Zip it. Hush. Shaddup. Small streams and wild trout are a finite resource — and more pressure is usually a very bad thing. So for goodness’ sake, never post stream names and locations on social media. Never take photos that clearly identify your location. (Picture this scenario: you make a video and post it on YouTube. The brook is clearly identifiable. Someone sees it and comments on how beautiful the place is. Someone else comments, “I know where that is!” Someone 1 reaches out to Someone 2, and the location is revealed. Someone 2 likes to share locations with his friends, and the cascade begins. Don’t laugh — I’ve seen it happen.)
And if someone asks, you can always use my line: “I won’t even tell my mother where I fish.”
If you love and value wild fish — especially native fish — you have a responsibility to preserve and protect the resource. Yes, fishing is a blood sport. Yes, no matter how careful we are, some of what we catch may perish. But there are ways to dramatically minimize loss. And there are certainly ways to ensure the next angler has the opportunity to enjoy the stream as much as you.
So, I’m declaring this “Wild Trout/Small Stream Week” on currentseams.com. As you know, small stream fishing is an experience that is sacred to me. My goal this week is to educate and inform as much as possible. And this wonderful essay by a Pennsylvania angler named “Fly Tier Mike” is a good place to start. In The Responsibilites of Chasing Wild Trout, Mike outlines four best practices for those who fish for wild trout on small streams: Proper wading techniques (staying off of redds); proper fish handling; minimizing damage while taking photos/videos; and the pitfalls of social media that can lead to over-pressuring a stream.
Anyone who fishes for wild trout should read it, if only as a refresher. Thanks for your consideration.