Stomach Pump Questions


Active Member
Sounds a lot less lethal, throat pump V stomach pump. There are times when sampling a trout's throat does give the fly fisherman an advantage. Ethical, harmful, no harm, legal, proper? Let your conscience be your guide.
I have to wonder if studies on resulting mortality have ever been done.
Also proper? and improper use guidelines.
I guess there's always the good old fashioned 'gut one and keep it' method where allowed.

Seriously, I think discussing this is a good topic that goes along with c&r and proper handling.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
I don’t have a problem with people using them if used properly.
They are designed to pump the throat, not empty their stomachs.
Many times the insects, bugs etc you pump are still alive.
I’ve had a few days where I had only had caught one fish up to a point after trying multiple patterns.
Sure, I caught a fish but does that mean the fish are necessarily keying on the pattern I was using?
Pumping the one fish I caught told me they were not and a pattern change to match what I had pumped resulted in a good day of fishing.


Active Member
Occasionally I take a throat sample on a trout. I learned how by watching Brian Chan perform samples on his instructional dvds. I never have pumped any trout's stomach, throat or vent and following Brian's recommendation never on a trout under 12".


Active Member
I do use one on occasion but it's generally after exhausting my usual standby patterns.
That said I won't pump a fish that's too small or a larger one that might be exhausted from a longer fight. Also, I won't photograph a big fish for the same reason.
Usually I fish with several others and we just compare and share to crack the code.

BTW, the store bought pumps have a squared off end on the tubing so I have tapered all of mine with super fine sandpaper to hopefully be easier on the few fish I do pump.

Dave Boyle

Active Member
Something I’ve observed over time is not to sample a fish where it takes sometime time to get it to the net. They have nothing when ‘pumped’

In other words like marlin and sailfish as an example I know of, fish puke while fighting for their lives so I’d argue sampling after capture doesn’t cause a death sentence via lack of nutrients. Fighting fish for too long might though.

I don’t do this much but if fishing is tough then I do. The issue is learning to do it correctly, if you think about it, it is a brief flush and does not involve the stomach in any way. The device I bought had no rough edges at the input end but worth checking if you want to do this.



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