salmon on a fly


New Member
It may have swam off, but that doesn't really = survival. Most fish that are going to die actually will die after they have been back in the water a few minutes. It's called delayed mortality.

Another thing to remember is that fish was in the river for one reason, to spawn. A 30 minute battle takes away a lot of stored enegry that they need to make their migration and to spawn successfuly. Since they are not feeding in fresh water, they rely on stored proteins and energy from their salt water life. During the battle it probably used up a lot of this energy, thus greatly decreasing it's chances of spawning. The fact that you put in on the rocks, wrapped it in a net, and had it out of the water for a minute, is even worse.

I hope you don't treat all the fish you catch like this.
I probably would have fought it in just like rainbow did. To his credit, he did revive and release it. While it may not have survived, there's a better chance of survival than if he had bonked it. (Besides, who's going to eat a spent chum??? There's a reason they're called DOG salmon!)


New Member
Breaking it off would have been the best solution. I also don't consider putting a fish on the rocks and leaving it out of the water reviving it. :AA
As far as chum go, that thing is far from spent, and would be a good canidate for the smoker. Better their than floating belly up which is what it's doing right now.


My name is Mark Oberg
the whole prossess took 30 seconds. how else do you sappose I am gone to get the hook out of a 20-25 pound fish. I mean It isent a trout that I can do in my hand or somthing. And I cant do in the net with it flopping around.
I mean look at it it is still wet. It took off just fine. chill out.
If it will make you happy I'll go back to the river tomorrow after work and check up on it.


New Member
To unhook it, leave it in the water and hold it just in front of the tail (while it's still in the water). Assuming you are fishing barbless, just reach for the hook with your hands or hemostats and gently remove it. This entire process can be done without the fish ever leaving the water. If you need a picture, hold it in front of the tail and lift it under it's belly. Picture can be taken in only a few seconds.

30 seconds of being in a net, on the rocks and out of the water is way too long for any fish. I guess it's a chum, so it's really not a huge deal, but had this been a wild steelhead i'd be pissed. Just try to be a little more careful. Pretend it's you in the water.


My name is Mark Oberg
This is all well and good. But you made a nice post crappy. I really dont think I want to post any more picture for you. We all live and learn, You know you were in my shoe's once. Dont drive people like me away from a decent forum!

Old Man

Just an Old Man
What do I know---I'm just an old man

Don't let them get to you everybody does something like that once in a while. If it was your first big fish I would be excited also. We all do funny things on our first big fish. When I caught my first big fish I was so excited I almost pissed my pants. And I'm a grown man. Even if it dies it don't go to waste. It will feed the other fish,the birds,and other small animals.

Don't knock him. How about what the Native Americans do to the fish they catch. Strip the eggs and throw the carcess out to rot.

Being new to the board, I was proud as hell about my first. But then the purist came on the thread with their "holier than thou" atomic drops. Persuasion is an art form which seems to elude the purist C&R folks. They breed contempt, distrust and they send someone else off the down the internet highway.

Being a good leader is not forcing people to your will, but allowing them to rethink their position until they want to do it of their own accord. Being tactful can be more convincing than slamming somebody when they are at their peak.

Just doesn’t seem very becoming of a good fly fisherman. Instead of a possible advocate, you have created somebody who will be very close minded about C&R. Always has to be 10% of the population screwing it up for the other 90%.



Idaho Resident Craftsman/Artisan

You are the man. Well put.

Now to all of you soap box boys: "He that is without sin among you, let him be first to cast a stone..." Like I have posted before: I would like to shake the hand of any man who has never misshandled a fish.

Kudos to Rainbow for the pics and I can't wait to nail some chums on my 6 wt and throw them in my damn smoker. They are Hella good that way.



...has several mistresses.
Nice fish my man! Keep it going! As for your release, you did fine! Salmon spend years bouncing off of sharks, seals, orca, gill nets, rocks, dams, spillways and foul hookers, to keep a salmon out of the water for a minute or so, to fight it for some time is a mere drop in the bucket for that fish! I have seen worse! Not that what you did was bad, just not up to what others would like to see, thats all! YOu keep fishing! Keep posting Pictures and don't worry what people say! My hat is off to you! :THUMBSUP
Nice fish! Congratulations!

To the C&R perfectionists out there, my question is this -- if you're so extremely concerned with the minutiae of releasing a fish, why fish at all? You're annoying/stressing the heck out of the fish no matter how careful you are during the release. You don't think putting a hole through its flesh and pulling hard against the wound for a few minutes is worse than a few seconds out of water?? I'd rather be dunked underwater, where I can't breathe, for 30 seconds than impaled. If you want to really increase the fish's chance of survival and sense of well-being, keep your fly out of the water.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm always as careful as possible -- I only use barbless hooks, always fish C&R, try to match the tackle to the expected catch, etc. I just get annoyed at the holier-than-thou attitude of some on this board. Fact is, we're all messing with the fish in a way they'd probably prefer we didn't. Accept that, and do your best.
Well said 'barrow, I agree with you one hundred percent. Even "pure" catch and releasers that tought the "holier than you" attitudes are damaging the fish. The fact is you can't catch a fish, even C&Ring it without hurting the fish. 'Nuff said.



Active Member

Nice fish!

These guys are not trying to be jerks they just care about the fish and want to teach you a better way to handle fish. I wouldn't worry about it.

The fish you caught is definately a chum (aka dog salmon because of those teeth and the fact the meat was use as dog food, aka calico salmon because of the coloring). aside from pinks, chums are the second least disirerable table fair. it is a nice looking fish though!

Pulling a fish on the rocks is hard on them because it removes the slime that protects their skin (a net can do the same thing). also fish are used to having the water support their weight and as soon as they are out of the water their insides are non longer supported. flopping on rocks is hard on them as well. The net is a good idea when you can't land a fish as DLW discribes but always keep the fish in the water as much as posible.

also, 30 minutes is a long fight especially in frog water like you were fishing. The length of the fight is due to the light gear you were using ( i know you were targeting CRC's for which the 6wt is great). chums will eat a 6wt for breakfast and I think you got lucky. In a river with current if the line didn't break your rod would have. personally I would fish a chum on anything less than a 8wt.

When fish over exert themselves (in the case of fighting with an angler) lactic acid builds up in their muscles. lactic acid is why your muscles cramp when you exercise and I would guess it has the same effect on a fish (maybe worse as they can suffocate if water is not running over their gills).

don't leave the board, everone has to start somewhere and this is a great place for info (I have found there are bigger jerks on other boards anyhow). I look back on my early days and realise I didn't always do things right and I still have a lot to learn.

Scott :COOK