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It was my post , which can be viewed in the Fishing Chronicles section, that caused this brouhaha. Some folks thought that a fly fishing guidebook I wrote was allowing me to profit at the expense of the resource. From what I can gather, it seems the vitriol is mostly directed toward my inclusion of some smaller trout streams. However, I’m betting that none of the dissenters has read the book, because if they had they’d know that each of the small trout streams I covered is written about extensively elsewhere, albeit, some of the sources are old and wildly inaccurate. None of these small fly waters is what I would call a secret, either. Have you ever tried to go fish Spring Creek or the Cochetopa during the summer? What I’ve done is gather the information on these trout streams into one source, update it, and add my extensive knowledge of the areas to give the readers of the book something of value, as what good is a guidebook if there is nothing of value in it. Should I have simply regurgitated ad nausea already known info on the Gunnison, Taylor and East Rivers and left everything else out? Bookshelves are full of such books, but I wanted mine to be different.

What these dissenters also couldn’t be aware of is the agonizing decisions that I made as to what fly waters to include and which were too fragile and needed to be passed over. For instance, Cochetopa Creek is covered in its own chapter in my book, but there are two trout streams that are just as quality (or better) within walking distance of the Cochetopa that are not mentioned. Why? Simply because it would have been irresponsible of me to talk about them, so I didn’t. There are literally dozens of small trout streams that I desperately wanted to include in this book that ultimately were left out for this very reason. I worked my tail off to protect the fisheries that needed to be protected, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I tried my best to strike the perfect balance between giving readers something worth buying, while not exploiting waters in doing so. Was I perfect in this arena, probably not…but no one is going to be able to truthfully say that I didn’t try and sacrifice to make sure to error on the side of caution.

Running the risk of overstepping my boundaries, I’m going to quote from the introduction of my book as to why I wrote it because I can’t say it any better than I said it the day I wrote the following. “While a goal of every fly fishing guidebook is to help you catch more and bigger fish, the loftier aim of this book is to increase your knowledge of the trout streams and high mountain lakes of the Gunnison Basin. After all, knowledge leads to appreciation and appreciation when fully mature, leads to love. My overarching hope is that you will grow in appreciation and love for the trout waters of the Gunnison Basin as much by reading this book, as I have in writing it. Welcome to Fly Fishing the Gunnison Country!”

I want folks to love the fly waters of the Gunnison Basin as much as I do. I want people to understand the biology behind these waters and these fish. Rather than obsess about catching the biggest fish I want folks to know why our native cutthroat populations are at risk. I wanted readers to know how old the cutts in our high lakes are and how they got there in the first place. I wanted readers to understand how a brown trout can attain epic proportions in a small trout stream and why most folks can never catch that fish. I want readers of this book to understand why these fly waters and the salmonids that fin their depths are worth loving and protecting. Simply put, the purpose of my book is to share something that I love and am passionate about with whoever will listen. Do you really think that I would intentionally harm the very thing, besides the Lord and my family, that I love most on this earth? If your answer is still yes, we will just have to agree to disagree, and that is the beauty of living in this awesome country that we live in…we can do just that. Respectfully submitted. Doug Dillingham Ohio City, Colorado.
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