For many of us, fishing trips are our most anticipated events of the year, and we often lose countless hours in the planning, packing and preparation. And while we all dream of extravagant adventures in far-away places, the truth is some of the best fishing trips you’ll ever take are the ones you plan yourself. That departure date is coming up sooner than you think, so get ahead of the curve, and the others that wait till the last minute to plan, and make your next trip the best one yet.

E-Scouting for Success

E-scouting is one of, if not the most important, tasks to complete before leaving home for a trip. By scouring satellite and topographic imagery, you can easily find unique information that will help you find potential fish holding areas, and spots to avoid. On top of that, with onWater, you can easily view private and public property data so you know that if you’re fishing in the green, you’re good to go. Maps are an invaluable tool for the angler, so make sure to carve out some time for scouting before you spend hours sorting through your gear. 

Know Before You Go

The best way to figure out when to plan your trip is to ask the people who know the most about the water you’re going to fish: the local fly shop. Not only will they help you decide when you should go, but they’ll also provide you with a plethora of information to maximize your chances of success on the water. Fly choice, tactics to use and avoid, areas to visit, hatches that may be coming, the list goes on and on. They know the water better than anyone else you’re likely to talk to, and if you grab a dozen Chubbies off of them, everyone wins. 

Contact fly shops and outfitters to get local insight and help you plan your trip.

Find a Place to Stay

For most of us anglers, sleeping in a car isn’t going to cut it. It will work in a pinch, but there are far more comfortable options out there. One of the key things to remember though, is no matter where you plan on staying, get in early. The quicker you can reserve your spot, the more money you’re likely to  save. And that money should go to more important things, like tippet and beer. 

Camping, however, is one of the best options you could choose from. It’s cheap to free cost-wise, and it makes your fishing experience that much more immersive. Using onWater, campgrounds are just as easy to find and reserve as a hotel, and it’s much more wallet-friendly. All you have to do is tap on a campground’s icon, and all the information you need to book a campground on that waterbody is available. It’s also a great choice when you’re planning a float trip. All you really need to do is reserve your spot, tie the boat up and enjoy yourself. What’s better than sleeping where you fish? 

With onWater you can quickly find campsites and access all the information you need to plan your stay.

Get Your Gear Ready

One of the best parts about planning a trip is the preparation. Tying flies, making leaders, reading books and guides; it all makes the experience that much more in depth. But like finding your campsite, you’ll want to do it sooner rather than later. Start with the necessities and figure out what clothing you’re likely to need, and how you’re going to fuel yourself with food and water. From there, worry about your fishing gear and pack more than enough of items like leaders, tippet, and flies.

Speaking of flies, begin finding out which patterns, and sizes, you’re most-likely to use, and start loading them in your boxes. If you tie your flies, you can crank six out in an evening session without overworking yourself. If you plan to buy your flies, most shops sell by the dozen, however, you may be able to split them into two sizes, i.e. twelve and fourteen, and get six of each. It’s likely you won’t use nearly as many as you pack, but at least they’ll be ready for the next outing. 


Always Have a Plan B

Sometimes in life things just don’t go your way, and fishing is no different. You may get to your water and find it’s overcrowded or totally blown out. It happens even to the best of us, so you have to have a plan B ready for the worst case scenario. Before you hit the water, it is a must to have offline maps at the ready. If you’re planning a float trip, pick out a couple of different rivers you can get on in case your main choice is out. If you’re walking, pick out multiple access points you’re comfortable hiking to. You should also consider bringing a smaller rod and gear in case you end up fishing tributaries. Whatever your initial scenario, make a backup plan and prepare for things to go wrong. Even if they do, hey, at least you’re still fishing. 

Few things in life are as enjoyable as a fishing trip. Regardless of your destination, or what happens along the way, you’re going to have a good time if you intend to. So start planning and let onWater help you take the guess-work out of the prep-work. Once you have everything ready, the only thing left to do is go fishing. 

Want to learn more about our maps? Visit our sample of the Smith River or take a look at our unique features.
Ready to go fishing? Download the onWater app in the App Store or Google Play.