Fly Culture, Trout, Wild Trout Trust

Fly Culture: Trout on the Train

Over on my Urbantrout site, I’ve just published an announcement of the first edition of Pete Tyjas’s new print magazine, Fly Culture, which launched at Farlows on Thursday 13 September.

Talking to editors on the UK magazine scene over the last ten years or so, I’ve had the distinct impression that the traditional monthly publication schedule is a treadmill they’d dearly love to step off – but can’t because the whole business model is based on a continuous stream of new covers on newsagents’ and supermarkets’ shelves.

By contrast, the US magazine market is apparently much more subscription-focused, with a quarterly publication schedule that allows for vastly more editorial thinking and commissioning headspace, not to mention time for considered design and even the most basic stuff like proof-reading (OK, no names, no pack drill…)

In recent years, broader-interest fishing magazines such as Fallon’s Angler have tested this paradigm, and I’ve been interested to see publications like Flyfish Europe’s annual magalogue (not widely available, even at industry events like the Sportfish Show, but I grabbed my 2018 copy from a stack at the Fauna Bled fly-shop in Slovenia: the interview with Una film-maker Jonas Borinski alone earned its right to risk my baggage weight allowance on the flight home).

All told, it’s very refreshing to see this new wave making proper landfall in the UK, with Pete’s calculated move from all-digital (with his previous ESF monthly ezine) to the mix of high-quality print and light-touch digital that is Fly Culture. And even more so, of course, because Pete kindly offered some space to Paul Gaskell and me to write about our part in the Wild Trout Trust’s Trout in the Town project, which we submitted under the headline Trout on the Train, and took a trip to Manchester’s River Tame to take photos and gather inspiration:

Bath, Bristol Parkway, Birmingham, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester Piccadilly … from the old milling town of Frome in Somerset, the stations pass one by one. Wedged into a corner, cuddling an early-morning coffee with one hand and texting progress updates to Paul with the other, I’ve plenty of time to watch the carriages fill and empty with other passengers, all following the tracks of their own lives, none of them noticing the bloke among them with fishing rod and full wading kit, who’s happily heading for a destination that’s very different from anywhere else he might have ended up…

This is a high-end magazine that’s clearly designed for maximum visual and tactile impact, with rich photography and thick, matte-printed paper stock. Besides Pete himself, the project also involves Jim Beeson (formerly of Trout & Salmon magazine) and Brett O’Connor (Orvis guide, and creative director of VCCP ad agency) so it’ll be fascinating to see where this experienced and obviously fly-fishing mad team take it in future issues.

Fly Culture is currently available to buy online or by subscription only, and I’d strongly encourage you to get over to the website and put your money down today.

As the strapline says: This is our life, this is Fly Culture. What’s not to love about that?