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Old 02-14-2008, 02:27 PM
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WNCFLY WNCFLY is offline
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Default Fly fishing guides, good/bad?

I recently was at a friends house who had purchased a book called "Western North Carolina Fly Guide" and after reading it made question what damage this book will do. I have no problem with the author J.E.B. Hall giving out info on the dough belly streams like the Davidson and the Tuck. Those rivers can handle the added pressure. The ones that really got to me were the streams that have fished since my childhood that are all native brookie water. I have yet to see many anglers at all on some of these streams and the thought of those fragile little gems having all the extra pressure really gives me a sick feeling in my stomach. A local newspaper here in Asheville interviewed the author and he said straight out he wrote the book for the money. I just don't think I could ever sell out these trout for a buck. I know there have been numerous books written on the smokies so I just thought I would get you guys opinion on these so called guides. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:48 PM
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kytroutman kytroutman is offline
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I personally don't know J.E.B. Hall and will probably shoot myself in the foot with this comment; if he was any type of guide, he wouldn't have to rely on book sales for his primary income, nor would he endanger the streams with overpressure from fishing. There are a large number of "experts" in every field and fly fishing is no exception. Unfortunately, most of these same people think with their wallets and not their brains. I also fish in Western NC, including the Highlands and the Smokies. I also fish in Upstate SC which is receiving alot of pressure due to these "expert guides" publishing books and articles naming even the most isolated streams (i.e. The Gorges).
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:22 PM
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WNCFLY WNCFLY is offline
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All I know about J.E.B. Hall is that he is 29 yrs old and guides for the Davidson River Outfitters(hope its ok to use their name here). I figure the last thing these specs needed was weekend fly fisherman from all over the country trekking all over these waters. The author is from Bryson City and guides in Alaska as well. Just make me curious were his motives were.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:28 PM
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pmike pmike is offline
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Default Maybe I'm not seeing something,

(Meant to title my tag, "Maybe I'm not seeing something")...but I have never noticed that much more activity after one of these books has been published. I am not saying there isn't an increase, but even if there is, I wonder how long lived such increases will be? Hopefully not enough to produce much or any lasting adverse effects!

I see some similarities between trends with fly fishing and trends elsewhere such as with golf. About the time i decided to try and actually took up golf, a Young fellow named Tiger Woods came on the scene and for the next several years here in N.E. Florida, there were many courses that you could not get a tee time on. It was as if a tidal wave of interest in the game began to swell with Tiger's introduction to the pros, and it's momentum continued for several years.

Even the decent (not so great) courses in our fringe areas seemed to stay busy and even if you got on, they were often backed up. Well it would seem that the wave crested a couple of years ago and has now even receded a bit. Several of the local courses have been closed, including one of the nicer ones in the area at which several pro and amateur tournaments had been held.

My guess is that and it has even appeared to me that, with each new book there is a bit of an on stream swell for a time, but usually it is not very long lived. There is yet another though and that is this, most out of stater's have limited time when they visit the area, and they are with families on vacation...thus limiting their time on stream. this being the case I seriously suspect relatively very few are willing or even have the time to hike in much if at all. I for one do allot more dreaming and scheming about fishing remote areas than I have yet been able to do.

In closing, do I wish that sensitive information about delicate areas were not being disclosed? I have to admit I'm a bit torn, there are many locations and even some techniques I would have never had a clue about had it not been made available to me in print. Yet on the other hand, if the health and overall quality of a stream or river is at serious risk of being compromised or damaged, I'd rather see it closed.

My simple hope is that any kind of threat such books appear to represent is a situation of it's bark being far greater than it's bite.

My effort in making this post is to try and encourage folks by saying it is my sincerest hope and personal observation that this and other such books "may" not be as serious a threat as they might appear to be.

God Bless,
Mike

PS: By the way, I have also seen far more sensitive material posted on some websites than what have read in most books. I suggest when disclosing locations in reports online that discretion might be a wise choice. I am not sayinf such information ought never be shared, but email may be a btter option that a public post?
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Last edited by Paula Begley; 02-14-2008 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: fixed it for you, Mike
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:39 PM
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pmike:

For the most part, I think you are correct. But the big caveat is the detail of the secluded streams that is often given away and the result is an increase in fishing pressure and other negatives that often goes along with additional persons (trash, etc).
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:11 PM
Jack M. Jack M. is offline
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Frankly, I think it is a big myth that streams are ruined or even impacted beyond insignificance by books, articles or messageboard posts bragging up certain waters. Most people just get upset when "their" secret stream has been mentioned. The more streams that are known to provide recreational opportunities, the more the general pressure is spread out. Ninety-percent of the anglers still are not going to walk more than 100 yards from a bridge crossing or pull out. There simply is nothing to fear here but fear itself.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:25 PM
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Jack, there is a particular stream that I fish and I am pretty sure that WNCFLY has fished. It was very secluded with great stream access and quite a few native trout. A while back, an issue of Eastern Fly Fishing mentioned the stream for its fishing but also the wonderful runs for kayakers. Want to guess what happened? Not only were there more people showing up to fish, but the number of kayaks also increased, in spite of the postings prohibiting the kayaks and a few people even show up to sunbathe on the house sized boulders in the middle of the stream. When I asked one of them how they found out about the place, they referred to the article I mentioned above. Was this a coindence? Perhaps.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:54 PM
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Default Guide Books Impact

Guys, I honestly don't think it has that big of an impact. How long ago was it when that first Don Kirk book was published, 20 years. Those books are essential to sharing the wealth of this sport with the newcomers which we all were at one time. Some people know others that are into the sport and have an inside track on good waters, but others rely on these guides. To me it is risky to only have one water that you fish or return to time after time. Doing so leaves yourself open to a bad day in the event that you show up and find another vehicle parked there. That is why I like to spread myself around throughout the year to better develop my fishing skills. That includes other species instead of trout, I just love to fly fish regardless of what I am catching. The population is ever increasing, and crowds on rivers are going to continue to grow. The days of having rivers to ourselves are drawing to a close I am afraid, so we need to adapt. The trash problem I do think is an issue. Unfortunately, today's society is not concerned about cleaning up after themselves, just leave it for somebody else. I think that we need more rangers and TWRA officers who are more willing to ticket, but that is an issue for another thread.

If the crowds are going to follow what they read on the message board, I think I may start posting about the plentiful monstrous fish I am catching on the Clinch so I can have the Hiwassee to myself.

Travis
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:10 PM
billyspey billyspey is offline
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a book can not bring 1/2 as much pressure on a stream than a post on a internet board
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:32 PM
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Jubal Jubal is offline
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Whenever a book is published I'd have to guess the intention is to make some $$$. I ran into JEB Hall at the fly show last weekend, I asked him why he wrote the book. He mainly said there was nothing like it....I agreed. Although I don't own a copy it does look like a good looking book. I skimmed the section for the area in which I live and he did not mention any of the little "gems" I love to roam. Just the obvious. I did want to ask if he had actually fished all these streams........
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