Last weekend, we found ourselves on another sprawling, supposedly fishless river. Despite the fact that it’s too early for one run, and the other doesn’t officially exist, we ran into a buddy just coming off the water as we got there.
He asked my friend Rob, “Hey, can you tell Matt not to blog about this.”
Blog about what? Being generally somewhere on a huge river where we got skunked?
Rob and I had been having some discussions lately about the dangers of the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog, and writing about the places we love. We are wired to tell stories. But a story isn’t very interesting without a place.
Rob has all but abandoned the blog, and steelhead fishing in favor of “fish watching” and brushing his intruder collection. But I’m still writing about these trips, these places, and it raises the question of what level of exposure is acceptable for a watershed.
We pimp the McKenzie River. Wild trout. It’s probably harmful for the native fish, so to some extent we try to do penance through conservation and protection of the resource. I can’t answer how that pencils out on balance, but I’m comfortable with that trade.
Other watersheds we’re less loose-lipped about. You’ll never find us naming a coastal steelhead river. But what are the other factors to consider?
What if we never write the name of the river, but certain hints within the text give it away to studied readers? What if the photos show a certain treeline or gravel bar that’s burned into the retinas of the devotees? I’ve argued that you’re not giving anything away to somebody who can pinpoint a gravel bar on sight in a blog post. If that write up inspires someone to go fishing, and they can recognize the spot by the lean of the trees and rocks, they deserve to fish it.
So… feedback welcomed but I reserve the right to ignore it.
FYI: These casts are awesome.