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

#1
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
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#2
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.
 

danimal

Inglorious Twohander
#3
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.
 
#7
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!
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#8
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.
 

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
#9
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
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).
Amen Brother!
 
#11
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.
 

Red Shed

"junkyard spey"
#13
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.
 

Ringlee

Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
#14
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.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#15
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
 

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