Monday, March 28, 2011

Rules of the Secret

Every once in a 23-inch cutthroat, an angler is blessed with a remarkable fishery about which no one knows. When an angler comes upon a secret, there are rules by which to abide:

  1. If it was shared with you, you do not have the right to share it with ANYONE, nor may you trade it for someone else’s secret. You’re best to not boast about it. Play dumb.
  2. If you unearthed this creek, you can decide with whom to share it. You have the right to trade the information with another “rights holder” for his or her secret. You do not have the rights to the secret for which you bartered (refer to rule 1).
  3. If a road crosses it, and you cross this secret with the uninitiated, start jabbering about something. Fart. Scream. ANYTHING. Don’t give the passenger the opportunity to wonder or ask about it.
  4. If you work in a fly shop, keep your damn-ass mouth shut. If you’re a guide, fish it only on your days off. If you’re a writer, fill your journals with known fisheries. If you're a photographer, crop.
  5. Only share it with someone intrepid enough to potentially fish it. It's pointless to put the word out there for one who will not use it.
  6. Avoid talking about it when unnecessary – even with non-fishers from abroad. It's funny how word travels into wrongdoer's hands.
  7. Park as far away as possible – do not string up your rod or look like a fisher.
  8. Don't browse photos at your local hot spot, because some jagoff will walk by and notice, and you're stammering, studdering reaction will let this wanker know you're hiding something.
  9. If it must be spoken of in public, find a pseudonym. Notellum or Nunya Creek are unacceptable as they give away that you've got a secret. Be generic.
  10. When enlightened to someone else's secret, don't abuse it. Don't go back and back and back and back, like that jackass Bruce on “the riffle”.
  11. When confronted with a secret about which you know not, don't ask about it. Understand that this is something that will be shared with you when you are ready and that pushing for it will only push it away.
  12. If you insist on posting pics of big fish online, find a Photoshop wizard to eliminate the background landscape. Anglers from your area might recognize it, and might not consider your secret so sacred.


Unknown said...

Wonderful problem to have, no?

Bigerrfish said...

soooooooooo, where and how do I get to where the photo was taken?... huh? huh?
Na, good post Josh,
One more thought on secrets, are they meant to be kept until you die? Tell them just before? Or somewhere in between? I mean, all you really gain is, a fish and the power of knowledge, for a period of time.
Josh, I came incredibly close to death one time while on a fly trip in Bozeman. Went to sleep for 4 days with my rod in hand, woke up in Billings, with a new heart. Almost forgot to tell a secret before I left.

What is a "SECRET" anyway?

schnitzerPHOTO said...

Humans are increasingly lazy, with a seemingly-limitless capacity for even more sloth. Loose lips, tied to hungry ego, is a problem that transcends generations of anglers. Growing up in MN, if you had a lake, bay or even little reef dialed in, you kept it quiet. At least rivers and creeks are more subtle, and easier secrets to keep. At the very least, let's all avoid empowering the lazy.

Josh Bergan said...

Bigerr - obviously anglers have differing ideas about constitutes a secret. If you discovered it, you can share it with whomever you wish. If it was shared with you - you should defer to the sharer's wishes whether you agree it should be kept quiet or not, in my opinion. In fact, the law states it should be kept quiet for the life of the finder plus 70 years - or is that copyright? A secret is whatever an angler who discovered a creek on his or her own wants kept quiet, whether or not it's been in a book, on a website, TV show, etc. Sometimes I get tired of having places of which I cannot speak, but I respect the finder’s wishes. And because I don’t want to alienate my fishing buddies or have a reputation as a heretic. And who knows how many other anglers have been keeping it close to their vest for years? Honestly, I often believe too much is made out of secrets, but I don’t want to be the guy who can’t be told of the latest greatest honeyhole.

Josh Bergan said...

Russ - well said. I didn't realize you were from Minnesota - no wonder you're a Twins fan.

Josh Bergan said...

Oh, and I honestly don't know where that picture is from. Looks good tho, eh? I just found it in a folder with a bunch of other shots that I recognized.

Sanders said...

I just tell people I golf...or fly kites...or run a ponzi scheme...or run marathons...

fishing...who has time for that?

Ivan said...

Where does providing misleading information lie in the "rules of the secret?" For example, when pressed on the secret location, giving up the location, but providing inaccurate information about timing and seasons.

Will Jordan said...

Whoops. Now you tell me.

I'm kidding of course.

I'd hope that these rules would go without saying, but there are certainly those among us who need things spelled out.

Unknown said...

unfortunetly we must give up our secrets, otherwise who will beleive us assholes who are always bragging about the incredible days weve had.

David Payne said...

With the possible exception of White House staffers(of anyone's administration)no one is as inept at keeping one's trap zipped as the angler who hooked a hog. It's just a fact of life....

Josh Bergan said...

Ivan - depends if it's your secret, I'd say. And certainly misleading is always better than leading.

Brady -I don't believe you anyway.