Category: "General Thoughts"

A new Generation of Fishing Magazines

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Over the last few years a new trend in fishing magazines has arisen: Online only magazines. I don't know if these qualify as "webzines" or "zines". I thought those died out pretty quickly. The new generation though uses software to try to imitate the feel of the paper magazines. The Big Daddies of the genre seem to be the gorgeously photographed Catch magazine that I wrote about earlier and This Is Fly which has a hipper more urban feel to it.

This is fly

Catch boasts readership in the hundreds of thousands globally and deservedly so. Its the Nat Geo of fishing magazines with beautiful photo spreads and text that I'm sure is great but I usually just stare at the photos and dream. Filmmaker Todd Moen and photographer Brian O'Keefe have built something really special with this one and I urge you to check it out. This Is Fly is a hipper edgier design centric feel to it which kind of jibes with their Brooklyn address. Still they put together a great mag and if edgy is your thing, definitely give them a look.

In the ever-urgent search for ways to get the word out about The Weekly Fly I've come across a few other interesting online-only mags that are not as well known but probably should be. These smaller operations are still working out some of the technical kinks but those are relatively minor (back issues not loading, login issues, etc) and they provide some interesting and unique content.

Blood Knot Magazine
The first of these (out of no particular order) is Bloodknot Magazine. The latest issue dedicates itself to fly fishing bloggers and they run the gamut. They have several departments including a featured photographer which in this issue is Aleksandar Vrtaric of Suck My Fly. Bloodknot is a good mag to check out and, like all of these mags, you can't beat the price.


Kype Magazine is a traditional print magazine that releases a digital version. The layout is much more tradtional and they cover hardware fishing as well as fly fishing but I include it here because well, I stumbled across it and it looked worth checking out.

I haven't take a whole lot of time to look at Fly Life Magazine out Australia/New Zealand yet because the interface is a little awkward on the small screen but I wanted to mention it because it illustrates the global nature of these digital mags.


On that same note Flymage.com is out of Spain but with an English version (as well as Spanish, of course). Another great venue for pics and some interesting non-North American-centric articles. Its nice to get a different perspective on things and these two international mags certainly offer that.


Finally, The Contemporary Sportsman is put out by Integrated Digital Publishing (read Jim Stenson who also does a fair amount of writing) which also puts out The Contemporary Wingshooter and, in early 2011, Backcast which will be dedicated to Fly Fishing. Contemporary Sportsman is kind of a mix between Gray's Sporting Journal and Drake. It has a unique and interesting take on the outdoors but definitely focuses on higher end clientele with a more, uh high brow style. I have no problem with this. The writing is engaging with a personalized and literary style which I like and the photography is outstanding. CS covers both fishing and hunting and does it well.

These magazines are all worth looking into but two things stand out with all of them. They are free and they don't clog up your mail box (unless you subscribe to the paper version of Kype). I live in a digital age and I live in a town where I take the recycling in myself, which of course means it piles up. This has the added benefit of seeing all the waste that we contribute to. I no longer subscribe to the local paper because I was hauling ten pounds of it to the recycling center every month. Its a hassle and unnecessary. But I also live on my laptop. We don't have TV because we watch what we need on our computer. I get my radio on the computer too. I get my news on the computer and I read e-books on an e-reader. So, its nice to be able to, with a few simple clicks, reach out and grab some high quality fishing content without having to worry about throwing it away. And, hey, its free.

If you know of other digital magazines that I've missed, do me a favor and publish them in the comments under "send feedback" next to the post title. 'preciate it and cheers.

EDIT:
Ok, here's another one that I missed yesterday. "Pool 32 Mag is a new fly fishing e-magazine for everyone who loves fly fishing, and wish to follow environmental issues as well."(link takes you to blog where you can find the e-mag). I love that they are focusing on environmental issues that effect anglers. Most other mags touch on this but its important enough to deserve more attention. OH, and the photography rocks! Its produced out of Denmark but the Second issue provides several different viewpoints on the Pebble Mine campaign. Enjoy.


2nd EDIT:
Found another one. The winter issue of Ten & Two Magazine: The Anglers Journey focuses on the Catskills rivers and heritage. A ton of articles and photos on the region and people. I really like this one too. Again, it focuses on the higher end of the market as opposed to the do it yourself crowd but the writing is great. Maybe I'm just partial to the history of the region but I'm sold based on this issue. In their words: "TEN & TWO is where you can go to get away from the crowds and find that special spot where the fish might be bigger or smaller, but the experience is often more special."

3rd EDIT:
Another great photo centric emag but with some excellent writing as well. There are a lot of great contributors here and its well worth your look. SID (Sleeping In the Dirt):

Fly tying on Amazon

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That might get your attention but its not as exotic as it sounds. I signed up awhile ago to be an Amazon affiliate. I put links to products and get a tiny cut if you buy stuff. I really haven't made anything but it prompted me to start looking around under things like fly fishing and fly tying. There's a ton of stuff. Now, I would much rather buy my gear locally. I know the folks at the local shops and they gotta pay for their lifestyle somehow and I know it's pretty tough to make it in this industry. I admire anyone who gives up the 9-5 to pursue what they love. That said, if you can't find it locally, you might find it on Amazon. They have tying supplies and they have fly rods and they have Fly Fishing Books.

That's what makes them such a success of course, the variety and choice. Again, I'd suggest shopping locally first, especially for tying supplies where it pays to be able to handle the fur and feathers personally. But I've lived places before that just didn't have a local shop or if they did, the market didn't support a large inventory. In those cases you might explore Amazon, and for that matter, other online resources.

Merry Christmas everyone, or whatever makes you happy! (shameless marketing to follow)

Ad but cool

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A long time ago I signed up to be an affiliate of Leland Outfitters in San Fran. I put an ad up and nobody clicked on it so I took it down. The other day I got an email about how they had a video ad so I took a look at it and thought it was pretty cool, at least from a filmmaking perspective. They also have a decent tying section on their site so you may want to check that out though I know most of you probably prefer to hand select if not hand make a lot of your materials. So below is the vid/ad. Enjoy.

note: I'm still and affiliate so if you click on the vid and buy anything I get a small commission. That said, I'm not making any recommendations beyond the vid but here's their Tying Section and
Click here for free same day shipping from Leland - FlyFishingOutfitters.com!

Montana Trout Stalkers and Madison River Foundation.

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A week ago, I got the chance to fish the upper Madison with Joe Dilschneider of Montana Trout Stalkers. The fishing was challenging but we landed a nice brown and I let a couple others off the hook early. It was a great day on the river with typical June Montana weather.

I don't get out on any river very often these days so it was especially nice to get a taste of the outdoors.

The reason I'm writing this post though is that Joe was telling me about the Madison River Foundation on our trip. I knew of their existence already but that was about it. They are a relatively small organization still but they leverage their size well by doing some great local projects to keep the Madison one of the great fisheries in this country.

Our Mission

We will endeavor to preserve, protect and enhance the Madison River ecosystem for the mutual benefit of wildlife and all people who use it by employing professional expertise and advocating worthy public policy to ensure the future well-being of this valuable resource.

I hope you'll take a moment to browse their site, and if you have ever experienced the joy of fishing the Madison, I hope you'll give a little back and become a member. It takes a lot of effort to keep the valley a world class fishery and any support helps.

Thanks

Hatch reports

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The weather has been a mix of gorgeous and rainy here in SW Montana. I took the boys down to the Yellowstone yesterday to throw some rocks and sticks in the water and do some general exploration. We tried a poorly marked access that I'd never been to just south of town and the River was running high but fairly clear. I was pretty surprised at how fishable it looked (managing a 3 and 1 yr old next to high water seemed like enough to occupy my attention so I hadn't brought my rod).

This brings up the idea of River Reports. There are several sites out there that provide river reports posted by shops. Another site, for SW Montana at least is more of a community generated system for reporting. I met the other day with Dustin from Hatchopedia.com and we had a great conversation. Their site allows any user to submit reports and pics for their home waters. With more reporters for each river (vs. just one for other sites), their reports tend to be much more up to date. If you are looking for water and fishing conditions or have some info to share, go check them out.

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