Blog Update

It’s a long story, but I’ve been asked to present to the MA-RI Trout Unlimited Council. They’ve asked me to talk about…you.

I think many groups are thinking about the digital era and how best to work with technology. I’m not necessarily a technology expert. But, I am passionate about the blog, and so, I’ve put in some time to optimize the site for you.

So, I’ll be giving a brief talk about the blog, what we do, and how we do it. In the process of doing so, I’ve pulled together a bunch of metrics and charts. I also have been thinking about some things.

So, here are some observations and lessons learned, in no particular order:

Traffic continues to grow. This blog started off as a hobby. It now continues to be New England’s #1 fly fishing blog.

I think that is due to you, the reader, as well as the other eight writers. You read, comment and share our posts. We appreciate it!

As for the writing crew, we reside in metro Boston, W. Mass. and Connecticut. We together have different points of view that I hope you are finding valuable. We strive to be transparent and open-minded.

20% of you come to our site by typing directly “”; so, I think we are establishing a presence that people remember.

I’m really glad that we ported away from Blogspot/Blogger. It is old, slow, and less secure. It also over-reports traffic as it counts hits from spambots. It’s a start-up that Google bought in 2003 and has since put in very little energy to modernize. A dinosaur.

We also have invested in some technology upgrades and tweaks to improve performance and how our content is found on the Internet. This is important, as 50% of you come to our blog via search engines.

In fact, if you Google “swift river fishing,” one of our posts is the #1 search result.

This means that each and every day we get loads of high and free traffic. It really is stunning to watch the dashboards and metrics.

I did some analyses, and it’s very clear what anglers want to see online. Some of it is counter-intuitive.

Also, we have tried to make the site more navigable. For example, it now is very easy to get fly recommendations for specific rivers. If you are on a desktop, look to the right. If you are on a phone, scroll down. You should see a “cloud tag.”

We’ve tested a bunch of flies and have seen which ones seem to consistently produce at which rivers. We update the results after fishing outings. So, hit one of the tags before you go fishing, and you should be good to go.

50% of our readers are below the age of 45. Our #1 cohort comprises of 25 to 34 year-olds.

I think that is good for the sport and for future conservation. If we have the votes, we will be relevant. If we don’t, we won’t be.

So, the next time you see a new-ish angler, please out him or her. Give some suggestions, hand out some flies. If you’re already having a good day, yield your spot. It’s good karma and good for the fly fishing community.

So, in closing, thank you again for reading, commenting and sharing. Thank you to the other writers. You all really do make this blog what it is.

We have some bodacious ideas for the blog’s future. Stay tuned!


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18 thoughts on “Blog Update

  1. That’s great Jo! I’d love to attend the presentation. Managing trout fisheries I’m always interested in hearing more about who the anglers and users are. I’d love to have a comprehensive picture of the entire group (fly and hardware, catch-and-release and catch-and-keep, in state and out of state, beginner and veteran, and so on) but in lieu of that I like to glean whatever information I can piecemeal. Let me know where and when!

    1. Adam, I can check with them. It is their private Council meeting and I am coming in to speak to them a bit and will then leave as they do their Council business.

        1. Still awaiting word back. If we get the green light, I can drive us? Also, any of my flies you want? LMK, and I can give to you when we meet up.

        2. Green light. He was absolutely pumped that you’d be willing to be there. Let’s present together as a team? What’s better for email: your Gmail or Yahoo? This will be fun!

            1. Will be a great meeting. Sounds like a good group of folks. Chapter heads of all the TU groups in MA and RI, from what I’ve heard.

    1. Very kind of you to write that, but, honestly, there’s so much demand out there for fly-fishing knowledge and a community.

      Also, fellow team member Adam Kautza will be there, too. He is the MassWildlife Cold Fisheries Biologist, spoke at the TU-MWF Forum last year, and joined the blog team very early on.

      He and I look forward to meeting you all at the Council meeting!

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