Top 10 apps for the Fly Fisherman

As my last techie post seemed to hit the spot for the two regular readers of this blog (hello Mum & Dad) I thought I’d follow it up with this one. My top 10 apps for the fisherman isn’t in any particular order, I do use these constantly, but they fall in and out of favour pretty regularly too.

None of these are expensive, though the Orvis one was three times the price it is now when it first came out. Many of them interact with each other really well too, Textexander with Day One, LaunchPad with Tweetbot and Camera+ with Day One for example.

For each of the entries below I’ve listed who made the app, the price on the IOS/OSX app store at the time of writing, and a link to the iPhone, iPad and Mac application (not all apps are available on all platforms) on the app store.

I’ve got a few more of these sorts of posts waiting in the wings if there’s an appetite for them – I’ll keep an eye on the stats and see how it goes.

One app of special note, and an app that wouldn’t get on the list even if it were the top 1000 apps for fly fishermen, is the Trout & Salmon iPad app. I wrote about the total waste of money the Trout & Salmon May edition was last month. Save your frustrations and go buy the magazine if you’re after a copy of T&S.

Anyway, without further ado, here is my ‘Top 10 apps for the fly fisherman’…

 1. Day One

Made by: Bloom Built
Current Price: £2.99 (iPhone and iPad), £6.99 (Mac)
Available for: iPhone, iPad, Mac

This one requires little introduction if you’ve read my post about how I use Day One and TextExpander as my fishing journal. Day One has some pretty cool features, and syncs effortlessly across iOS devices and OSX.

I use it every time I go out, this will be the first season I know I’ll have accurate catch and return records. It’s also a huge help when putting my fishing reports on the blog (saves me having to make most of them up!).

 2. TextExpander

Made by: Smile Software
Current Price: £2.99 (iPhone and iPad), £24.49 (Mac)
Available for: iPhone, iPad, Mac

As above, there’s a whole post dedicated to how these two apps can be used for fishing. I’ll not duplicate what I’ve already written, so head over there for the full low down.

It is a little pricey on the Mac, but if you are a Mac user it’s on that platform you’ll really see it saving you time. My iOS pretty much starts and ends with it saving me time when entering details in my fishing journal. I’ve got links to my TextExpander snippers on the post mentioned above if you want to try it too.

 3. Orvis Fly Fishing

Made by: Orvis
Current Price: £6.99
Available for: iPhone, iPad

I’ve had this app for sometime now, though I found it entertaining at first I’ve not used it as much as I thought I would do. Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of stuff in it that you’ll find useful – the section on knots is excellent, with 21 different types of knot and three styles of instruction for each (animation, step by step written instructions and video of the knot being tied) it’s an very comprehensive selection.

The casting videos are handy, but nothing you couldn’t find similar examples of on Youtube. The fishing reports are a great idea unless you live outside of the US, in which case you’ll be lucky if there is a report for anywhere near you.

There is a pretty decent list of flies close up pictures and details of where and when to fish (US based again) but no tying instructions. There is a convenient link to the Orvis site to buy each fly though!

There is a list of all the Orvis podcasts, there are better ways to consume podcasts though, same with the link to

This is the only ‘fishing’ app here, and I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, it is worth downloading if only for the info on the knots. But it has been around for some time now without any noticeable updates, and the content is somewhat US biased.

 4. Camera+

Made by: taptaptap
Current Price: £0.69 (on sale at time of writing)
Available for: iPhone, iPad

I’ve a few different camera apps on my iPhone, all work in much the same way, but Camera+ is the one I come back to every time. If you want a little more control than the stock camera app gives you, then Camera+ is great. You can set exposure points to the scene and set the focus point as well. There’s a burst mode, shot stabiliser and timer – the timer is great for use with a tripod to take photos of you with that 5lb monster brownie you just dragged out of the river whilst on your own.

One other great feature of Camera+ is it’s ability to be used from within Day One app – something you can’t do with the stock camera app.

 5. MotionX GPS

Made by:
Current Price: £0.69 (iPhone), £1.49 (iPad)
Available for: iPhone, iPad

This app and the next one perform similar functions in one respect, but both do it a little differently and because of this earn their own place on my phone. MotionX GPS is probably more likely to be found on a cyclist or runners phone than a fisherman’s, it records a crazy amount of data about your movements (not ‘sat on the throne’ movements – walking and stuff, you know?).

You get an overlay a standard map, you get your distance travelled, average speed, max speed, time taken, altitude etc. You also have the ability to take photo’s anywhere on your route and have them placed on the map so you can see what you were up to and where.

For me this is a great way of seeing how far I’ve walked along the river, especially on new sections I’ve not visited before. The speed isn’t so important (as you’d expect) but the altitude is interesting to know and the photo’s help to add context to the data when you look back some time later.

 6. Ordnance Survey

Made by: Ordnance Survey
Current Price: Free (though maps cost)
Available for: iPhone

This app has the same basic functionality as MotionX. It’s missing the altitude and photo functionality, but what it does have is perfect un-creased, ‘no folding/unfolding necessary’ versions of OS Explorer 1:25,000 (and OS Landranger, but at 1:50,000 not as much use) scale maps. These maps, coupled with the GPS positioning functiality allow you to know exactly where you are on the clubs water, where the footpaths and areas on no fishing are and generally give you a lot of info about the world around you when you’re out.

I’ve been given directions to fishing spots by other club members just recently where they refer to a specific farm name, bridge or the name of a wood. I always nodded and looked like I knew what they were on about, knowing it’d just end in a long winded and equally impossible to understand explanation if I owned up to not having a clue where they were on about. Having these maps on hand shows me exactly where I need to be, so long as I can understand what they’re saying. But that’s another story.

 7. Tweetbot

Made by:
Current Price: £1.99 (iPhone or iPad) £13.99 (Mac)
Available for: iPhone, iPad, Mac

This is THE Twitter client to have for iOS/OSX. There are enough reviews out there if you want to get the low down on Tweetbot, my reasons for picking it are several, but the biggest by far is its iCloud integration. I have it installed on two Macs, an iPhone and an iPad. It monitors two of my Twitter accounts, one of which is my @neflyfisherman account. At whatever point I stop reading my timeline on one device, it syncs across all devices (using iCloud) an allows me to continue reading from that point on iPhone, iPad or either Mac – that my friends is what they call a killer feature!

There are a ton of fly fishermen and ladies putting some great stuff on Twitter – tips, news, videos and the ever present fishy photo!

 8. Launch Centre Pro

Made by:
Current Price: £2.49
Available for: iPhone

There are a bunch of reasons why installing Launch Centre Pro will make your life better (well, maybe) but in terms of an app helpful for the fly fisherman, I have two reasons for you.

The first is, as well as all the time it’ll save you in launching apps there is a really easy to use torch function built in – easily worth the asking price alone. Click to start the torch, swipe to stop it. Simples.

The second is the way you can, with just one tap, create a tweet with the last photo taken already in place. Next time you’re on the river bank desperate to post a picture of the 6lb slab of golden loveliness, but you’re all fingers and thumbs, remember you could have done it so much easier with Launch Centre Pro.

It can do a whole load of other stuff too – here’s a good write up of it.

 9. Met Office

Made by: Met Office iPhone App
Current Price: Free
Available for: iPhone

We would be neither British nor fishermen if we weren’t obsessed by the weather. I like the met office app not for it’s interface (it’s average at best) nor it’s forecasting ability (not sure there is a lot of difference between any the Weather apps). I like the Met Offices offering due to its hour by hour map view that allows you to zoom in to a pretty decent level. You can choose to have rain, clouds, temp, wind, UV levels and Satellite view superimposed on the map – handy for seeing exactly where that bank of torrential rain is and when it’s going to start depositing it’s contents between you and the walk back to the car.

 10. Instacast

Made by:
Current Price: £2.99
Available for: iPhone, iPad, Mac

When I said the Orvis app wasn’t the best place to consume podcasts, I didn’t mean for you to use iTunes or the awful Apple Podcast app. iTunes is a bloated, slow and awkward application these days (which will hopefully get some seriously needed TLC by Apple soon) and the Apple iOS Podcast app is no better, in fact it’s a bit worse as it seems far too keen to crash at any given opportunity.

The right application to use is, in my opinion, Instacast. The interface is slick and easy to understand. It’s quick to navigate around and search for new podcasts. Behind the scenes are a wide array of controls allowing you to taylor your podcast experience, there is a whole page of global controls, and a page for each individual podcast – so you can set each one how you’d like it. Do not fear though, dear reader – you could easily use Instacast as it is without ever needing to go near the prefs if you don’t want to get that geeky.

There are loads of really great Fly Fishing podcasts available. Sadly there are also a good few that’ve started and stopped all within a few episodes, so don’t give up looking if you come across these duffers first.

As far as good quality fly fishing podcasts go, Tom RosenbauersThe Orvis Fly Fishing Guide’ is a belter. If you’ve never listened to it I strongly recommend you download every episode now. I listen to it in the car on the drive too and from work, much better than the rubbish on the radio.

I’d also recommend Glen PointonsLiving the Dream Fly Fishing’ it’s a relatively new podcast, but well worth subscribing to, and Glen is from the UK!


That’s all folks!

I hope this has introduced you to some new toys to try out on your phone, if you have any to add, or disagree with the 10 apps I’ve listed, please join the conversation (or more likely start the conversation!) in the comments below.


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