Each year, around this time, we take a look back to see which of our articles are read the most. Not only does it give us a great deal of insight into what our readers value, it's a lot of fun and there are always a few surprises in the mix. The three articles that follow reached more people in more places than everything else we submitted for your review this past year.
On Top: 12 Tips for Catching More, Bigger and More Difficult Fish on Dry Flies
Articles about tips and technique are almost always popular. For the most obvious of reasons -- we all want to catch more fish -- an angler that isn't fairly insatiable about learning is a rare one. Even the shortest tidbit about angling tactics and strategy can offer the potential for big changes in fishing success, and so most anglers are eager to lay their eyes on as much educational material as they can.
Todd Tanner's piece featuring 12 dry fly angling tips has been widely shared on social media, passed from angler to angler via email and has been read more often and more widely (by anglers in almost 60 countries) than any of the hundreds of other articles we've published this past year.
If you ever get the chance to fish with Todd, you'll notice very quickly what a studied, mercenarial approach he takes to stream. You'll also watch him out fish everyone else on the water 5-to-1 (and I'm likely being generous to everyone else). If he's out of straightforward angling advice to give, he'll simply explain that in order to catch the big risers that keep refusing your offerings, you simply need to "bend them to your will." And he'll mean it.
2014 Fly Fishing Photo Contest Results
Here's this year's surprise. Each year our photo contest receives a great deal of attention from both our regular and not-so-regular readers. And so it comes as no surprise that a lot of folks have taken the time to browse through this year's official selections and winning entries. What is surprising is how overwhelming the response has been, catapulting our collection of this year's results to the second-most read piece of 2014 in less than two weeks.
5 Tips for Better Streamer Fishing
As previously noted, anglers are hungry for fishing knowledge. Streamer fishing is one of those areas that perplexes many an angler. It also one that is incredibly dynamic, not just in the nature of an angler's approaches while on the water, but in regards to the prevailing wisdom driving streamer tactics and strategies. Creative and innovative anglers are constantly exploring new ways of using all manner of long flies to trigger a predatory response in trout and other fish, and so it pays to keep your ear to the ground regarding streamer fishing.
Thus, the response to this collection of 5 tips for streamer fishing came as no surprise. In addition to some general discussion on the philosophy of a streamer angler, there's some good stuff that should be making it into your repertoire when you're out slinging meat.