Friday, July 1, 2011

Fishing Apps For Your Android Phone

One of the gifts I got for Father's Day this year was the Orvis Fly Fishing App for my Android cell phone.  And I have to say that it's one of the best Father's Day gifts I've gotten.  More about that later.  But the Orvis App got me thinking.  This was the only App that I've paid for on my phone. (Yes, it was a gift.  But it's still the same bank account.)  Are there any other free Apps for my Android phone that would be worth having?  So I figured I'd download some free apps and find out.  I downloaded Fishing Knots, Pocket Fisherman, and My Fishing Advisor.  And so, taking into consideration that these three Android Apps are free, here's my humble opinion on them and the Orvis Fly Fishing App...

Fishing Knots by perished-apps

I was actually surprised by this App.  I wrote a while back about the The Little Red Fishing Knot book.  I love the book, but some of the knots were a little difficult to understand just from looking at the pictures.  Fishing Knots only has 10 knots, but the descriptions and pictures make them easy to understand and tie.  From the Needle Knot (for attaching backing to your fly line) to the Blood Knot (for connecting two lines together) this app makes it easy.  The only thing I would have liked was more knots.  But considering that the App is free, I have no complaints.

The Pocket Fisherman by Magic Mobile

There are three main aspects to this App: 1) Information on specific species of fish. 2) Regulations and Records for the 49 Continental states. 3) GPS mapping to the nearest Tackle Shop or Marina

Fish Info - Multiple species from Alligator Gar to Guadalupe Bass to Yellow Perch.  You can search by the name of the fish or by a picture of the fish.  You'll find a description including the appearance, length and weight.  There are descriptions of where they live in the US and their natural habitat.  "Spawning Info" and "How to Catch" round out the info.  It's all good info and will help you to find and catch fish.

Regulations and Records - Initially I thought that this part of the App didn't work.  I attempted to access the State Regulations for a few states and nothing would download.  Thinking that it could just be my phone (Samsung Transform) I installed the App on my wife's phone (HTC Evo Shift) to test a different platform.  And it worked just fine.  So was it my phone?  Nope.  The regulations download as pdf files.  And my phone didn't have a pdf viewer.  So I downloaded the Android Adobe Acrobat Reader (also free) and the Regs and Records downloaded just fine.

Tackle Shops & Marinas - I almost didn't find this part of the App.  Hit your menu button and you can choose Tackle Shop or Marina.  Using the GPS in your phone it pulls up the nearest locations to you.  Hit directions and you're on your way.

To me the App is worth the download.  The info on the fish is good to have when you are fishing for something new.  If you're in a different state that you normally fish, the regulations could be invaluable.  And if you're anywhere you don't normally fish, knowing where to find the nearest tackle shop when you're out of tippet will save your fishing trip.  Another nice App.

My Fishing Advisor by

This one gets a little complicated.  You can choose from a wide selection of fish species, baits and techniques.  But getting to the advice takes a while.  First you tell it where you want to fish.  You can select your current location by GPS; use your most recent location or pick out where you're going to fish on a map.  Then you tell it what type of water you're going to fish from.  You can choose from different sizes of lakes and rivers to a pond or a stream.  Then you tell it whether you're fishing Now or In the Future.  You even enter the time of day if you're setting up a future fishing trip.  Next there's the weather report.  The App displays the current weather report and then gives you the option to change it.  Then you enter information about the water you're going to fish, level, clarity and temperature.  Finally you pick the fish you're fishing for Voila!  You have fishing advice!

Yes it takes a while to get there.  But the advice looks pretty good.  The first screenshot is a 12 hour graph of how active the fish will be during the time that you'll be fishing.  You can adjust your time back and forth to find the best time to fish.  The details seem a little basic, almost like they would apply to any fishing situation.  But, again, the App is free.  I didn't get the chance to use this App while fishing, but I will give it a try on my next trip.  I'll keep it on my phone until my next fishing trip.

Orvis Fly Fishing by Green Mountain Digital

Surfing through the Android Market after I got my new phone a few months ago I found this App.  I was very interested, but I had just gotten into Fly Fishing and wasn't ready to plop down the $15 cost.  Then on a fishing trip a friend showed it to me on their phone.  AND I WANTED IT!!!  But I still didn't want to pay for it.  then for Father's Day my wife asked me what I wanted.  I wanted this App.  And then when I went to download it I got a nice surprise.  Not only was it on sale for $10, after you register you get a $10 Orvis gift certificate.  So in effect I got another free App!  Bonus!

I love this App, especially as a Novice Fly Fisher.  You can start of with descriptions and videos on the basic cast, roll cast, double hauling, and casting in to the wind.  Once you're comfortable with casting you can visit the videos on the Top 10 Casting Mistakes.    The Flies section has information on dozens of flies.  You'll find out when to use them, where to use them, how to use them.  Info on dozens of knots is sorted by name or by purpose.  If the animations on tying the knot isn't enough then the video should be.  And then there are the fishing reports from across the world.  From Wales to Brazil to multiple states and provinces across the US and Canada, you'll find up to date information on the water conditions, the best flies to use, and the tips and techniques that are working best.  The oldest one I found was three days old.  And from what I could see they're not trying to snow you.  One of the first things that you see is an immediate recommendation of fishing in the area, and I did find one spot that recommended that you "Fish somewhere else this week."

And then there are the Podcasts with Tom Rosenbaur.  For me this was the best part.  Every Orvis Fishing Podcast is available to download to your phone.  From tips on fishing at night (8/16/2010) to comparing stocked trout to wild trout (10/28/2010) to making the transition from a novice fisher to an intermediate fisher  (6/27/2011) you'll find information on almost anything you want to know.  And if you can't find what you're looking for reach out for them with a suggestion.  You can email them at or make a suggestion on the Orvis Facebook page.  I just emailed in my suggestion for a podcast, mending your line.

The three free Apps are worth the time to download and see if they're something that you'll use.  You should be able to search for them in the Android Market by name.  And there are other fishing Apps out there that you can take a look at as well.  But I have to say that the cream of the crop is the Orvis Fly Fishing App.  It seems to encompass everything the others are attempting to do and more.  And they still have the $10 Father's Day Special going and the cost will even out when you get the gift certificate for registering the App.  So my recommendation? Buy the Orvis Fly Fishing App.  You'll never regret it.

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