OK, so this is the project that I have been spending so much time on recently - a brand new fishing magazine called "Adventure Fishing", and it's in the shops from this Wednesday I believe. Phew !! This has been one hell of a thing to work on, in fact I can't quite believe that I actually have a copy of it in my hands here. To see something like this really come together and end up as a real magazine is some buzz...........
So how on earth did somebody like me get so involved in this new project ? Sometimes things just happen I guess. Call it fate, call it right place, right time, I don't know, but a few months I was contacted out of the blue by some magazine people from London who wanted to produce a new kind of fishing magazine - they had identified a gap in the market and they were not in the least bit interested in competing with any of the current fishing publications we already have. Sounded interesting. They came across me via my books and website and then got in touch with me to see if I might be the right person to help get this project off the ground.
These people reckoned that the UK needed a fishing magazine that dealt with the adventure side of fishing - the places, the fish, the travelling, the cultures, with a huge emphasis on strong photography and writing. We met a few times, did lots of planning, and we all decided from the off that this magazine had to deal with all kinds of fishing in all kinds of places. From the ultra-far out, ends of the earth stuff, right through to far more achievable, "regular" adventures that could be about just going and doing something different. Lots of different writers and photographers have submitted work for this premier issue.
I have to say that I was somewhat taken aback to be approached about a project like this - various fishing mates and I have talked for years about how we have always wanted to see an awesome looking fishing magazine that dealt with this kind of thing. And then out of the blue one day I get asked to become involved in exactly this kind of thing. I am a freelance photographer and writer by trade, so I am the one who is always out there looking for work - pushing my material to all kinds of clients, both home and abroad. So not only was I submitting a lot of material to this new magazine, I was also heavily involved in planning what went into Issue 1 and then contacting the freelancers to produce the work for us. A bit strange, and I did get a few surprises along the way, but what a learning curve.
I am credited as the "Contributing Editor" in this new magazine, but I think that might be a somewhat grand title for the work I have done. I am though massively proud of the magazine, and there are a number of people out there who have worked their socks of to make it happen. As is always the case with something like this, you never get close to having all the time you actually want., but then that is the nature of this kind of work. Deadlines are set way in advance, and you either make it happen or you fail. And I do not do failure. Hard work never hurt anybody, and a bit of pressure tends to bring out the best in some people.
To be perfectly honest, I still have to almost check behind me from time to time to see if there is somebody watching me who is going to cotton on to the fact that I don't actually have any qualifications for this sort of stuff. And then blow the whistle on me !! I am passionate about what I do, indeed I don't think I could do anything else. I would dread it if I had to put together a CV, because I essentially have no qualifications after a couple of low-grade A-levels and a somewhat ropey degree. But I don't mind hard work if the work turns me on, and I back myself 100%. But still I have this nagging feeling that I am going to get rumbled one of these days. Anybody else feel like that ? When I meet photographers for example who have had all manner of formal training, or when I have come across TV presenters who have actually trained in front of the camera, I have no choice but to go quiet and hope that nobody asks me where I have come from to be doing what I do. But if it proves one thing to me, it is that there is always some kind of niche within fishing for some people to go about doing something they love. It is not a closed shop, and do not believe the people who preach doom and gloom. If you have what it takes, go for it. Back yourself. Look what has happened here for example.......
I do believe that you can tell how truly passionate a fishing photographer is by the kinds of photos they take. Look at somebody like the US based steelhead freak Jeff Bright. I have loved his work from the moment I came across it online, and I am really proud that we have a photo essay in this premier issue of Adventure Fishing, based around his BC steelheading exploits. It just jumps out at me how in love with this fishing Jeff is, and all via his outstanding , involving photography. The internet means that I was able to contact him and ask him to submit this work for us, but I am hoping that someday soon we can get to meet up and talk all things fishing and photography. He just sounds like such a cool guy.
There is a new website for Adventure Fishing - basic for the moment, check it out here. There is no way of knowing whether this new magazine will prove to be a success or not, but I personally believe that there are loads of anglers out there like me who are hugely interested in all kinds of fishing - whether we end up doing it or simply dream about some of the stuff. Fishing just fascinates me full stop. We shall see what happens, but I really hope that the people who have worked so hard in such a short space of time get to see this thing do well.If you do go and buy a copy, thanks for doing so, and please, please give us some feedback. Anyway, best get back to working on Issue 2 - no rest for the wicked !!