Why Do Fishing Magazine Covers Always Look the Same?

Phil Monahan does his best to answer the question Why do fly fishing magazine covers always look the same? As a former long-time magazine editor with many years of cover photo choices under his belt, Phil’s better equipped than most to answer the question. As Phil says, “I’ve never heard of anyone canceling a subscription because they thought the covers were boring.” But he’s the first to point out that cover choices are a compromise on many levels.

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  • I am really enjoying the pieces by Mr. Monahan on the magazine business. It was interesting that one fly shop commented on one of the TCS covers, “I like it because it isn’t your usual guy on the cover with a slob trout”. However, I think he is correct regarding the cover choices and the bottom line. TCS isn’t on any newsstands and to be honest we just don’t catch that many big fish; so, we have to be creative.
    Thanks for the great features on the magazine biz.

  • 3than

    This is assuming that you can actually see the cover of any FF mag at the store. In most book stores the FF mags are buried in casework/fixture with other stuff in front. So you are lucky if you even see a capital letter F, let alone even a hint of the cover shot.

  • Bob

    Perhaps I am the first, and maybe the only, but I recently let my subscription to Fly Fisherman lapse after having been a subscriber for many, many years (I have every issue since 1989) because I got sick of the fish porn on the covers and just couldn’t stand paying for yet another Beck photo. I kept saying to myself, “this is not me” and lamenting the statement these covers make about our sport. Further, as all catch and release fly fishermen intuitively understand “staging” most of those shots is not good for the fish though I realize it may not kill them. I now appreciate the fact that the cover is not designed for the subscriber but the newsstand purchaser.