Is Hotspotting A Real Problem?

January 7, 2020 By: Spencer Durrant

If I had to pick one question that I receive as a fishing writer, it would be, “where did you catch that fish?”

I try to keep the smartass “in the mouth” comments to myself, but it’s tiring trying to explain why I don’t like to share the locations of most places that I fish.

Chris Hunt wrote all about this topic in a recent article for Hatch Magazine. Hunt wrote a book entitled Fly Fishing Idaho’s Secret Waters. He often shares locations of out-of-the-way trout streams, and feels justified in doing so. As he wrote in the Hatch article, some trout streams need attention.

“This is particularly true of many public lands destinations that rarely see anglers and, therefore, when the time is nigh, they rarely see folks showing up at public lands planning meetings as future management of said public lands is determined,” Hunt wrote. “In other words, the best places to fish need at least a few anglers to experience the fishing and be willing to stand up to protect it. What’s the point otherwise?”

Hunt’s stance on hotspotting is an interesting one, and like every issue within the fly fishing world, it’s a multifaceted issue. I’d encourage you to take the time to read his article and think on it before your next opportunity to answer the inevitable question – “Where did you catch that fish?”