As fisherfolk, we all have heard of ‘the secret spots’ in one form or another. My co-workers have spoken of them for as long as memory serves me. Long before I was a dedicated flyfisher, they held meetings around the computer analyzing Google Earth for the best access routes and roads to take. While I was always curious, the tight lips of my colleagues kept me from their favorite waters. Just recently, I found out why.
My girlfriend and I set out on a sunny morning to a spot which I thoroughly believed was one of these ‘secret spots’ that my co-workers fished. Determined to hook into my first wild native cutthroat, we bumped and rocked our way down a tiny dirt road that, if you sneezed, you’d miss the turn while driving by. The road was worn into ruts but had little sign of much recent traffic. After thinking about turning around twice and wondering if I’d gotten us thoroughly lost, we parked at what I thought was the spot. From where we parked, you’d have no idea there were streams in the area. But we set off in the most logical direction—downhill.
No more than fifteen minutes later, we approached a tiny stream about three feet wide. From first glances the stream looks too tiny for any fish. Undeterred, I applied dry-fly floatant to my orange foam stimulator and tossed it into the first pool I saw. As the fly drifted toward a tiny log, a ripple approached and took it from below. I don’t care who you are, a fish on the first cast is the best feeling in the world!
A short fight led to me catching my first wild Native Colorado River Cutthroat Trout. I’ve caught cutthroat before, but nothing compares to catching a wild and native fish in your home state. I kissed the fish and sent it on its way.
Beaming with excitement, we set out to find some more spots along the creek. The area was stunning, lush with riparian growth and a forested background. The birds were alive, the stoneflies were flopping through the breeze and the weather was refreshing as we fished spot after spot, catching fish on almost every cast. We took turns tossing topwater flies into the riffle and watching hungry cutthroats slurp up an artificial lunch. 30 fish and 2 hours later, we were as satisfied as we could be.
As I daydreamed the scene for days after, I realized why my co-workers keep their spots secret. It’s not to avoid crowds, not to avoid passersby asking how the fishing is. These spots are secret because they are sacred—untouched fisheries, beaming with light and life. These spots are unspoiled by man, places where we can escape the grip of trash, noise pollution and conversation. These spots are where we can escape, where we can simply exist and enjoy times of solitude.
Never will I reveal where this spot is, never will I spoil it with traces of human presence. To me, this spot is a gift from those who truly understand one of the main reasons we flyfish—To escape from the world and become humble to nature’s presence.
Fish on, my friends.