I love reading fly fishing magazines, particularly in the off-season when I’m not out fly fishing every week as I get to learn about new angling destinations, how to catch different fish species on fly, read some equipment reviews from experienced anglers, learn new conservation tips, and lots more instead of simply dreaming about when the season starts.
However, not all fly fishing magazines are made equal, some are a lot better than others. So instead of having to work it out yourself, I’ll give you a shoe-in to some of the best fly fishing magazines in this article.
The Drake Magazine
The Drake Magazine was started as a grassroots journal for fly fishers way back in 1998 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This grassroots journal followed the theme of “too much contemporary outdoor writing gives away all the answers to people who never learned what the questions were”.
Today the Drake Magazine still follows the ethos of “too much contemporary outdoor writing gives away all the answers to people who never learned what the questions were” and it isn’t the fly fishing magazine to find all the answers to your fly fishing questions.
But, it is full of informative articles about great fly fishing destinations around the world and it provides in-depth coverage and helpful tips about getting there and catching more fish in each one.
This is also an excellent magazine if you’re one of those fly fishing enthusiasts that want to know more about the state of the rivers and fish species we love so much and how to help protect them further.
The Drak is distributed around Jackson Hole but it’s slowly becoming more and more popular around the whole of the United States. Many anglers opt to subscribe or you can go on their website to read a few older articles for free.
The Fly Fisherman Magazine
Fly Fisherman is a magazine that showcases everything you need to know about fly fishing in in-depth articles written by some of the most recognized authorities in fly fishing, old and new.
You’ll find articles on fishing gear and fly fishing techniques from some of the best such as Lefty Kreh, David Whitelock, and informative articles on fly fishing today from the more current famous fly anglers including Oliver White and April Vokey.
This fly fishing magazine has been around for 45 years or so and with Fly Fisherman magazine, you’re not just going to be learning about tips and tricks, you’ll also get insights into amazing global fly fishing destinations and ways to solve some of the problems the sport of fly fishing is facing today.
This magazine also has useful fly tying information about new patterns that have just come out from some of the best fly tyers on the planet making it one of the most well-rounded fly fishing magazines around.
American Angler Fly Fishing Magazine
American Angler Magazine started out under the name Fly Tyer and has since grown to be one of the most popular fly fishing magazines in the world. Today around 35,000 flyfishing enthusiasts subscribe to American Angler Magazine and it has been dubbed the authority on fly fishing, which is fair enough.
The great thing about American Angler is that it’s a magazine that focuses on fly fishing in the good old USA. You find the magazine is full of places to fish in the US and tips and tricks for finding good deals and making a fly fishing trip to a great piece of water a more affordable affair.
You’ll also find a lot of fly fishing tips and tricks that will help fly fishers improve their game. The magazine covers everything from hatch charts to nymph rigs, the latest tackle, and ways anglers can help to protect the fly fishing waters around the country.
Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine
Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine is all about fly fishing destinations in the northwest of North America and includes everywhere from Northern California to Montana, Idaho, Washing, Oregon, Wyoming Western Canada and Alaska.
Northwest fly fishing takes a lot of pride in both their photography and their writing skills and it’s one of the top fly fishing magazines you can read if you want all the information about where to fish in the northwest, when, how, with who, and more.
Each region this magazine covers are written by some of the best local anglers who live or have spent time in the states mentioned. It is, without doubt, a bit of an oracle about fly fishing in the Northwest.
Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine
The Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine is relatively new and was first published in 2005. With a name like Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine, you can probably guess it covers all the eastern fly fishing that North America has to offer, starting from east of the Mississippi and up into the eastern United States and eastern Canada.
Over time, it’s become one of the most popular fly fishing magazines being published today, and this is thanks to the amazing content you’ll find inside.
The layout is easy to read, the photos are top draw, and the writers are both talented and very knowledgeable. Every issue covers multiple destinations that include both famous and lesser-known waters, and the featured article of each issue goes into a lot of detail with hatch charts, maps of the fishery, and lots more.
You’ll also find tips and tricks from famous anglers as well as fly tying instructions for great patterns that any level of fly tyer will be able to follow.
This magazine is available as both a print and digital magazine and it comes out bi-monthly.
Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine
Southwest Fly Fishing Magazine is one of the top fly fishing magazines to read if you live in the southwest of the United States, or are planning a fishing trip there.
The magazine focuses on southwest fly fishing in Texas, Nevada, Mexico, Southern California, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and even Central America.
This means you’ll get some amazing information about all the great waters in these states and regions and it covers everything from bass to trout and even saltwater species like tarpon and bonefish that central America is so famous for.
This fishing magazine is excellently put together. The writers are local experts about the particular areas they cover and they are out on the water more than you and I, thus providing helpful insights into the fishing available and how to catch more at each destination.
The layout and photography are pretty awesome too but it doesn’t have a huge following outside of the Southwest which makes sense considering the areas it covers.
The FlyFish Journal
FlyFish Journal is all about the “now” in fly fishing and it covers anything interesting that is happening in the sport from around the world whether it’s political, economic, environmental, or about a species or destination no one expected to be able to fly fish for or in.
I had the pleasure of writing an article for them about the fly fishing potential in Ethiopia and the journey it took to discover it. Check out volume 9.1 in their back issues section of the website if you want to read about it.
The FlyFish Journal comes out with 4 magazines a year and you can either have it delivered to your home or you can download a digital copy. They are the best magazine out there that stays current and pushes boundaries to expose just how far we fly fishermen go for our sport.
Catch Magazine is all about making fly fishing visual so there are really not many words just incredible photography and filmmaking that come together in an amazing way. When you watch one of their clips or see some of their photos, it evokes a lot more longing to go fishing than writing, sometimes.
Catch Magazine was created by Brian O’Keefe, a veteran fly fisherman and a professional photographer and his idea has taken hold in a strong way.
You have to read this magazine online and there is some amazing free content to whet your appetite but most of the good stuff is behind a paywall which means you’ll need to drop some cash. It’s only $20 for a whole year of amazing fishing porn though, so it’s not too bad on a guide’s budget.
The photos and films showcase fly fishing across the world and include countries like Australia, Iceland, Colombia, Portugal, and lots more. I doubt there is a country that hasn’t been covered, to be honest.
Fly Tyer Magazine
Fly Tyer Magazine is the authority on fly tying and is one of the most popular fly tying magazines in the world. It’s been going since 1978 and the articles and tying instructions are written by some of the best and most creative tyers in the world, so if you’re into fly tying, this is a great one for you.