I’m pretty sure you have had them – hand-drawn maps to fishing spots, rivers, streams, farm ponds and pools where the big ones lurk. I have had my share of them on scraps of paper, the back of cigarette boxes and soiled serviettes. Some are well-known places, common knowledge; others just whispered speculation and shared in hushed tones amongst a chosen few. Just the thought and promise of a stream you have never seen is reason enough to go. I have had a few over the years especially the “whispered speculation” types usually divulged while pouring over the topographical map with the boys and somewhere after the third cup of strong black coffee or something with even greater potency – it has the habit of loosening tongues. Of course there is the usual “sworn to secrecy” pact and threats to life and limb or even the removal of important private parts, for any breech – a risk I’m prepared to take with the promise of new trout water.
Of course, not all live up to what you are told, but occasionally a real gem is revealed and you get caught up in a tight brotherhood that know about it and go there. Most of these stretches are a good distance into roadless wilderness beyond where the tracks and known paths end – places far into the backcountry. The implication being that it often involves a night or two under canvas, safe from the less energetic and fainthearted. It isn’t always the case, but the thought of it appeals to me.
But, you also need to evaluate the truth of any information you are told. These places can be either better or worse than they really are. Flyfishers are given to lying from time to time, I know because I am one – body language will help with any suspicions, watch his eyes. I don’t hold it against anyone, because I can’t plead complete innocence myself from a little exaggeration, ‘small’ untruths or white lies occasionally – in my mind for good reason.
If you have any hand drawn maps lying around to the less known fishing spots, preferably deep in backcountry seldom visited by flyfishers, I’m receptive – send them.
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2016. All rights reserved