Orvis for $15 (for iPhone, iPad, Android). It includes videos on casting; a great fly database (with useful info such as where and when to use a fly, how to fish it, descriptions, and images), knot-tying instructions (with animations, videos, and written instructions; with knots filed by name or categorized by knots for particular tasks), fishing reports for popular areas by state, podcasts, and a glossary. And you can also shop the Orvis online store, if you’re so inclined. I was a bit hesitant to put my faith in a relatively expensive app from a retailer, but it’s solid.
Before you write this app off as too costly, consider this: Orvis is now offering a $10 coupon for those who buy the app to use in their online and retail stores. And right now, they’re offering a special promotion for 20 of their most popular flies for $9.95 with free shipping (limit one per household). After applying the coupon code (accounting for taxes), you can get this solid set of flies, nymphs, and streamers for .60 cents. It’s a steal, even if you already have a lot of flies. And they accept PayPal.
I’m sensitive to the fact that this may sound like I’m a pitch man for Orvis, but this really is a good deal. And the app is a handy reference and teaching aid.
Caveat: I shouldn’t get too excited about this offer yet. I’m still awaiting my $10 coupon code. According to Orvis, I should receive it by e-mail within 48 hours. In the off-chance that the fly bundle deal expires before then, I’m not too concerned. I need some tippet and a few other odds and ends.
You could make the argument that Orvis should give the app away in hopes of selling their wares through mobile devices. For my part, I really don’t think I’ll be buying anything from Orvis via my iPhone. As I’ve said, I’m planning to use this app as a mobile reference and instructional tool. I hesitated before I hit the ‘purchase’ button in iTunes, but then I considered the fact that I’ve plunked down far more than $15 for various fly fishing books. I’ve never been inclined to bring books with me when I go fishing, but I always have my iPhone. And unlike a book, this app includes videos, animations, and podcasts. And Orvis says the app will continue to be updated.*
As for price of admission, I think it’s also worth noting that the audience for such a specialized app is sure to be small, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to charge $15 to get access to all of this content at one’s fingertips. I’ll update this post once (if) I successfully land the fly bundle.
* Orvis also says that they’re going to deliver in-app purchase modules in the future. It’ll be interesting to see how may free updates are delivered, compared to paid upgrades. Would I pay for new training modules? Maybe. It would certainly be a lot cheaper than attending a fly fishing class or school.