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Thread: Fly Fishing Journals

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    90

    Default Fly Fishing Journals

    How many times have you done or observed something worth while when fishing and forgot about it hours or days later? Then rediscover it months later all over again? I got tired of relearning things over and over a while back and started keeping a fishing journal. At first it was simple, keeping stream that I fished on what dates, water conditions, water / air temperatures, and hatch activity.

    Once I started keeping a journal other observations started creeping into it like hand drawn maps of locations that hold fish, under cut banks, deep pools and so on. It was unruly and pages would some how become missing. There had to be a better way, I purchased a nice hard bound fishing log book and it had its draw backs and then I wasnít able to find any more books. On a trip to Michaelís with my daughter so she could pick up some art supplies, I spotted a hard cover sketch book, nothing but BLANK PAGES!

    I now had a way to capture fishing locations, stream bottoms (for us steelhead fisherman is important) types, driving locations (for us geographically challenged) and most importantly... lessons learned and tips.



    How many times have we talked to another fly fisherman about a pattern, stream holding spot, or how to fish a trico and the best times, only to lose that information later on? I started putting it to paper, a few weeks ago I hit a stream I havenít fished in a while and before I departed I checked my journal and I had my driving directions, various hot spots for this time of year, and PLAN B. yes, if the stream was too low or too high I had a back up stream location within a short drive.

    White Fly season in mid August on the Yellow Breeches, the Allenberry section of the stream is a nice spot at dust into night. Kettle Creek Hexagenia hatch in the mahogany color with black spent wings with orange legs works really well. The information placed into a journal doesnít have to be earth shaking revelations, a simple drawing of a new fly pattern used on a particular stream.

    I even go to mapquest or one that I think is outstanding, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Live Search Maps

    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=qs4mwm8rxjc4&style=o&lvl=2&til t=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=21155582&encType=1#JnE9eXAucHVsYXNraSUy YytueSU3ZXNzdC4wJTdlcGcuMSZiYj00MC42NDI1ODA4NzA0MD M3JTdlLTc0Ljg3NDkwNjM0ODg2MzIlN2U0MC42NDA2NTc3OTM2 NDU4JTdlLTc0Ljg3NjcxNDUyNzMyNDM=

    (Pulaski, NY on the Salmon River) This on line map has the ďBirdís eye viewĒ which for most areas of the country is outstanding. However, like all online aerial maps, it isnít very good for the Smokies.
    Maybe a little hard to read, this is the Salmon River and I have mapped out all the Salmon and Steelhead spawning and holding areas, what areas are best fished when it is 750 cfs, 1400 cfs, 2200 cfs.

    Just about all my PA streams have this feature and it is very helpful tool for finding back ways into good holding spots.


    Keeping a journal isnít for everyone, but when you travel to a good number of different streams every year, it does help with the learning curve for each one.

    I may have gotten carried away, but I even have one from my last years trip to the Smokies and ready for this years entries.



    As always, hope this may help someone out there.

    AK Skim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Default

    yep, done it since 1981 in it's simplest form the way you started out. I graduated to a real journal with bindings. I do put some photos in there from time to time. I don't have the artistic ability or the neatness you do but I guess I have many years of hatches and weather information in these books. I highly recommend it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Knoxville
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    Default

    That is awsome how detailed you keep all of your information. I keep a 3 ring binder and it is fairly organized into the different rivers I have fished and so forth. But I think you have given me an aspiration to go buy myself a notebook like that one you got.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I really like the looks of your journal and the entries you photographed..... Only wish they were a little bigger so i could get a better look...... Anyway, I'll be trying to do something similar this summer...... thanks for posting!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    N Alabama
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    I ran across this company one day online. Bought a fly fishing journal from them not long ago. You can get a case for it or just the spiral bound journal. Has a spot for weather, water temps, flies used etc etc etc.

    http://www.nomadjournals.com/index.cfm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    90

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    Quote Originally Posted by tennswede View Post
    yep, done it since 1981 in it's simplest form the way you started out.
    I have many years of hatches and weather information in these books. I highly recommend it.
    tennswede: I can just imagine the wealth of information you have stored in your book. This past winter at the Fly Fishing Show in NJ, a guide from the Delaware River in his presentation broke down fishing the river by season, Early, Spring, Summer, and Fall, the various hot spots on the river system that is usually the most productive and why. TS with all your information you have at your disposal I could just picture the "how to and where to fish durning every season and water condition" at your fingr tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajh10567 View Post
    That is awsome how detailed you keep all of your information. I keep a 3 ring binder and it is fairly organized into the different rivers I have fished and so forth. But I think you have given me an aspiration to go buy myself a notebook like that one you got.
    ajh: You will soon discover as you are out on the stream you start to "look for" information to add to your journal, and a surprising thing happens along the way.. you become more observent and aware of what you are doing right, and what you need to improve on.


    Quote Originally Posted by drkorn View Post
    I really like the looks of your journal and the entries you photographed..... Only wish they were a little bigger so i could get a better look......
    I'll be trying to do something similar this summer......
    drkorn: I am glad you didn't see the pages clearly... that way you can develop your own style and track the information you deem as important.

    Quote Originally Posted by ALflygirl View Post
    I ran across this company one day online. Bought a fly fishing journal from them not long ago. You can get a case for it or just the spiral bound journal. Has a spot for weather, water temps, flies used etc etc etc.

    http://www.nomadjournals.com/index.cfm
    There are a number of commerical Fly Fishing journals out there.

    Thank you for your kind responses. As stated I just wanted some place to keep information so I wouldn't be learning and re-learning all over again.

    I hope you do start your own, but why wait? The information you pick up on this message board I found to be very useful.

    AK Skim
    Last edited by AKSkim; 04-08-2008 at 09:27 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    160

    Default

    AKSkim, this is one of the better posts I've seen in a while.

    My addition to this thread is to record everything electronically. Mostly because it is so much easier to search your information once time has passed, and your memory has fogged. The ability to search within seconds is so valuable. Whether you record to a log book, and then transfer it later, or like me, you record it straight to digital camera and PDA phone, it is so helpful to be able to search all the mountain of data and come up with useful information fast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snaildarter View Post
    AKSkim, this is one of the better posts I've seen in a while.
    snaildarter; Thank you very much I take that is a high complement.

    I agree with you, keeping things on the computer is easy and fast. Like in the photo taken last year at Camping in the Smokies Campground, I do use a computer to write and draft a lot of my material. With my Sprint card I am able to still communicate with the outside world, and this April, post a nightly report on this board from the Smokies if I so choose.



    I manage a company and all communications and work is done via computer. It is a fact of life and trying to keep up with emerging technology is difficult at best.

    But to me there is no better feeling than to sit with a blank page and a fine quill pen and write. I derive so much enjoyment from the experience of fly fishing and writing about those experiences.



    As always, sometimes the old way is the relaxing way in this fast paced and stressful life we all share.

    AK Skim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC
    Posts
    13

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    Here's one for your pocket when you're in the field.

    http://www.riteintherain.com/ItemFor...9-00f2fb565aef

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    knoxville
    Posts
    432

    Default I love my wife!

    ALflygirl-Thank you for posting this link http://www.nomadjournals.com/index.cfm
    I left this picture up on the computer (not on purpose) when I left for a hockey game. My awesome wife surprised me with this little present today.
    I just had to post and give her some good words on here. The journal is great, and I can't wait to fill it up.
    I would recommend it for anyone that wants something a little more organized than they are.

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