Fly fishing: catch and release: 1
Releasing wild trout when you are fly fishing helps preserve the quality of a fishery. Unlike most other fish, trout are more delicate and require careful handling. Once you’ve caught one and the hook is still embedded, wet your hands before handling the trout. Dry hands stick to the fish’s adhesive slime coating and can pull off its scales. It is better if the fish remains in the water when you are removing the hook. But holding the trout out of the water isn’t fatal, so long as you remove the hook quickly and return the trout immediately.
Small trout caught on a barbless hook can be released in a simple way. Grasp the eyelet of the fly, and rotate it toward the bend (the U-bend). This pulls the point backwards, through the way it entered. Push the eyelet directly toward the bend until the point comes out of the fish. the point is removed from the fish. Large trout may be grasped gently. You can then use forceps can to grip the bend and push backwards, away from the direction the hook currently points. If necessary, you can hold squirming trout on their backs. This often subdues the fish and gives you enough time to remove the hook.
More on this subject in our next blog on fly fishing.