Forty issues, huh? Doesn’t feel like a single more than 39. When we started this whole goat rodeo, Steve and I had absolutely no idea what we were doing, and 40 issues later we are very proud to carry that same befuddled spirit into issue number 40. I think and hope we have gotten better at all the technical stuff it takes to get these issues out. I wish we could get better at the planning part as I sit here and write this at my in-laws’ 50th anniversary lake weekend the Saturday before we publish. On the other hand, diamonds and
nervous breakdowns are a result of pressure, so there’s that.
Fishing-wise, I think both Steve and I are infinitely better off as all-around fly fisherman as the magazine has afforded us fishing avenues that neither of us thought would be available to guys like Steve. Just in case you were wondering, the fringe benefits of creating a marginally successful regional digital fly-fishing magazine (the term I have used for 40 issues when anyone asked me to
describe SCOF) are super choice. I highly recommend everyone do it. Some things haven’t changed for the better 40 issues later. Water
quality issues throughout the South, and especially Florida, are worse for 40 issues’ wear. The readers of the weather cards proclaim new record temps on what seems like a daily basis, and West of the Mississippi
has been transformed from Eden into a hellscape of fire with no water in sight. Not to be a Gloomy Gus, but shit in our natural world has gone bonkers, and it seems like this is the beginning of the change, not the end.
Publishing 40 issues has me slipping into a nice comfortable pair of slippers, wrapping myself in a pleasingly itchy cardigan, settling
into my chair with a nice warm winter root vegetable soup and reflecting on how much better everything used to be. Every old person I have ever met has never failed to tell me how much better shit was before I came into being. Fish were bigger, gas was a nickel, and smoking an unfiltered Pall Mall gave you the lungs of a mountain climber. I wrote all of this talk off as simply a natural product
of aging. “Of course everything was better, Grandpa. No, we’re not going to put you in a home,” type of shit. But is it possible that maybe, just maybe, existence as a whole is just getting progressively shittier with each generation? Whoa, that got
To change the mood on what should be a joyous 40th issue celebration, let me leave with you a breezy observation I have gleaned all these issues later: Never trust a fart. Thanks for hangin’ with us for 40. Here’s to at least a few more.