First front cover of 2009

I am not completely sure when the current issue of Trout Fisherman hit the shops, but since it's a new year, I'll claim the above as my first front cover of 2009 - the photo is of Nick Hart at Blakewell trout fishery, and I have got to hand to the powers that be at the magazine. I really like the way they have used this particular photo.

Check out the feature inside, on pages 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 - the photo that runs across pages 6 and 7 is one that I remember shooting specifically for this kind of use, and all credit to their designer for picking up on this. It's hardly an award winning photograph that will be gracing London galleries, but in my job you have to keep thinking all the time to make fishing look different and exciting. Sometimes the weather and light allows you to really go a little creatively crazy, and sometimes you are more restricted. Whatever happens, you have to nail the job, and I thrive on the challenge this presents.

I am flying up to Newcastle early tomorrow morning, to spend the day up at Hardy Greys in Alnwick, and then I fly back down to Plymouth on Tuesday morning. On this blog next week I will talk a bit about my rods and reels of 2008 - I am not really into the ins and outs of fishing tackle (believe it or not !!), but last year it really hit home to me that here in the UK we have a long way to go on the tackle front when it comes to making effective, modern bass fishing gear. It is not a criticism at all, simply a fact. Modern, high-tech bass fishing is rapidly growing in interest in the UK, and the anglers that are really interested in it are increasingly looking to Japanese, French and US designed and built products.

We design and/or make some great fishing tackle in the UK, of course we do, but at times we could do well to realise that here in the UK we don't know everything about fishing, and it's a big old world out there with lots of different fish, fished for in lots of different ways. Plenty of guys I know are hungry for information from all over the world, and arguably the PC and the internet have become one of the most powerful tools there are for the learning and trading of knowledge.

And of course there are plenty of anglers who have no interest in anything that is not in their backyard - whatever floats your boat I suppose, but isn't it such fun to learn about how other anglers do their thing elsewhere on this fascinating planet ? So much of it has applications for our own fishing that we do, both home and abroad. Never has so much knowledge and information been so accessible, and this kind of thing really drives me on and on. Learning is what fishing is all about to me, and I reckon I learnt more in 2008 than I have for a long time. For a lot of this I owe huge thanks to many people, and you know who you are without me having to name you. Thanks to you all. Here's to learning even more in 2009.......