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Thread: Nets or no Nets

  1. #1
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    Nets or no Nets

    Hey,
    I practice solely catch and release. Until this year the whole subject was moot since there was no catch. I've blundered into some success and am concerned to keep my hooking mortality to a minimum. I debarb all my hooks and try to minimize the time the fish is played.(As you can see from my previous notes, I'm often too good at that, releasing before the catch and donating the fly). I don't own a net and have seen articles by Fran Betters who advises not removing the fish from the water. I have to admit I have trouble corraling the slippery devils and am not certain I could get my fly out without holding onto the fish. Question is, do nets decrease the stress and injury, if so what is the best net to use( please keep in mind I'm not looking to spend $100 on a net. Thanks,Frogge.


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    my understanding is smaller mesh is better, and definately wet the net before trying to get the fish in, both to reduce removal of the fish's "slime". other than that, it seems to me it's mostly a matter of preference, budget, and appropriate size.


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    I picked up a catch and release (yes it's called that) net at Gander Mountain for around $25. The netting is very small and smooth. If you're using light tippet it's difficult to get the fly out of the fish's mouth without breaking the tippet, so I use the net. Plus, if you have to monkey around with the fish flipping and flopping in the water while trying to get the fly out, the chances of ruining the fly increases. There are alot of opinions on this subject, cause many dry fly fishermen don't carry nets, but I have found that I can catch and release fish much quicker with a net. Therefore, expending less of the fish's energy, which I think is a plus.

    As for your question, "do nets decrease the stress and injury". I think that depends more on how you handle the fish once he's grabbed or netted. I never lift the net out of the water and only handle the fish to hold him level in the water until he swims freely from my hand.

    If you buy a good net, it will probably last you the rest of your life. Don't take the cheap route. And be sure to get one of those nifty little net magnets.
    Cdog


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    I believe that the stress that is put upon a fish is best reduced by a speedy release, with or without a net is a preference. I also carry a catch and release net, although this works primarily with smaller fish. Catching larger fish on the West Branch of the Ausable this summer, this net was useless and I wish I had a larger rubber bag net. Fran Betters view that not removing the fish from the water is good advice but not always possible. Nets are pricy but I think that you get what you pay for. A rubber bag net will help reduce fish stress, as well as help prevent flies from being caught in the mesh and mutilating them. But it's all preference I guess.


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    I've seen people who would reach into the water with forceps, and remove the (barbless) hook without ever touching the fish. One of the best, I ever saw, was (believe it or not), a bait fisherman.

    I you don't yet have the skill, dexterity, and confidence to release without grabbing the fish, a net may be the lesser of two evils.

    See the good advise above about ways to minimize net damage.


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    i am trying to not handle the fish because you damage the slime. i am getting one of the knew Lippa tools. anybody use any of these?


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    I bought a trout net this past summer while in LL Bean. I guess you can call it an impulse buy. Never had one before.

    A few years ago I forked over the twenty dollars for that little tool that you slide down the tippet till you made contact with the fly and unhooked it. Easier said than done considering you generally had a hot tomalley jumping on the other end as you steadied your hand, aligned the tool, all the while maintaining the balance of holding your rod. PHEW....

    So I modified it and just used my fingers. Holding the rod tip aloft while getting the trout within reaching distance, I would latch onto my tippet, slide my hand down till I felt the hook and with a quick down and away motion, the little booger was set free.

    Just have to remember after you have a good grip on the fly to lower your rod tip to take off the tension of the fly line and tippet. If you don't, after you remove the hook from the trout you will discover just how quickly you will hook your finger.

    After a while I got to where I wouldn't even touch the slimey sob.

    However, if the hook was deep set, then I would have to get a hold of it and use forceps to dislodge the fly.

    Also, while doing the forceps routine, I learned if you turn the trout up side down in the palm of your hand... they just lay there without wiggling.

    As always, learning there is a far better way to get things done.

    AK Skim, PhD.
    Los Alamos
    Efficiency Expert


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    I carry a net (fish friendly) almost 100 % of the time, as well C&R.

    Why? Because I like to take pictures to appease my fish vanity.

    However, if I did not feel the need to feed my ego with pictures, I would still carry a net.

    Albeit that I do not nymph very often, the few times I do, I usually am using a weighted nymph or split shot or a multiple nymph set up. Unfortunately in this scenario the fish often times manage to wrap some tippet around there head, gills or lower jaw and sometimes have more than one of my nymphs hooks in them, some foul some fair. A net is very helpful in keeping the fish in the water while removing the hooks and limiting Hand contact on the fishes body slime.

    In fact, in all but the perfect hook set a net is a huge help in reducing hand to fish slime contact.

    Many times the net is also useful in providing a temporary holding pen while the fish revives itself. Many time I have let a fish go, only to see its head start sounding and its tail begin to rise, as it clearly is in shock and will simply float away if I dont grab it quick and try and perform some type of fishy CPR and once again the net is a great help.

    Last but not least I found a net very useful this past summer when I took a full metal head dunking. I had been fixed and dilated on a rising fish for over an hour. I decided to succumb and move on. I did not realize my legs were frozen and both of my calves went into full muscle spasm the second I started to walk away. I was fully submerged for several seconds.
    Most of my zippers on my vest were open as I had thrown almost every fly in the book at this trout.
    When I finally got my composure, and stood up after crawling to the bank and doing a 360 look around to see how many folks had witnessed this embarrassing fall and was pleased to see I was alone in this stretch of river, the last thing I saw when coming full circle and looking downstream was a mini Spanish armada of all my morel floating boxes, my favorite hat and several other floating items from the bowels of my vest.

    My net was a life saver as I ran downstream capturing all my recently liberated belongings.

    Yes, I suggest always carrying a net!

    Ralph


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    I bought one of the new "rubber bag" nets... no more snagged flies especially on dropper setups.


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    Bringing back an old post here but I don't understand how flies don't get caught in these rubber bag nets, they look just like a standard net except that it's made of rubber. Any insight b/c I need to buy a new net soon.

    "Take only pictures, leave only footprints, kill only time."- anonymous

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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    Don't they teach anything in high school anymore!!!

    Rubber repels steel. So, the hook moves away from the net the same as like polls of a magnet.

    Cdog


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    Re: Nets or no Nets

    That was my second guess, of course why didn't I think of that. Now I think I read that in the book titled "Fallacies of chemistry and physics"

    "Take only pictures, leave only footprints, kill only time."- anonymous

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