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Discussion Starter #1
So for you guys that take notes each trip out.

What info do you track?

How do you track the info is it a notepad, phone app, something else?

How do you get quick measurements of each fish?

What insights does the accumulated data provide?
 

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I'm sure everybody's method is different. I start with a calendar. I write down where I fished, water conditions, amount of time fished, number of fish caught, any significant catches or sightings. I do this soon after I get home. Then once every week or two I enter that info into a file I keep on my computer for each stream. I put pictures into each stream file too. I am currently way behind on doing that. Its neat looking back at the calendars from years past. I keep all of my hunting, trapping, and running information on the same calendar.
 

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Interesting. I am trying to come up with ideas on how to gather more information to help in the future. Adding hunting notes to the equation would make lots of sense as well. I am thinking about taking a waterproof notebook. I considered using a phone app but keeping the phone out for more than a quick picture now and again feels like a recipe for dropping the phone in the water.
 

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I always used my phone for taking notes. I would just create a new note with date and stream name.

Since I always reviewed USGS flows, I would record that data, the weather, the time I entered the stream, air temperature, water temperature and the overall clarity of the water.

Upon exiting, I would record all of that data again with exception to USGS Flows and then the amount I caught.

I did not record each and every fish as they came, I would just mental note them and then record total fish by species and anything over 16". Markers on your rod make for quick measuring. I would also record any odd events, good or bad, whether I thought someone had fished it before me, being chased by a landowner or any nice deer I had seen for possible future hunting.

I then e-mailed the data to myself and kept it in a spreadsheet. You could however set up a spreadsheet on your phone and skip that step.

The idea behind the data for me was to "figure out" the optimal conditions of how a stream produced. If I caught 20 on one day with certain flows, temps., clarity, etc. and then 80 on another day, I could then start recognizing that stream's most optimal conditions as well as use that knowledge as a starting barometer for new streams. Ultimately, I learned how to pick the best stream to fish on the day I went fishing....and then sometimes the stream picked the day as well.

For anyone learning who has caught the bug of pursuing trout, I HIGHLY recommend taking notes, it will make you a much better trout chaser.

I do not take notes on trout fishing anymore. I won't claim to know everything but I've learned a ton and can make any day as good as it can be.....there are times I am still wrong though.
You will never get away from that! but you can minimize it.

I have however returned back to note taking on other species as I've caught the saltwater bug with my kayak as well as pursuing other freshwater species. Musky and Walleye are a mystery to me still (as to many) but sooner or later, I'll figure out the puzzle as my notes will help me make better choices.
 

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nomad_archer said:
So for you guys that take notes each trip out.

What info do you track?

How do you track the info is it a notepad, phone app, something else?

How do you get quick measurements of each fish?

What insights does the accumulated data provide?
I use a note pad and record while fishing. I have marks on my rod that I use for measuring the trout.

The info I record is:

Trout species
Wild or stocked
Size
What each fish was caught on (spinner, plug, spoon, etc.)
regulations (general, C&R, etc.)

Hours fished
Water temperature

I make note of the conditions; i.e. sunny, cloudy, water clarity, stream flow gauge height.

The accumulated information tells me what was effective and what wasn't effective under the conditions. It tells me when I should go to that stream and also when I should not go there. For example, two streams where I target big trout fish terribly when it's sunny. I didn't know that before I started keeping notes. Data collection has helped me drastically reduce the number of poor outings I have.

I load the data into a spreadsheet that I created. It accumulates the data, summarizes it by day, month, and year to date.
 
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