A fish out of water
Well, if blackberry doesn't pick up the pace you made have to switch over. Verizon is getting the iphone too this year. There is also an app [related to this thread] called "The Hatch 2" that has rivers from all over the US. The database is still being updated, but it gives you the hatch on a river for the month you plug in. It also will take you to a website to show you what flies are related to that hatch. Even with all of this help, I still don't catch much. Maybe I should put the phone down for a while.Too bad my blackberry is not an Iphone, I could keep busy with that.
Thank you, Mumbles, for a treasure trove of publications. Our thinking in posting this I must now conclude inappropriate post was to gather information to speed the quest for information. We saw a lot of threads like "Going to the xxxx this weekend, any tips?" and thought that could be reduced to a central inquiry source. Now we realize that for most of those who have commented that half the fun is in the finding out and the pure uncertainty and risk involved in the adventure. And the back and forth on this forum - the memories recalled, the opportunity to impart wisdom - so much more robust than some dry and uninspiring spreadsheet. I guess it would be like going to the moon and finding there a video describing the place - or, better yet, knowing too much, why venture out?Chris has a link in the content area to USGS which should shed some light on river flows. More than the flows or depths you'll also need a point of reference so you have to have been there. What does 1000cfs on the Yakima near Ellensburg mean? Once you see it and annotate it you can use the flows at various measuring points as a very useful tool. USGS also shows relation to historical flow points, shows things like extreme highs and lows and of course the graphic depiction shows if the rivers are rising to blown out, falling to fishing prime or any other combo you can come up with.
Steve's point on shuttles is a good one. Most shuttle operators know their service area very well and I've had lengthy (imagine that) conversations with some that have provided enough information to learn more of their areas and even modify float plans based on their suggestions, identification of problematic spots and such. I've been lucky to have explored a few of these places with friends and recently have become a better note taker so that I can give myself better points of reference for future trips. I've also been able to boat places with very skilled oarsmen that have shown me many things, kept me out of trouble, gotten me out of trouble I've gotten myself into and shown me many things to do and consider on the water. You can't beat being out doing it with such awesome folks, especially when seeing some stretch of river for the first time in your life.
There are currently a few guide books available that cover most of the rivers, I'm sure none are all inclusive but if your goal is to improve on what is out there you should be armed with these to use to make steps along your path. Some of the map books or guide books that I have and think are useful to me in my limited experience are: Washington River Maps and Fishing Guide (Frank Amato Publications), The Olympic Peninsula Rivers Guide: Floating and Fishing the Peninsula's Best Streams (Steve Probasco), Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula (Doug Rose), Steelhead Fly Fishing on the Olympic Peninsula: The Color of Winter (Doug Rose), Quiet Pool: Fly Fishing the Rivers and Stillwaters of Washington (Holmel,Shimondel), Washington River Map (google search that one to find a good overview map you can buy) and I've got a book with maps that show the sections, classification of river sections, boat launches (ramps and unimproved launches) but I can't remember the name of it. The newer one has all the points of detail with GPS coordinates, mine is older but it shows most of what I need.
Collectively, as I'm sure you know, much of what you speak of is out there. It just might be scattered in a number of places. Should you compile it all and put it in one reference it might be a huge one. If it is in print, Derek's point of these rivers being wild things is spot on, print versions will need updates, possibly more frequently than you might imagine as these rivers flow and go where they wish. The information available on the internet from reading material to conversational forums is a very good place to get small details to general overviews. The pinnacle of such forums, in my opinion, is right here. I hope I've not bored you. Best of luck with your project, let us know how it goes.