Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What to Do During Cabin Fever

The first snowfall in Chicago triggers my cabin fever to begin scouting for new fly fishing locations and tying flies for the coming season. One of my favorite tools I use for scouting new locations is Google Earth. It allows me to zoom down and actually see the water I want to fish, parking, access trails and directions. I can save each location, enter notes, print out directions,  print aerial images and share via email or text messages to friends. To begin, make sure you have the following checked in the sidebar section under Layers; "Borders & Labels", "Roads" and "Street Views". You can measure the walking or wading distance from one point to another in "Tools" by using the "Ruler". To see how long a pond or lake has existed - go to "Tools" section, select "View" and check "Historical Imaginary".  If you slide the history bar all the way to the left and see if the pond or lake was present years ago. If it's an old pond, there is a good chance it has mature fish. To mark an area where you have caught fish, click on the yellow pin on tool bar. It's a great tool and can save you valuable time. You can use your smart phone for directions to each  marked location by using Google Earth app.

I get ideas for flies to tie by ordering or viewing online fly fishing catalogs from Orvis, Feather-Craft, The Fly Shop, Bass ProCabela's, Hatches Magazine, fly tying blogs and Google + communities, etc. They have colored pictures of each fly, grouped by type (wet, dry, nymph, streamer, etc.) or the species of fish and the flies that are used to catch them.

After I have selected the flies I want to tie from the catalog or online viewing,  I will search for a tying video for each fly on Google, You Tube, or Vimeo, just to name a few. I will watch the video through the apps on my big screen tv and tie along. 

If I am traveling outside of Illinois on a fly fishing trip and want to know the flies used on a certain river or stream, I will Google search for a fly shop in that area. Example, Au Sable River Grayling Michigan Fly Shops brought up Bob Linsenman's Au Sable Angler, Streamside, etc. You can visit their fishing reports too.

I don't know about you, but I cannot stand cabin fever. I hope this information helps you get through the winter and improve your fishing adventures.
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