Fly-fishing magazines

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Eperous
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Fly-fishing magazines

Post by Eperous »

In another SGM thread, my good buddy Tim Didas, aka SgtMajUSMC, made the following comment--- which I agree with--- about a referenced fly-fishing magazine,

"By the way, and for what it is worth, that magazine is really going downhill, in my opinion..."

That got me thinking--- a rare event... has electronic media in this twenty-first century cut into the hard-copy, paper magazine business? :?:

As a kid growing up, I couldn't get enough of Al McClane in Field & Stream, or Jason Lucas and bass in Sports Afield :D , plus--- I believe--- Jerry Gibbs in Outdoor Life... and I always learned something from H.G. Tapply and his Tap's Tips column in Field & Stream... ;) I couldn't wait until these magazine arrived in the U.S. mail and wore the paper out reading each... :P

These days I only subcribe to two magazines: Eastern Fly Fishing and Fly Tyer... and Fly Tyer ain't what it used to be when Ed Engle did a fine column of small flies...

So what do folks think about fly-fishing magazines today, and ya got any favorites? :?

Ed

PS --- my favorite magazine these days is a quarterly called Kaatskill Life, and it has noting to do with flyfishing, but centered about life in these Catskill Mountains... :D

tie2fish
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by tie2fish »

From the standpoint of valuable content, the mags today are a far cry from what they used to be. I stopped subscribing to any and only glance thru what my friend gets if there's an article about a specific stream or area that I want to know more about. The electronic age may have something top do with this, but I suspect it has more to do with the decline of writing as an art form and the bottom-line need for commercial attractiveness.

Gene
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by Gene »

I agree Ed most of today's FF magazines have run there course with me. Just got my last issue of Fly Tyer and will probably get another subscription. This and Flyfisherman have been my staples in this sport since the beginning. A very nice gentleman by the name of Dick Surette started Fly Tyer probably 35 years ago. I knew Dick and he had a small fly shop in North Conway New Hampshire. I remember going in and he would be photographing the flies for the front and back covers. For this reason I guess I have some sentimental issues and will continue with it. As for the rest of the magazines they just don't hold much interest anymore. Probably as much my fault though, I'm a trout fisherman and that's what I want to read about. I did flyfish the salt for several years, but gave that up quite a while ago. If anything I go to Barnes and Noble and browse the magazines, if one seems to interest me I'll buy it. I still have the first issue of Flyfisherman and I remember waiting for the mailman for next issue. Couldn't wait to read what Randolph, Schwiebert and the rest had to offer. Kind of miss those days.
Gene

BrownBear
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by BrownBear »

Eperous wrote:...has electronic media in this twenty-first century cut into the hard-copy, paper magazine business?

So what do folks think about fly-fishing magazines today, and ya got any favorites? :?
Print mags are really suffering, both for revenue and for "timeliness" of their copy (articles). An ad dollar goes a lot further online, and with dropping subscription income, the pressure on ad departments to generate more income is ferocious. If you watch, most of the articles fall into two categories- glowing reports for a product that also just happens to be buying a lot of ad space in that issue; and, kiss-and-tell articles about specific locations, which also happen to be appearting in the ads in that edition.

The "timeliness" issue is big for mags, with most wanting article submissions as much as a year in advance. Online submission deadlines are more like 2-4 weeks. By the time ink hits paper, the info in the print version is really old news compared to online. By the time a writer gathers the info and photos for a submission, the "hot" fishing info is a year old, if not two years old.

For writers and photographers, the income is even gloomier. Rates for photos have dropped so far, our hourly fee for contract photography is higher than most magazines pay for their cover photos, and it goes downhill from there. Our attitude is a very strong WHY BOTHER when it comes to speculative photo submissions. Same for writing. Most magazines pay less for full articles than was once paid for shorts a few years back. Online prices aren't any better, but there are lots more of them, and you get paid for your work up to a year sooner. Guess what's been happening to writing quality in print magazines as a result? Basically if a writer or photographer can't get on the editorial staff of a magazine, he's unlikely to make a living writing articles on spec.

As for favorites? They're all in the dusty piles in our library. I love the old editions, but my money is safe from the ravages of today's print mags.... Er, make that "print rags."

Allan
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by Allan »

Technology has certainly had a tremendous effect on the quality of today's photography. Having said that, look at any issue of FLY TYER magazine from the first 5 years and then at an issue of the same magazine during the last 5 years. End of discussion.

BrownBear
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by BrownBear »

Allan wrote:End of discussion.
Nah.

Online images and videos are over the top, compared to print rags. Enlarge the photo as much as you want hitting Control + to see detail, look at 30 different online step-by-step videos, and that's only this month's crop.

One thing I especially appreciate about online sources. Just bookmark the source, and organize them in your own filing system. Beats the snot out of searching through the mountains of old mags I have in our library. My whole dusty magazine collection is ready to donate to a worthy source. But no one wants them.

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ewpeper
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by ewpeper »

While there is certainly some impact from electronic information sources, I fear most of us suffer from being outside what has been determined to be the "target market." I suspect if you have the misfortune to be over 50, you are outside the focus group of the mag's content. The magazine publishers are going through a metamorphosis on this as well. Having targeted a younger market, they are finding this "younger" market has the attention span of a mayfly and the spending habits of a bipolar type, and their books are sliding into oblivion while they try to figure out what, if anything, appeals to these groups. Answer? nothing unless it's on a smartphone.

A personal note on this one . . . my brother was the very successful editor-in-chief of Golf Magazine for about 25 years, growing both the circulation and the scope and revenue of advertisers on an annual basis. Suddenly, one day about 10 years ago, he was told he was being made "Editor Emeritus" and someone else would be taking over the reins. He left before being "emertized," and the mag has been on a death spiral ever since. The rationale for dispatching him was that they wanted content to target "a younger, more dynamic market" and his format and content was getting tired, so they said. Yeah, that huge, young, dynamic market that can afford $150-$200 a day golf, $2500 sets of clubs and $400 a day golf resorts and $100/hr. lessons.

That "younger, more dynamic market" for us is the guys who look like fishing has become a combat sport with the high speed graphite rods and track shoes for wading boots. Can you say Drake?

Oh, BTW, I haven't subscribed to or read a fly fishing magazine in about 15 years. Sorry for the rant.

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

Allan
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by Allan »

BrownBear wrote:
Allan wrote:End of discussion.
Nah.

Online images and videos are over the top, compared to print rags. Enlarge the photo as much as you want hitting Control + to see detail, look at 30 different online step-by-step videos, and that's only this month's crop.

One thing I especially appreciate about online sources. Just bookmark the source, and organize them in your own filing system. Beats the snot out of searching through the mountains of old mags I have in our library. My whole dusty magazine collection is ready to donate to a worthy source. But no one wants them.
Apparently I was not clear in what it was I was comparing, which was the printed material, Fly Tyer magazine in its 1st 5 years, to that same magazine today. Was not making any comparison of any magazine, past or present, to today's electronic references.

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Joe Fox
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by Joe Fox »

ewpeper wrote:While there is certainly some impact from electronic information sources, I fear most of us suffer from being outside what has been determined to be the "target market." I suspect if you have the misfortune to be over 50, you are outside the focus group of the mag's content. The magazine publishers are going through a metamorphosis on this as well. Having targeted a younger market, they are finding this "younger" market has the attention span of a mayfly and the spending habits of a bipolar type, and their books are sliding into oblivion while they try to figure out what, if anything, appeals to these groups. Answer? nothing unless it's on a smartphone.

A personal note on this one . . . my brother was the very successful editor-in-chief of Golf Magazine for about 25 years, growing both the circulation and the scope and revenue of advertisers on an annual basis. Suddenly, one day about 10 years ago, he was told he was being made "Editor Emeritus" and someone else would be taking over the reins. He left before being "emertized," and the mag has been on a death spiral ever since. The rationale for dispatching him was that they wanted content to target "a younger, more dynamic market" and his format and content was getting tired, so they said. Yeah, that huge, young, dynamic market that can afford $150-$200 a day golf, $2500 sets of clubs and $400 a day golf resorts and $100/hr. lessons.

That "younger, more dynamic market" for us is the guys who look like fishing has become a combat sport with the high speed graphite rods and track shoes for wading boots. Can you say Drake?

Oh, BTW, I haven't subscribed to or read a fly fishing magazine in about 15 years. Sorry for the rant.

Eric
I have to disagree, we younger market people are quite misunderstood, probably like the younger markets of years gone by. The failure of too many magazines come at the balance of everyone's shorter attention spans with real content. Those who do both, do the best in print or on-line. The "youth" have much longer attention spans then they are given credit for, how we process information is differently. This is not to say we process information faster, we just do it slightly differently. The best analogy is what I call the newspaper, are they still made? Newspapers are written with headlines to pull you to the first sentence that is written to grab your attention. We are no different, except our access is greater. My age group is about the last to remember a time before the access, everyone younger does not know it other way. They were raised on it and are so proficient at it.

Lack if interest should not be viewed as lack of attention. This is where is think there is a greater divide among us, but not as much as most think. I think if we all looked back at our early fishing, we would see a lot of parallels, except in different costumes (but both were mostly like different from the older anglers of the time). Why we fished, to catch fish, is something we all generally share at the beginning of this hobby. It is only as someone grows in the sport that a kind of focus on how one like to fish develops and their interest in other aspects of the sport grows. This is where media has a problem making everyone happy because everyone has something different that is their focus and interest and most magazines, websites, etc have a hard time balancing them into a product everyone enjoys.

SgtMajUSMC
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Re: Fly-fishing magazines

Post by SgtMajUSMC »

Eric,

Great points, and as we discussed before, I eagerly looked forward to your "Fly of the Month" column in Field & Stream. That was useful, concise, and clear writing.

It also focused on traditional patterns and was very helpful when I was a new fly fisherman.

Your comments about the magazine with the "page 6 chix" is spot on. In a day when organizations like TU try to include more females that fish, what message does this send?

With the internet there is an amazing amount of information and images available, and just a click away. What it does not provide is on stream experience, and a B.S. detector. It has become very easy to become a self-professed expert with no experience.

Joe, as always you are very insightful and make some very good points.

I think I will go to the attic now and read some 40 year old tying and fishing magazines. As I was reflecting on my comments on Ed's post earlier in the day, I recall articles by tyers such as Tom Nixon and Dave Whitlock that were writing about adding spinners to flies back then. As most of us that have been doing this for more than a day or two have observed, there really isn't much that is new in fly fishing.

Tim

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