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Thread: Fly fishing guides, good/bad?

  1. #11
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    I've looked at a copy of Hall's book, it's no worse than Rutter's books, i liked the format a little better on Hall's book, it gave a little more info on the streams, didn't tell you how to fish them though.
    The books won't bring any more pressure than they already recieve, heck if you can't get out of the car & walk into the water, most folks aren't going to pursue them & if there's a gravel road, they won't get their SUV's dirty, what would that do to their image

    Grumpy

  2. #12
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    I agree on both fronts. It does irritate me when a stream that i worked hard to find is suddenly revealed for the whole world to find out about. To me, part of the thrill of fly fishing in these parts is finding these streams. I mean doing all the research and scouring for information and then the actual adventure of getting to the stream is exhilirating to say the least when you stumble across that little gem of a stream. Of course, more often than not i draw a blank rather that hit the nail on the head, but that's part of what makes this sport great.

    I can also see, however, that most people are still not going to get out and walk to these streams. This is fine by me and i hope that it stays that way. I have this book as well and find it a decent read. If i remember correctly, all of the brookie streams that it describes don't require TOO much effort to get to. It does, however, mention one of my favorite ones so i feel your pain. That's what i love about the smokies. There are numerous books written on all the streams in the park, but some of them are so isolated that you can't find any information about it. Heck, if someone has got the guts to follow me in the woods for 10 miles, then they deserve to know about a stream just as much as i do.

    I guess for me it's an aggrevation just simply because i put in the effort to find this stream and others are getting it handed to them. I am really afraid of one book that is coming out in the near future that is exclusively about brook trout streams in the smokies and immediate surrounding areas. This book promises to cover all of the brook trout water and honestly, kinda makes me mad. I can't speak for everyone else, but to me, finding and fishing for these brook trout is kind of like the holy grail of fly fishing. It's not the size of the fish, but the adventure and hard work that goes into it that makes it all worthwhile and makes it special. I sincerely hope that books such as these don't increase pressure, though, as that would be a shame.

    Craig

  3. #13
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    Let me put another spin on this topic. What do you think of guides who will ask fly fishermen (and ladies) questions about their particular "gems" and then overtake those same stream locations with their clientele? I have had it happen more than once, and not just in the Smokies.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnman2888 View Post
    I am really afraid of one book that is coming out in the near future that is exclusively about brook trout streams in the smokies and immediate surrounding areas. This book promises to cover all of the brook trout water and honestly, kinda makes me mad. I can't speak for everyone else, but to me, finding and fishing for these brook trout is kind of like the holy grail of fly fishing.
    Craig
    This sort of changes my perception on the whole topic; prior to this, I could say that I really appreciated the guide books, because, as one who doesn't live in the mountains (at least not yet, but that day is coming ), and who has three kids and a limited amount of time on our trips, I have relied on such books to help me over the learning curve. All the books I have focus on the major streams for the most part, so there are no secrets being given out. However, a book focusing on brookies and bluelines is a horse of a different color - I feel exactly the way you do about these little jewels...they're the native fish, and that makes them extra special in my eyes. They're just now making a decent recovery in the park - I guess we can hope their overall average small size and the difficulty in reaching some of the better streams will keep the pressure off.

  5. #15
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    IMO... I think these books are great for bringing new participants into our sport. When I first started flyfishing, I was POOR. My flyrod was a combo set purchased from a flea market for about $25. Even though I grew up in a family that fished, I didn't know anyone who flyfished. I could never have afforded a guide. One of these books is what helped me get started. Without it, I may have become frustrated and quit. So, if it gets more people on the water, then I am all for it.

    I enjoy fishing the blueline streams away from any trail, however my wife doesn't. She would rather just fall out the truck door and land in the water. Our favorite roadside stream that we enjoy fishing is in one of Rutter's books, and we have never run into another fisherman along the stretches that we fish.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ijsouth View Post
    This sort of changes my perception on the whole topic; prior to this, I could say that I really appreciated the guide books, because, as one who doesn't live in the mountains (at least not yet, but that day is coming ), and who has three kids and a limited amount of time on our trips, I have relied on such books to help me over the learning curve. All the books I have focus on the major streams for the most part, so there are no secrets being given out. However, a book focusing on brookies and bluelines is a horse of a different color - I feel exactly the way you do about these little jewels...they're the native fish, and that makes them extra special in my eyes. They're just now making a decent recovery in the park - I guess we can hope their overall average small size and the difficulty in reaching some of the better streams will keep the pressure off.
    I think it takes a special kind of person (someone that is at least half nuts), to want to hike 5 miles up a mountain, getting stuck in thickets, fighting off rattlesnakes, to catch a 3-7" trout. I've got Rapalas bigger than most of the Brookies I've caught. A book about Brookies may increase the pressure at some places, however these are the same fishermen that would be fishing for them somewhere else. So, those streams would recieve less pressure. That is just my opinion, I am no expert in any aspects of fishing and fishing pressure.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  7. #17
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    Default A few points:

    In the smokies there are over 700 miles of fishable streams. Add to that the surrounding areas in NC, SC, GA and TN that have fishable waters and regardless of how large a book you could write, there is no way that anyone could visit anything but a fraction of the water listed in any book, unless they give up all of their current destinations.

    Just because a stream is included in the book does not mean that it will suffer any adverse effects due to fishing pressure. After all, many of the Brookie streams require quite an effort to get to. And if someone is going to make the effort to get there, that still doesn't guarantee that they will find any "Honey Holes". Even if they did, some thinning of fish populations is actually a good thing. It helps the other fish get larger. Many of the streams in the backcountry are overpopulated.

    These kinds of books were not really meant for the serious Brookie hunters (like Craig). They are too vague and too obvious to put many of the fish in any danger. An example: in Don Kirks book, he lists Hazel creek above 3000' as some of the finest brookie trout water in the park. How many of us have been there? Not many. Why? Well, its more than 10 miles up the Hazel Creek trail, or if you are crazy (slightly...sorry Craig) you could hike down from Clingman's Dome. Now, not all streams are that hard to get to, but many of them are. Not many folks get into stalking Brookies. Many of the better waters are too hard to get to, are nearly impossible to cast into or require mountaineering skills to traverse the stream, once you are there. Add to that the majority of fish are awfully small and only the hardiest of souls would even be interested in it.

    The books are really for folks who live outside of the area or are beginners who want to learn more about the area before go to the Smokies and trying to catch a fish. Let's face it: We need more fisherman not less. As much as we may think thats a bad thing, two things are very important to our fisheries 1) we need to get more people into fishing and 2) we need to keep bringing tourists to the area to support our local businesses. Without those two things wild trout in the park will become less important and fishing could eventually get outlawed (thank you PETA).

    As for trout mortality, as much as we would like to think we really "kill'em" when we're out on a Brookie stream, the fact is, angling pressure has very little negative impact on the mortality rate of fish. There are numerous examples of this, that have been written about on this board and in other places. Environmental factors are much more important to fish mortality. Now, if some of the easier to get to places are getting fished more and that causes a destruction is the stream habitat (trash, foliage being destroyed, etc) because of a book, then obviously that is bad. But if a stream is easy to get to, its hard to say that any book may have pointed more people to that destination and degraded the quality of the stream. Look at Tremont, everyone knows its there, its easy to get to, and yet the fish are still there. And as someone pointed out just as much, if not more, information gets relayed on boards like this than in any book.

    It time for me to get off the soapbox...but to summarize, I think that the book may make some of us feel uncomfortable, and others a bit cheated out of the "private" stream label, in general, if a book brings in a few more folks to our sport, thats a good thing...

    btw: I have not read the book yet, but I can tell you that there are absolutely no fish in Road Prong or Deep Creek, so don't waste your time at either stream (in case they are mentioned in the book)


    Update: Buzz jumped in front of me with a more succinct version of what I was trying to say...kudos to Buzz!
    Last edited by PeteCz; 02-15-2008 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Update

  8. #18
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    buzzmcmanus,

    Are you calling me nuts??

    I know that i am, but it really means something coming from someone else........haha

    Craig

  9. #19
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    Talking

    Craig,

    Actually when you get to your secluded spot and look down and see boot marks, those are probably mine.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  10. #20
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    I think a lot of this depends on the stream in question, and the factors involved in getting there, etc. Take for example what is probably my "home" stream - Cosby Creek. It's mentioned in every book I have seen and it is incredibly easy to access (you can start catching brookies right below the parking lot). I like it so much, I bought property in the area, just outside the park boundary. I've posted on this board about the stream a bunch of times, and so have others. In all my time fishing up there, I've seen a grand total of one other person, and that was a guy with a zebco rig, complaining that the water was too shallow to fish. Other than that, I am far outnumbered by the hikers, who look at me like I'm a bit strange, I think. Anyway, my point is, that stream doesn't attract the numbers because it is a bit off the beaten tourist track, and the casting conditions are tight to say the least, which is fine by me. However, that might not be the same situation on other streams. I guess my big fear is not other fly-fishermen, but a gang of illegal bait guys hitting one of these small streams - they could wipe out a section of stream in short order with bait.

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