Being the new editor of TROUT magazine is a great honor indeed. And while I’m ramping up and learning my way into Trout Unlimited, I have to say, it feels like coming home.
Granted, I’ve rolled many miles (and done a fair bit of fishing, of course) with TU staffers and volunteers throughout the country, covering various issues for Field & Stream magazine. I’ve even had the pleasure of visiting a number of chapters, from Texas to Wisconsin, Kentucky to Colorado. So some of the faces and voices are already familiar.
But the deeper point is that I’ve felt connected to the TU ideal that habitat equals opportunity for as long as I’ve been an angler. To be blunt (you’ll notice that I can be that way from time to time), none of what we enjoy in trout fishing today would exist without cold, clean water. There would be no guides or fly shops… there would be no rods or reels sold… no fishing lodges, no movie tours, and certainly none of the eloquent words we find in fly fishing books and magazines, if there weren’t any trout in the first place. Trout Unilimited people represent the best of fly fishing–the modern ”complete angler”–because they get it.
Interestingly, one of the first things I was able to do as editor was look through the first issue of TROUT, from 1959. You can check it out here. In my opinion the best visions for the future only happen through respect and understanding of the traditions from the past. The thoroughness of this initial publication from an upstart organization of anglers is remarkable.
The first TROUT also struck a chord because I also believe that trout fishing is a culture, and as such, I think it’s as much about people as it is about fish. That’s been a hallmark since the first issue of TROUT, and you can expect that to continue in the future.
When I started as a newspaper sports reporter many years ago, my editor offered a little nugget that’s stuck with me. He said, “A letter to the editor is the first sign of insanity.” So take that for what it is worth, but also realize that in the age of blogs, we are able to communicate and share ideas via comment threads. So I am eager to hear from you, I value your insights, and I deeply appreciate your trust.