Good story would give it a five star rating if you included some pictures of that beautiful river you were fishing.
Yeah you don't want to pick up any trout except those perhaps under 10 inches by the leader. After practice landing them you will be OK I am sure. If you are doing primarily trout fishing may want to look into the new supposedly that will not hurt the fish. Better than the ones I used to use.
Remember I gave up nets 20 years ago even for king salmon , which are 20 -30 lbs in size. Beach then or tail them, or just break them off at the end.
They all go back to swim away anyway, C+R fellow here.