To net or not to net. That is the question.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by North 40 Fly Shop, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. North 40 Fly Shop

    North 40 Fly Shop Member

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    Wild steelhead. From Shore. I want all your excuses and ideas on whether or not to net wild steelhead. We know it depends on the net. So different nets should be discussed too.

    Cal
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Use a net. That net should be massive. The net bag should be rubber. The fish should be handled as little as possible. Think giant net pen.
     
  3. danimal

    danimal Inglorious Twohander

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    Wading I see no need to net, unless yer on a ledge or the outside bend in a tuff spot. I feel a glove is superior to a net, less contact w/the fish.

    Out of a boat I have to say a net is about the only way to go. You'll spend so long tryn to wear one down to tail it that it is worn out and has a much reduced chance of survival.
     
  4. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    The joys of going netless...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jmills81

    Jmills81 The Dude Abides

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    the big ass nets that cradle the fish sure seem to be an advantage in helping the fish not get banged on the rocks.
     
  6. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    From the beach, no net.
     
  7. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    No net. It is a a really good feeling to tail a wild fish alone on the river. Get yourself positioned down stream of him, guide him in towards the shore, and as when he is directly upstream of you left im kinda drift into your knees and grab the leader then tail, or go straight for the tail if you can. Keep him in the water (if in Washington), make your quick photo op, and let em swim away!
     
  8. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Nothing wrong with using a net and it doesn't have to be rubber as long as it has knotless mesh.
    Beckman Pen Fin Saver or Frabill Conservation series both work great.
     
  9. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    no net. never have felt i've needed one and i don't need to be lugging anything else along with me.

    if you're walking a ways i doubt you're carrying a net and part of what i like about steelheading is the simplicity. i can take one fly box, a couple spools of tippet, one shooting head wallet full of heads and tips and that is all i need (even less for summer-run fishing with a floating line).
     
  10. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Amen Brother!
     
  11. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    I have a few different ways in landing fish -
    I would perfer to have a partner - while fishing alone is nice and I enjoy it - for a winter fish having a partner helping land that fish is good for the fish and limits the overall fight time - If we are in a drift boat or jet I will bring a net and that is a good tool to fish protection. I think landing a fish either by hand, with a partner or with a net in deeper water is key to fish protection. Sometimes you have to bring them up onto the bar, but I would hope to be in two to three feet of water. I think the fish get less jumpy and are much eaiser to handle. So the partner and/or net help an angler meet that goal. I have found that when your alone trying to land by hand - some of our fish take a last run or two. I think those are the runs that really spend that fish - If we can fight that fish, land it qucik and not allow that fish to take those last couple or runs, I think the fish stand a much better chance.
    As both Chris's have stated - Steelheading while walking the river trail is very fun and the simplicity of gear our sport has is one of the things I enjoy. With that, landing a fish alone by hand is fun and rewarding - landing the fish in deeper water is better for the fish and that's rewarding too. There is no better feeling as a Steelhead angler - knowing that a fish should be in this pool, hooking and landing it and then watching that fish bolt from your hand, knowing its going to be fine.

    So Im accross the board on this one - If in a boat, I bring and use a net. If alone I would never bring a net and I both cases I try and land that fish in deeper water - its worked for me, when I can do it.
     
  12. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    I usually just bring someone to tail all my fish. All call her my fish caddy. This is really the best technique.
     
  13. Red Shed

    Red Shed "junkyard spey"

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    I do not use a net while wade fishing for steelhead. My 2 cents is this, a net big enough to do the job properly is to damn big to pack around while wade fishing. If one doesn't pack it around it is never where one is when it's needed. I like Bob Clay's steelhead landing method the best.
     
  14. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

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    Nets are more trouble than they are worth from shore. My priority is the fish and it's health. Barbless hooks will generally fall right out with slack line or a gentle twist once I have tailed the fish.

    The only time, I wish I had is when a hatchery fish falls off close to shore where it could have been scooped up by a net.
     
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Assuming monofiliment, 5" stretched mesh is adequate for the vast majority of hatchery steelhead these days, and 6 1/2" will capture most native and wild steelhead. However, if I had my way, netting steelhead would be prohibited.

    Sg
     
  16. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    I was under the impression that only Indians could use a net so I never use one.
     
  17. fullerfly

    fullerfly Calvin Fuller

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    Good answer Salmo and sashjo. Pretty funny stuff right there.
     
  18. Runejl

    Runejl Josh

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    I have packed a net in before while walk in fishing, its a major pain in the butt, and with the chances of actually catching a Steelhead really not worth it. However, if I were to be using a boat to get from place to place and be fishing with a partner I would always have a net. The net that I have is large and rubber coated. When the net and partner to man the net were available I would always choose to use it. The first time that fish gets close you have a chance to finish the fight and let the fish go. Less energy expended by the fish means a better chance of survival. I have had a lot of fish that put up multiple runs after I got them close.
     
  19. Steelie Mike

    Steelie Mike Active Member

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    There are certainly times when a net comes in handy for both the fish and the fishermen, it just depends on the circumstances. A good buddy that has tailed a lot of fish over the years or knows how to work a net is also a big deal. If they suck, you suck because you just lost a fish because your relied on them to do your work. I say that from first hand experience with friends tailing fish and nets. It comes down to where you are and whats going on. I have a large rubber Cummings net that I keep in the boat for both wade and boat fishing, but it almost never comes out when just walk and wade fishing. It is just too much of a pain in the ass to carry along when you hike from spot to spot.

    We all have spots that we fish that due to current, trees, obstructions, etc make it hard to land fish. When you have a 12+ foot rod in your hands and crap all over the place, then add current, rocks or a narrow corridor into the situation, sometimes a net comes in handy. The net just has to be appropriate for the situation and with a safe design for the fish.
     
  20. FT

    FT Active Member

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    I haven't used or carried a net when fishing for nearly 50 years when I decided it was just a pain to carry one at age 10 or 11. Nets and walking or wading just get in the way and hang up at the most inopportune time. And if using a boat when steelhead fishing, I only use the boat for transportation and get out to fish.
     

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