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> > looking for 1999 American Angler issue

KonchuOctober 1st, 2010, 6:07 am
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 496
Does anyone have old issues of American Angler collecting dust somewhere in a corner? I'm looking for a 1999 issue, in particular. Send a PM if you can help me out. Thanks in advance.
Shawnny3October 1st, 2010, 10:46 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I was a subscriber for a year or two around that time, and I know I still have all the issues. It's possible I have the one you're looking for. Which issue was it in particular, Konchu?

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
PaulRobertsOctober 2nd, 2010, 8:45 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I have an article on the Megaloptera (hellgrammites) in the Jul/Aug 99 issue. Only have one copy left though.
KonchuOctober 3rd, 2010, 3:30 pm
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 496
Shawnny3 may have the one I'm looking for. Thanks for the heads up, however.
Shawnny3October 3rd, 2010, 5:00 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Yes, I have it, and it is indeed the same issue as your hellgrammite article, Paul. I realized after looking at the issue again that I tied up that very hellgrammite pattern after reading your article 10 years ago. It's still in my box - maybe I'll bust it out next time I'm in some fast pocket-water.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
PaulRobertsOctober 4th, 2010, 12:56 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
That particular fly, the UltHellgrammite, accounted for more of my and friends largest resident stream browns than any other. My best was a 23" behemoth from Six Mile Ck, and my buddy took a 22 from EBO.

The hook I used, which in the article said was "hard to find" is only hard to find if you are not a bait fisher lol. It's the Mustad 37140.

I can barely re-read those early AA articles without disappointment, due to the heavy handed editing of that then new editor. Articles don't fetch a whole lotta cash so they oughta at least let you have your own voice. I came to respect that editor in another way a few years later, but he sure took some color outta my writing back then.
Shawnny3October 4th, 2010, 3:10 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Good stuff, Paul - I'll have to give that fly a shot again. Interesting you mention contributing articles. I've been asked to submit them, and while the puny money is one good reason not to bother, the main reason I don't is the crappy editing that is done at many of these mags (a different one comes immediately to mind). I edit what I write pretty carefully, so unless someone has a degree in English and has a really good reason to change what I write (especially without consulting me), I'd rather they just leave it alone. But I guess editors don't feel like they're doing their job if they don't edit something...

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
KonchuOctober 4th, 2010, 4:39 pm
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 496
Hmmm....Do copyright laws prevent posting a different version of a published piece on an online trout fishing forum?
PaulRobertsOctober 4th, 2010, 6:05 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Shawn,
Editors are always constrained by time; they have a tough job. They really appreciate good writing and as much of the work done for them as possible. But many also want articles to have a similar quality to fit the style of the mag. In the case of AA during that time the ed told me his readers were somehow reading challenged -don't remember his wording. Spell it out for them sort of thing. I thought some of his changes were a bit odd. I've had a couple ed's I really liked, that appreciated my efforts and let my voice stand.

Konchu
You actually can't post anything anyone else has written, although people do take a lot of liberties. As to the Hellgrammite piece, I own it as fishing mags buy one time rights. Were you looking for the Hellgrammite article, or another in that mag?

KonchuOctober 5th, 2010, 5:27 am
Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 496
originally, i was looking for a mayfly article, but now I am curious about the dobsonflies

my comment about the copyright issues was one of curiosity: seeing your original vs the final product, having a chance to compare your voice with the voice assigned to you.
PaulRobertsOctober 5th, 2010, 7:10 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Konchu,
I re-read my original and found, to my embarrassment, that the editor had edited mostly for clarity and brevity in that article. I wasn't remembering correctly and reacting to other articles I'd run through him. I still like my hellgrammite version better, but understand why he did what he did in that case. There were a few things he did not need to change in the hellgrammite piece that are similar to what he did later, and that is what stuck out in my mind. Here are some examples from this, and other articles. The changes may seem slight, but they felt lame to me. Oddly, you might think they were for brevity, but the word counts didn't change:

Original sentence:
Quite simply, big browns in small streams kill things for a living –big things. I may be reading into this but I think big browns actually enjoy the sound of cracking bones and chitin.

Edited:
Quite simply, husky browns in small streams kill things–big things–for a living. I may be reading too much into the fish’s behavior, but I think big browns actually enjoy the sound of crunching insects.

Original sentence:
They are so ugly in fact that they’ve been classified into their own order –called the Megaloptera, which means “gigantic wing”. If you ever do any night fishing, some dark night you may just find out where this name comes from. It’s enough to send you back to casting to sippers in the warm glow of daylight.

Edited:
Megaloptera means “gigantic wing”, and if you do any night fishing, you’ve probably seen these huge-winged beasts flapping around the edges of the water.


Original sentence:
Another such occasion yielded one of the largest fly-caught browns I’ve ever brought to hand. The frustrating thing was I didn’t have any say in the matter. I was busy digging in my vest when the leviathan took as my fly dangled in the “dead water” below. “Let me do the fishing!” I hollered up to the fishing gods. Those gods must’ve rolled their eyes, “Doesn’t that idiot know a godsend when he sees one?”

Edited:
Another such occasion yielded one of the largest fly-caught browns I’ve ever caught on a fly. The frustrating thing was I didn’t have any say in the matter. I was busy digging in my vest when the big brown took a fly dangling in the “dead water” below me. “Let me do the fishing!” I hollered up to the fishing gods. But I enjoyed playing the fish.

Original sentence:
I don’t quite know what gets into me. Give me a choice between a pretty, open river and a tangled nightmare thicket, and 8 out of 10 times I’m gonna’ be scratched up by days’ end. That same masochistic feeling seems to surge up at the sight of a muddy, rain-swollen river. I think it has something to do with adventure, finding something to make my own –a microcosmic frontier to saddle up and ride into. Regardless, this road-less-traveled approach has, on occasion, yielded something that might even interest the sane –like insight into what goes on with trout during periods of high water.

Edited:
I don’t quite know what gets into me. Give me a choice between a pretty, open river and a brook running through a tangled thicket, and 8 out of 10 times I’ll be scratched up by days’ end. The sight of a muddy, rain-swollen river provokes that same masochistic feeling. Maybe it has something to do with adventure, with finding a frontier, however small, to conquer. Besides some adventures and fine fish, my inclination for doing it the hard way has yielded a few things that might interest same anglers –such as clues to what trout do when a stream rises.
OldredbarnOctober 6th, 2010, 7:01 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Paul,

That's pretty interesting to see just how much fiddling gets done. In some of the examples given I think the editor's changes actually don't match your tone or what you were trying to convey.

My first wife was an editor and has gone on to do very well from editing her high school paper to editing some books of some very famous folk. Pre computers and word processors she would whip out the old red marker when I was finished with a paper for a class and I would sweat bullets...She was a life saver though because she could type at superhuman speeds...Nothing like a good editor/typer for those of us familiar with procrastination.

I was working midnights and had horrible days off...Tuesday & Wednesday nights...I would stay up all night working on a paper and remember her getting up one morning as I was finishing up. I gave her a finished but not proof-read paper and off to work she went. I saw her, later that evening, in the hall at school. She handed me back my paper, all typed up and in a nice plastic folder, and I would turn it in...Incredible!

Thanks for giving us a look at this process.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Shawnny3October 6th, 2010, 9:15 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Interesting comparison, Paul. Also, thank you for the words on editors - perhaps I shouldn't be so ready to hang the lot of them.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
PaulRobertsOctober 6th, 2010, 10:02 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Spence, I would love to have an editor at home. My wife is a good sounding board for clarity, and types faster than I. But she's way too busy to be my editor/typist.

Shawn, writing for hire is like prostitution. OK that's harsh, but the point is that you are turning out a product -and your "art" might get squashed some in the process. Crank it out and don't get too attached. I also think of my audience, and my editors -I try to make as little work for them as possible.

Communicating by writing is difficult really, as anyone who's spent time on internet forums quickly learns. Each buyer (magazine editor) is different. The writer's guidelines for each mag spell it out pretty well, but it also helps to chat with the editor -just realize your inquiry might hit them at a busy time. Patience required. Editors need writers, and eventually they'll be contacting you.

Writing for mags is work, enough that the pay is not all that great. It's not just the writing, but the images/diagrams that MUST accompany an article. Magazines are 75% eye candy, so quality images are requisite. A great ground-breaking article will sell on it's own -the eds will find images/illustrations. But on the other hand, stunning images will sell with mediocre text.

My next venue is getting some books out. I've danced around it for years. And then I see people like Dave Hughes cranking out 20 of them. I find it enough work to get an article out. My wife jokes I'm too particular -I'll never be satisfied. I joke that my son will have to compile all I have into those books. I best quit jokin'.

I know Lloyd has a book out, and a nice one at that. Maybe he'll pipe in with some encouraging comments on the process.
GONZOOctober 6th, 2010, 5:39 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
I know Lloyd has a book out, and a nice one at that. Maybe he'll pipe in with some encouraging comments on the process.


OK, I'll give it a try. If you've never written a book, it seems like a wonderful thing to do. :)
OldredbarnOctober 7th, 2010, 1:02 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Mr. G,

I have spent a fair amount of my lifetime reading and reading about writers. It seems to be a common thread, in their discussions about their work, that each book is like raising a child. You brought them in to this world, you did your best to get it all right, and then you show them the door and hope everything will work out for them. What else can you do?

I know you are being a little tongue-in-cheek with your response, but I wish you seemed to feel better about your work...I agree with Paul and others who have discussed it here that it's a wonderful addition to our great fly fishing literature...

We have all watched the arguments that take place on this site over the least important seeming things...Its a brave thing, in my opinion, to put it out there and see if it can run with the big dogs...What was that Mark Twain saying, "Those that can, do, those that can not, teach"...or pick everything apart...

I'm glad you gave it the effort despite editors hassle or possible critics and we need another one from you ASAP...Editors and critics may have their place, but they would be useless without someone brave enough to write their observations down. And that goes for you too Paul...Get writing! Carpe diem!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
PaulRobertsOctober 7th, 2010, 1:51 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Lloyd, What were your experiences? What criticisms were leveled at you? I feel my temperature rising already. Understood if you don't want to get back into it.
GONZOOctober 7th, 2010, 3:02 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
My apologies, Spence and Paul, for the flip (tongue-in-cheek) response. Except for gratefully acknowledging the kind comments of others, I generally try to avoid discussing or referring to my book on this forum. However, I don't mean to leave you with the wrong impression, especially about (my) editors and critics, so I'll bend my rule a bit.

My experience of writing a book was a good one, and I am pleased with the result. But I'm not sure that anyone should use my experience as an example. Many of the positive aspects were probably exceptions to the rule. I did not set out to write a book; the opportunity was provided for me. Although the early part of the process was uncertain, the result was unusual in many respects--especially for a first-time, unknown author.

I have no complaints whatsoever about the editing process; I benefited from what my editor called "an extremely light edit." I do not feel that my intent, content, or "voice" was altered in any way. Even though I tried to produce a text that was as error free as possible, I am extremely grateful for the modest corrections made in the editing process. I find self-editing difficult. I know what I wanted to say, and when I edit my own work, I often read what I intended rather than what I typed.

I also have no complaints about criticism or the reviews in national magazines. Except for one magazine that produced a generic blurb based on the dust-jacket copy (rather than actually reading the book), I found all of the magazine reviewers to be exceptionally thoughtful, thorough, and generous. As a newcomer, I was very fortunate to have been given such consideration. Fly-fishing mags generally do not print much in the way of negative reviews; the worst books are just ignored.

That said, I don't want you to think that I came away with an entirely rosy view of the process. If you have something that you want to say, are willing to pursue it as a labor of love, and can get someone to publish it, go for it. Beyond that, writing fly-fishing books (or magazine articles) as a profitable venture involves an unseemly amount of relentless self-promotion. If you have the stomach for that, you might have a shot at doing well.

If writing for profit is your main goal, however, I would suggest shelving most of your expressive or artistic expectations. Instead, plan to write many books (or articles) that have titles beginning with something like "The 10 Best...." or "50 Simple Surefire...." or "Guide's Secret...." Whatever your chosen topic, it would also be helpful to add the words "for Huge Trout" to the end of the title. It's formulaic and annoying, but it is also what many publishers want from fly-fishing writers.

That's all I have to say on the subject...and it might be more than I should have said. :)

PS--
...we need another one from you ASAP....

Thank you, Spence, but I don't think I can afford to write another book. :)
GONZOOctober 7th, 2010, 5:18 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hey, Paul, I just noticed this: Did the magazine editor actually convert "...one of the largest fly-caught browns I've ever brought to hand" into "...one of the largest fly-caught browns I've ever caught on a fly"? If so, I think the editor needed an editor! :)
PaulRobertsOctober 8th, 2010, 8:38 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
I often read what I intended rather than what I typed.

Exactly -the challenge of writing.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I really heard it when you responded,
Thank you, Spence, but I don't think I can afford to write another book.


Every time I make the effort toward a book, I end up sitting back in my chair and wondering, "Can I really afford to spend this kind of time on something that will not help me earn a living." I'd already decided long ago not to mix business with pleasure. Still, I so often read fishing books and think "Man, I could set some of these things straight." I've spent so much time figuring out how to convey what happens on the water, in a fishing instructor role, it seems an obvious step. But, I don't know that I want to do that to myself and family -to do it the way I envision it. "OK..." I think, "just write a narrative. Ramble on about trout and catching them." That's where I'm at now; playing with turning my "textbook" into narrative. Anyway, blah, blah, blah... Maybe I will and maybe I'll just go fish.


No, my error. I had to re-type those passages and started from my original. His editing was grammatically fine, but aesthetically lame at times, in my mind. It should have read:
"...one of the largest fly-caught browns I've ever brought to hand" into
"...one of the largest browns I've ever caught on a fly"?

He once changed a title of one of my articles, and for the better. The article was about using down-sized stripping baskets on trout streams, and he called it "Footloose and Tangle Free". When I was told by the business office I was being paid for an article of that title, I blurted out, "That's not my article!" Until the aptness of that title sunk in. "Oh! Perfect!" I said, a bit sheepishly.

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