Is There a Best Fly Fishing Magazine?

Drake MagBeen laying on my back today for all the wrong reasons. Surgery Monday, pain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Better today, but I’m bored to hell. I don’t sit well and sitting on  my ass is all I’ve done for three days.

Doesn’t help that archery antelope opens tomorrow without me. Oh, I know. Don’t give me any shit, I know. Could be much worse. I get it. But let me moan for just a second, ok. Been laying there glancing at the Drake, and wondering, Are any of the fly-fishing mags worth subscribing to? That’s shouldn’t reflect my personal opinion, but it raised the question of whether any of them are doing a good job and if so, which one is doing it best. And why?

Tight Lines

So that’s the question I put to you today. Do you think any of the fly fishing specific mags—or even the cover-all-bases mags, such as Field & Stream and OL, are worth reading? If not, where are  you getting your fix? Or do you care anymore. Maybe it’s YouTube. Maybe something else. Or maybe you just fish. I’m just curious.

I still like to hold something in my hands and glance through at my own pace. I detest popups and I am sooo leery of the new digital publishing model, that being to garner affiliate advertising dollars by writing about every new product known to man. Integrity? Honest reviews? Not so sure anymore.

Anyway, American Angler is dead, as you know. And maybe AA didn’t ever reach the potential I wanted it to. But it had some good reads in each issue. I don’t know that I was matching Tom Bie at the Drake on the variety of content front (Tom does a good job of that), and I was limited by other influences (including page count), but it still read pretty well. I know Pat Hoglund, who heads Salmon & Steelhead Journal, puts some good where to info together. And there are some interesting associated articles in that one. Fly Fusion? Not so sure. Fly Fisherman? I’m not into how to and personal adventure journals. What about Trout? Kirk Deeter has his mini empire with Angling Trade, Trout and whatever else he’s working on. Trout has TU’s backing and doesn’t need to survive on ad dollars. It has a massive budget—compared to other ff titles—and it has some good names and good reads. But does it do it for you? Or do you get bogged down in issues? Should a print mag be the voice of politics and conservation? Or should that be somewhere else and the print mags should be there to satisfy our fish-porn addictions?

Don’t know. Again, curious. Does a best fly fishing specific magazine exist? And if not, what would it look like? Maybe there’s room for something else. You know, I’m not doing anything these days. Have a little spare time. Give me some ideas and let me mull. But, for sure, let me know which magazine you think is serving our interests best.

Or is it time to bring something like Tight Lines back (does anyone remember Tight Lines?) Pure, hardcore dirt on fly fishing in the West, spoken from the guides, outfitters and biologists who know their waters better than anyone else. An annual. 216 pages. Hmm. Could be fun . . . .

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