By Sheena Carnie

IT’S a little late to wish all our readers a happy new year, but I’m going to do it anyway. Here’s hoping 2018 is exceptionally kind to you and your loved ones and delivers mountains of wonderful fishing memories.

FLYFISHING has always been a “traditional” flyfishing magazine, appealing to the gentle men and women who have a love for the art of fur and feather and the piscatorial creatures of this world. For the last 30 years we’ve focussed on bringing you a great mix of articles on where, how and when to go fishing, with the majority of the content centred on trout fishing. Over the years that changed a bit with indigenous species like yellowfish, barbel and saltwater species making more regular appearances. Methods of fishing have changed slightly over the years, as has the tackle that’s used, but one thing never changed — this magazine’s dedication to the anglers who love to target fish on fly.

A new year is as good a time as any to start a new tradition, and so it is with us. As from this issue, FLYFISHING will be published exclusively in digital format on . Paper versions will no longer be produced. The bonus is that it will be free, gratis and for nothing! The other bonus is that we’ll be able to offer you a bigger, jucier magazine because it won’t cost any more to produce than a smaller mag.

We’re well aware that many of our readers prefer to have the print version, and we truly are sorry to disappoint you, but unfortunately print costs keep escalating and threaten the entire life of the magazine, so we had to make some tough decisions. With that in mind we hope you will all embrace the idea of the digital magazine and come to love it as much as you’ve always loved the print version.

Many of you have already been reading our digital version on Zinio, so this is nothing new to you, but from now on you’ll get it for free. You’ll just have to access it through Issuu instead of through Zinio.

A number of you have already paid for your annual print subscriptions, and by now you should have received a letter asking you to send us your details so that we can refund you for the balance of your subscription. If you haven’t received that letter (thanks SAPO!) please phone (031) 572-2289 or email so that arrangements can be made.

Please spread the word to your other fishing friends, telling them of our new free, online offering, and look out for our new revamped website which is currently being developed. We hope to offer readers and advertisers alike something new and fresh to sink their virtual teeth into.

With that in mind, this issue brings you a wide range of stories as always, so there’s sure to be something for everyone ...

One of the holiday ideas on my bucket list is rafting down the Orange River and camping on the banks. As a result I was drooling over Gertrude Babich’s tales of her fishing trip down the Orange River. That trip just moved closer to the top of my list. Meanwhile Gijsbert Hoogendoorn and Darryl Lampert went looking for big fat rainbow trout in the Stormberg, and Wayne Stegen shares how his Salmo Taddy hooked a really fat KZN rainbow. If you prefer river fishing, two of our real traditionalists, Peter Brigg and Andrew Mather, share their thoughts on fishing beautiful streams close to home.

Whether we admit it or not we all have a lucky hat/rod/jacket that we believe makes the difference between a good day’s fishing and skunking; on page 40 Duncan Steyn shares his take on fishing mojo and how Murphy’s Law (a real thing!) works against us. And if you’re a tackle junkie who needs to learn to take him/herself less seriously, read Andrew Sav’s First Bite, and our new “Blast from the Past” feature. On a more serious note Ian Cox and Andrew Mather take a closer look at the Maloti minnow in light of recent reports from scientists who have rediscovered it in KwaZulu-Natal. Ian and Andrew aren’t convinced it was ever native to KZN and await conclusive evidence either way.

If your tactics and flies weren’t producing as you’d hoped they would last year; now’s a good time to try something new, and Ed Herbst and Wayne Stegen have both got some tadpole ideas for you to work on. Meanwhile Gordon van der Spuy shares his love of klippies — without Coke — and the phenomenal flies it can produce.

Three lucky FLYFISHING subscribers who faithfully renewed their annual subs before they were done away with have each won a copy of South African Fishing Flies by Peter Brigg and Ed Herbst. The winners are: Laurence Davies of Queensburgh, Mark Pollock of Benoni and Hannes Viljoen of Swellendam. Enjoy!
The books will be sent to you directly from the publishers.

Happy reading.
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