In 1994, Peter Van Gytenbeek launched Fly Fishing in Salt Waters. In doing so, he laid the groundwork for something big. For the most part back then, casting flies in salt water was more of an activity that anglers only dabbled in here and there. Certainly there were some die-hards in those early days, and thanks to them, our sport has grown and gradually evolved into something much more than a hobby — over time, fly-fishing in salt water has morphed into the fishing community’s most unique and soulful lifestyle.
Since that first issue, we’ve seen the materials used in rods, reels and lines go from basic to space age. The perimeter of the destinations to which we travel in order to pursue our favorite game fish has expanded tremendously. And, the techniques and flies we now use have progressed to the point where fish that were at one time considered uncatchable are now feedable and subduable opponents. Interestingly, while we’ve written about and illustrated virtually all of these revolutions, we ourselves as a magazine have essentially remained unchanged. I guess symbolically speaking you could say that we’ve been fishing the same flat for too long. Don’t get me wrong: It’s been a solid and productive flat, but we’ve poled it long enough. It’s time to idle out into the channel, crank the engine and move on to new water.
The process of rebranding a magazine could be compared to creating a new fly. It starts with a mental image that can be physically replicated only by tying it over and over again, making tweaks to each and every version until the dressed hook resembles what we saw in our minds. Just as I do when crafting a new fly, I knew exactly what I wanted this magazine to look like, and I’m excited to say that after countless drafts of each section and weeks of fine-tuning, what I originally saw in my head finally reached these pages. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment, but I simply cannot take credit for it. For that, I’d like to express my sincerest gratitude to Bonnier Corp. creative director Jerry Pomales and Fly Fishing in Salt Waters art director John Digsby. Together, their talents and artistic eyes completely captured a design that embodies the very essence of our sport.
So, yes — we’ve changed, but remember, good things often come with doing something different. For example, what do you do when a lingering fish repeatedly refuses a particular fly? You raise the blade and make a change. Some fear change, but really, we should welcome it. Change challenges us to look at things with an open mind, and challenge forces our very best — that’s the mentality I’ve carried with me through this entire endeavor. The magazine you have in your hands represents the one I’ve always wanted to produce. I put my heart and soul into it — I hope you enjoy it.