps out there tend to give people a false sense of confidence, and quite often, incorrect information.
Nothing beats actually going fishing and figuring things out “the old fashioned way.” I firmly believe that apps and social media can’t explain the nuances of consistently successful angling — you’ve got to figure some things out on your own. If you’re local, you certainly understand that a trout stream rarely fishes the same way consistently — you have to recognize what’s happening and roll with the changes nature throws our way. The same goes for a flat you “found” in Mexico or some unnamed alpine lake you “discovered” while late-night-scrolling.
The secrets of how to fish effectively are hard-earned. We’re all out there fishing the same waters, but the difference between a constantly-bent rod (and scratching our heads all day) takes some effort on our part. That’s one of the plusses of fly fishing — no one can just hand a lifetime of knowledge to us, we have to actually figure some things out for ourselves.
If you ask me, that is quite refreshing and keeps my interest piqued season after season, public access or private, saltwater or fresh.
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or TaylorCreek.com.
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