Some Myths about Catch and Release

LilCutts

fish & whistle
WFF Premium
I see. I could've sworn earlier you suggested people lift fish out of the water for a photo.
You’re probably thinking of something I quoted, along the lines of ‘if you feel the desperate need to lift it, it should at least be dripping wet.’ I don’t lift fish unless I’m eating it.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Premium
I do my best to touch fish as little as possible, before releasing them. However, I find that lots of fly fishing folks get way too sensitive and pious about catch and release practices. Anyone who has watched biologists perform fish studies, where they shock hundreds of fish at a time, knows that these creatures can tolerate being out of the water for a few seconds. The people who foul hook fish and pull them up onto the shore are the real problem, not the folks taking a fish out of the water for a quick photo.
 

LilCutts

fish & whistle
WFF Premium
I do my best to touch fish as little as possible, before releasing them. However, I find that lots of fly fishing folks get way too sensitive and pious about catch and release practices. Anyone who has watched biologists perform fish studies, where they shock hundreds of fish at a time, knows that these creatures can tolerate being out of the water for a few seconds. The people who foul hook fish and pull them up onto the shore are the real problem, not the folks taking a fish out of the water for a quick photo.
A few seconds being the key phrase. Fish studies and surveys are necessary — pictures are not. If you just have to have the pic, have your camera ready to go well before you bring that fish out. How important is it for you to have a picture not just of the fish, but of yourself in the picture with it (and usually with the fish pushed forward to make it look bigger.) Is the photo for you to have as a keepsake, or is it for showing others to prove your status?

I’m personally sick of how many people find out that I fly fish and immediately whip out a bunch of pictures to prove that they catch gigantic river monsters. I’ve come to think of those ‘glamour shots’ as analogous to dick pics...I never asked for them, I don’t need to see them, and they’re a dime a baker’s dozen. :p

There is an inherent contradiction here because all of us are essentially torturing these beautiful creatures to some degree. My point is that it’s best to lessen the stress of the catch to improve the chances of survival. I agree with you regarding the “real problem” but there are more problems than just one.
 

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
I do my best to touch fish as little as possible, before releasing them. However, I find that lots of fly fishing folks get way too sensitive and pious about catch and release practices. Anyone who has watched biologists perform fish studies, where they shock hundreds of fish at a time, knows that these creatures can tolerate being out of the water for a few seconds.
terrible attitude/mindset.

the whole point is to take the actions you can to prevent reduce the potential risks.
 

Nick Clayton

WFF Premium
I dont want to kill fish that I plan to release. I do agree that we all need to do our best to minimize harm to the fish.

But I'm also getting sick of this new trend of fish pic shaming from many fly fishers.

Why does anyone think they should be allowed to draw the line as to what is an acceptable amount of risk to the fish? This trend is ridiculous to me and seems rather hypocritical. Basically, anti fish pic folks think they can draw some arbitrary line. It's OK to go impale a fish with a sharp hook, drag them to shore/boat, and stress them out and this is ok because it provides the individual a level of enjoyment. But taking a 2 second fish picture is just horrendous and should be avoided because apparently fish pics don't provide the same individuals any enjoyment.

There are also way more variables in play that aren't being accounted for.

If I use my 6 wt and stout leader to land a nice src in 30 seconds, and then decide to take 5 more seconds for a picture am I causing more harm than someone who uses a 4 wt and 5x leader and takes two and a half minutes to land that same fish but doesn't take a picture? IMO if we are truly this concerned about those few seconds for a pic then people should be campaigning against the use of lightweight rods and leaders. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone take waaayyyy too long to land a src or salmon in the sound because they chose to use an absolutely unnecessary light rod and leader I could retire early.

What about using small stainless hooks that frequently result in deep hooked fish? Why aren't we campaigning against hooks smaller than size 6? Again, IMO, far more harmful across the board than a fish picture.

Nah, we as fly fishers prefer to pick and choose where we draw our lines. Fish pics are the low hanging fruit. If a fly fisher wants to use a super light rod and reel they are a true sportsman, but take a fish pic and we are scum.

I say quit campaigning against quick fish pics with minor handling, and start rallying against the use of unnecessarily dainty fly gear when targeting fish that will be released. Start campaigning for proper and aggressive fighting of fish that allows these fish to be landed as quickly as possible instead of taking minutes to land a friggen cutthroat.

I take fish pics. Most of the fish that come to my boat never get touched. But occasionally for various reasons I'll remove one from the net and take a pic in the proccess. I also catch an awful lot of fish. I simply won't be made to feel guilty about it. People can hide from the fact as much as they want but fishing, even catch and release fishing, is a blood sport. Fish will die. We should absolutely do everything we can to minimize that, but we should also accept and come to terms with it. And we really need to get over this constant judging and finger pointing amongst ourselves.

There are far bigger issues out there than quick fish pictures. (And I am definitely not defending gill raping, rock dragging type pictures)
 
Last edited:

jaredoconnor

WFF Premium
terrible attitude/mindset.

the whole point is to take the actions you can to prevent reduce the potential risks.

I do. I use a net and I don't touch the fish almost all of the time. If I want a photo, the person taking the photo has to be ready by the time I have landed the fish, or the fish goes back. I have missed out on a lot of photos.

If I want to take a fish out of the water for 2 seconds, for a photo, I am going to do it. All this hyper vigilance about fish never leaving the net has no basis in reality and seems to be more about virtue signaling.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Premium
If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone take waaayyyy too long to land a src or salmon in the sound because they chose to use an absolutely unnecessary light rod and leader I could retire early.

you and me both....I see this everywhere.
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top