Each December, as we look back on the most popular stories of the year, we're reminded of a couple of facts that never come as much of a surprise. Fly anglers like to read about gear. They also like to read about how to become better fly anglers. And so, each year, stories about new fishing tools—rods, reels, boots, waders and what have you—and how to best leverage those tools and others to find more success when on the water invariably dominate our annual list of reader favorites.
But each year, we're also reminded of another fact—fly anglers are passionate conservationists. We care deeply about the wild places where we chase trout and other species and seek to preserve and protect them for future generations. It's why conservation stories are such a big part of what we do here at Hatch Magazine and why conservation topics also always make their way into the list of our most read stories.
Here are 2018's reader favorites, the 10 Hatch Magazine stories of this past year that were read more times than any others, grouped by topic but otherwise in no particular order.
Our team of editors and contributors has also compiled its list of 2018 favorites, stay tuned for that look back at the past year.
- Save big on baggage fees on your next fishing trip
- Buying a new fly rod
- Drop shot rigs on fly gear
- The last generation of trout anglers
- Cleaned and gutted
- New 2018-19 fly fishing gear: Standout rods
- Best fishing sunglasses for 2018-2019
- Patagonia and Danner introduce the last wading boot you'll ever buy
- Redington aims to shake up reels, again, with its new GRANDE
- Yellowstone bans felt-soled boots
TIPS & TECHNIQUE
The discovery that led to this short article on how to save potentially hundreds of dollars in baggage fees each time you fly was an eye opener for us and, it seems, thousands of other anglers as well.
Buying a new fly rod is an exciting but often confounding experience. John Juracek's guide to the comparisons you should—and shouldn't—be making when buying a fly rod was not just a 2018 reader favorite but one we expect will be a favorite for years to come.
Drop shot rigs are a favorite in the world of conventional fishing but, despite their similarities to more typical nymphing rigs, are used by relatively few anglers. In this how-to, Cosmo Genova illustrates and details three effective drop shot rigs you can use on fly gear.
Across the globe, the ecosystems where trout live are facing a serious threat. It's a situation that's so grave, it led Chris Hunt to ask, is the last generation of trout anglers already here?
Debates about catch and release never fail to engage a fly fishing audience, and Chris Hunt's piece on killing, gutting and cleaning trout and the connection that creates to the natural world and its cycles, was no exception.
Each year, we visit the International Fly Tackle Dealers (IFTD) show, where almost every gear maker in the business gathers to show off their new wares. While there and after we return, we cover a lot of the gear coming for the new year. And, as is expected, a look at the year's new rods always receives a great deal of interest.
Our annual (or sometimes bi-annual), in-depth features recommending the best fishing sunglasses for a diverse set of fishing conditions and locales are perennial favorites, and the 2018-2018 installment was no different.
Patagonia's partnership with legendary boot maker Danner to reimagine and build wading boots that are meant to last a lifetime, instead of just a matter of years, was one of the hottest gear stories of this past year.
The GRANDE's baby brother, the die-cast, uber-affordable BEHEMOTH, continues to be a wild success for Redington. Given its predecessor's success, it came as little surprise that Redington's newest reel offering, the fully CNC-machined, big-game stopping GRANDE generated a lot of attention.
When perhaps the nation's most iconic fishing destination bans one of the most widespread and tenured pieces of fishing gear in existence, people notice.