RE:EARN IT OR BUY IT?
First and foremost - welcome Dylan! It's great to have you in Steelheaders Anonymous. Let's all fire a spey cast motion in his general direction [img]http://126.96.36.199/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif" border="0" align="middle">
Seriously, this is an important issue that has parallels in every region where there is precious water and lots of pressure. There are honey holes with resident status access on Cape Cod where the locals frown on guides bringing people in on their resident permits. I understand the emotion but then there's an ocean of fish in that case, and the clients can't get back in there any other time. The fish are also moving through in a mega-migration pattern and it's hit or miss with few secrets divulged. In this case I would say the concern is unwarranted.
But sweetwater - especially steelie water, now that's different...
I have shown a lot of water to a lot of folks but if they weren't buddies they'd better live at least 1000 miles away or they never saw the good stuff.
There's a perfectly good place to bring hordes of anglers for an indoctrination into steelheading, and drastically increase the odds of losing the cherry too - it's spelled C-O-W-L-I-T-Z. Bring 50 folks down there and no one will even notice!
It's not hard to figure who we are talking about and I respect him a lot. I think his heart is in the right place and I wish I had his day job! On the other hand, Dylan has the heart of a riverkeeper and I think if I were running large groups I would do the Cow instead.
BTW - the Cow is a much maligned river, one of the greats in the PNW before Mayfield and Riffe and other impoundments made it a hatchery scene. As far as that goes, it's among the most successful - which says something about the river not the program. I would often ponder what it would have been like if untouched... the Dean?
Anyway, since I don't have enough info I'd have to say:
If the program reveals all the hard-earned intricacies of the Cascade streams to the unworthy masses for short cash, the program is an unfair treatise to the resource and it's steelheading community.
If the program uses these streams as the setting for introducing the fundamentals of steelhead flyfishing, knots, presentations, etc. - then the convenience of the location for introduction of more flyfishers (and thus less roe chuckers) is just fine.
Don't know - I guess we're just gonna have to take the course! <img src="http://188.8.131.52/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif[/img]