Do you keep a fishing journal?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by sizematters, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. sizematters New Member

    Posts: 9
    seabeck washington
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    If you do keep a journal what do you enter into it and how do you use it?
  2. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,947
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +254 / 0
    I have started a journal this year. I keep track of any fish I catch, what on, and anything remarkable about the day. I do it on the computer. It's pretty cool to have stats I could sort by month or fish species or whatever. I had a goal of 100 trips this year, and it looks like I'll fall short by 20 or so. Another goal was to catch a fish every month of the year, and so far so good. December should be a challenge with limited time for fishing and cold water.
  3. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,638
    Kirkland
    Ratings: +986 / 0
    Depends what you fish. Salt you want to log tides bait fish etc but streams you'd want to log hatches flows temps etc. Put as much or as little as you want.

    Make a folder for each month on your computer. Each day you fish open a beer when you get home ans create a word doc as elaborate or simple as you want. Just save the word doc with your fishing report to the appropriate month.

    5 yrs down the road you get a free November day? Sweet pop open the November folder and see what's up.

    This is just one way of organizing it. You could also do it by location instead of month. Whatever you feel like you might want to know later write it down. Always easier to delete than to remember.
    triploidjunkie likes this.
  4. Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Posts: 889
    Silverdale, WA
    Ratings: +370 / 0
    I have one (a hardcopy book) but I admit that I often forget to record trips until much later when I've forgotten all the particulars! :)

    Most of my fishing is in the salt so I like to record place, aspect, driving time, weather, tide, structure, feed noticed, flies tried, amenities available, fish seen, fish caught and last, but not least, my overall experience (whether I'd go back or not).

    Thanks for reminding me I need to make some more entries tonight!
  5. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,263 / 0
    Used to. On predictable waters it works wonders. Where I fish it did more damage than good. Things just fluctuated way too much on the river. What worked one year didn't the next.
    I'm thinking about starting a new one. Just recording water temps and fish caught on a couple local waters.
    Tim Lockhart likes this.
  6. troutdopemagic Active Member

    Posts: 406
    Lake Stevens, Washington
    Ratings: +133 / 0
    I started keeping one this year because I got fed up with forgetting minute details with a days fishing. Especially things like water flows and where and when I got a grab or what hatches came off, tips used, etc. It's amazingly more helpful then I thought it would be. I do mine by hand with a pen, cause I refuse to accept 21st century technology (even though I was born in the early 90's.....)
  7. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,945
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +109 / 0
    I started keeping a journal of every outdoor activity (fishing, hunting, hiking and mountain climbing, and sometimes skiing) when I was fifteen. The first entry was Jan. 25, l958. It was typed for many years, then I went to handwritten entries. Pages are in three-ring looseleaf binders. Backsides of pages are scrapbooked with photos, clippings, old licenses, etc. Let's just say that there are a lot of volumes. The prose is pedestrian, but the memories are priceless.
    triploidjunkie and Dipnet like this.
  8. Kim McDonald member

    Posts: 289
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    I've kept one for years. I enter the date, times, weather, rod and line I was using, all the flies, stream conditions, whether there were folks around, obviously exact location, structure of the stream or lake (downed woody debris, grasses, etc), and then a narrative about the experience. I use Rite-in-the-Rain blank journals. And like Nooksack Mike said, the memories are priceless and I return to the journals time and time again to figure out what happened before I return to a certain spot.
  9. Stew McLeod aka BigMac

    Posts: 1,169
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    I started keeping an online journal a few years back. It is a basic spreadsheet with a separate tab for each year.

    I enter date, time, river or location, air temp, water temp, flow, number of fish caught and then a comment column where I put flies used, techniques and such.

    Stew

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
  10. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +237 / 0
    I write a Word file of most trips, a trip report. If it is a river, I record flows, if a lake, wind, cloud cover, and vegetation. I make notes on any hatches I observed and what flies did (or did not) work that day. I throw in some pictures from the day. When the next year (or several years later) rolls around, I can pull up the file for that location, ensure that I have the appropriate flies and game plan. And when it is winter and cold/wet/dark and the rivers/lakes are blown or closed, I can re-read them and relive the trips. For multi-day trips, I've started writing a daily (almost daily...) journal and then rewriting it when I have time at home.

    Steve
  11. Travis Bille Active Member

    Posts: 651
    McKinleyville, CA
    Ratings: +360 / 0
    I have the same fish a month goal, and so far I'm on top of it too. It came down to the wire last month though. I think its a pretty good goal
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  12. Skysoldier Trout Hunter

    Posts: 726
    Lost in the woods.....
    Ratings: +185 / 0
    Used to keep one all the time but now only on new water or a new time of year on old water.
  13. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,786
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +316 / 1
    I keep a journal of all my steelhead trips, date, time, temp, weather, stream flows and viability. I find it very helpful, especially on new water, it shortens the learning curve.
  14. Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Posts: 1,507
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +307 / 0
    Man you guys must have a load of time on your hands.

    With all the fish I catch, I'd spend more time writing than fishing!! :D:p
    Steve Call likes this.
  15. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,212
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +838 / 1
    I have kept a journal off and on for about 30 years. It began as handwritten then moved on to digital and WORD files in folders etc. Besides the general facts of the day I write the thoughts, rumors, word of mouth, or views of others that I might collect. Somedays, when feeling a little creative, I would weave it all into a little essay with a title. It makes record keeping less of a chore and more fun.

    Leland.
  16. astrofisher Clear Skies

    Posts: 198
    Tenino, Wa.
    Ratings: +54 / 0
    Writing things down is a memory aide for myself.

    If I go on a trip I will write down certain things:
    River, Date, Flow, Temp, Weather, tactics, fish, general notes.

    When I fish locally, I will typically only write things down if something new happens.
  17. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,600
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,652 / 0
    I tried but my mental capacity is way low. So I don't. I just keep most in my head.
  18. Ryan Higgins Active Member

    Posts: 303
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I need to start. Recording things like water flows, air and water temps, could cover, dates, etc. I have been doing it for bass fishing, but havent recorded anything this year at all!
  19. Tom Bowden Active Member

    Posts: 446
    Black Diamond, WA
    Ratings: +72 / 3
    I've kept a journal for years. About 15 years ago I was using MS-Access at work, and decided to convert my journal to a database. When I bought a Mac a few years ago, I converted the database to a shareware program called Neo-Office.

    With the database, my fishing log became data that I could analyze to improve fishing success. For example, I can run a query that tells me which months a certain beach fishes best, or what places I've caught the most fish at during a given month. I can select a location and display all of the days I fished it including the number of fish caught, and view the report for each day. I haven't added weather conditions or tidal flows as data elements, but could do this if I found the need.

    One thing that I took out of my system is the query that adds up the number of fish caught for a year. I just don't want to turn fishing into a competitive numbers game. One of my friends used to keep track of numbers of fish caught, and now just talks about the number of days he fishes during a year.

    Tom
  20. Seth Tyson Active Member

    Posts: 109
    Spokane
    Ratings: +75 / 0
    I use google earth. It allows me to highlight good runs and make detailed notes. Its nice to load my map and see when, where, and the weather conditions of all my trips on one map.