Keeping a diary is really important for your learning and something i have done since i started fishing. Working out what works as well as what doesn't. I try and put as much information as possible about weather, tide, wind etc and also what time i caught any fish as well as what fly. This can give you an idea on what fly could be working best in clear v cloudy water and what part of the tide e.g what weight worked in depth of water. One of the things i have found is that one spot i catch most of my fish at the lowest part of the tide. This i believe is because i can get to the bottom with very little drag on the fly.
Another spot i fish can only be fished/reached when at low and a specific extra low tide so knowing how high the tide was on that day was important.
I have been using a notebook but i have also have all this in onenote and an access database. So i can quickly look up notes on an area or filter a spot to be more specific.
I regularly go back to areas i have already fished when looking into what spot i want to fish next examining the best conditions to what i expect the conditions to be on the day.
Some examples of things i look into
· What is the maximum wind i will fish into without calling it a day or catching the back of my head with a fly.
· Do you prefer to sight fish in calm with no wind and what time of the day. Early morning is best for flat conditions
· What is my preferred tide for a specific spot or area. Low, high, incoming, outgoing
· What type of fish are at this area
· Do you need to burley
· What was the moon phase. I have had some of my best success just before a full moon
· Time of day. Normally dawn and dusk are very good and snapper will more likely come up from the bottom to feed
There are plenty more things to learn so start a diary and start learning.