Do you carry a net?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Call, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. I don't carry a net: I did for years and they were the cause of endless tangles. I try to release most fish without touching them. I don't mind losing a few flies in the process.
  2. Was your net knotless and with rubber mesh? I have yet to tangle a fish up in mine. I've caught the hook in the rubber on numerous occasions, but it has always been easy to dislodge, and never tangled the fish.
  3. No, I had an old wooden net with knotted mesh. While I am ancient in years, I try new things all the time, and invented a few of my own. What kind of net do you suggest? I will give it a go!
  4. Sometimes I do. I'd carry one more frequently but I just haven't found a way that is not cumbersome or a hindrance of some sort. I've lost a big fish or two due to the lack of net but losing fish doesn't really diminish my experience.
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  5. I always carry a net.It means I have to handle the fish far less and it also seems that netting a fish makes the hook pop out automatically most of the time.Just seems to cause less wear & tear to the fish.
  6. Rubber mesh knotless nets are becoming very common now. Try one out. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. The net you see in my avatar is a knotless ghost net by Brodin. That is what I use and have been very satisfied with. A bit pricey, but very beneficial in my opinion. Good Luck!
  7. Thanks Duke!
  8. Steve, I handled that big cutty very nicely, without a net! :)

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    McNasty likes this.
  9. Not true. I know what swims in most of the waters I fish, and some of them are biologically incapable of producing true lunkers.
  10. So, I would have had better luck if I hadn't had my net? And to think I almost left it in the Jeep.
    Derek Young likes this.
  11. I have no problem with the fish I catch breaking my 5x tippet..I can bend over it's getting back up is the problem.

    You have to remember I'm old and slow and fat.
  12. Also i don't think nets reduce mortality our stress on the fish at all.
  13. All of my hook barb's have been pinched down for many years...and sometimes I am able to release a fish just by slacking a line....but a knotless net for boat fishing (out of a kayak) is often necessary to get the fish out of the water just long enough to gently extract the fly with some forceps (I've tried all sorts of Orvis' , and have found that a good solid grasp with forceps is best for me).

    But isn't carrying a net only when you expect to 'catch the fish of a lifetime' a little like only wearing your seatbelt when you expect to have a car accident?
    Jim Wallace likes this.
  14. +1 on that like a champ.
  15. Mostly shallow water is my net! ....... I usually have one with me when I'm tubbing/boating in a lake or pontooning on a river. Because I have it doesnt mean I use it 100% of the time. Every so often I get that fish that wont come to me quickly or dives under my feet, etc...thats when I pull the net out and scoop him/her up before havoc breaks out. I do not have one with me at the beach or if I go river fishing on foot.
  16. Once again I seem to be out of step. I do not use a net for my stream fishing and have not for decades. I'm a firm believer in reducing the stress on the fish that we catch. Doing so regards the complete package from the gear we use (appropriate size leaders, etc), how we play our fish and finally how we handle them at the end of our encounter. Like play the fish how the anglers releases their fish with minimal stress is a function of experience and consideration for the resource.

    I first moved away from packing a net because frankly they were a pain in the rear during my frequent brush busting hikes. As the numbers of fish I handled increased I found that I became more comfortable in handling them and develop confidence that I could do so with very little damage to the fish. With experience "squeezing" the fish is not need to controlling the fish for a quick and safe release.

    Typically to safely release the trout I catch as I mentioned early my day starts with the tackle I use. I play the fish with a pretty heavy hand aiming to "break the spirit of the fish" rather than exhausting them. As the fish near the point of being release I typically flip some slack to the fish with the hope that it can slip the hook by itself. The smaller fish are slide across to the hand while I'm still standing the water (any dropped fish will automatically have a soft landing. If possible I just grab the barbless hook and with a quick twist the fish is on its way. Those fish that require more attention are gently cradled in hand (it is impossible to pick a fish from the water without wetting ones hand) and send on its way in seconds. On many deeply hooked fish or fish hooked in critical areas the leader is quickly clipped and the fly stays with the fish (at least until it shakes the barbless hook). For larger fish I move to shore and slide the fish into the shallows were the fly is quickly removed while the fish has at least half of its head submerged at all times (to help control such fish place your hand lightly over the fish's eyes with quite it down).

    Please note that no where in that release process is there any picture taking. For this angler the marginal increase risks to the fish from picture taking is not worth it.

    It does take practice to develop the skills to safely handle fish and if one is interested in developing those skills always consider the fish's needs and do your practicing on hatchery fish those from robust populations. If you need practice with playing or handling larger salmonids on your fly rod the pinks later this summer will provide a wonderful opportunity to work on those skills.

    Tight lines
    scottflycst and Jim Wallace like this.
  17. Good post Curt.
    I wish more people put more thought into reducing direct contact with their fish to an absolute minimum.

  18. Agree. While I do carry a net, I try to simply use a quick turn with my hemostats with fish still in the water to release. It's also how I've been taking that vast majority of pictures. So long as their not over top of rocks, I can usually get them turned on side, snap a quick pic, shove the camera back in the fanny pack and turn them loose in short order.

    I save the net use for when I'm in deeper water and bigger fish, but even then, use the h-stats to more often than not.
  19. My fish pics are limited to those taken by wife accompanying me in her own kayak.

    I suppose a small Go-Pro helmet cam would work...start it up when you hook the fish...and shut it down after the fish is released.....but damn, wearing a hardhat flyfishing is a bit much....and might give OSHA some ideas.

    Some of he camera stuff reminds me of people who only see the important events in life (like a grandchild's birthday, or hooking a monster fish) through a camera, this way I can more effectively lie about fish size.
  20. I never carry a net when hiking or wading on a river, or fishing a beach, unless I'm gear fishing for salmon at some of my spots. On the rivers, its nice to have a net when you are on a steep bank with a big hatchery Chinook on the end of your line.
    I agree with others who stated that they are a pain when bushwhacking. So I never have one along when hiking along a river for trout. However, I always have a rubber mesh net along in my boats or kayaks.

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