By Ken Moore, Education Committee
For some, the reason we go fishing is to put fish in the net. The tug may be the drug but there is nothing better than seeing that fish in the net up close and personal. We were taught to set that hook, raise the rod high, and hope to get the fish to the net when it finally tires. If catching is your goal there is a better way, especially if you use smaller tippet sizes (6 to 7). This five-step method will greatly increase your odds of putting fish in the net.
Here are the 5 steps I recommend.
- Set the hook to the downstream side into the fish’s mouth. When you set the hook high in the air the fish can break off easier. Setting high in the air will bring the fish up into the water column and into the faster current. The faster water speed of the current will work against you when you are fighting and attempting to land the fish. Fish tend to jump when they get higher in the water and that is when they can unhook themselves.
- Rotate the rod tip upstream and parallel to the water.
- Push the but section of the rod toward the fish to gain leverage on the fish and utilize the stiffer butt section of the rod, so you can move the fish where you want him to go. This is how you keep the fish out of downed logs, around boulders, and into softer water. (See the video in the link below).
- Now move the fish so it is upstream of you and into calmer water. It is easier to net the fish if it is coming towards you with the current.
- Now spread your arms, rod hand up high in the air, bend the knee on the net side, and allow the current to bring the fish to you. If you would like an excellent video on how this is done Devon Olson owner of the Tactical Fly Fisher and US Flyfishing Team member has an excellent video with several demonstrations of how this is done.