I use this statement a lot, however it is for the exact opposite reason! It is the reason NOT to hot spot!
This is one of the biggest differences I see in fishing and hunting these days, when a known good spot starts to produce people seem to come out from under the rocks. I can't figure out how they all find out but they all do....it's not from me!
BTW you'll never hear me ask about a spot. The reason is I don't want to know where you go. That way when I find "your" spot I'm not stealing. I caught dozens of bull trout last year on a stream that has been fished and publicized for 70 years that I know of and I never saw another person and you'll never hear from me where it was!
A Puget Sound fishing guide has the arrogance to claim that he will talk clients to "secret" locations that only he knows about. To be taken to these spots, clients are charged $200 above his normal guide rate. Clients are not suppose tell anyone else about these locations.
word. and it's not just about secret vs. not secret. it's about hotspotting and hyping. who wants to have a fly fishing experience (that was discovered not via the internet) to be ruined by crowding because of internet hyping. "there are no secrets" is just plain stupid. it's more about "this place is ruined" vs. "this place is yet to be ruined" (but maybe a blab-fest or 2 away)
In Oregon there's lots of "secret" places to fish. Some are downright obvious but no one fishes them. I can think of one river that holds trout, salmon and steelhead only 15 minutes from my house. You never see anyone fishing the river so no one does. But it does indeed hold lots of large fish.
Then there are the hike-in lakes. Not many want to make the hike but the fish are there. I guess they are not so much a secret as they are remote and not easy to access.
I have had this internal argument about "secret spots" for virtually all of my life.
When I was in high school in Canon City Colorado, my parents would have old friends and relatives visit us during the summer months. My dad worked in Denver and would leave me to be tour guide. I had no problem taking those who wanted to fish to my favorite fishing spots. It was what my dad told me to do.
Those streams, for the most part, never got much fishing pressure, but that was in the 1960s. The US and world population has more than doubled since then.
But what's really changed is our culture. Today we expect Siri or Alexa to unleash all the secrets of the universe whenever we ask. One doesn't need to go to the library or buy topo maps to study. Back then every kid I knew learned where and how to fish from a mentoring dad, uncle, etc. Now most of those grown kids work 60 hours a week and fish a few days a year if at all.
How many people buy an annual fishing license and fish less than 5 days a year?
What I see it is there are a small number of serious (more than 20 days/year without a guide) fly fishers. There are many more dilettantes who fish less than 5 days a year. The serious guys don't need to be given maps and Lat/Lon for "secret spots" because they've had their own for years. It's the dilettantes who need the quick fix because they are not about to spend 3 days a year checking out the maybe spots. They have no idea even how to find and evaluate a stream because they have no mentor.
Far Bank Enterprises (parent of Sage, Redington, and RIO) know about the serious fly anglers and that's who they target for their high priced gear. They have no interest in trying to find mentors to turn the dilettantes into serious fly anglers because it would cut into their profits.