Trout Tips: Use a Soft net and Keep the Fish in the Water


Use a Soft Net for Landing Trout

You know those cheap nets that you can buy at any big box store?

a good net for brown trout

A rubberized net. Perfect for keeping the trout safe. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR

The ones that feel like sandpaper against your skin? Yea those ones. Those nets KILL fish! If you get a big brown trout in one of those nets it will twist and turn like heck; Often times to the point of tearing the scales off the fish. Trout are a delicate species! Its OK to use those nets on musky and pike. They will be fine most of the time, but not trout. They make nice soft cloth nets specifically for the gentle touch of a kind fisherman like you. There are also many style of rubberized nets. These are the best for not harming fish. They tend to break fairly easily after a few years of use but in the end it ends up being worth using them. Another benefit to a rubber landing net for trout, is that your hooks will not lodge in the netting material; making the hooks very easy to quickly remove. This can be a real bonus when you are fishing with a multiple fly rig.  


Give your brown, (or any trout for that matter) some air-

When you catch a large trout it is very exciting. Often times adrenaline, testosterone, and all sorts of manly fluids are pumping through your body. Its easy to forget that while you and your buddy’s are high fiving, and taking pictures that your trout has been out of the water probably too long! Chances are if that trout has been out of the water for more than 60 seconds it will likely end up dead. It might swim off fine, it probably will.. But its likelihood of living is slim. All you need to do is keep the fish in the net immersed in the water while your cameraman is getting ready for the shots. Lift the fish out of the water, take the picture and put it back. If you decide you need more shots from a different angle because the sun was wrong, then leave the fish in the water during the adjustment.

These simple steps can help you keep your trout safe while practicing catch and release.