nets [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: nets

05-09-2002, 04:23 PM

I think I need to get a net. I had several fish snap my tippet while I was trying to land them. What material is easiest on the fish?

05-09-2002, 05:01 PM
I'm not sure what material is best but I bet you really don't need a net unless you are wading in really fast water and can't back into calmer water to land the fish. I'd suggest playing the fish just a little bit more and then use your wet hand. All in all I think that is better for the fish though I don't know that for sure and I'm sure others here can confirm or refute that opinion with greater knowledge.

05-09-2002, 07:16 PM
Agree with Hawkeye, have not used a net in 20 years, but been FF for 42 so I suppose I know how to land them in my hands by now, and it does not bother me when if they get off the hook, I am going to release them any way.

There are new net materials on the market then the nylon nets I used. The other trout guys can help.

Been in to the steelhead and salmon to long, most of them do not fit in the nets I want to be bothered with carrying on the river.:smokin:

John Desjardins
05-09-2002, 07:39 PM
Personaly I haven't used one in about 10 years. The hassle of snagging it while walking through the woods wasn't worth it.
If you want one, get one with a soft woven net and avoid the ones with hard knotted strings for the netting. Some places sell catch & release nets. If you can, take a look at them to see the type of netting used.

Dble Haul
05-09-2002, 07:58 PM
I'm another who doesn't use a net. It's just another thing to carry, and landing them with a wet hand is better on the fish anyway.

Besides, has anyone ever had the bad experience of getting a fly snagged in the mesh of a net? That's enough reason to do without right there.

05-10-2002, 12:00 AM

I definitely do not want to buy a net, but a lady seemed somewhat irritated I didn't have one. She said I was stressing the fish more by not landing them with a net because when you try to land them by hand it takes longer since you can't get your hook out until they stop flopping around, and since I try to avoid touching them at all, it takes me even longer. It seemed to make sense, especially after two or three fish shook their heads and snapped my tippet off while I was trying to get my fly out of their mouths. I don't care about my tippet or fly as long as the fish will be ok.

I think in the future, I'll have to start handling the fish. I caught one monster this week, who jerked his head as I was trying to get the hook out, and I thought he snapped my tippet, but when I checked, the fly was still there. When I glanced back at the fish, he had sunk to the bottom in three feet of water. I quickly dropped my rod on the rocks, and dove in after him, and lifted him gently to the surface. I was recently reading Lefty Kreh's book on advanced fly fishing tips, so as he suggests, I put my hand around his tail and slid him backward and forward to move water through his gills, and he revived quickly. He was a magnificent brown trout about 17 inches long who put up a 10-15 minute fight and dragged me 100 yards downstream. Since the trout were very selective, I was using a 6x fluorocarbon tippet, and a no hackle fly with only a thorax and two small feather wings and a split V shaped tail.

Can anyone elaborate on their techniques for handling fish?

05-10-2002, 06:05 AM
Sounds to me like a net would be useful for you. I am no expert on them but there are several things to consider - material, shape, weight, cost, attachment to vest, etc.

You should choose a material that strips the least slime off the fish and make sure it's wet before you use it.

They make a net that is shaped to be optimized for trout release, I would go talk to your favorite fly shop guy or gal to look at the options.

I fish 100% barbless which is about the biggest factor IMHO.

My handling technique for smaller fish release is to keep the fish deep enough in the water to settle it down for a moment, reach down the leader to the fly, and invert the fly with the fish still in the water.

With very small flies, a Waterworks Ketchum Release works really well, or a pair of small forceps.

Good that you care about the fish's welfare, you will figure out good handling methods because of your concern.

05-10-2002, 12:29 PM
One thing I'm concerned about is that if you don't touch the fish, he might be in trouble when you get the hook out, and the current or whatever might put him out of reach before you can help him.

I also crimp the barbs down on my hooks.