PENNSYLVANIA—In an exclusive first-person account in the April-May issue of Fly Fisherman magazine, former Spring Ridge Club employee Karl Weixlmann became the first flyfishing guide to come out as an openly apologetic pimp of privatized public water.
“I slept in posh surroundings, had my face plastered on advertisements, and had access to a streamside cabin with a hot tub,” says Weixlmann, bravely. “But I was helping take away access from people who had fished these streams their entire lives.”
The flyfishing community roundly applauded Weixlmann’s big reveal. “This is what role models are made of,” says Tom Bie, publisher of The Drake magazine. “Such nerve. Such courage. Hopefully this will inspire many more guides who have been afraid to walk away from the ‘crisp Ben Franklins pressed into their hand at the end of every day.'”
Though the company was not named in the story, Weixlmann had formerly worked for Donny Beaver’s much-maligned Homewaters Club on formerly-public-then-turned-private sections of Pennsylvania steelhead creeks like Elk and Twenty Mile. “I helped post some of the first ‘no trespassing’ signs,” Weixlmann says in the article. “Money had bought me.”
But to his credit, Weixlmann has seen the light and de-douchebagged himself in front of his peers. “It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret,” Weixlmann or Jason Collins said, adding, “I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. And now, I’m just ready to have an honest, genuine life.”
Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.