Partnership will integrate GPS-enabled digital maps with traditional regional fly fishing books

Trout Insights, Inc
Trout Run Press

“We have always viewed the traditional resources in fly fishing as absolutely critical for the sport, which is why we are so excited for this unique partnership,” said Zachary Pope, CEO and Founder of Trout Insights, Inc. “We believe the future of the fly fishing industry and the outdoors space in general will involve more creative integrations that combine traditional resources with newer technologies that bring more insights to the outdoor enthusiast.”

-Zachary Pope, CEO of Trout Insights, Inc [June 17th, 2022 Press Release]

The partnership

On a brisk afternoon in March of 2022, best-seller author John van Vliet of Trout Run Press had an idea. What if we could combine the rich context of regional fly fishing books with this new digital mapping technology like TroutRoutes? A few meetings later, a partnership was formed.

The partnership represents the obvious next step for the fly fishing industry for printed materials such as the popular regional fly fishing books. Books contain rich information that will never be fully replaced by any consumer app like TroutRoutes, but the maps within the books certainly can be enhanced with the power of TroutRoutes. Why not integrate the two?

How it Works

Many regional fly fishing books, or any location-based outdoors books often discuss specific regions or areas and provide rich context and suggestions on the area. In the case of fly fishing books, this often includes suggestions on tactics, history, and access maps. Often these maps are limited in detail and utility for both technical and logistics reasons. A printed map has the advantage of being physical without the need for internet, but it lacks the power of interactive software-driven maps that are available today. With such technologies like TroutRoutes, new features are possible including GPS, real-time data on conditions and river flows, and a big leap in mapping details that are kept real-time and up-to-date. Combining the ability to take these maps offline, the power of a mapping platform like TroutRoutes can be compelling even for the offline enthusiast.

So how do we integrate the two? Introducing QR codes. This technology started many years ago, but really became popular during the pandemic when physical menus became a hazard (and a waste). QR codes today are used for everything.

We’ve now developed a way to use QR codes within books to provide an interactive map on your smartphone that provides deeper context to the physical map in the book. For example, say we have a subject on a particular stream, access point, forest or region with a relatively simple printed map as shown to the left. By adding QR codes, the user can scan the code with their smart phone and immediately see the TroutRoutes app with that location and additional information on that area.

Trout Fishing in Northeast Iowa by John van Vliet

The partnership and technology will be demonstrated first with the new book Trout Fishing in Northeast Iowa by John van Vliet. The book is launching in early June 2022 and will be the first guide to the trout streams of Iowa’s Driftless Area in nearly a quarter century.

John’s unique story-telling approach combines rich context and historical references with deep and insightful knowledge on how to be most productive with fly fishing techniques in a given area. Combined with useful paper maps that are supported with the interactive GPS-enabled TroutRoutes app, this book is a must-have for any angler seeking to visit the underrated Iowa Driftless region in their lifetime.

About John van Vliet

John van Vliet is the author of more than a dozen popular fly-fishing books over the last three decades, including The Art of Fly TyingFly-Fishing Equipment & Skills and Trout Fishing in Southeast Minnesota. His writing has appeared in the New York TimesBig River MagazineWorld Traveler and other publications. An avid fly angler, writer and filmmaker, he has fly fished around the world. The trout streams of the Driftless Area are his home waters.

Looking Ahead

The technical process of leveraging QR codes in a book to provide context-rich in-app experiences for a more complete reader experience is now a patent-pending concept pursued jointly by both Trout Insights, Inc and Trout Run Press under a joint venture Digital Mapping Technologies. Looking ahead, both parties have ambitious visions of further enhancing this concept and developing future regional books with this technology across the U.S. Beyond fly fishing books, both partners see vast opportunities with integrating context-rich GPS-enabled maps with printed mediums, ranging from magazine articles and regional park pamphlets to other verticals such as hiking and downhill biking.

For more information or for collaboration inquiries, contacts are provided below.

Zachary Pope, CEO of Trout Insights, Inc –

John van Vliet, President of Trout Run Press –