Fly Fishing Magazine Selection:

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    Clay SmithClay Smith

    I’m looking to add a few magazine subscriptions to my reading list. Realistically I can’t add more than 2-3 just because I won’t find time to read them. Heck I’m 7-8 months behind on my aviation magazines so even 2 is probably ambitious.

    I figure this group reads (and writes or provides photography) for most of them so just looking for some guidance. So some background for me. Most of my fishing will be in metro Atlanta with trips to the Key’s and marshes (south LA or golden isles).

    So what do y’all find fulfilling reading?


    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Clay they really sort of self-divide into categories.

    The Drake and Flyfish Journal are both lifestyle magazines skewing younger. They have robust page counts, typically avoid rehash articles, and are generally healthy based on ad content. Flyfish Journal is a little more esoteric with more short pieces that read like poetry and a slightly more artistic bent.

    American Angler, Fly Fisherman, and Fly Rod & Reel focus on general purpose readership. All have gotten shorter in recent years as they tend to have a lot of overlap with the kinds of things you can find on the internet. Each has a little bit of its own identity: American Angler does more instructional or how-to stuff, Fly Fisherman is very destination-heavy (with a very repetitive cast of characters), and Fly Rod & Reel has a literary and environmental element that I personally enjoy. American Angler and Fly Rod & Reel continue to be printed on good quality paper with great photography. Fly Fisherman’s physical quality has really taken a hit in recent years.

    Fly Tyer is a specialty magazine but a good one. Grey’s Sporting Journal, Sporting Classics, and a number of other high end magazines feature heavy page stock, perfect binding, high-end product review and typically target a very posh demographic. I tend to buy these on the newsstand if they interest me.

    At some point or another I have published in all of these. I don’t subscribe per se to any of them. The ones I personally pick up most often, for what it’s worth, are The Drake, Fly Rod & Reel and Flyfish Journal. Keep in mind I’ve been fly fishing almost 20 years and I’m familiar with almost all the instructional stuff at this point; that is nothing to sniff at though if you are still learning about new fisheries and ways to fly fish.


    Phil BrnaPhil Brna

    All the mags that Zach mentions are good. I also like Tail, which is focused on salt water fly fishing.

    Clay SmithClay Smith

    Tail looks interesting.

    What is Eastern Fly Fishing magazine like from a quality perspective?

    The reason I’m asking these questions is I have a number of aviation magazines I’ve subscribed to that get repetitive where 30% of the content is rehashed and that is hard to discern from just grabbing one off the magazine rack.

    I appreciate the feedback!!

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