Keeping Secrets

October 23, 2011 By: Benjamin Clary

Mark Blazis of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette recently wrote about keeping a certain brook a secret to conserve the delicate habitat.  “Mindful of those who would plunder one of my favorite places in the world, I never divulge the location of a little Worcester County brook that’s far too fragile to popularize—especially now when native brook trout are spawning here.”

Often fly-fishermen are accused of being elitists, something that assuredly has to do with being less than forthcoming with particular fishing spots.  Dennis Cutchins in his essay “Elitism, Keeping Secrets, and Fly Fishing in Utah” addresses whether elitism is the cause of this behavior.

Cutchins’ understandably falls short of answering the question in one essay but does introduce other possible explanations: the need for solitude, encouraging beginners to put in the work that veterans have, and, following Blazis’ reasoning, protecting an especially delicate fishery.  One study even suggests that keeping secrets is a way for males to protect a realm where “manly” behavior is welcome.

Of course the accessibility of the internet has rallied those in favor of protecting secrets.  One blogger tells an all too familiar tale of a precious spot being well publicized on the internet.