A few people in the CrossFit gym where I train (you need to be in shape for 12+ hour days on the water) do some fly fishing. One guy in particular is into it as much as I am, and his wife also fly fishes.
He and his wife are headed out tonight and he just called to get some information from me - spots on the Winooski to fish, fly suggestions, the kind of drifts I've been using, etc. I never thought that anyone would think of me as the source of actual useful fly fishing information.
Yes, I love fly fishing. I fish when I can. I buy the gear. I tie some flies. But, even after all these years, I still consider myself to be a hack. I still fish with guides on occasion just to improve my skills and knowledge of water bodies.
When people are coming to me for advice, the first thing I tend to think is "they're desperate".
But, maybe I am finally starting to understand this sport and I have useful information to share with other fishermen.
As my friend talked to me about where he was going to fish, I told him a spot I was planning to fish this coming weekend. It's one of my "secret" spots on the Winooski. I took my friend there last fall and he took two big wild rainbows on a day that I got skunked. I figured that if I told him I was going to fish it this weekend, he'd leave it alone for me, and he said he wouldn't go there because I was planning to fish it this weekend - nice guy. He is heading to another place that I showed him, but everyone knows that spot. It's just a matter of your willingness to wade half a mile upstream from the only parking access.
Here's a photo of a nice fish I took at that "secret" spot last fall: