Loose Lips Sink Ships?

“Hey, what part of the river were you fishing?” or “What flies are working best right now?”.

If you have posted a picture of the fish you’ve caught on any sort of social media recently you’ve undoubtedly have had other Friends or Followers ask you these type of questions regarding the pic you just posted.

But that really isn’t the issue, that’s the norm. How did you respond to those questions is what I’m looking at here.

This has been a fairly big topic of interest for me recently. In the last month or so I’ve been questioned about how much info I give out in these blogs or in comments on our Instagram page.

I want to preface this next part with:  I’m not saying who’s right or wrong.  I actually don’t think there is a right or wrong. It’s an opinion and I’m all for people voicing them, in any situation.

There are some people out there that view me posting or #hashtagging the body of water I’m fishing in as a negative thing. That by doing so I’m going to make that certain beach or spot on the river over populated.

This could be a true statement, I mean I know when I see a pic of a big Pyramid Lake cutty landed I try to figure out what beach they were on and what they were using. I think that’s human nature.

There has been countless times when I’ve gone to my favorite spot on the river only to find 5-6 cars already packed in. Or, having to leave my house at 4:00 am on a Saturday just to get a spot on the beach I wanted to fish at Pyramid. But personally I can’t blame social media for that.

I feel that fly fishing is gaining in popularity at a pretty fast rate and there are only so many places we can get to at Pyramid or the Truckee. Some due to tribal restrictions and some do to vehicle/access restrictions.

Sure if you are a tribal member at Pyramid you can fish any beach you please or if you have a drift boat on the Truckee you can get yourself to some out-of-the-way spots. But other than that the rest of us all have to share the same waters with each other.

Again that’s just my opinion, you might have a different one and I’d like to hear it.

What about sharing info on what flies/lures/bait is working on that certain body of water? Do you respond to that question honestly when asked, keep that info to your inner circle of close anglers or ignore the question entirely?

I know that this a highly debated topic as well. My situation may have been different than others when I got into fly fishing, maybe not. But here’s an example of where I started and where I am today.

Jason and Glenn got me into fishing at Pyramid several years ago. Throwing spoons, bouncing jigs, then eventually fly fishing. But the river was a whole different story. Once the Pyramid season ended Jason had to go work in Hawaii for the summer and Glenn’s back couldn’t handle wading the river after his surgery. That left me to figure out fly fishing the Truckee on my own.

First thing I did is took to the internet and books. Jan Nemec‘s book Flyfishers Guide to Nevada helped me with access points and with the basic setup I’d need. Then came the internet, I found several YouTube videos of regular anglers as well as guides fishing the Truckee and giving out advice on flies, depths of dead drifts and access points.

I know now that I should have just hired a guide to learn how to properly fish the Truckee. But back then money was tighter, I had been given a hand me down setup and figured that putting in the time would eventually lead to me catching fish.

Throughout that time I read a blog from a local guide named Matt “Gilligan” Koles (and still do to this day). Now I call him a friend, but back then all I knew was that every day or two I could go onto his website and read about how the fishing has been and hopefully pickup a trick or two.

So as progression goes, throughout the years I started learning more about the Truckee and how to properly fish it, which eventually lead to me landing more fish.

During that time I met new faces and some old friends while wandering it’s banks. I’ve been met with smiles and handshakes, told what flies they are taking and even handed hand ties flies out of someones box which in one case after tying that fly on, my first cast landed me a nice Rainbow which before that I had been skunked for the day.

On the other end I’ve been met with rolling eyes, being talked to like I was a child and in one instance accused (from a far) of planning on stealing a guys rig that he had left near a bush where I had just started fishing. Basically saying to choose that spot so I could grab his rig and run.

I’d like to imagine that the majority of people on the river aren’t like the ones I just mentioned and more willing to help a fellow angler out when given the opportunity.

That opportunity was given to me late last summer/early fall when I was fishing on the Truckee. This was the same day Jason saw a damn bear on the river and didn’t bother giving me a heads up as I was the last one to the spot!!! Check out the post Be Bear Aware! for more on that one…

Jason, Kelly and I were fishing together and certainly having an above average hook up count that day. There was an angler just down river from us hitting the same holes we normally would without the same luck we were having. He eventually made his way up river towards us and sparked a conversation. His name was Ben and he was from Utah. He was in town visiting his wife’s family and was trying his luck on the Truckee that morning.

Like many of us do he asked what flies we were using and noted that he’d seen us hooking up all morning. Now here’s the crossroads that as an angler you have to deal with. Are you on the side of not sharing secrets, telling this guy who was just out for the morning that doesn’t even live in your town to go kick rocks, or better yet telling him the fly was something totally different than what you’re using.

Well for me I didn’t think twice. I told him about the fly, that it was tied by a local guide and friend Doug O and I opened my fly box and handed him one, knowing I only had 2 more for myself.

We shook hands and parted ways. That evening on our Instagram page Ben commented that he landed one on the fly I gave him and that he lost it when a big boy took it, ran him down river and broke him off. He was genuinely grateful for us helping him out and I was stoked that we helped in get into a few.

That right there I feel is the way I want to live my life as an angler as well as a human being. Again this a personal decision, but I’ve never been much for keeping secrets or trying always have a competitive advantage by not helping others.

Before fly fishing consumed my spare time and wallet I was for a moment a professional brew master at a local brewery. My friend Justin and I helped build the brewery from the ground up and eventually won a few medals at various brewing competitions. But at any given time we encouraged the local home brewing community to come check out our brew system, to come and ask questions and learn. Hell I even gave out yeast and hops to people just because they asked what we used to make a certain beer.

Another hobby of mine was photography and in a sense getting paid for wedding and family shoots made me a “pro”. But again, if I had a cool star trail or long exposure shot I nailed and a fellow photographer asked how I did it, I’d tell them step by step, exposure time and F-stop with no hesitation.

I did these things because (A) people have helped me a long the way in all my hobbies and (B) why the hell not? It makes me happy to see other people happy. For them to hang a photo on their wall they are proud of or sip a pint of beer they made and be stoked to share it with their friends.  If I can help put a smile on their face then I will.

The same goes for fishing. No one likes to get skunked, you put in 12 hours at Pyramid and you spend the majority of the time watching the guy next to you land fish after fish while you sit there wondering what you’re doing wrong….That sucks.

Also if your are new to fishing, that could be discouraging enough for you to stop and find another hobby. Some will say “Well you have to pay your dues”.  I don’t disagree, put in the time in anything in life and you’ll be rewarded eventually. But what does it hurt to give them a couple tips on what’s been working or walk over and hand the person a fly when they ask about what you’re using?

Maybe that little extra effort on your part gets them hooked up to a fish. Then that keeps their interest, they buy a yearly permit rather than a 1 day pass. Maybe they then donate to Trout Unlimited and start spending some money at a local mom and pop fly shop. Then they are out there doing the same for others that you did for them.

Maybe I’m naive and living in a dream world of rainbows and unicorns. But I’m happy here, it’s a nice place to be. If you’d like to come check it out I’m happy to hand you a few flies and net your fish when you hook up next to me.

So back to me telling people too much info. The Truckee and Pyramid are both fishing great right now. Personally most of my time has been at the alkaline lake, but several friends are having banger days on the river. I’m hoping to get some river time in this weekend, but was just sent a pic of an 18.5 pounda from Pyramid and that the fish are starting to cruise the shallows…This time of year can be amazing out there.

So take my words with a grain of salt. Do what you feel is right in fishing and in life. Express your opinions, but just respect that others might not have the same opinions as you.

Keep those lines tight and knots strong!!!




4 thoughts on “Loose Lips Sink Ships?”

    1. Appreciate the kind words as I am sure Dave does too! We all feel the same way as Dave, “do unto others” if-you-will. He is just great at putting what we are all thinking into words with eloquence.

  1. So on point. I’ve appreciated every angler, blog, website and guide who has helped me along the way and more than happy to return that favor to anyone that needs it. The sport is growing, we don’t have any control over it so we should embrace it, help where we can and possibly even help someone learn how to be a good stewards of the waters. Hopefully I run into you one day if I can get down there. Cheers!

  2. I was catching perch outside on big Winnie this year when a guy fished 3 spots all around me and caught nothing. He finally walked over by me and I told him he could fish the holes I drilled. He was SHOCKED. A few minutes later I was chasing a rod goin down the hole and slipped into the bucket and every minnow I had went down the hole. He gave me minnows and caught the 7 fish he needed to finish his limit. What comes around goes around

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