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Old 05-11-2000, 03:23 AM
SKOOKUM
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EARN IT OR BUY IT?

HEY GUYS, JUST STARTED CHECKING OUT THE BOARD, AND IT SEEMED LIKE A PERFECT PLACE TO FIND OUT WHAT SOME OTHER HARD CORE TYPES THINK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT'S BEEN BOTHERING ME. ACTUALLY, I'M PRETTY FIRED UP ABOUT IT, AND WROTE A LETTER TO THE PERSON INVOLVED AND WANTED TO KNOW A.) HOW Y'ALL FEEL ABOUT IT, AND B.) IF YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO SIGN THE LETTER. I KNOW IT'S KIND OF LAME TO START UP HERE WITH A BITCH POST, BUT IT'S SOMETHING I THINK WE SHOULD ALL BE CONCERNED ABOUT. AT THIS POINT, I'LL DELETE THE PERSON'S NAME, AND PASTE THE LETTER. AS FOR FISHING, WELL, THE FIRST SIX WEEKS OF THE SEASON WERE ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL FOR ME (2 FISH IN MORE THAN 20 DAYS OF FISHING) BUT THE LAST TWO MADE UP FOR IT WITH SOME SERIOUSLY EXCELLENT FISHING. GUESS THEY REALLY WERE JUST LATE. WHEW. I WAS GETTING WORRIED THERE, BUT I ENDED UP PRETTY PSYCHED. SO HERE'S THE LETTER:

Hello (insert well known guide's name here)

As a long-time and dedicated steelhead flyfisherman, I would first like to say that in my experience, you are a thoughtful, courteous guide who goes out of his way to be friendly and polite to other anglers on the river. I appreciate your efforts in this area—especially given the crowded conditions we are now experiencing on our Puget Sound rivers.

This, however, is not the primary reason for writing to you. I’m contacting you on behalf of a growing number of anglers who are increasingly concerned about some recent developments in your marketing and business practices. Primarily, we are talking about your Skagit and Skykomish steelhead classes. We have no problem with guiding or your website, and we are clearly not a group advocating censorship of information. We do feel that when you take larger groups of people for less money and show them the exact spots that have taken many of us years to learn, you are essentially selling something that isn’t yours to sell. And certainly, it must have occurred to you by now that—unless you’re giving people a bum steer—you can expect to find your students and their friends standing in the spots you hope to put your guided clients in years to come.

We are aware of the fact that you need to make a living, and respect your chosen profession. This subject is more of an ethical and moral question, and we hope to appeal to that in your nature. I want to be clear that we are not advocating keeping people from flyfishing for steelhead—in fact it is the strength of us as a whole that can save our fisheries. We believe, though, that the process of finding out where to stand and which runs to fish should be earned, not bought for $110 in a group learning situation.

Of course, it would be easy to dismiss this as some random, anonymous complaint and forget all about it. But we ask that you consider what we have said, and if you have any questions or wish to discuss this with our group further, to feel free to e-mail or call. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
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