Why Keep a Fishing Log

Why Keep a Fishing Log

Have you ever wondered why some fishermen are continually successful? More often than not, it doesn’t have anything to do with the particular gear they’re using; rather, it’s the records they’re keeping. Our founder and avid fisherman, Isaac Childs, designed the Fishing Log and Fly Fishing Log as a means for tracking prominent locations, patterns, and trends. This valuable documentation is similar to a “coach’s playbook” in which quick predictions can be made based on previous data. Technical details aside, logging your fishing trips is a great way to be present in the moment and remember fun days on the river.

We spent a few minutes with Isaac to learn how he uses his Fishing Log and why his records are key to success. Catch our interview below. 


How do you use your Fishing Log? What are you tracking?

I use it mostly for the technical side of things. I jot short notes of experiences I had, add stars if it was an excellent day, and use one-word phrases that describe certain events. Then later, when I write in my daily journal, I recap the deeper experience in that journal. This leaves my Fishing Log to be pretty brief. I leave the logbook in my truck with my gear so that way when I get back to the truck I pause a few minutes and capture all the data when it is fresh. I always refer to them when I am planning a trip. They are pretty vital for knowing the timing of certain hatches and days.

Why do you like to look back at previous entries?

My Fly Fishing Log is part fish story and part technical data record for future trips. The biggest advantage a fisherman can have is knowing what is happening or going to happen with the river on a given day. Being able to check my logbook at previous dates during the same time of year helps me to know things like:

 which bugs are hatching and at what time of day

 what the weather was like

 the temperature of the water

 how high the water was

 if fish were sitting on the banks, in the middle of the runs, in the tailouts, or in the riffles

 what size of bugs the fish ate last time

 what type of fly was most successful

All this data gives me more info on how to catch fish the next time I step back into the river.

The second reason I like to look back is for me to remember the experience. Some days I catch a lot of fish and my fingers are raw from all the teeth that I have bumped against while pulling hooks out of their mouths. Other days, my arm hurts mostly from way too much casting and not enough catching. I want to remember that day of 140 fish or the time when lightning struck the tree next to the river I was standing in and I jumped out of my skin. I want to be able to look back on those days when it was just me, a bald eagle, moose, or some other creature on the river with some wind on a sunny, warm day. I also want to be able to remember who I was with and why I was with them. It has very little to do with the size of the fish or the quantity, but that is always the fun part, isn’t it?

How has keeping a log helped you become a better fisherman?

Knowing what is happening on the river is the best way to catch a fish. You can be the best caster, have had years of practice, have the best gear, and the best eyes, but if I have a journal with last year’s info written down, I will beat the other fishermen nine times out of ten on catching fish. When I started journaling these things, I became a much better fisherman in technical ability, but also, I became more present during the actual events and I remember them better. It is almost as though I know I will write about it later so I better be more aware of what is happening now.


Clearly, there are many benefits to keeping a Fishing Log. Not only are the templated pages specially designed to help you record essential data, but the materials used ensure a durable logbook you can refer to for years to come. Start documenting fishing trips today with the Fishing Log and Fly Fishing Log! A great companion to the Fly Fishing Log is our Book of Flies, designed to hold up to 20 flies. See both bundled together in our Fly Fishing Log Gift Set.

Click here to see top fishing destinations by state.


A few comments from our fans

“My boyfriend has already started logging. He absolutely loves it! It will hold valuable information and will be such an amazing keepsake to share with future fisherman in our family.” –Stephanie D.

“This was a gift and they couldn’t have liked it more! Just what he needed to write down all the fishing excursions. Will be nice to look back on the good memories!” – CO

“Got this in the saddle color. It’s a cool addition to my gear. I’ve jotted down notes before but this format helps immensely and you can tell it’s been designed by a fellow fisherman.” –Twister

“I have looked and looked all over online to find the perfect fly fishing logbook, and with this one, I believe I have found it. Beautifully bound leather with linen. Yellow rough-cut pages inside with all the pertinent information needed inside. I added a Brook trout pewter pin to the outside of the book to customize it for me. It’s almost too pretty to use. But use it I will :) Very happy with my purchase.” –Thomas W.


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