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Old 01-07-2010, 07:57 AM
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Default Finding new areas to fish

How does everyone find new areas to fish? Do you go by word of mouth, check out topographical maps? Just drive around?
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

I have used google maps alot.....plus in my line of work I drive past 4 major rivers (Eagle, Colorado, Frying pan, Roaring Fork) always watching for new access
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

In my younger days I used Topo maps to find areas that had interesting looking water. I would also take into consideration the relationship of the lakes/mountains to the sun for my other passion, photography.
During the 10 years I was in Search & Rescue I found several great waters in the Sange de Cristo, Wet, and Gore mountain ranges on SAR missions.
Now in my lazy older days, I pick brains and join fishers from the boards I visit to explore new waters that others are willing to share.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

I've bought maps at fly shops and asked... "hey, where should I go?"
That works really well
Locally, I just drive around and look. Winter is a great time for scouting
The google maps is good for non-forested areas (like the beach), you can even see where to park.

.... and when all else fails...MassWildlife - Trout Stocked Waters
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

I use topo maps, google earth, books, word of mouth and driving around. All have worked for me in finding new waters.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

Hi Everyone,

Tropo maps are great to scope out waters that you know have some good fishing. But, looking for new water takes a very good relation with you local fly shop and Fish Biologist. Go to your fly shop a lot and get to know the owners and workers. Buy from them frequently. Give them reports on how you have been doing and what you have been using. Then when you start looking for new waters the fly shop will have a lot of information in return. If they pull out a map and show you some places, buy the map. After a trip to the place they suggested let them know how you did. Remember that Fly Shops need you to succeed or they will go out of business. It has been my experience that new fly fishers that don't catch any fish will not stick with it very long. The fly shops know that.

The same goes for the local Fish and Game office that is closest to you. Meet the Fish Biologist and even take him to lunch if he will go. You would be surprised what you can learn over lunch. The Fish and Game office will have maps and know where fish are being planted if you want to know that.

Another good source of information is a local fly club. If you are active in the club you will know about new water. Most clubs have outings where you go fishing as a club. This gives you more new water. The other members are a good source of information if you listen to what they are talking about.

Also try Guide Books. If you want to fish out West and you are from the East, get a guide book about the area. Some of the books are very good and sometimes I am surprised how accurate the information is.

Now don't expect anyone to give you there honey hole but they will give you general information about the water. Sometimes it is enough to state you would like to fish that stream, river or lake and ask about access or where is a good place to park.

So just use a little imagination and you may be surprised how much you learn about new water.

Frank
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

Another approach I have done in the past is to buy the book Flyfishers Guide to (the state you live in). That usually offers some very good information on locations and species to expect to find.
Here is one for northern CA:
Amazon.com: flyfishers guide to california: Books Amazon.com: flyfishers guide to california: Books

Larry
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

I'm a Google Earth / Google Maps junkie and use both to locate new streams to fish. I recently published my collection of maps on my blog Fly Fishing Reporter. The Google Maps version is available from the Trip Planner page, and the Google Earth version is available on the Map page.

I am collaborating with a number of folks to map streams across the US so it is a work in progress.

I'd be interested in any feedback. Enjoy!
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

Larry's idea is a good one, buy a flyfishers guide to your home state. If you're planning a trip out of state those guides can be a good start for you also. It can give you information on flyshops in the area you will be visiting. Contact those shops and get to know them through some e-mails or phone calls. Tell them when you are planning to be in their area and ask for advice. Don't forget to spend some money in the shop when you get there...

Dan
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Finding new areas to fish

Since you're in MA, by "new" you probably mean new to you-- as opposed to wild and relatively undiscovered--- unless you're interested in doing some backpacking and bushwhacking.

The best way if you're new to fly fishing is to join a club like a local TU Chapter. They often have group trips to local waters as well as long weekend type trips to water further away. It's a good way to hit some new places, as well as get some informal coaching from more experienced folks.

Your state's (and nearby NE states and NY) Fish and Game websites have tons of info -- look for information like 'places to fish", stocking reports, streams with Catch and Release areas, wild trout management areas, public fishing access, listings of lakes with contour maps or "types of fish present", and the regulations section. Named bodies of water in the regs might be worth checking out if there are special regs for them.

The state fly fishing guides are great, and google is you friend-- if you google "whatever state" and "hatch charts" for example

Google earth, Topo Maps and Delorme state/county street maps can also help you scope out new areas. Take a look at some of the better known streams and see if you can identify tributaries that might be worth checking out.

Also make it a point to check out new areas of places you fish now--- further up/down stream, up tributaries etc.

I wouldn't just drive around hoping to find some new water---- but it couldn't hurt to always have a rod and some gear tucked away in the car/truck in case you find some by accident...

mark
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