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· Be the guide...
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5,157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This subject has been beat to death lately. So I offer a different twist...

How to find your own secret spot:
The key word is "spot". Don't feel like you have to find a remote creek or lake to find a secret fishing gem. Some of my favorite secret spots are on bodies of water talked about weekly on this site. For example, MF Snoqualmie and the Yakima. I have several spots on each of these where I can count on reliable fishing and having the water to myself and the wildlife. The key is exploring. You can also have secrets spots on lakes. It may be that you found some under water springs in a corner of the lake that not many know about and the fish like to hang out there. Or some under water structure or ledge that consitently produces for you. Finding these spots takes work, luck, or sometimes a friend who is willing to share.

How to keep your own secret spot:
Simply put - don't count on it. You can keep your spot a secret by not telling others - but chances are, other explorers may find it some day (and no, not all exporers are avid C&R folks. Many are just as intent to fish a place dry, then move on to the next victim). The tighter you hold on to it, the harder the hit when you return one year only to find it fished out or crowded. Those who hold on too tightly to their 'secret spots' are setting themselves up for a major let down and hampering their own sense of exploration. Don't get too attached to a spot. Their are plenty more to find. And you don't always have to find that creek or lake that isn't named or doesn't show on most maps. Many places that at one time were very popular have fallen off most folks radar over time and may well have turned into a 'sleeper' fishery.

The holy grail:
A true secret spot - the spot I dream about - is one that I've never been to before. It is the spot I can only imagine. And when I set out to find it, and suceed, my dreams don't linger on it (for too long). They know there is a better, more beautiful spot to find next time. I have my home waters and my 'bread and butter' spots that are like comfort foods to my soul - but I'm always dreaming and pursing that 'holy grail'.

Infamous internet\magazine Hot Spots:
These are merely distractions from the vision of the 'holy grail'. They may provide a quick fix but tend to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Cheap seconds (I feel this way anytime I go to Rocky Ford). More often than not, you simply get there after the action has died down anyway. Especially when it comes to salmon, steelhead, or hitting a certain outstanding bug hatch.

So what is a new guy to do???
Eplore your home waters first. Find a place where you can maximize your time on the water and focus less on just trying to catch fish and more on getting familiar with the water\area. Find the easy access spots and those spots that get the most pressure. Then work away from there. Make a few casts, take some mental notes, then move on. Do this enough times and you will quickly realize that you find yourself heading to that same piece of water that has treated you well each time you were there. This may be one of your new secret spots. Chasing fish all over the state can be fun, but if you get to know a few bodies of water VERY well, you will be rewarded greatly.

-Chad
 

· jabs
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1,114 Posts
Nicely put Chad. You hit it right on the head. Your post got me thinking why I seldom post reports on this site? I think I do it to keep the waters I fish less pressured or at least keeping it to a small group of guys. It does not mean they are secret waters, it just means that it is water I seldom see guys on. Is it a secret? No!! My group of buddies fish the popular lakes, rivers and streams. Yeah, we have killer outings when we hit them but we still have our spots that see less pressure. Are they secrets? Not really. They do have very little pressure just like any other region that is less known. They are not secrets but have less pressure. If someone post a list of several lakes out of a region that has over 50 does that mean they are giving away secret info? No, it just means they are giving info to someone that was asking for some help. I like your perception and I really think it is a great way to look at it. Definitely a very positive and informative post. Kudos:thumb
 

· Just an Old Man
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35,200 Posts
I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

Chad,You wouldn't care to share your knowledge with an old man would you. My lips are aways sealed as I know what blabbing about a spot can do. I have lost a few to loose lips and now I try to keep my big mouth shut. But I do share with a select few.

I think that we were going to hook up once last year but something came up from my end and we didn't do it. Well this is a new year and maybe we can try again. :beathead

Jim:thumb
 

· Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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5,770 Posts
One thing I learned one season when my car had died was that there were allot of good fishing spots in my own back yard and that I had been driving an awfully long ways sometimes, passing many good fish, to get to the "honey holes" and sacred waters of the Northeast U.S. I bet we drive past allot of good fish while we are looking for good fishing.
 

· Just an Old Man
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35,200 Posts
I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

Well when the time is right maybe we can hook up and try it some time. I know you like the Middle Fork and so do I when the conditions are good. I've fished it before but I was fishing from the Dark Side.

Jim
 

· Registered
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24 Posts
Secret Fishing- It isn't always a function of the where. It many times is a function of the when. Each bit of water has its glory hatches and the hoards congregate there for them, almost always at easy accesses and not a long walk from there. In these times of the internet and advertising anglers can find information quickly and plan accordingly.

My tip on finding secret spots, which Chad has it right about they come out of exploring- If a fishery is a quality fishery it will always yield fish. Explore it when there isn't a big hullabalo about it as a hot spot. You might find yourself on a river by yourself in the very same run fishing for the very same fish that just recently had traffic.
 

· Be the guide...
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5,157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right on Joe. The secret can be many things - a secret fly that the fish in a popular place seem to prefer; a secret rock\log\etc that always holds a fish or 2; timing (lots of ways to examine timing - too many to go into now...), the list goes on.

Which reminds me - at one time some folks started some 'how to' sections on this site. Whatever happened to this idea? Seems like some of these topics (andromdous run timing, hatch timing, reading water, etc) would fit well there...
 

· Just an Old Man
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35,200 Posts
I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

All of these big words are throwing my head into a tizzy.Eptomology,andromdus,hatch timing,reading water. All I know that if I throw a certain fly at a certain place that it will usually have a fish attack it. One river will be nothing but Caddis flies and another will be humpies. While some will be Royal wulffs. Maybe I'm doing all of that and not even realizing it. So if only a few flies work why do we all carry so many different ones with use? I have too many questions and not enough time and paper to put them all on so I will just do on doing what I have been doing for the last 50 years.:bawling :beathead :beer1 :beer1 :beer1 Ahhhhh......

Jim
 

· Be the guide...
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5,157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jim - that's the beauty of fishing smaller and relatively remote creeks for wild trout. They aren't picky and aren't shy. Your big concern is usually getting a fly that you can see well and will stay afloat long after getting smashed by several feisty 5 to 10inch fish. Presentation is simple - put it in the right pocket\seem in front of or behind a rock and you have a few inches to a few feet of a drift before the mixed currents grab it. Doesn't have to be pretty - the fish just has to see it for a second or 2. For this type of fishing, I love size 10 to 14 royal wulffs. I have some killer days on the MF snoqualmie with those flies as well - and that isn't exactly a small stream... Other times they want a caddis or other immitation. I also like dapping woolly buggers in those small creek pockets - especially around log jams, deeper pools, and undercut banks - or when the overhanging trees are just to much for trying to get a fly on the surface. Anyway, I sure do love fishing small creeks for small wild fish. The solitude, the rushing water, the beautiful colors on those fish. Sometimes I get too caught up looking for big fish, that I forget how much those mountain streams energize me.

But back to your point - small streams = Keep it simple. The bigger the water and the more sophisticated the fish, the more you have to expand your bag of tricks. It may still be pretty simple (some people try to make it much more scientific than it has to be) - but not the same as fishing those little creeks.
 

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Of secret spots, zipperlips, hot spots, and explori...

Speaking of keeping it simple for the mountain creek fish (usually cutthroat), I got to thinking, what if you made it difficult? No, I'm serious. We love fishing these places because of the eagerness of the fish and simplicity of the fly patterns: Bi-visable, red humpy, irresistable, grey or royal wulff..

Has anyone ever tried to get out there with emerger patterns, cripples, etc? How did you do? Did they completely refuse these patterns showing a preference for traditional dries?

Sparse

Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
(Sir Izaak Walton)
 

· Be the guide...
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Of secret spots, zipperlips, hot spots, and explori...

In my experience, these fish have 2 criteria - they have to see it, and it has to look somewhat edible. So throw your aresenal at them and have fun - kinda like a lot of alpine brookie lakes. Or, as Jim says, take a handful of high floating attractors and keep it simple. The fish won't care either way.
 

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Of secret spots, zipperlips, hot spots, and explori...

Here is a little secret about secret locations.

I am sure everyone knows that the Trailblazers stock alpine lakes on a regular basis. The High Lakers give a report about the lakes that they fish. There is an organized method of finding out when and what lakes were stocked on a given year. Now we all know that a trout's prime time is between 3 and 5 years after being planted. Really, all you need to know is when a lake was last stocked and how productive that lake is. If the lake is rich with food, JACKPOT.

I would guess that 50 percent of the alpine lakes are rich enough to sustain a population of trout with an average sized trout of 12 to 14" after 3 years and 14" to 20" after five.

The odds seem pretty good with these figures. I am probably off by a little but not that much.

So the question remains, how can you find information about which lakes were stocked and when they get stocked?

If you are interested, first check out this page:

http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/outreach/fishing/highlake.htm

after you read this, e-mial me and I will tell you.

No joke.

If you are interested in finding out about lakes being planted around your neighborhood, check out this page:

http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/plants/weekly/

The page shows a journal of all lakes planted in 2002 and 2003 in the lowlands. There are no web pages that I know of that shows the alpine lakes stocking program thankfully.

Anyways, hope this helps.
 

· Registered
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Of secret spots, zipperlips, hot spots, and explori...

My family had three secret spots when I was a kid. I watched them become discovered, written about, guided on, and generally degraded over my lifetime. They are nothing compared to what they used to be like.

I now have only one spot. It is a doozie. I fished it three times a week or more for three years and never saw another person on the 20+ miles of water. It has a six mile roadless section, not that it matters. In late June when the stoneflies hatch, the air fills with giant flies, and a person has a hard time fishing more than two or three days in a row because of fatigue catching fish. This place is in the lower 48, and is due to be discovered any day. I only hope I get a chance to show my kids what it used to be like before it gets ruined.

The moral of my story, keep them secret for our children to see. Rob.
 

· Registered
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Of secret spots, zipperlips, hot spots, and explori...

Well said Rob, I couldn't agree with you more. It seems of late, people are posting questions about certain places that some of us would consider "secret".

Secret spots have been around for as long as fishing have been around, my father had them, my grandfather had them, and I hope one day my sons have them. I've spent countless hours finding these spots, searching through watershed maps, aerial photography, topographic maps, talking to people, driving down dead end roads, hiking miles through the desert...

Now, it seems like everyone wants to ruin them. Here is an idea, if you care enough to find such a creek, why not get out there and find it yourself? If we publish it on the Internet, it's not going to be worth going anyway!

worldanglr
http://www.worldanglr.com/

Calling Fly Fishing a hobby is like calling Brain Surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery
 
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