I am always amazed at the UK game angling paper magazines around the fact they have not embraced the internet.
There are only three main game angling magazines in the UK:
- Trout and Salmon
- Trout Fisherman
- Fly Fishing and Fly Tying
Who has a Site?
“Trout & Salmon” pretty much concentrates on Salmon with a sprinkling of trout and its river system updates are now pretty pointless in this day and age of instant information via the net. Do you really want to know how your favourite river was fishing a month ago and what someones prediction will be for a month’s time (it is always great by the way- according to the magazine). They do not have a website!
“Trout Fisherman” deals mainly with rainbow trout in stocked ponds – I would be unkind to say the same old info is regurgitated year after year as they seem to spend some time on going after coarse fish now and again. Trout Fisherman magazine does not have a dedicated site however seem to be linked in some way to Go Fishing which states is powered by a few other magazines. A cop out – most of the info is geared towards coarse fishing!
“Fly fishing & Fly Tying” is pretty much the only mag I will pick up if needing something to flick through on a long journey or if sitting having a coffee waiting on my wife while at the shops. Of course it has been dealt a bit of a blow due to the leaving of Bob Wyatt however it still gives you the goods regarding flies and nice stories. Sure it is littered with spelling mistakes (I am one to talk however I do not get paid) however it is the only magazine that seems to consistently come up with new material and every now and then there is always a fly that I quite fancy and want to tie. Unfortunately they make the biggest error when it comes to keeping and online presence – their website is bloody awful. I mean, it has everything a magazine website could want – a list of articles and a wee forum to get people to visit – however the articles have not changed in around a year and the forum is seldom visited – the whole site looks awful (it is set in frames) meaning that it is just not pleasing to the eye. The site is also littered with “page not found” error messages. I think the magazine could be onto a winner with a bit of effort – the site could even generate more ideas for articles for the magazine by directly asking people what they want, readers could submit articles, old articles from years gone by could be put on the site – yikes they could even ask you to take out a small subscription to access old articles.
Are USA Sites any Better?
Are you kidding? – just take a look at the Fly Fisherman magazine site – absolutely packed full of great info. They also have a vibrant community via their forums.
And of course the Fish and Fly site is as slick as you expect the magazine to be.
I reckon the UK magazines need to up their game if they want to survive – how about a subscription service allowing the access to old articles. I don’t know why I give my idea away for free sometimes 😉