For as long as I’ve been a fly fisherman, I’ve also been a fly fishing magazine buyer. Before moving up to the North East I spent my time fishing lakes and reservoirs in and around Lincolnshire – Trout Fisherman was my magazine of choice.
After our move up here, and after realising how much fun river fishing could be Trout Fisherman didn’t carry the sorts of articles I wanted to read, I moved over to Trout & Salmon. I’ve been buying T&S for a good few years now, but after the sorry episode a couple of months back with the really bad Trout & Salmon iPad app, I’ve been looking around for a new way of getting my fix of Fly Fishing news, reviews, tips and fly patterns.
The good news is, the internet is awash with fly fishing blogs, Step-By-Step tying guides, product reviews and news. The bad news with much of this fishy content is not in its quantity, but that it sometimes lacks a little quality. I want to get my fix from reputable resources, where I’ve confidence that what I’m being told is coming from someone who knows.
I’ve listed a bunch of blogs who’d I’d class as reputable resources, and I’ve talked previously about how I keep up to date and read the new posts from these sites.
But aside from blogs, where else should you go?
Fly Fishing Podcasts
It’s taken me a while to get into Podcasts, but now I am I can’t get enough of them. They’re great for listening to in the car, or popping a set of headphones on when the missus insists on watching Corrie. You can download them via your computer, if you’ve a smart phone you can get apps to download and listen to them on your phone too.
I use an application called ‘Instacast’. It’s available on Mac and iPhone/iPad. The main reason I use this over and above any other podcasting app is its ability to synchronise your listening across all platforms. If I’m listening to a podcast in the car on my iPhone (via Bluetooth), when I get home and want to carry on listening the iPad or Mac app will start at the point where I stopped on my iPhone.
As far as fly fishing podcasts go, there are two main ones I listen to. There are a whole load more available, but keep an eye out on the dates new episodes are posted for them – a lot of fly fishing podcasts seem to come and go. The posting dates will show you if it’s a live feed or has been abandoned way back when we were still using glass fibre rods and thought gold headed flies were the anti-christ.
The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast with Tom Rosenbauer
Though this is a US podcast, and comes from a manufacturer, it’s very relevant (or at least very interesting) to a UK fisherman and rarely carries any overt product advertising. On the odd occasion Tom does make reference to Orvis products it is in context with the piece he’s talking about, you don’t feel you’re being ‘sold to’.
Each Podcast lasts approximately one hour, with a new episode coming roughly twice a month. The first part of each episode consists of the Fly Box, the name Tom gives to what is basically a fly fishing Q&A. Joe public can email or call a special telephone number to submit their question. During each episode these questions are read out and answered. I can’t remember ever listening to one of the Fly Box sessions where a question and answer wasn’t relevant to UK fly fishing in one form or another.
After the Fly Box, Tom usually has a topic to discuss, a guest to interview or a ‘10 reasons why xxx’ piece. The interviews are generally guides or other knowledgeable folk from the US fly fishing world. Recently Carp fishing with a fly rod has been getting quite a bit of air time. The ‘10 reasons why’ can be anything from ‘Toms ten excuses for getting Skunked’ to ‘Ten tips for targeting large trout’. All are well worth listening to and always provide a nugget of knowledge you’ll be glad you heard.
Living the Dream Fly Fishing UK Podcast with Glen Pointon
Where as the Orvis podcast has been around for some time (200+ episodes), Living the Dream is a relative new comer. At the time of writing this blog post Glen is up to 6 episodes, but if the standard of those 6 is anything to go by, he’s in serious danger of knocking Tom of the top spot!
As the title suggests, this is a UK podcast, so is 100% on topic for us Brits. Glen is a self confessed River fisherman, so if you’re a lakes/reservoir guy you might find some of what’s talked about isn’t quite for you, but I would strongly recommend giving it a go and for you to make your own mind up.
The format seems to still be settling in (it is early days after all) but there’s a nice emphasis on music as well as fishing. Glen has played a few tracks on the Podcasts to date from a local (to him) band called ‘All The Young’ – they’re excellent and well worth a listen.
Up to now there’ve been a great mix of UK fly fishing ‘celebrities’ such as Paul Gaskell and Stuart Croft, with many more to come. Glen also has a Q&A section to his podcast, if you listen to nothing else make sure you download the Stuart Croft episode from 5th May where John Tyzack (England International rivers fly fisherman) answers what to most would appear to be an easy question regarding how to target a rising fish. His answer goes into a huge amount of detail and should be mandatory listening to any river fisherman, from UK or abroad.
I can’t mention Glens podcast without making reference to his accent. Glen is a Potter (he’s from Stoke) and has a reasonably strong accent. Nothing that causes any problem when listening, but it’ll certainly be a new one for any US fisherman giving the podcast a go!
Online Magazines are a somewhere between a blog and the dedicated magazines you can get through the App Store. Some a free, others not so, there are a number of them out there to choose from but for me there’s currently only one that I take any notice of.
ESF has been going now for 19 editions, that’s almost a year and a half. The quality of the articles are excellent, with a huge breadth of subjects and topics covered across a single edition it really is a great alternative to any of the traditional magazines out there. There articles are written about all forms of fly fishing, river, lake, fresh and salt water, home and abroad.
What is surprising, especially when you take into account the quality of the writing and the style and panache of the website, is it’s totally free. Every month the guys at ESF will put together a great collection of stories, tips, tutorials and reviews and make them available for you to read at no cost what so ever.
Each month there is a guest post (or two) along with reviews and usually a piece about fishing in some far flung land – all are well written with great photography. There’s always something new to learn about in every edition and the previous 18 are all there for you to catch up on what you might have missed.
And much like Glen’s podcast, ESF is UK based. The content will be relevant to UK fishermen, the reviews will be for products we can buy and the far flung destinations in the articles places you can get to from the UK (if only your better half would let you go away fishing for a whole week abroad, without her).
Between the blogs, Podcasts and online magazine the frequency I’d purchase T&S has reduced to pretty much nil. I do buy the odd edition, but only if there’s something in there I’m really interested in. For the most part I can get my fly fishing fix online, from top quality sources, without spending a penny!