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I Heard About this Spot

I heard about this spot where there’s supposed to be trout.

Not just any trout. Brook trout. Wild. Native.

And this spot is quite close. And it is surprisingly urban. And it seems too good to be true.

This knowledge, like any lead on buried treasure or city of gold, was stumbled into. A chance encounter. I was supposed to talk to person A. We had planned it and it was all set. Then person B was there instead. He was Person A’s substitute. Person B lives thousands of miles away, but just so happened to grow up right where I live. He fly fishes, he has an interest in native brook trout, and he knows about this spot.

Furthermore, he did the very un-fly fisherman thing in sharing this spot. With me.

Immediately upon leaving his presence I began to investigate on my phone. I pulled up a map and before it loaded I switched over to Google to see if anyone was posting about it and then I went back and looked at the access in street view. I got excited. It looks like a stream. It is only mentioned alongside of trout once. It is an article about biodiversity.

Articles like that are much more reassuring than fishing reports or message board threads. Science is reassuring. Tips and tricks aren’t. The former means fish. The latter means fishermen.

I figured out how to get there. Where to park. Where to enter from downstream. It looks like there are a few hundred yards of creek before it flows into a larger stream. Trees might conceal it from all the sprawl. They might conceal me from other anglers, passing by with prying eyes.

Surely the fish aren’t big. But big doesn’t matter. Brook trout in the shadow of billboards and overpasses and Starbucks don’t need to be big to be novel. I’m not a gemologist, but I am confident that provenance isn’t a determining factor in value of something uniquely precious. Authenticity and beauty. That is what you’re looking for.

A spot like this is the kind of spot I’m looking for. Brook trout in a place where they aren’t supposed to be. Which, ironically, is in a place where they absolutely should be. They were here before the billboards and overpasses and Starbucks. In little creeks like this and in the bigger rivers. Their wildness is bigger than their five or six inches can contain.

Spots like this are as much about the fish being there as they are about catching the fish. That doesn’t mean I’m just going to bring my binoculars. It does mean that the bar for personal contentment is set relatively low. Seeing a fish chase a fly. Catching a tiny, bright gem of a brook trout.

I heard about this spot where there’s supposed to be trout. I’d like to think that there are lots of spots like this all over the world. Many which are shrouded in secrecy. Some, perhaps, that are still unknown. Small and untouched. Hidden in plain sight. Finding them always takes exploration. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, finding them begins with some unanticipated knowledge.


  1. Swampy says:

    Secret spots like these is exactly why you will never ever find any fishing stickers on my truck! Dead giveaway, busted! I’ve gone as far as parking up to a half mile away from my intended destination and walked through the woods to get where I wanna be just to be free of prying eyes.

      • Swampy says:

        Extreme measures like these are why one of NH’s best wild rainbow streams still flies completely under the radar even in the age of social media. No stickers required, just some social media common sense and and little walking. Protect!

          • Swampy says:

            All the proof you’ll ever need on this stream can be located in one of the many fishing reports I’ve done over the years at the NH or Maine fly fishing forums 🙂

  2. Dino Cappuzzo says:

    I’ve been fly fishing for 13 years, and I’ve always been curious about this unwritten fly fishing rule. There really aren’t that many “secret” streams left, as most can be found on any SNP or GWNF map, and many are described in several books by prominent local fly fishing gurus. The streams I frequent most are brookie streams in the Park and on public land in GWNF. Rarely do I encounter another fly fisherman, and if I do, I’m not offended. It’s a good opportunity for fellowship. What does annoy me are obnoxious day hikers with unruly dogs and locals who like to camp right next to the stream, cooking hot dogs on the camp fire and tossing their empty beer cans into the water. With all of that said, I’m not in any way reluctant to share my fishing locations with fellow fly fishermen, because generally they are looking for what I am: fairly pristine locations that hold native brook trout.

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