Before onWater compiled all the fishing information in one location, anglers worked hard to find places to fish. They used paper maps, purchased books, and looked far and wide for a local fly shop to assist. In today’s modern world of fishing, there are two main ways to find places to fish–the old fashioned time consuming way of boots-on-the-ground-trial-and-error grunt work…or…the new and efficient way of E-Scouting.

Anglers use the technology of highly engineered waders and rods, so the progression to add the power of science and tech to finding places to fish near you is the next great step in modern fishing. onWater Fish is the number one tool to use to find places to fish with E-Scouting.

Here’s how you can get into E-Scouting and stop guessing and start fishing.


So Much Information: So Little Time

The goal of a good E-Scouter is to maximize time spent scouting. Before a legit session of E-Scouting is started, be sure to ask yourself some of the following key questions:

  1. What is my goal for the outing? Is it to catch a bunch of fish. Is it to find solitude. Is it to find a new species. Or maybe it is a variety of those things.
  2. Where do I want to fish? A river, creek, or lake?
  3. Where are the nearest access points?
  4. What are the current conditions where I want to fish?
Public and Private Property Layers in onWater

Use the Public Property layer to find places to fish

Start by Finding Your Prime Access Points

A great day of fishing often starts with finding a prime fishing access point. E-Scouting with onWater allows you to find the ideal access point before you even get to the water. With detailed map layering features you can plan ahead and find access sites and locations that fit your goals.

Using the app you can scout potential fishing access areas or boat ramps. When looking at sites and ramps be sure to take the next step in E-Scouting and look at public and private land parcels as well as topographic and satellite imagery layers.

Expert tip: A great way to find remote areas is by accessing them through public land. Use the Public Land map layer to find available areas. Once you found a parcel you can plan you hike to the water. If all goes well, it just might become your new secret spot and you can create your own private WayPoint so you can find the exact spot again and again.

3D Map Layers Help You Find Places to FIsh

3D Map layers give you extra insight before you go fishing

Create a Plan for Where You Want to Fish

With the possibility of so many places to fish near you, choosing the right waters should be fun. By E-Scouting with a purpose the planning can be as much fun as the fishing. Using the 3D Maps layer in onWater Fish makes it easy to find a variety of places. Looking for a shady bank? Perhaps you are looking for a secluded canyon with pocket water? Or just something a long way from any road.

The 3D Maps layer showcases the topographic features in a fully interactive manor. E-Scout the ups and downs of the hike in or out, know ahead of time if there is a tight canyon or meandering meadow. The 3D Maps layer is as close to being there as possible.

With the satellite imagery layer you can run reconnaissance missions like never before. For example, various species of trees appear different when viewed from overhead. You can use the satellite view to determine which sections of a water body have an abundance of bankside tree cover. Trees provide shade throughout the summer, creating cooler water temperatures which could harbor more actively feeding fish or hide predatory fish laying in wait to ambush.

Expert tip: No matter your experience, or where you fish, whitewater and other hazards demands respect. onWater maps designate many whitewater rapids and most river hazards and in our satellite and 3D map view layers you can view these ahead of time…before it is too late.

Distances for fishing trips from onWater

Know exact distances to and from access points and more.

Create a Plan for Secluded Waters, Distances, Specific Species, and More

When planning a day of fishing near you, E-Scouting is vital. If you are looking to get away from people for a day or a few hours, onWater Fish allows you to measure distances. Knowing accurate distances is crucial to success–whether to find secluded sections of a waterbody, to get back to your car in time, or ensure you’re on the water when the big hatch will occur. By measuring distances during your scouting you can create a solid fishing plan that can encompass even more water or more species.

Along with marking river access areas and hazards, with onWater you can quickly find the distances between boat ramps and access sites. OnWater can even notify you when you’re near a Point of Interest or Way Point. Using these unique tools is crucial to knowing distances while fishing.

Whether you are searching for a native species or a species entirely new to you, you can know-before-you-go using the Fish Species layer. Featuring a hundred fish species on nearly half a million waterbodies, any proper E-Scouting session should include using the onWater Fish Species layer. The Fish Species layer can also be used streamside to see if a caught fish is a new species to you.

Your E-Scouting and pre-trip planning should also include scouting of the type of water you may want to fish. These areas may be tributary entrances, sharp river bends, long slow runs, or pools; anything that jumps out to you as prime fish holding habitat or as your favorite type of water to target.

Expert tip: Once you get to your access point, be willing to hike for 10 minutes before fishing to help you find less pressured fish. This should increase your catch rate, giving you more confidence to find water to fish near you.


Current Conditions are Key for knowing where to fish near you

With a tap know weather and streamflows before you go fishing.

Know the Weather, Streamflows, and More BEFORE You Get There

When going fishing there are a lot of factors that can work against you. But with onWater you can turn the table on the weather and streamflows and use the knowledge housed in the app to your advantage. With just a few taps you can scout current weather and forecasted weather for your desired waters.

Want to chase a hatch or target trophy brown trout, then consider finding a river or creek where overcast and light drizzle are in the forecast. Is it late summer and you are looking for terrestrials to be blowing into the water, then check the wind forecast. With onWater’s real-time weather on each guidebook waterbody make the weather your friend and not your enemy.

On rivers, streams, and creeks for fishing near you knowing the streamflow is also a big benefit to more successful fishing. Because many species of fish base their feeding activity on the rising or falling of flows in a river or creek, it is crucial for E-Scouting to always know the flows. With over 10,000 flow sites and growing, the onWater app is the main source anglers use to easily monitor streamflows.

Expert tip: Each river and stream harbors has its own ideal level of streamflow. Additionally, they also fish differently when flows are rising or dropping. If you are unsure what is ideal for places to fish near you, with the onWater app you can access local fishing reports or fly and gear shops with a tap.