How To Find New Water
1. State-specific trout literature: Books covering the state you’re fishing are a good place to find specific names and regions. Usually the best sources to start with, as these books will give you the tried-and-true locations. Additionally, most will include the locations that receive attention from the state hatcheries.
2. Google + local message boards: After sorting through the locations in the books and picking out spots that pique your interest, take to the interwebs and look for some crowdsourced information. Usually the more info you can find, the more pressure there will be. This is not always the case, though; especially with more remote fisheries in the backcountry.
3. Google Maps: Some places will have street view, others will not. Google Maps will help you plot driving routes and the app will load your location even without service. You can also use it to save locations you want to visit or visit again and create custom maps on your desktop. Downloading this app is a must before exploring new territory.
4. Topographic or Forest Service Maps: If you had to choose just one navigational tool, this should be it. Topographical maps are the most important piece of the puzzle, by far. Good old fashioned maps will show you trails and old logging roads that can be used to access water that goes under the radar. All of the other resources will get you to third base, but maps are the key for making it to home plate.
5. Local Fly Shops: The best information you can get will be from the fly shop closest to the place you’re fishing. But please don’t call the shop just for free information. Almost all will give it out, but it’s a dick move to just swipe the intel and never talk to the guys again. Stop in the shop on the way to the river, spend some face time, and drop a few dollars.