Editor’s notice: This story was initially printed on July 30, 2022.
“I may let you know however I’d must kill you!” mentioned Billy, a household buddy and neighbor once I requested the place he’d caught the 5 largest brook trout I’d ever seen on the time.
Billy had stopped by our home to indicate off his catch as he usually did, however these trout have been actual beauties for our space, and my youthful thoughts was blown on the sight of them. None was lower than 14 inches, and the most important was perhaps a hair over 20.
Every year through the hottest, haziest canine days of late Maine summer season, Billy would strike fishing gold and lug house a multitude of plus-sized brookies. I used to be mystified by the very fact these trout got here from someplace close by in waters I fished too however from which I’d solely managed to tug a pair 10 inchers.
In actuality, I knew precisely the place they got here from, I simply had no concept the place it was or how one can get there: it was Billy’s secret spot.
What makes a superb secret spot? There are a variety of things to think about however only some are required. Principally, the spot has to carry an abundance of focused fish or sport and it’s essential to be the one one — or certainly one of few — that is aware of about it.
Another concerns might sweeten the spot. Usually, the farther away from a overwhelmed path or well-used highway the spot is, the higher. Not all the time, however all too usually, of us gained’t enterprise various hundred yards from their car in pursuit of fish and sport. Past that requires drive, dedication, stamina and need.
Nonetheless, remoteness doesn’t all the time must be an important issue, and actually, I positioned my finest secret brook trout spot lower than 100 yards from a busy building firm’s gravel pit, simply accessible to most anybody however merely missed and tucked simply out of the best way. The final time I fished it with any success, whereas it was mine, I took a restrict of 5 fats, lovely trout. It was uncommon for me to ever preserve a couple of or two fish, however I’m glad I did that afternoon. The next yr, it was uncovered after the land and stream chopping by it was obtained by an space heritage belief. Mountain climbing trails now go inside ft of the financial institution and discarded worm containers litter a path to the now-popular spot. How dare they not examine with me first and search permission!
Through the years, as many do with their very own secret spots, I developed a way of possession of it, feeling as if it was mine and subsequently held the rights to it. The reality is, simply as with all secret spot, it was anybody’s to search out and fish, which was a state of affairs I’d cross my fingers annually for to wish to not occur. I’d by no means imagined a spring with out that spot and was crushed once I misplaced it.
Whereas nothing I did spoiled the key, this brings me to our subsequent level of debate, which is the safety and retention of such a spot.
With out query, an important defensive and preservative motion one can take to guard a secret spot is to only merely preserve it a secret. Unfastened lips sink ships, and the telling of even one leaky boat of a buddy can jeopardize it. Footage of the spot ought to be averted, or a minimum of take excessive efforts to disguise it. If photos are unavoidable, dissemination to the general public ought to be saved to a minimal and any captions ought to embrace “an undisclosed location”.
I not too long ago discovered myself engaged in a heated argument with a finest buddy over a secret striper spot a buddy of his had graciously confirmed him that they’d been fishing for a number of years with stellar success.
Over the previous few seasons, I’d grown uninterested in listening to how nice the fishing was on this explicit spot — particularly since I think about myself reliable — and had requested to be introduced there and been denied greater than a dozen occasions. When my telephone rang at 8:30 p.m. on a positive tide, I knew the drill and made a lower than courteous comment to my buddy about the place I figured he was headed.
The very fact of the matter was, I used to be jealous, plain and easy. I pushed, poked, prodded and demanded, however my buddy by no means cracked, sticking to the promise he’d made about retaining the spot to himself. As mad as I used to be, he’d completed the appropriate factor. He was proper and I used to be unsuitable however I’ll discover that spot sooner or later and present up there on the appropriate tide as they make their first few casts.
I’ve misplaced contact with Billy through the years, which is gloomy as a result of he taught me a lot and I appeared as much as him. His knack for locating the most important buck, heaviest bear and most lovely trout was little question on account of his sixth sense when it got here to the outside.
However he additionally realized the significance of by no means revealing his most intently guarded out of doors secrets and techniques. His success was hard-earned and I revered it. Whereas he allowed me to tag alongside on a number of searching and fishing excursions as a teenager, Billy by no means confirmed me the key spot he pulled these 5 trophy trout from and I feel that was purposeful.
He needed me to search out it, to earn it, to assert it as my very own, and I’ll spend a lifetime looking.