Catch of the Day: The Orvis Fly Fishing Android App
Many people enjoy fly fishing for trout or salmon as a way to escape the daily grind and enjoy nature. Fly fishing, one of the more sophisticated fishing methods, can be a bit intimidating for beginners to grasp. The Orvis Fly Fishing app is a multimedia guide to technique, lures, knots, the best places to fish, and other relevant topics. It contains a multitude of detailed color photos, video tutorials, and podcasts, and it even has an in-app store so you can purchase the right gear.
The home screen offers several sections: Casting, Top 10 Casting Mistakes, Flies, Knots, Fishing Reports, and Podcasts. The Casting section contains video clips where fly fishing experts demonstrate proper technique. As you watch the videos, you'll begin to see that proper casting technique is as important as proper swing technique is in golf.
The Flies section lets you browse through hundreds of flies (artificial lures made to look like the insects that fish feed upon) by name (A to Z), type (nymphs, dry flies, or streamers), or specific fly. Each fly entry has a detailed color photo, a description of its material components, and where and how to use it. If you decide that you need the fly, the screen also provides a handy button to buy it on the Orvis Website.
My favorite part of the app is the Knots section, which is divided into Knots by Name (A to Z) and Knots by Purpose. When you select a knot, you can watch an animated, step-by-step demo of the procedure for tying it. You can also view a video clip, but I find that the animations are easier to see and follow. If you don't know much about tying knots and want to learn, the app is worth buying simply on the strength of this feature.
The Fishing Reports section breaks information down alphabetically by state (as well as the countries Belize, Brazil, and Mexico), subdividing each state by major fisheries. Reports contain detailed information about fishing activity, species that are biting, the best time to fish, and the best tackle to use. You'll also see links to local fishing guides, if you want someone to take you to the best spots. Unfortunately, search by GPS location is not available.
In the Podcasts section you get a selection of audio programs, many from Trout Unlimited, discussing various fishing topics. The app will download the entire podcast before it begins to play, so Wi-Fi is recommended if you have it. I would prefer streaming audio, so that I could stop downloading the podcast if I decide I'm not interested. Podcasts save on your SD Card, so you can replay them later if you wish.
The app also has a glossary of terms and a portal to the Orvis store, where you can purchase fishing tackle and other gear.
This app is missing a few things that I would like to see. For starters, a guide to salmon and trout species and habits would be useful. A guide to local fishing regulations would be very convenient for anglers who travel out of state. GPS location would be a nice way to tie the information together. And a sharing option would be handy for letting your fishing buddies know about a particular fishing report or perhaps a fly that caught a lot of fish for you.
Still, this app is very useful as is, and I highly recommend it to fly fishing enthusiasts.