As a fly fisher, blogger, and person who uses the intertubes for most of my news and information, I have always thought that it would be great to offer fishing reports via the web. To that end, I even set up a section of FlyfishMagazine.com for said reports. I thought for certain that shops and guides would love a chance to post their reports and even sweetened the pot by giving them full blown ad space in exchange for their efforts. However, try as I might it never really took off.
It always went the same way. I'd meet someone in "the biz" give them a card and let them know that they could post reports on my site complete with their contact info and even a sales pitch if they so desired. Most thought it was great (save one shop owner who looked at me as If I were crazy and then told me he was out of strike indicators), posted one or two reports, then were never heard from again. I am sure they just forgot it, got fired from the shop they worked at (this actually happened), or just had more pressing matters at hand than recording their day on paper for me. Nobody wants to read last week's fishing report so things never really took off. I often considered that, to make such a site work, it would have to be handled by a major industry player with a ready made relationship to hundreds of fly shops across the country.
Enter Orvis into the mix with a full featured report section for their website. Their current click able map shows reports available from more than 30 states nationwide with many of the states having reports from several rivers within their boarders.
A quick click on The Old North State reveals reports for three of our favored rivers. From there click on the Davidson River and you get a report from David Hise of Caster's Fly Shop, dated 7-06-2009 that tells us not only how good the fishing is, but also water conditions, weather forecast, hatches, must have flies (click to buy), and even the recommended tippet size to use. A click on our all too soon to be stomping grounds of New Jersey and Pennsylvania reveals plenty of information that gives the traveling fly fisher a head start when visiting an area (or in my case relocating).
One thing that I found to be of interest was that aside from the URL for the site, there is very little that brands it as an Orivs offering. While you can find the Orvis name, if you look closely, and you can navigate to the page from the Orvis website, it is not at all evident unless you click a link or read some fine print.
Overall the Orvis fly fishing reports and conditions site does a great job of providing reasonably up to date content about many fisheries across the country. Be sure to check it out for yourself.