Documenting, Journaling, Trip Logging, etc.

Bent Undergrowth

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I was looking my maps last week, formulating a game plan for the weekend, and realized that I had already visited the exact same location last year. Or had I?

Great minds think alike perhaps...

Anyway, I got to thinking that maybe I should start documenting my trips. Being a natural overcomplicator, my brain flashed grand ideas of giant topographic maps and pins with reference numbers and coordinated trip logs with all relevant conditions and results. I may need to build a room for this.

Or maybe a simple notebook journal would suffice. Just curious, though - what's your system? Surely you don't rely solely on something as unreliable as memory...

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luj333

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I keep a simple excel log of the places i've fished and the number of fish by species each day i've been out, but nothing too much more complicated than that.
 

partsman

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I keep a small note book with details of day of fishing. Kind of fun to go back check out details of a particular day.
Mike
 

cpiercem

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I use a combination of Google Earth pins and paths along with picture and word docs.

I will frequently draw on Google Earth the path that I took, with the date and time of day, then I may add details like weather, fish caught, flies used, and even problems such as sections with few pools or unproductive etc.

I also have a file of pictures and notes that are by the state/water/date. I try to get a picture that shows the water and weather conditions, plus the flies used and or tried. Notes of how heavily fished the area is, where to get through the willows, and so on.

Either of those two data sets will give me most of the info I need if I am fishing that area again. Together they give me a good picture of the productivity of of an area and some ideas of where else on the stream I would like to explore.

I back the data up fairly frequently. I would hate to lose my mind! :D
 

Ard

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These threads will give you a broad spectrum of how members have recorded things over the years. I have began using the blog page here rather than paper now because we can also have pictures.

Log Book

Journal

It may be interesting to compare today's results to those of the years gone by.
 

cpiercem

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Here is an example of some of my google earth data:




The pins are waypoints that I may load into my gps to help with navigation. In this case it was through a beaver swamp.


Another reason I like using maps like Google Earth is that I can mark areas that are private and public on a stream so I don't have to look it up again.
 

iv_wjb

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I was looking my maps last week, formulating a game plan for the weekend, and realized that I had already visited the exact same location last year. Or had I?

Great minds think alike perhaps...

Anyway, I got to thinking that maybe I should start documenting my trips. Being a natural overcomplicator, my brain flashed grand ideas of giant topographic maps and pins with reference numbers and coordinated trip logs with all relevant conditions and results. I may need to build a room for this.

Or maybe a simple notebook journal would suffice. Just curious, though - what's your system? Surely you don't rely solely on something as unreliable as memory...

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Interesting that you posted this query... I was thinking the same thing, as I plan my upcoming trip. I'll be interested to read the replies and see how others document their locations and adventures.
 

iv_wjb

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I like your ideas Cindy... Is it difficult to learn how to mark-up / annotate and save information in Google Maps?

It seems like this would one could build a valuable resource that's readily available... The trick (for me, anyway) is to learn how to do it!
 

cpiercem

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I like your ideas Cindy... Is it difficult to learn how to mark-up / annotate and save information in Google Maps?

It seems like this would one could build a valuable resource that's readily available... The trick (for me, anyway) is to learn how to do it!
No. It doesn't take a lot. But I am using Google Earth not Google Maps. I am not sure how to do it in Google Maps.

On Google Earth you could just learn to use the pins first. Then expand from there.

The one thing that you really need to do is to organize your pins and lines in folders on the side bar. If you right click on "My Places" you can go to "Add" and make a folder, then more folders under that etc.

The lines and trails that I use are just the "path" tab under "Measurement". Those I also save in my folder for the area. When saving I usually choose the color etc. The path feature can be very helpful in marking the way to go, measuring distance, and even showing an elevation profile, also for outlining private land.

After you have entered data click on File, Save, then "save my places", or sometimes Google Earth won't save what you have entered when it closes.

After you have your main folder created you can right click on it to find "Save Place As" . If you click on it you can save your data file to a separate folder or drive.
 

iv_wjb

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Ah, that makes sense... Thanks! I'd been trying to use Google Maps & found it cumbersome. I know it can be done but, just how, escapes me.

Thanks for your tips!
 

karstopo

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I kept a log on Excel for about 10 years, took a year off, then restarted it this year. In addition, I drop pins with notes on Google Earth pro marking areas.

Memories play tricks and some spots get forgotten about. A log helps jog the memory and not lose valuable information that might fade away over time.

The excel spreadsheet never gets printed. I update it while the events are still fresh in my mind. The format stays the same year after year and much of the information I record is almost shorthand. I’m not trying to write a novel, just record some things that will help me in the future. Water temperature, clarity, levels, forage, structure, location, winds, cloud cover, fish caught, patterns used and some notes that might not fit neatly into a category, but still are important to record.

No doubt, this log has help identified patterns that relate to some of the recorded variables. There’s some seasonal patterns that happen where I fish. A consistent log teases out some of these.
 

denver1911

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I just go fish where I think I might want to go. I rely on current info, reports, and research to help me choose if it’s not somewhere lr somewhere similar to where I fish with regularity. I just go fish. That’s all.
 

duker

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I'm an old fashioned paper and pen guy--no GPS or computer-based doodads for me.

When I started steelhead fishing 11 years ago I decided to start a journal for the first time ever. I keep notes on where I caught fish, what tackle I was using (rod, reel, head, sinktip, leader, fly), river/run/part of river, water level. I've also pasted in colour copies of the topo map of the piece of the Bulkley River I usually fish and the Google Earth satellite photo of that same piece of river. I've got notes on fly patterns, tackle (it's evolved over the years), and a bit of a bibliography of various sources about steelhead and related topics. I use one of those Rite-in-the-Rain journals with a Fisher Space pen (waterproof ink, writes anywhere, any time).

Gotta admit, having started this journal for my steelheading I wish I'd done it sooner for all of my fishing. It's nice to have a record of what you've done, and how you've done it, what works and what doesn't. And, assuming I last that long, it will be fun to read 20 years from now.

Scott
 

sweetandsalt

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I shoot digital images and label/code them in annual folders by destination.
 

satyr

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I have GaiaGPS on my phone and just have it track my trail. Then it gets automatically loaded to their server and Gaia remembers all of my trips. I can also plot new trips and then follow them on my phone when in the field. I started using this for hiking and backpacking but it works great for fishing too. This way the only thing I need to remember is to start and stop the tracking on my phone.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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For those of you using GPS tech, are you concerned at all about data privacy i.e. your waypoints being somehow discoverable? I remember using a lake app called navionics and seeing various spots that people had obviously noted for themselves, but were visible to anyone else using the app.

I'm also interested in what variables you record. There's a fine line between thorough and tedious. Relevant endpoints that come to mind are:

Location
Date and time
Air temp
Wind
Precipitation
Cloud cover
Water temp
Hatches
Effective patterns
Fish location/structure


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strmanglr scott

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Actually, yes I go on memory. I remember just about every creek/river I've fished. If I didn't if I saw it on any map I would know if I've been there.

The only thing I do is Mark on my county map average depth, width and my estimate on speed at the bridge I fish.

I also make these notations on those I just pass over on a bridge. Especially the really tiny ones so when I look at my county map I know if it's smaller than I want to fish.
 

karstopo

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Photo of my Excel log. Each row records an outing. Columns are the particulars. Doesn’t have to be “War and Peace”. Takes less than a minute to put in an entry.
 
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