Well, well, well… what do we have here? A digital complement to TROUT magazine?
In a word… exactly.
But I think the best way to describe the rationale and vision is to anticipate and preemptively answer a handful of questions (I’ve always found it easiest to answer questions I ask myself, but of course I will welcome and address any and all that you may have also).
Q: Does this mean we’re transitioning away from TROUT Magazine in print?
A: Heck no! Why in the world would we abandon a publication that TU members value so much, and why would we give up the high ground of having the largest print readership in the world among trout and salmon anglers? We wouldn’t.
Yes, of course, we’re living in a digital media world now, and it’s very clear that many anglers—particularly younger ones—are absorbing content through handheld devices. That said, the pandemic has also led to a subtle rebirth of print… folks are “Zoomed out” and sick of staring at screens. There’s more desire now to crack open a good read in a comfortable chair and enjoy that. Having a digital product is going to allow us to make the print version of TROUT even better… and by that I’m thinking more archival, evergreen, high-end content, design and so forth.
The bottom line is that we’re going to double-down and give readers from all walks and interests options and reasons to connect with TU. Watch what happens next with print TROUT… if you like it now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Q: Will TROUT Digital be a rehash of TROUT in print?
A: Not at all. Think of it this way… there’s National Geographic Magazine, which is a time-honored standard, and there’s nationalgeographic.com. Two different horses from the same stable—both committed to the mission of the organization and reflective of the standards of an iconic brand. That’s where we’re going. To perhaps be even more blunt, for $35, you’re still going to get a killer magazine, but we’re not going to hide strong digital content behind a paywall; we want to connect as many anglers/readers to the “conservation conscience” of TU as we possibly can.
Q: What will we see in TROUT Digital that’s different than the print magazine?
A: It’s still the same cooking, but the buffet got bigger. We’re going to offer up good stories and images, even videos, that inform, entertain and motivate—hopefully some will do all three at once. Want fishing content? Cool, we have that. Interested in conservation issues? We’re covering from the front lines. Gear reviews? Yep. Even if you’re not a die-hard angler we have things that will interest you and involve you in a community connected by water—from the new “Thalweg” boat blog on all things paddle powered to recipes from our “fishing foodies.”
What’s most exciting is that this format will allow us to work with more writers, and artists, so while you might read some familiar voices now and then, you’ll also meet new ones.
Q: Is TROUT Digital free to everyone?
A: Yep. No subscription required. We think if you’re willing to engage with the content here, you’ll be willing to engage with TU to help make rivers healthier, and fishing better, for everyone. So tell your friends! Spread the word! Check in with us now and then; there will be something new here every day. And we’re going to adapt and improvise as we move along… just like rowing a raft downstream. We will certainly appreciate your involvement and input along the way.