Catch and Release is a very important part of Fly Fishing for Trout.
This is such a vitally important part of Fishing, everybody needs to know the proper procedure of Catch and Release!
Our Trout deserves the respect from all Fishermen to handle them with care.
That way, they can supply us with the exciting Sport for years to come. Especially our Native Trout!
There are too many people out there that catches the Trout and then man handles them before releasing them back to the water!
Here are a few tips for Catch and Release, causing as little injury or stress to the Fish as possible.
Fooling the Trout
So you have Fooled a Big Trout into taking your Fly.
The Adrenaline is pumping as the line is peeling off your reel.
Now you start to think that there is no way I am going to get this Fish in, I’m going to lose it!!
That is your first mistake! Just relax and stop worrying.
Hardest part is done
You need to remember that the hardest part is already done.
The hardest part is tricking the Trout into taking what you are offering!
Now here is the proper mindset you must have.
You must realize that you have accomplished the hardest part of Fly Fishing and that is getting the Fish to bite!!
Don’t Play the Fish
The second part in the Proper Mindset is to forget what you have been told about Playing the Fish out.
By Playing them out you are causing unnecessary stress on the Fish and tiring them out.
They may not recover from this even if they do swim off after releasing them from the hook.
You had already played with them when you got them to take your Fly!
Use the Right Rod
Always remember to use the Right Rod for the targeted Fish you intend to catch.
Make sure the Rod is not too light for the Size and Strength of the Fish your after.
Make sure you use the heaviest Tippet you can get away with using.
Bringing the Fish to Hand
To bring the Trout in quickly as not to cause too much Stress or Tire him unnecessarily you need to use the Midsection of the Rod.
By this I mean to hold the Rod a bit higher than the reel (where you would normally hold it).
By using the Midsection of the Rod this allows a little more pressure on the fish to bring him in quicker.
Holding the Rod on the handle causes you to use the more flexible and softer end of the Rod which will give the Fish more of an advantage because there is not enough resistance to bring him in quickly.
Refrain from Jerking the Rod
Another step to proper Mindset is to refrain from Jerking the Rod to set the hook. Instead keep the Pressure steady by lifting the Rod and then reeling down to the Fish.
Make sure you you let go of the Reel Handle if you notice a sudden Surge.
Once you “Set” the hook, Do Not and I repeat Do Not use the Reel to winch the Fish in.
Just start stripping the line as you normally would on your retrieve.
Once you bring the Trout to Hand, never grab him by the Gills, keep you hands and fingers away from this area. Also keep him in water.
Remember Proper Mindset, Handle the Fish with care!
Use a Net with a Rubber Coating, this is much safer for the Fish.
The older knotted Nets can cause damage to the Trout’s Scales and Eyes.
The Rubber Coated Net is much more Fish friendly and will allow you to keep the Fish in the water as you remove the Hook.
If you feel you need Pictures then do this as quickly as possible with very little to no handling.
Never place the Fish in the Grass or on the Bank.
Try to leave the Fish in the net and in the water.
If you have a friend with you and you want a Picture then handle the Fish very carefully by the Tail and one hand under the Pectoral Fins, remember to wet your hands before Handling the Trout! Quickly take the shot and Release the Fish back into the water.
Always use Barbless Hooks, this makes it easier to remove the hooks when practicing Catch and Release which in turn allows less stress and harm to the Fish.
Just follow these few Tips on Proper Mindset for Catch and Release, and not only will you find yourself more successful but the Trout will too!
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