So you want to blog about fly fishing?

Blogging about fly fishing is great fun – it is a way to meet new friends, expand your knowledge about your sport and also keep track of your fishing exploits in a diary – also if you are a self publicising ego maniac it can give you an outlet to spew your views and cause arguments.

When I started this diary way back in 2003 there was no other truly dedicated blogs dedicated to fly fishing – I started it as an add on to my static River Kelvin site – if I remember correctly the river was a wash out for a couple of weeks and I was bored.  I read everything I could about blogs and then went looking to try and connect with other fly fishing bloggers – there were none – well in fact there was two sites that I liked – Ahoyhoy (an outdoor blog which has now sadly disappeared) and Midcurrent (a news site) and I read them both avidly.

So I  started this blog as “Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin” which then changed to “Urban Fly Fisher” – there are still people that call this site Urban Fly Fishing on the Kelvin which is kinda funky. In the years that followed  I made lots of new friends and was also contacted by many other fly fishing bloggers to say I was their inspiration – which is kinda nice as I look now at their far superior blogs in awe.

I am pleased to say that Urban Fly Fisher is not only number one for guys that fish the Kelvin but also a lot of fun for others to read as well.

Starting a blog is easy – it is keeping it going and actually attracting readers that is the hard bit – seeing as how I am a computer geek/have not been fishing I want you to share my enjoyment of blogging so I thought I would give you some hints on how to get started:

The Plan

1. Starting a blog need not cost you money – you can sign up with WordPress or Blogger for free. Eventually you may want to move into buying your own domain name and buying dedicated hosting however you can give it a try out first to see if you enjoy it – the web is littered with blogs that people have abandoned.

2. Do some research– try not to align yourself closely to someone else’s brand or niche – not only is this a bit cheeky and a major faux pas in the world of blogging it also shows a lack of imagination. Likewise try and develop your own style of writing – do not try and copy someone else’s that you like, the chances are you will not be able to sustain it for long anyway.

3. Try and write quality content as often as possible – firstly write for yourself and do not be despondent that no one seems to be reading your content – readers come with time – a lot of time – I started off with a few dozen readers a day and the numbers steadily grew.

4. Comment and network with other fishing blogs – try not to email people asking them to link to you – instead write a post about their site or simply link to them – all blogging software is able to pick up incoming links – if they do not link to you then make sure you leave quality comments on their site – start a conversation and they will come to respect you and link back to you.

So there you have it – a few hints on starting a blog dedicated to fishing – I have enjoyed immensely my time blogging about fishing and fully intend to carry on until you are thoroughly sick of me. I have met some great people and made some good friends – also writing this blog has improved my own fishing no end – the fear of blanking and telling you guys hones the technique somewhat.

If you do start a blog feel free to fire me an email with the URL – looking forward to reading about your exploits.

In the meantime – check out these great blogs for a bit of inspiration.


  1. Dean Burris · January 25, 2010

    I did the same thing you did… I couldn’t find any other fly fishing blogs out there so I started my own. I started my real blog (had one up on an AOL blogging platform as a test for a few months prior) up on Aug 1, 2003. We started within days of each other. I’ve enjoyed following yours over the years. Keep up the good work!


  2. Alex Landeen · January 25, 2010

    It is absolutely true that starting a blog will broaden your knowledge of the sport, and lead to friendships with fellow fly fishing-types all over the world. Finding your corner/niche is definitely important to help your site stand out… Also, periodically posting photos of hot women can do wonders for your hits, but they all seem to run away from me and my camera so I usually resort to self-deprecating humor.

  3. Alistair · January 25, 2010

    Thanks Alex – I actually read your most excellent blog regulary however have omitted it from my links list – now rectified 🙂

    Talking of hot women when things are a bit slow I take pictures of my wife 🙂

  4. suburban bushwacker · January 25, 2010


    I on the other hand whole heartedly agree and offer these adjuncts to the advice.

    WordPress is a lot better than blogger

    Blogger is a lot easier to get started with – I’m still on blogger three years in

    Don’t be too surprised when other bloggers don’t link to you after a couple of posts – we’ve all championed what have seemed like great blogs which are now ghost blogs or dead links (Jeremiah quinn – I mean you)

    Use your blogs URL as a signature on any forums you post on – and use your blogging name as your user ID

    Join the Outdoor Bloggers Summit – you will get hits – if your writing, observations and or pictures are any good hits will become readers.

    Make cliquey in-jokes [and keep making them until a clique develops around them]

    Meet up with other bloggers and report on what they’re like (we’re all curious)

    Champion really good blogs that you find – link to them, big them up, get them readers

    Make the title tell the story, a seeming contradiction is attention grabbing
    Alistair IS ‘the Urban Fly Fisher’ I’m the ‘Suburban Bushwacker’

    Come on in the water’s lovely

  5. Arizona Wanderer · January 25, 2010

    Fun subject. I started my blog to keep my family back east informed on what I was up to in Arizona. As it turns out, recapping a day on the water helps me analyze what worked and what did not. Following other blogs is a great way to keep up on what is going on in my state and, like was stated before, offers a wealth of information on tying, technique, and location. Always fun to read what’s happening on the Kelvin.


    P.S. Ditto on Alex’s blog. Reading archives there is worth hours of entertainment.

  6. Gareth · January 25, 2010

    Alistair, this is a great post 🙂 I have to say it (and I don’t want to sound soft here) but it’s because of your excellent blog that I started blogging too, and it’s still an inspiration mate 🙂

    Keep up the fantastic work!


  7. Alistair · January 25, 2010

    OMG – the shame – I did not link properly to the blogs in my post 🙂

    Dean – Speaking of being inadequate I appear to have lost you from my blogroll as well – you were still in my reader though – we should start an old timer club or something!

    suburban bushwacker – I have only met Mike from “Tamanawis” who is even more cosmic in real life than on his blog and Gareth from “Fly Fishing in South Wales” who is basically like the young pop star of the fly fishing blog world 🙂

    Gaining links is a funny one – by far the easiest way is to make a few comments on someone’s blog as opposed to mailing them – tell you what none of is has done though – guest posts on each others blogs – it happens all the time on blogs about blogging but never on our blogs – maybe something we should all get together and do !

    Arizona Wanderer – sweet blog – I love it – def will be adding you to my feed reader!

  8. Hillend Dabbler · January 25, 2010

    Very interesting post Alistair as I just started my blog in December. I am a complete new comer to blogging. The reason I got round to starting a blog was thus….. The angling club I am a member of have a website but I find it dull as it isn’t alive so to speak as it just sits there in cyber space doing mothing other than tell you prices of tickets and just gives out general information etc. I suggested that they should add a forum to the wbsite as i believed that was what it needed to give it a boost.No one seemed to take any notice though.
    thought of starting a forum of my own but cooled on the idea as I started thinking about creating my own personal website. I had been writing reports about fishing trips and had built up a fair collection of photographs of places I had fished. I also tie flees and had recently started photographing my flees which I posted on various forums along with my trip reports and pics etc.The idea of my own site was really starting to develop in my head.
    I then stumbled upon the Urban Fly Fisher and thought what a brilliant concept. You were the inspiration Alistair for me to set up my blog. Everything then fell into place. My local loch was to be the main focus of my blog with reference to away trips and fly tying. I came across some other blogs on the Blogger network.Found out it was easy to start a blog even for me . I am now enjoying updating my blog as often as i can. Its been fun watching my blog develop and feel it will get better once the season gets underway.
    Taken all that has been said on board Thanks lads.

  9. SimonGraham · January 25, 2010

    Great post Alistair,
    When I started my blog just over a year ago there was nothing in the way of pike on the fly…bar a smattering of outdated websites regarding the sport. Now there are several,unfortunately these other blogs are more or less filled with the same content and in some way look very similar to mine.I have tried to explain that they need to (Quote in your words) ” Do some research– try not to align yourself closely to someone else’s brand or niche – not only is this a bit cheeky and a major faux pas in the world of blogging it also shows a lack of imagination. Likewise try and develop your own style of writing – do not try and copy someone else’s that you like, the chances are you will not be able to sustain it for long anyway.
    Yet it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. To be truthful yours was the 1st blog I linked to and follow it with every post you write…..yes it is an area I no longer visit and I don’t often leave as many comments as I should but it is always full of interesting material.
    The contacts I have made through blogging though…has been the greatest contribution to my business,as Its opened me up to meeting some fantastic people around the world which I didn’t know just over a year ago.And lets not forget all the freebies I get sent which is always an extra bonus.

    Anyway keep up the good work mate and have a top year

  10. Alistair · January 25, 2010

    Hillend Dabbler – as you have probably seen with my forum – they can be problematic to say the least – Pretty much the only reason I started a forum for the Kelvin was because I knew my posts were going to be dropping due to arrival of my son – many people were asking questions on old posts and I thought it would make it easier for people to chat fish – yikes – it has been a steep learning curve to say the least!

    Simon – Now that is serious blog talk – aye there are a couple of urban pretenders out there – take my url and stick a “the” in front of it and you will see one of them – not that I stake a claim on urban or anything its just that when someone calls there blog the EXACT same as you it kinda smarts a bit. I have still not seen anyone to dethrone you as Pike King though 🙂

    You get freebies? I would love some freebies – like a few Pike flies – oh I can dream 😉

  11. SimonGraham · January 25, 2010

    6 months ago I actually commented to the chap on his blog that he should think about changing the name as it was exactly like yours but he didn’t even reply and still uses the same name….Septic tank!!

    And email me your address and I’ll stick some flies in the post for you mate…no worries.

  12. Alistair · January 25, 2010

    There was a bit of a hulaboo about it – I actually emailed him as well and we had a short discussion – he stated that as my blog was in the UK he thought it did not matter – 🙂

    WooHoo – Pike attracting flies – do you guarantee they catch the same amount of Pike that you catch? – RESULT!!

  13. scott · January 25, 2010

    Thanks very much for naming my blog alistair, I really should keep it more up to date! Is the canal still frozen solid at your end?

  14. Alistair · January 25, 2010

    Hey Scott – nope it is now clear – I would imagine the Pike may be hungry!

  15. scott · January 25, 2010

    It is STILL frozen solid in my end, only the bits directly below bridges are free, but everytime I run past them there are 5 or 6 guys fishing, patience is a virtue I supoose

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