Catch and Release Wild Trout
Practicing the catch and release of native trout is
something every fly fisher should do.
It is an important part of fly fishing
etiquette and has a direct impact on the waters we fish.
Here are a few tips that will give the trout the best chance
down the barbs of your hooks; this makes it easier to remove the hook.
Keep your hooks as single (not treble) and small. Large hooks can damage a
trout’s eye or brain.
the trout as soon as you can. If you play the fish a long time it may not
survive. Use a strong tippet, and learn techniques that will bring the
trout to the bank sooner. This is truly a catch-22. The heavier the
tippet, the more likely the trout will see the line.
landing nets that do not remove the protective scales and mucous layers
from the trout. The best nets have a soft plastic knotless mesh. Get the
web wet before landing the trout. Nylon nets are not good for catch and
release because they remove this protective slime.
landing trout, use wet hands, handle them gently and limit their time out
of the water. Take your photos
quickly. I once heard someone suggest that we should hold OUR breath when
the fish is out of water. THAT is what we are asking them to do. Do not
touch the trout’s gills.
fishhook removers if you cannot easily remove the hook with your hand. If
you cannot remove the hook, cut the line and tie on a new fly.
hatchery fish often mix with native species, you are encouraged to take
them home. Hatchery steelhead trout have their adipose fin clipped.
the trout promptly and help the fish revive quickly by moving it back and
forth in the water till it swims away on its own.