Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fly Fishing Still On The Skids

The magazines of my youth were Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and Sports Afield.  All three magazines covered both hunting and fishing along with camping and survival articles. 

These days when I buy a fly fishing magazine I fully expect the content including the advertisements, to be dedicated to something fly fishing. 

In recent times I've read a good number of articles addressing the decline in fly fishing.  From what I can gather from these articles there has been a steady decline now for as long as ten years.  Only recently have I found one article that declared fishing has turned the corner and is on the increase, but that's the whole of fishing and not just fly fishing. 

Evidently the decline of fly fishing continues.  The other day I purchased the current issue of Fly Fisherman.  As it is with me I always begin reading fly fishing magazines at the back, because normally the best article is the last and in this issue of Fly Fisherman this holds true.  Ed Mitchell does a delightful job with "Lucky With Landlocks". 

After reading Ed's article I started thumbing backwards through the magazine and it wasn't too long until I come upon a page that showed about fifty guys and gals in camo gear with either guns or bows.  So, I flip another page and there is more hunting and for the next 14 pages it is all hunting.  Turns out this is a rather hefty advertisement insert by the Sportsman Channel. 

There's certainly nothing wrong with hunting, nothing at all - it's part of our heritage.  But again, when I buy a fly fishing magazine I want gear reviews, destinations, fly tying patterns, techniques and species, and conservation.  And yes, I expect the advertisements to be about fly fishing, not a turkey call. 

Sure, there are many who both fly fish and hunt.  For those folks there is Gray's Sporting Journal.  I guess it's an economic thing.  If it's true that less people are coming to fly fishing then the fly fishing tackle makes suffer, guides become bored, and magazine revenues go down.  Chalk the Fly Fisherman's decision to include hunting advertisement in their offering as... diversity.

It still kind of stinks though.

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