Pimping waters

As long as the owner of this board allows me to share my experiences with other flyfishers, I will share. Regardless of oft-repeated whines from the usual suspects, I will use my best judgement as to what, when, and where I will share, but generally, I try to share my experiences, triumphs, and failures as I try, with varying levels of success, to improve my flyfishing skills. I will use this forum as an information source to provide ideas that can improve my skills and potential places to visit. As a biologist, we have a name for those who only take, but never share - parasite.


Share till your name ends up on an outhouse wall.

I share reports because this is a FISHING based forum. When we don't talk fishing around these parts then all kinds of ridiculous threads start popping up. If you don't like reading my fishing reports I would suggest finding another forum to frequent.
There are definitely a few bodies of water that get talked about repeatedly, and it shows with the crowds that are seen at these popular spots. For some people, sharing water with lots of others and catching fish that have been C&R'd multiple times is perfectly acceptable. Others may prefer the benefits of un-pressured water. I'm the later, which is why I never mention the places I fish. To me, part of the appeal of fly fishing is being alone in my surroundings and catching fish that have not been tainted by fishing pressure. People who take part in the more "combat" type fisheries may not see the appeal of this and probably don't have any qualms about reporting/disclosing their fishing locations for everyone to see.

Sure there are no truly secret spots anymore... online maps, magazines, message boards, etc have pretty much exposed what is out there. However there are a lot of places offering good to great fishing with minimal pressure. To me these are my secret places and when I find them, I hold them closely. The fish in my avatar was taken from place that is right off the highway, yet I never see anyone else fishing there and routinely catch 10-16" rainbows that have never seen another fly. This is not a secret location (its been mentioned on this forum a few times even), but is secret to me. Some day if I decide i wouldn't mind other people in my spots, or catching fewer fish, then maybe I'll mention it in a report or two.
This thread was posted in the stillwater forum so my thoughts have been with stillwaters in mind. Growing up on the peninsula I had many hard earned spots along many popular rivers that were secret enough, and if I knew of any beaches that were worth keeping to myself I doubt I would share much, but when it comes to lakes I feel a bit differently.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Actually, Nick, I believe that smaller lakes and streams are very sensitive to any increased pressure. Any place that is not already widely known should not be named.

Well known fly fishing lakes like Pass or Cady probably get more challenging due to increased fishing pressure, but isn't that what you want? Everybody in the fly fishing community already knows about those lakes, so talking about Pass or Cady probably won't bring on too many more anglers to those places. They're C & R, right? So the fish are still there, but a little more "educated." So you can have a more complicated game to figure out and really feel like you're "The Man" that day your hookup ratio beats that of all or most of the other anglers out on the lake.
But all BS aside, we all know that sending more anglers to already pressured sensitive fisheries is not wise, no matter how you slice and dice it. Same goes for any "undiscovered" spots even if they aren't yet pressured by the masses. Why ruin a splendid gem of a less visited place by inviting more people in? Let them stumble upon the place on their own, I say!

I am a lurker on most boards. I am an opportunist. I don't have time to register and post when I'm feeling lean and mean and just want to glean! Call me a "parasite" if you want, but to me thats just a word you came up with to try to embarrass me into revealing my secret spot! However, I don't give a shit what you think about me, and that kind of harassment never works with me anyway. I only post stuff on two fishing sites with forums, and I try to be careful. And that is to share my opinion or experience. I think I've only ever posted on 4 different boards ever.

I used to think that I wanted more fishing buddies. Then I realized that I actually prefer to fish alone most of the time. However, I still prefer the "buddy system" when heading into remote spots or out on the ocean, though.

I wanna know who's sending the otters and harbor seals up my criks...they're as bad or worse than more anglers of any persuasion.
Yeah, well I saw an otter dive and come up with a rockfish, and went back to the secret spot it showed me the next evening and harassed some of its fish! Put 'em all on alert! I even bopped one and took it home for breakfast the next morning. And I'm going back there later on this morning, and every other day until I can't catch my breakfast there in just a few minutes. So there! That's what happens.
I'm sure the otter is pissed, and I definitely won't tell anyone about that sweet rock I found to stand on. I like rockfish for breakfast as much as that otter does!
Jim, I certainly understand where you're coming from, and it's a hard point to argue. Honestly, I can't say I've never kept a small local lake or two a secret, however I can say that I don't hold those such secrets as dear to my heart as those spots I earned on the OP rivers.

Ultimately when it comes to a lake I don't care how many folks are on the water. I love my alone time as much as anybody, and make good use of it often, but for me I have much more fun on a stillwater when I'm fishing with others. In general I am not a very social person, and prefer my own company to most others, but when I'm out in my pram I am just the opposite. I love company! I love to help others out, offer pattern/presentation suggestions, ask for help myself, discuss other fishing adventures, share in frustrations, cheer each other on when hooking up, share a flask, laugh it up and just generally have a good time. I feel that these lakes are stocked for the sole purpose of providing recreational enjoyment to us enthousiasts and I am not going to prevent anyone from enjoying it. Besides, I've fished stillwaters enough to know that in most cases just knowing that a lake has fish in it is seldom enough to gurantee success. That is, a good majority of the folks I encounter on the lakes I fish just aren't too focused on truly learning the stillwater game, and as a result have limited success. It seems lots of people view stillwaters as something to pass the time until they can get back on the river. Well for me it's just the opposite, I'd rather fish a stillwater than anything else. I feel very strongly that no matter the body of water, and no matter the fishing pressure, I am a decent enough fisherman to be able to have a reasonable enough chance at finding success. When I do find this success it's seldom because I was simply at the right place at the right time, but more because I was able to slowly get dialed in and figure out what will work at that particular time.

I'm sure places like Pass, Lone, Cady etc... receive extra pressure because of the constant forum discussions, but that hasn't prevented me from having great success on these waters, even when extremely crowded. As long as folks are following the law, I have zero problem with them fishing right along side me.

With all that said, Jim I completely respect your view point and would never make mention of certain lakes on ANY forum.... Not so much because of my own personal beliefs, but because I'd rather respect those with opinions similar to you and not upset anyone more than necessary.

I have been known to send PMs on occasion with friendly local stillwater suggestions to those who inquire, but I don't necessarily broadcast those places online either, again mainly to respect folks who think right along with you.



The Tug Is The Drug
I have had the good fortune of being tutored by a person on this forum( you will know who you are). Sure, I have had to put in my own time and learned a lot, but it has been helpful to me to have somebody show you how to unlock the secrets a little. You have to gain trust from people and then be discreet about it. I have had a lot more satisfaction from giving some flies away to pass on that knowledge rather than being tight lipped about it. Keep in my mind that those secret spots are really common sense anyway. The further you get away from people the better the fishing is. Give people the tools and they will unlock it themselves. Remember, we all had to start somewhere.


Indi "Ira" Jones
I'm Robin Hoodish by nature. I like to "theive" from the snobbish/elitists at highly non secret waters and then share those riches with the "poor".

When I report my success I accomplish three things at the same time; I give away the "secret location" (Pass lake) and techniques (vertical presentation), I provide others with that knowledge that otherwise would possibly have been clueless and would have had to "discover" this knowledge on their own, and finally I present A tease to those same elitists that just can't help but take the bait to show back up again to allow me to start the process all over again. Muhahahahaha, my evil plan at it's finest.

Luckily all those folks out there who love to keep publicly funded stocked lakes to themselves have proven their obvious skill at finding secret waters all on their own so when one of their secret spots are revealed (Beda, Rattlesnake, Lone, Coffeepot, Chopaka, Pass) they'll have no trouble finding another. Maybe I will follow them the way a cormorants follow hatchery trucks?

Disclaimer: My cooments are reflective of still waters only that are stocked/managed by the state and do not apply to sensitive Native fisheries. I feel this is an easy distinction to make.


the sultan of swing
I'm Robin Hoodish by nature. I like to "theive" from the snobbish/elitists at highly non secret waters and then share those riches with the "poor".

When I report my success I accomplish three things at the same time; I give away the "secret location" (Pass lake) and techniques

Ira ,If your in the giveing mood explain why I'm killing the fish with chronimides on ekal ahtram ,but just down the road on ekal ik they woun't take any of my chronomides. (note some words spelled backwards to hide their true identity)


Indi "Ira" Jones
Artham lake has a different variety of trout that feed on the bugs plus a different population of bugs thus a different competition factor than is present in ik kale. Also fishing with those dang bugs can change in minutes, let alone moving from one lake to another. Funny I was tempted to hit Arthum tomorrow.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
When I lived in coastal Georgia, the fishermen there were usually very open as to where and how they were catching fish. There was a lot of sharing, folks down there were very helpful either giving good locations for fishing or helping a neighbor patch his roof. Up here there isn't the sense of community, not in Seattle. Another big difference between that area and Washington is there wan't a huge million+ population band running from Everett to Olympia along with a corresponding percentage of fishermen vying for fairly limited waters.

I've posted a few times about the hard work it takes to scout and locate good fishing water. I've shared a few of those locations with friends and they have shared some of their favorite spots with me. I guess the part about posting on the net is there are a significant number of "takers" who lurk and offer nothing in return. I don't care for that. Post what you want but no whining when you return to that new "honey hole" and find it populated with folks. You were warned.


Active Member
This is a Fly Fishing forum - to me a much different form of fishing and respect for resource's. I was posting about a certain lake early in the year so am guilty of "giving away" secret fishing water.

The problem is the lake was and still is allowing gear fishing! 3 times I drove to the ramp to see 2 or 3 bait fisherman throwing power bait right next to where you can drive to! I can only imagine what happens in the boats 3 1/2 miles to the other end where it is wilderness! I want as many fly fisherman to be concerned with this lake as possible! being it is all wild fish created by st. helens why the hell has the fly fisherman of washington not changed the laws on it to make it fly fishing only. I do not live in the state so can do nothing! I post on another web about crane prairie and it's kill fishery trying to have people be concerned about trying to "CHANGE" the laws of killing native fish and 1000's of them.

If people are so concerned about "COLDWATER-LAKE" THEN WHY THE HELL IS THERE STILL GEAR FISHING GOING ON IN IT? posting on a public "FLY FISHING FORUM" to bring light to a fishery that needs help to preserve it is what I will always do and is why I posted this fall and winter about the lake. I have been to ODFW meetings to change rules and regulations for my home states waters, the noise being made by the fly fisherman of oregon has brought a change in management of one of the best trout fisheries in the country "crane prairie" and is scheduled to change to catch and release for all wild redband rainbows and a 16" and under only hatchery fish rule! this fishery will be a trophy fishery within 2 years or even only one with this rule change!

I would vote and have everyone I know IN Washington vote to make coldwater a "FLY FISHING ONLY LAKE" but someone has to start a petition now don't they. sorry but trying to keep something to yourself can sometimes be the wrong thing for the fishery. hell merrill lake is fly fishing only now all catch and release for stocked triploids - wow lets preserve that before coldwater's wild and native fish.

But I did quit posting about the lake. LIKE nick posted most people I see fly fishing on lakes are just dragging a bugger around and will never hurt the fish on a big scale and most fly fisherman will practice a hell of alot better resource use then gear tossers, the more fly fisherman on any gear lake the better!

I also posted a report on thief valley lake in oregon. A week and a half of watching a gear fishing slaughter that was epic with not one fly fisherman present for the whole time - no wonder it's open to the slaughter year round - so few fly fisherman around! I hope everyone of you go fish it and get involved with it's management!

Sure there are bragging post's (I'm guilty) show off posts (guilty) look how good of a fisherman I am posts (guilty) But also bringing fly fisherman to light on a gear fishery that never should have been in the first place (coldwater) (guilty) I know from experience it takes people to make a change!

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Main reason I don't like to name sensitive places is because lurkers scan these forums hoping to glean some shared info. I don't know the motivations of said lurkers. I will privately share info with anyone on this board whom I already know or whom I think is OK due to reading their posts. You could pm me with a question about my favorite lake, and I will direct you to the spots that I think are the most productive, and throw in some tips or relate some experience I had there. I like to share with other fly fishers, and would even love to see more out on the lakes I fish.
I just don't want to give intel to the anonymous masses.

My favorite local lake gets hammered by the bait anglers until it is fished down, but I can still find some trout on the weedy end where there is no bank fishing. I've only been there once this year, and I was forced to bop 3 bleeding 11" stocker 'bows and a severely injured small cutthroat. I don't like to eat trout that much, so I gave the stockers away. There were too many of those pesky freshly stocked 'bows for my liking, so I haven't been back. Maybe check it again later this week, hoping that the fishing is more difficult than it was.

I have been fishing the harbor entrance alongside the jetty lately when I have had time to fish. I think its time for me to start trying flies out there. The wind has been strong and gusty recently the times I've been out in my yak, though, so I've left my 8 wt stashed in the hold, or ashore in my rig. The news I'll share is that I've found some places out there where, over the last few days, the fish have been biting in depths shallow enough for fly fishing. And a Ling I caught yesterday had several 2" long surf perch young'uns in its gullet.

I think I am going to be more tight-lipped about my estuary and tidal creek cutthroat fishing in the future, though. That's not happening yet out here now on the coast, though.