Pete Tyjas of the Devon School of Fly Fishing is editor of the popular on-line Fly Fishing Magazine Eat Sleep Fish that I share each month via NDAN’s. Pete is at the helm of a brave venture to launch a new hard copy Fly Fishing Magazine entitled Fly Culture. Below is an interview Pete has shared with the readers of NDAN’s. I wish Pete and his team all the best in this exciting new venture. In this age of on-line publishing it is refreshing to see a new angling publication in old style print that is in my view far more aesthetically pleasing. I feel that there will always be a place for a quality product in a traditional format. I can remember my father telling me that vinyl would soon be obsolete with the arrival of the CD. This has not proved entirely true as many young people have rediscovered the joy of slipping the vinyl from its artistic sleeve,, placing it on the turntable then lowering the needle to hear that crackle of anticipation before music blasts from the speakers. I have a book shelf full of angling books and as my eye drifts across the covers I relive a world of prose. Its not the same hidden in the files of my computer. I will accept that computer files do not gather dust nor do they emit that wonderful aroma you get as you browse a good old second hand bookshop.
Fly Culture – Should be available from September.
I’ve been a full time fishing guide for 15 years based in Devon and over the last six years I’ve also edited and run an online fishing magazine called Eat Sleep Fish So it’s fair to say fishing is your life then? I guess so, I spend most of my days on a river, either guiding or fishing myself and often think about it when I’m not there. It’s not that I’m obsessed or anything! There is just something that still blows my mind that we tie on a fly made from fur and feather that we think the trout might be eating, cast it out and in some cases, certainly not all of them, they take the thing. I never tire of it. How did Fly Culture come about? I’d been thinking for a long time about doing either a “best of” or a one-off hard copy version of Eat Sleep Fish for a few years now and couldn’t shake that feeling. Last November, I listened to a podcast where an independent magazine publisher spoke about how they set up. That was it, I wanted to do it. Has Eat Sleep Fish been a good training for you? Without a doubt, yes. I have learnt about deadlines, getting content, editing the content and doing my best to help contributors with their submissions. It’s been a steep learning curve but one I’ve really enjoyed. What is the best advice you think you have given a new contributor? Don’t assume the reader knows the river/lake/stream you are telling them about. Describe it so that they can visualise it themselves and ensure the piece has a beginning, middle and end. Is bringing a new magazine a smart idea in a declining market place? I think there might be room for us. I looked carefully at the independent magazine market rather than just fishing magazines and it seems in pretty good shape. With Fly Culture we want to bring a “why” rather than “how” title. This frees us up to cover a much wider spectrum of topics rather than covering well-trodden ground. Do you have a USP for Fly Culture that will make it stand out? I think we do. There will be more about that in coming weeks but as far as I know, it is pretty ground breaking. Is bringing a magazine financially viable? It might be. Our model is a pretty simple one really. We just want to put out a product that we believe in, we’d want to read ourselves, people connect with and hopefully buy. This project isn’t about bottom lines, as long as we can cover our printing costs we’ll be more than happy. Anything else is a bonus that we can use to keep improving FC. Will there be regular contributors? I think there will be some but I am really keen that we can help break new writers and photographers too. To me at least we can then keep away from a formulaic approach and make each issue fresh and interesting. Is conservation important to Fly Culture? Yes, really. From the paper and ink used to print Fly Culture, to the issues we want to cover in each edition. We’re really pleased to also have The Wild Trout Trust involved with a series of articles too. When will Fly Culture be available to buy? In the next few weeks you’ll be able to pre-order the magazine from the Fly Culture website. We plan to deliver in early September so it won’t be long. Are you getting a chance to fish with all of this going on? When I can. I’m finding myself spending more time casting a double handed rod for salmon these days, although trout will always have a very special place in my heart and there is nothing like having a small box of flies, a trout rod and a few rising fish!