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This discussion is about the Little Juniata River

The Discussion

GONZOJune 7th, 2009, 5:06 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Whatever you do, stay out of our streams.

Our streams? Well, I see that it's now tribal council time, and we're deciding who gets to stay on the Island of Self-Righteous Sharing and who gets kicked off. Geez, Eric, could you at least pause long enough to recognize the ridiculous corner you've painted yourself into with that contradictory and inflammatory comment? That's some way to win friends and influence people, pal.

Let's see who has to go (stay out of our streams):

Obviously, Matt has to go for refusing to share a streamer. But wait...he's already gone.

Of course, Shawn has to go. Although he somewhat disagreed with Matt, he made the mistake of erring on the side of less sharing. He probably should have been kicked off first.

And Louis has to go because he tried to support both Matt and Shawn--unpardonable!

Ok, I'm sure that I have to go next for backing up Louis. Oh well, I knew I was going to regret this. Tough luck guys, you're still stuck with me, even in exile.

Rbpcaddis should probably go for being entirely too civil and not being sufficiently outraged by Matt's response to his question. (Oh yeah, and he asked the wrong question.)

Perhaps TripleR should be given the boot for trying to see both sides, but he's new, and maybe he could just stand with one foot on the island and one in the water.

Have I forgotten anyone? Wait a minute...yes, I believe I have.

In case anyone missed it, Eric complained earlier that Jason shouldn't express a political opinion on his own website--wrong kind of sharing. Perhaps Jason would be allowed to stay if he pulled an Arlen Specter and switched parties, but we all know that hell will freeze over before that happens. Sorry, Jason, but it looks like you're coming with us.

(I've heard rumors that Roger might be secretly sympathetic to the exiles, but as long as he has the good sense to keep his mouth shut, he can probably stay on the island a while longer. Sshhh!)

I suppose that hoping that we could perform some penance would be asking too much. Perhaps if we all drew detailed maps to every decent fishing hole we've ever known and promised to donate all of our flies to poor, unfortunate, and downtrodden would-be fly fishers we'd be allowed back on the island.

Can you see how bizarre and silly this is? Just in case you can't, let me point out that one more person certainly has to go, based strictly on the rules established by the moral arbiter of fly fishing:

It seems that there have been hundreds of threads on this site where a certain person could have offered advice, fly recipes, and other information, but he has never seen fit to do so--not even once. Yes, Eric, you have to go, too. If the sin in question is one of not sharing information on this website that would help the sport to grow and flourish, then there is simply no question that you have been the most egregious sinner of all. Next to you, everyone listed above looks like a saint!

A simple apology for having (mis)judged the people on this website would be appropriate, and it would be nice to have it delivered without sanctimony and without causing further conflict. Time to man up....

MartinlfJune 7th, 2009, 7:44 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
I have little to add other than to make the observation that within reason, people should be allowed to decide what and how much to share without being attacked. Eric, I've repeatedly stood up for you and for Bill when you both were under attack on other forums. I hate to see this kind of poison on any forum. I've basically left other forums because of it, but this is home base for me. I check it almost daily, and post when I believe I can add something. I think that no one here believes small fragile streams should be advertised on the internet. Beyond that shouldn't people have the right to make their own decisions about what they are comfortable talking about?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
FalsiflyJune 7th, 2009, 11:43 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 661
Perhaps if we all drew detailed maps to every decent fishing hole we've ever known and promised to donate all of our flies to poor, unfortunate, and downtrodden would-be fly fishers we'd be allowed back on the island.

Yes Gonzo, unfortunately there are those who would expect just that, as opposed to:

Iíve worked hard for many years to acquire my success. It should be my decision, and my decision only, whether to keep it to myself, or share it with others.

Two opposite views for sure. Iím inclined to align myself with the second, thus maintaining my right to decide for myself. To give up that right, in order to be accepted, or, forced to give up that right in order to conform- well, we can all see where this is headed.

Just a thought, and in no way does it necessarily express the opinion of Falsifly.

When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
WbranchJune 7th, 2009, 6:33 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
EricStroup wrote -

"perhaps you should never discuss the results of your exploits, so no one would care to ask about the secret data"

You make a good point. From now on I'll try to refrain on elaborating on the results of my forays into the trout world. I have fifty years of trout fishing under my belt and might be able to offer some tips regarding FF inquiries that I see in other members forum threads.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
GONZOJune 8th, 2009, 12:12 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi Matt--sorry about all the fuss. I confess that I will miss the photos of the gorgeous fish that you caught, but at least I'll no longer have the problem of drooling on my shirt when I look at them. :)
JOHNWJune 9th, 2009, 2:43 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
What the hell has happened here.

I have ahd many conversations with Matt and even more PM and email correspondence and he is very willing to share information and knowledge right down to the detailed map thing however he preferrs not to do it in the public arena. I can't fault him for that. Perhaps he has very good reason for wanting to see someone who is a little more invested in the forum before just handing out free info. I don't know what the ultimate motive were. But what I can tell you is if he had posted the "FULL" report of his trip as opposed to the edited version he did. Every Huntigton Co fly fisherman who has the hutzpah to venture from the overpublicized stream areas would be looking to publicly crucify him.
I also find it very ironic that the biggest detractors of Matts decision to not share are folks who have less than 10 posts on this site. Translation you havent offered much of anything while lurking in the background.
As far as I'm concerned I'm one of those guys who feel that a problem solved on your own is far more satisfying and educational than being spoonfed. That is not to say I won't share info however I'd like to see that some effort went into things. Translation the guy who walks up to me on the stream is less likely to get much useful out of me than the guy I see struggling on the water but still trying. Likewise when I respond to a question on a bulleting board I like to see some thought and research went into the question.

So I guess tha means I have to leave the island as well but that's OK with me.
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Pdq5ohJune 9th, 2009, 7:23 pm

Posts: 10
Merely commenting on what struck me as oddly funny appears to have set off quite a storm. Too "personal" a question? I wasn't speaking for anyone other than myself.
Shawn's willingness to help someone out has left that guy with a very good feeling about other fly fishers. I'm sure. Maybe there will come a day when he'll be the Shawn helping another beginner out. I can see no wrong, or bad result, in that. Had that encounter gone another way due to a low post count, that guy may well have a completely different, and poor, feeling about other fly fishers.
Don't make more of this than it is. An observation is not an attack.
BTW, far too much fuss is made re: post count. Everyone had a low post some point.

GONZOJune 9th, 2009, 9:02 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
If it was merely an observation, Phil, I'm not sure I understand why you felt compelled to make it your very first post, let alone to follow it up twice. Most first-time posters take a moment to introduce themselves, and those who do have always been welcomed warmly.

Yes, we all begin with a low post count, just as we all have been fly-fishing novices at one time. But at least one significant aspect of post count should be easy for you to understand: Being critical of what others share on a website is hard to take from those who haven't shared anything themselves. Do you not see that as matching the definition of hypocrisy?

Due to the nature of internet communication, I know that offense will sometimes be taken where none was intended--although I'm not sure that applies in this case. I say that because the easiest way to attempt to remedy that situation is to offer a simple apology. An apology would not necessarily imply that you were wrong, only that you regret the way your comments were perceived. As you say, "I can see no wrong, or bad result, in that." I note that neither you nor Eric has been able to find sufficient humility in your generous and sharing hearts to do that. Sorry, but I find a hint of hypocrisy in that as well.
EricStroupJune 10th, 2009, 7:26 am
Spruce Creek Pa

Posts: 11
Talk about Tribal Council and self righteous Gonzo. You just whacked this fellow from Ohio...for what?
The point to my post is that there is no room in this for arrogance, and quite frankly, if you were offended by my post, then it was directed at you. No one answered my question, How well do you have to know someone to help them? I'd really like to hear your response to that. You know Gonzo, when you place a condition, (like a post count)on the amount of help you give someone, I view that poorly. I make fun of that. It strikes me as funny when people become protective of the vast knowledge they've obtained, and will freely talk about their success, but not their methods, or tactics. I was simply making fun of that because I think its hilarious.
This post going south was not started by me, it was started with a simple question posed to one of you 'regular contributors' with a high post count. After demanding apologies and declaring that everyone must leave the island, you grease a guy with 3 posts for no reason...."We sure don't need anybody NEW on this forum, (or in this sport) it's just for us regulars!"
Keep writing Gonzo, you're proving my point.
Better yet, don't write, GO FISHING!
GONZOJune 10th, 2009, 10:56 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Clearly, Eric, one of us has formed a very distorted view of the level of sharing that occurs on this website, but I will leave it to those who read the posts to decide which one of us that is. However, since you made a specific request, I will honor it:

...How well do you have to know someone to help them? I'd really like to hear your response to that.

I think that the answer should already be obvious to anyone who has actually read my posts, but I'll spare you all the tedious reading. In every instance that I can recall, someone only needed to ask a question and I would do my level best to answer it as thoroughly as I could. However, my recollection may be faulty. I will try to find an instance where I have been "protective" of knowledge, boasted about my "success," or declined to share "methods, or tactics." But that may take a while. I'll have to get back to you on that....

This post going south was not started by me, it was started with a simple question posed to one of you 'regular' contributors with a high post count.

You'll have to help me with that one. Are you blaming Rbpcaddis or Pdq5oh? If you are continuing to insist that Matt had absolutely no right to decide to keep a favorite streamer pattern to himself--which is the only factual issue in contention, as far as I can see--I suppose you are entitled to that opinion, and it has been more than adequately expressed. However, given your vehemence on this matter, I wonder how far you will go to assert compliance with your personal view. I only hope it will stop somewhere short of waterboarding the guy.

"We sure don't need anyone NEW on this forum, (or in this sport) it's just for us regulars!"

Fabricating a phoney quotation from a straw man that does not accurately represent anything that members have said or believe is a shabby tactic. But have it your own way. I did not demand apologies, I only suggested that they might be appropriate and might even be perceived as a gesture of good will. However, it seems clear that there is nothing that anyone can say to you that will change your hasty predetermined opinion. It is usually advisable to stop digging when you find yourself in a hole of your own making, Eric, but dig away if you must....
TaxonJune 10th, 2009, 11:36 am
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1348
Eric Stroup, Spruce Creek Pa, February 9th, 2009, 7:16 am
... I'll say my piece, and then I'm going to look at bug pictures on the site from now on! ...

Hmm. Guess that must have gone the way of most resolutions.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Pdq5ohJune 14th, 2009, 7:37 am

Posts: 10
I thought this might die, but apparently not.
Gonzo, you wonder why I posted what I did as my first post. It was an issue I found...........interesting. Your mention of hypocrisy also seems to fit both sides of this. A guy asks for, and gets, help re: a specific stream. Then won't divulge the streamer he used as "too personal" a question. The fact that a higher post count would have gotten an answer is too funny/ridiculous. It was never my intention to offend anyone but, I won't apologize for my observation. Had I intended to offend, which I didn't, I might rethink this. There's no need for that. What's even more funny is the fact that some people now threaten to leave the "island". Taking your ball and going home never solved anything. You also ask why I followed up not once, but twice (now thrice). I feel when someone posts an observation as I did, then sits back is just stirring the pot. That wasn't my intention, either. Discussion without getting personal is fine. Isn't it? Or are there areas those of us with low post counts aren't allowed to go? I realize forums have rules. I didn't realize provoking thought was against them.
MartinlfJune 14th, 2009, 1:23 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
This thread has taken on a life of its own primarily because some have persisted in used it as an opportunity to criticize someone for exercising his right to decide what he is comfortable sharing and keeping to himself what he isn't. A number of regulars here who know Matt don't appreciate this because he has shared a great deal with us, and we know more about what we told him, what happened on his trip, what he posted, and what he declined to post than those who don't know him. The thread has become personal for people not at all involved in the primary post, and this whole issue seems to me something that should be put to rest.

I'm asking all like-minded people simply to not respond, but rather to post up new and more productive topics, or comment on other, more productive threads. I believe that this forum has no place for the kind of bad blood that is being stirred up, and there's really not anything else to say. Matt isn't posting anymore, and people are repeating themselves. Including me. My next step will be to ask Jason to simple delete the thread, if he will, so we can move on. It's too bad, if we've lost Matt for good, we've lost someone who has contributed a lot and could contribute a lot more. Those of us who know him will stay in touch with him and continue to learn from him via email and on the river. It'll be too bad others won't get the chance to get to know him online, or, eventually in person.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TroutnutJune 15th, 2009, 1:21 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
I've been so busy with field work lately, I haven't been watching the forum too closely, so I'm glad someone alerted me to this with a PM. I didn't read the whole thing in detail, so my comments below aren't addressed to anyone in particular, but I did scan over enough to think I may need one of these:

Starting this site taught me an unexpected lesson about location-sharing, which would be relevant to some of you here. From the standpoint of "protecting" our rivers, I think that most people here err on the side of caution. We could probably discuss locations in quite a bit more detail without seeing any detrimental effects on the stream. There are certainly plenty of ways to give out too much information, all very dependent on the specific situation, but we fly fishermen are usually more paranoid than is necessary.

People have a tendency to subconsciously suspect that when something's on the internet, everybody on the internet will see it and deem it important. In reality, there's only need to worry about people who visit this site, and go to that specific page, and read what you wrote on it, and live near enough to your location to fish your spot, and have the time to try out new spots, and will take the initiative to actually do it, but don't already know about it. The number of people fitting those criteria is usually 0. Not always, but it's helpful to at least think about that list before judging someone for revealing information.

However, there's another effect of discussing locations, apart from potentially hurting the river: pissing people off. I drastically underestimated that one when I first started this site. I actually labeled my fish pictures with the river where I caught them... not specific spots, but the overall river. The Namekagon. One of the most famous trout streams in the Midwest. I caught all kinds of hell from some of the locals for that, and suddenly they were convinced that every single unfamiliar face they saw during tourist season had traveled there from afar entirely because they saw those pictures on my site. Furthermore, any day the fish were difficult or elusive was my fault for bringing in the out-of-town hordes to fish 'em all out.

Since that experience, I removed specific locations from this site and kept it to big regions like "Upper Midwest" or "Catskills," while maintaining a private record of the specifics. Even though I think it's not harmful to share those details, it's not worth the trouble of defending myself over it... and that's a lesson many might find helpful.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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