Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a Bristolian born and bred. I’ve been married to Liz for 25 seasons this year. I have two ‘children’, Holly 21 and Jack 19 and have worked as a graphic designer here in Bristol for 28 years. I’ve been fishing since 1994 when I cut my teeth at the Barrows Tanks (see Ben Jailler’s article in the Spring 2019 edition of Fly Culture).
How did you get involved with Fly Culture as designer?
I’d made contact with Pete through the Devon River’s Forum and he came up and spent a day with me on my local river and then wrote about it in Eat Sleep Fish, a free, not for profit ezine he ran for 6 years. We hit it off and when he later mentioned he was this of launching Fly Culture, I offered to design the logo. One thing led to another…
Has it been an easy task?
To be honest, it’s been a joy. Graphic design and fly fishing, what’s not to love?
Did you have an idea of where you would like to take design from the start or is it an evolving process?
Absolutely. From the start I knew that the design needed to play a supporting role. With such great content, I didn’t want the design elements fighting for attention with the photography and writing. My job has been to present it in a way that makes everything easy to access and then to resist the temptation to fiddle with the formula.
Is bringing a magazine in a declining market without its challenges?
It is what it is. Fly Culture has quality content compiled into something that feels great in your hand and will end up on your shelf not the recycling bin. I feel like we are giving it our best.
Do you see Fly Culture as a magazine or something else?
I see it as a journal rather than a magazine for the reasons above. There are plenty of well established magazines. This is something different.
You got up at 3am and tied a fly that you felt would look good with one of the articles. That makes you super dedicated right?
I’m a dedicated designer and a dedicated fly fisherman. Put them together and it’ll get you up at the vice in the night.
How do you see the independent magazine market right now?
Pretty exciting. My favourite printer, Taylor Bros. produces several successful publications like Earnest and Another Escape. Bristol seems to be a hotbed for creativity in this market. My son is involved in the Bristol music scene and I see exciting grassroots publications coming through there too. The Bristol Germ is a fine example.
Is there still a place for printed media?
Definitely. As we see in feedback from FC readers, there’s nothing quite like settling down in your favourite chair with a beer and the small of fresh ink.
On to fishing, what makes a perfect day on the water?
A grey sky; soft, worm westerly wind; a well behaved boat and a lough/loch/llyn/tarn full of wild brown/sea trout.
Where would that perfect day be?
One of the South Uist Estate Lochs
Dry or nymph?
There’s so much water in Scotland & Ireland, I can’t see beyond these. At a push, any island off the north coast of Scotland.