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Ronan's report

Tuesday 22nd September, 2009

Matt's away this week and has asked me to hit up this post form the Board:

It's funny, once when we were getting started I had the idea of a general where-to-fish guide on SL, with the NZ section. Not a specific kiss-and-tell, more of a updated John Kent's guide to NZ - which is pretty good by the way; when a place is exceptional he doesn't say it in a way that makes everyone want to go there - the sandflies are horrendous and sometimes he doesn't mention it at all!

Anyway, I mentioned a place - that we wont mention now or ever again - which I said was one of my favourite rivers in NZ, and still is again. A year or so later it went from being a relatively unfished water to being fished every week of the season. OK that's not high-pressure by world standards, but for that river it was high pressure. And I know it was Sexyloops because three people independently met there because of Sexyloops, and I met two of them afterwards. OK that's not so bad for them, because they were all travellers and had a great time together - however it changed nature of the river and was an example to me of how things could really be when we had a wider readership.

To give another example, when A River Somewhere fished Mystery River T in NZ, caught a 10lb trout and named the location, that river was full of Australians for many years to come and it was fucked because of it. Me I like Australians on the most part, but when a river is full of them it becomes a bit much.

Hell even inside the SL-circle I've changed waters. Fish a place with a few friends over the years, those friends tell friends and then all of a sudden the word is out. A couple of years ago one of the best flats in NZ (it's not any more) appeared here by name on the Board, forcing us to close that thread. I know the history of that flat because I fished it every year for ten years, the first time with Garry Castles son, Aaron and Jim Curry. I then fished 3-4 times year, every year, mostly on my own, but not always, and bingo, it's not the location it was, there's always somebody there when there was never anyone there! When I wrote the Flats Vortex I was emailed by one reader not to actually talk about that type of fishing - and maybe he's right. Fortunately for the flats it's not a River Runs Through It, but maybe one day it will become it.

Anyway, the reason I mention this, is because before I turned everything in Mystery River X I was emailed (not very politely) to "not mention any spots and go fishing more" (which wasn't actually possible) and after pulling the NZ advice and turning everything into Mystery River X I was rudely told to "stop supporting the guides"!!!

FFS, you just can't win!

Anyway I think what it comes down to, is if you're running a flyfishing publication then you have a greater responsibility to the river than to your readers.

And you know there's more to it than that, particularly with the Internet, where information can be accessed indefinitely, we are in danger of turning fishing into a quick-fix, artificial cherry on the top, plastic entertainment. It takes years to really learn anything worthwhile in fishing. If we publish all the special places then there won't be any special places left to re-discover. I don't want to know what's round the bend, at least not until I've been there - and that's the best thing about flyfishing: it's an exploration.

Cheers! Paul

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