American Fly Fishing Magazine

Contributor’s Guidelines


Thank you for your interest in American Fly Fishing magazine. To receive consideration for publication you must read and follow these guidelines. By contributing to American Fly Fishing , writers, photographers, and illustrators agree to the terms and conditions set forth in these guidelines, including the usage rights we purchase with acceptance of material for publication (text and/or imagery, including photography and artwork) as delineated herein.



American Fly Fishing magazine is a destination-specific publication created as an inspiring, collectible reference of angling destinations throughout the United States. The staff at American Fly Fishing takes pride in our editorial content, and we seek contributors who share our vision that our content must serve our readers, not our egos. American Fly Fishing writing is refreshing, and its photography is captivating. American Fly Fishing is issued on a bimonthly schedule. The area of coverage is North America, primarily the United States. In 1999, we launched Northwest Fly Fishing magazine, and shortly thereafter, launched Southwest Fly Fishing and Eastern Fly Fishing magazines; In 2012, American Fly Fishing began as an all-star digital compilation of the best content from those titles, and in 2020, we retired the regional magazines in favor of this one powerhouse publication. Along the way, we have learned a great deal about what our readers want, and we strongly encourage potential contributors to study our magazine to understand our mission, content, and style before querying.



American Fly Fishing has set high standards for all images used in our magazine. To receive consideration for American Fly Fishing , articles must be accompanied by stunning, diverse, professional-level photography. We buy text/photo packages, so writers who team up with photographers to produce stories must determine for themselves how to share payment. Please see “Photography Submission Guidelines” below.



1.     Know what we want. The best way to get a feel for what we publish is to study our magazine.

2.     Read these Guidelines thoroughly.

3.     Check our “editorial index” (available from the editor). This index provides a state-by-state list of waters we have previously covered. Generally, we want at least six years to pass before we re-cover a particular fishery; waters covered in our “Around the East” and “Around the West” sections (500- to 700-word short articles that we refer to as “Notes” stories) can receive consideration for feature-article coverage in less than six years.

4.     We do not accept unsolicited submissions. Please follow protocol by querying us via email on your idea.

5.     No submission is considered an assignment until you have received an official Assignment Confirmation email.

6.     Do not send us simultaneous queries or submissions —do not send queries or submissions to other magazines if you are sending them to us; they will be rejected automatically.

7.     If you have no intention of finishing an assignment and meeting deadline dates once assigned, please do not query.




Our goal is to give an inspiring and complete report on specific angling destinations. Angling destinations include both the famous and the lesser-known waters, and include all species found in our diverse geographical region. If more than one species is found in any given water, writers should cover each species, as well as every season that water is fishable. In short, feature articles should be concise, and leave no holes. Our goal is to cover specific angling destinations as no other publication has done in the past. Writers who can package destination stories within the framework of compelling stories stand a greater chance of being published in American Fly Fishing.


Feature Article Requirements

• Provide practical traveling and angling information to specific destinations, including personal anecdotes.

• Include pertinent angling history and a thorough description of the fishery.

• Describe useful angling techniques, tackle, and flies, and local perspectives.

• Articles should be thorough and specific, aimed at sufficiently informing and giving the angler confidence to effectively fish the presented water

• Conservation issues and future considerations should be addressed

• Feature article submissions require excellent and varied photography (see photography requirements below)

• Feature article submissions require a detailed map of the area for our artist to reference and on this map, the author must mark all significant features mentioned in the article and which should be included on the artist’s map that will appear in the magazine.

• Feature article submissions require two “featured flies” and these should be local patterns popular for the fishery. Include the dressings (materials list) with the article document and send two examples of each of the flies for us to photograph (please no Woolly Buggers, Stimulators, or other common flies).

• Feature article length ranges from 1,800 to 3,000 words and specific word-count range will be made upon assignment.





In the Vise

This department covers patterns of national or regional significance to fly anglers. New, unusual, and exciting patterns are encouraged, but we will also represent the time-proven standards. Flies for any species can be considered. These 500-word articles should include a little history and use of the fly, as well as step-by-step photos (6) of the tying sequence, expertly shot against a neutral-colored background. These six step-by-step photos must EXACTLY MATCH the six accompanying written steps. Two finished flies must accompany the article for photographic purposes, including the one used for the step-by-step photography. If you are not equipped for, and experienced in, close-up step-by-step fly tying photography, we prefer to shoot the step-by-step photos (arrangements for this can be discussed in the query process).


Around the East and Around the West

Our “Around the East” and “Around the West” pieces are short destination-specific articles (up to 600 words) that report on a specific fishery. As with all material submitted, query first after checking our editorial index.



Our Conservation department covers any conservation issue pertinent to the coverage area of American Fly Fishing. Maximum length varies; most stories run at approximately 500 words, but some stories require more space, so specific word counts are assigned by the editor. Writers must supply a selection of accompanying images.



Photo essay of 12 to 15 outstanding images depicting some aspect of fly angling; all images must be tied together by a proposed theme. We like to see plenty to choose from (at least 20 to 40 images with lots of variety). We do not assign Exposure without first seeing the images, and all submissions are subject to final approval by our editor.




American Fly Fishing magazine demands excellent photography for all submissions. We have a strong preference for unedited RAW-format images submitted alongside corresponding low-res jpeg previews. Please study our magazines to understand the kind of photography we publish. All our regular contributors use SLR cameras, often in conjunction with high-end point-and-shoots; potential contributors who make a serious commitment to excellent photography stand a much better chance of having work accepted for AmericanFly Fishing .


• We accept digital files from SLR cameras with a minimum of 6-megapixels; 8-megapixel or higher are preferred. Note: A 35-megabyte file is needed for full-page offset printing.

• We do not acceptslides and larger transparencies.

When making a submission please include 2 images per image file, the unedited RAW file and a processed low-resolution JPEG. Submissions must be uploaded to our ftp site (details upon request). We do not accept CDs or other physical delivery drives (thumb drives are acceptable with permission from the editor).

• If only jpegs are available, please make sure they are of the maximum image quality available on your camera and do not edit them.

• Please do not submit images that are out of focus or overexposed.

• Study our “Photography Guidelines” and “Photo Sampler,” both available from the editor.




For all proposed submissions, initial contact with the editor by e-mail is required. A formal query, outlining the proposed article, must be emailed to the editor before making a submission. We do not accept unsolicited material. For new contributors, a sample selection of images MUST accompany the formal query. Please note that we DO NOT accept submission on CD/DVD; we DO NOT return thumb drives, flies, maps, or contact sheets except in special circumstances with prior arrangement.


American Fly Fishing is not responsible for submissions in transit to and from our editorial office. Please send assigned materials via U.S. First Class Priority Mail with “Delivery Confirmation.”


• Text and photos are purchased as a package.  Manuscripts accepted without the appropriate photographic support will warrant less money for their use. We reserve the option to edit all articles; however, we will make every effort to avoid changing the style or content of manuscripts. We encourage excellent writers to team up with excellent photographers, but in doing so, we pay for the package and it is up to the contributors to determine how to split the payment between photographer and writer.


• All manuscripts should be submitted via email to the editor in Microsoft Word (saved as .doc or .rtf files). Do not format manuscripts—type them and leave them in your default font/format.


• Payment is made approximately 30 days after publication, and the pay rate varies with the length and completeness of the submission. Inclusion of high-quality images has a major impact in determining the pay rate for any given article. Our pay rate is as follows:


Feature Articles:        $300 to $500 (depending on assigned length)

Around the East & West:$75 to $175

In the Vise:        $200               

Conservation:        $100 to $150


Photo and artwork submissions and payments: American Fly Fishing usually buys text and photos as a package. There are exceptions, however, and additional photography may be purchased on occasion. Contributors must query first. Payment varies by size used and impact. Our pay rate is as follows:


            Cover                            $400

            Exposure                        $400

            Inside use                      $25 to $200

            Illustrations and artwork   (staff produced)


Kill fees: On rare occasions we must “kill” an assigned article (not print it) for various reasons completely at our discretion. Should this occur, the author will be paid 50% of the usual article pay rate.


Scheduling: We reserve the right to re-schedule all submissions. Often, we need to reschedule assigned materials for any numbers of reasons, though we make every effort to run assigned submissions as scheduled. We reserve the right to cancel any assignments.


Rights: American Fly Fishing buys first-time serial rights to all materials. These rights include:

• First-time publishing rights for both printed and digital editions, including digital reprint on our website(s), social media feeds, and any other current or future digital platforms.

• Rights to abridge, re-edit, or redesign layouts of, and reproduce, stories published in print or websites for publication in any of our existing or future digital platforms, including rights to future text edits, including but not limited to edits for correcting errant information, updating out-of-date information, and reducing or expanding word counts.

• Rights to using the material, all or in part, for the magazine’s social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).

• Rights to use the material, all or in part, for direct mail promotional pieces, newsletters, editorial calendar announcements to contributors and advertisers

• Rights to use the material for digital edition archives available as downloads to active subscribers or paid customers, either by issue or by article, and for future digital archives in any form.

• Rights to use the material for article reprints posted on our website(s) for linking from an outside website.


Reprints: American Fly Fishing does not give permission for any of its articles, printed or digital, to be replicated on any website or in print. If you wish to have one of our articles at your site, please put a link in your site to the appropriate American Fly Fishing page at rather than upload the article to your site. That way the people accessing your site will have access to the most up-to-date information that appears on our website, as well as links to related articles at this site that have been embedded in the articles. Articles appearing in printed or digital editions of American Fly Fishing that are not yet linkable on our website will be considered by special request at the publisher’s discretion. If approved, the article will be posted as part of our regularly scheduled updates, at which time it will become available for linking on our website.




John Shewey, Editor-in-Chief

American Fly Fishing

P.O. Box12275

Salem , OR 97309