Saturday, November 6, 2010


A term describing a media event where an otherwise small and unknown fishery is thrown into the spotlight. The results usually include a flood of new anglers to the area, typically overwhelming and significantly degrading the fishery until the crowd moves on to the next hot spot. Most seasoned writers and fisherman will never succumb to this low behavior, but there are always newcomers to the industry who are willing to sacrifice these spots to help jump start their career. It happens in magazines, newspapers, and in film.

True to form, there is a new show hitting the air this season that has followed this path. Trout TV is a show that evidently has a lot of Montana content, and is giving away some treasured areas to a national audience. To their credit, they have also covered some more acceptable and mainstream fisheries, but some of what they are doing flat out crosses the line.

The reaction in many local angling circles has been disgust, and many fisherman are taking to contacting the shows sponsors (Redington, Rainy’s Flies, and Carharrt) asking them to drop the show. There have been e-mails circulating with this information trying to get as many people as possible to contact their sponsors. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out where I stand on the issue...I have already written my letters, and I hope others do as well. There are many fisheries in our state and around the country that can absorb high levels of fishing pressure, and there are those small and out of the way places that just become overwhelmed. The unfortunate consequence of hotspotting is that these fisheries are essentially ruined until the hype wears off eventually allowing fish populations to rebound. Hopefully, by the time an ethical fisherman becomes an outdoor writer, he is aware of this phenomenon and can make a responsible decision about what areas to publicize. The folks over at Trout TV evidently haven’t reached that level of maturity yet.

Great way to start your inaugural season guys.


  1. That sucks, I don't watch TV anymore so I'm pretty out of the loop.

    Most of the stuff I saw when I was still in the Midwest was focused on very large, well known bodies of water, which is the way it should be.

    I've gone to the point of keeping very tight lips on waters, especially for "under appreciated" species. At one time, this wasn't an issue but now there are people out there without a selective-harvest ethic targeting natives that were once ignored...

  2. Good post. First time on your blog. I found it on OBN. Very nice. I will follow along.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

  3. Where will this end? Bad enough when the magazines did it.

  4. I looked over the episodes they have on the face book and I'm not sure which of these rivers is supposed to be a secret. As a Montanan, I think teaching a solid conservation ethic and river manners to more people is far more important than trying to keep our secret hole a secret. I have no idea whether or not these people have such an ethic, let alone teach it, but with all of the info available on the web, I don't think "trout tv" is going to be the medium that brings the masses and ruins our rivers. It's a big state with a lot of water after all, and we all know the masses won't hike in or drag the raft more than 5 yards to an undeveloped put in anyway.

    Just my .02

  5. I've only watched one episode, I think it was on the secrets there. I hope they don't hype up any of our smaller fisheries that can't handle the pressure. Fisherman are savvy these days and it doesn't take long for word to spread...especially when on national TV.