So I began to look at more recent copies and found much the same. And then it dawned on me: the problem wasn't one of image resolution, equipment, or even print quality. No, much worse than that, the issue seems to be a fundamental lack of awareness amongst some anglers as to what constitutes an appropriate manner in which to display your fish of a lifetime.
So if you've ever recoiled in horror at the alarming visage of a gurning sportsman, wondered what the hell that is on the kitchen unit behind, or shaken your head in dismay at the bleached carcass of a once beautiful game fish, then I bid you a happy new year and proudly present.......Trout and Salmon Gallery: the very worst of. Tony Hart will be turning in his grave.
#10. There's only one thing better than catching an about-to-spawn cock fish and that's bear hugging it for a photo with your mate, in which the mighty beast's bottom third is excluded from the frame.
#9. Your boy has just caught a fine trout, so what do you do? Stand him in front of the Land Rover of course......but do make sure your shadow extends completely over the subject while you're at it!
#8. A suitably uninspiring portrait of a fish that was probably being hand fed 24 hours earlier.
#7. Anyone who has a salmon fishing father will probably have been on the receiving end of a photo like this - I know I have. And after all, there cannot be a better way of recording the awesome power and beauty of the 'king of fishes' than by dangling it before a pyjama-clad toddler.
#6. Is that actually the colour of his house? I'm not sure which is uglier - the house, the captor or the 'only just removed from the boot of the car' sea trout........
#5. I love this one, I really do! The thumbs-up presumably for the benefit of anyone who is unsure if this is A Good Thing.
#4. Fair play to the young dude, but.........is that a kelt??
#3. "Put your waders on love and get in the back garden. I'll get the camera and young Johnny.........can someone move the bench.......oh bollocks, that'll do!"
#2. I couldn't resist keeping the caption to this one (apologies Mr MacIntyre, if you're reading). But the reference to 'wild' is just too amusing to pass up. Skateboard presumably for scale........
#1. Man and beast in perfect harmony......sorry, beast and beast in perfect harmony. The plaintive expression on the hound makes this truly one for the scrapbook.
That's all for now. I have others which I might save for a later date. And if anyone recognises themselves and wishes to lodge a complaint, then feel free...but also feel ashamed!
Wishing you all a productive 2013 season!