Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > To Handle Or Not To Handle When Releasing A Trout

HellgramiteFebruary 27th, 2009, 2:22 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
I have read allot about the handling of Trout.They say that a Trout lives in a gravity free environment.When a Trout is removed from the water that its insides can be harmed or even crushed just from the gravity induced on the fish,Plus the damage to the Trouts skin when handled.I feel that just hooking a Trout and not landing the fish is a catch.I try vary hard not to remove the fish from the water and release the fish in the water.So many times I see people holding a Trout for a picture or photographed on the bank of the stream.I have done this myself and am not trying to judge anyone.I Have changed my C+R practice over the years and wonder how you all feel about this.
WbranchFebruary 27th, 2009, 3:08 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
I know a great way to insure the trout will endure no stress or be injured. From now on anyone who feels that the hooking, playing, and landing of the trout will cause bodily harm or perhaps even death they should get a pair of wire cutters and cut the hook wire clean through right below the tail of the fly. Then if you get a strike, or a fish rises to your dry fly, you will have the satisfaction that your skills fooled the quarry and the fly you tied was effective. By doing this you will no longer have any qualms of conscience and the trout will be no worse for the experience.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
JADFebruary 27th, 2009, 4:12 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
If he does ant want me to pick him up, admire him, and wonder at his colors -then he should keep his mouth shut.
Fish sometimes die but then so do people.

JAD

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
GreenghostFebruary 27th, 2009, 4:43 pm
New Brunswick

Posts: 23
WBranch,I did just that last June.....but not on purpose,LOL.After failing to set the hook on 7-8 beaverpond brookie rises over the course of a 1/2hr,I decided a fly change was in order.Lo and behold,the fly I'd been using was broke off at the bend....DOH!
WbranchFebruary 28th, 2009, 4:34 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
My post was pretty much tongue in cheek and I'm sure many Forum members saw through my ruse. Let's face it fishing, using any method, is a blood sport, and if you don't believe that you are being naive. Therefore even when we do our utmost to release the trout we catch there is always the chance the fish may have been injured in the process and succumb at some later time.

I used to always lay my fish on the grass if I was alone and wanted to take a picture - and while I wanted to release the fish safely I never gave it any thought about maybe that wasn't the best approach. In my experience the trout just doesn't want to lay still on the grass while we fumble around in our vests for the camera. Even if we postpone the landing until we retrieve the camera it still takes time to set the rod down, unhook the trout, pose the fish and then get the camera set-up. Invariably the trout will flip, or jump, and get out of the frame.

I now find the fish stays pretty calm if you leave the fish in the net while the net is in the river. To do this well you need a man sized net, not one of those silly girlie nets with a ten inch hoop. It never fails to amaze me when I see guys who wax poetically about the beauty of wild brook trout and how fragile they are that when they catch these gorgeous little 7" - 9" fish they lay them in the palms of their hands to get a picture. When the trout is in the net and the net is submerged in the water you can put the rod next to the net, grab hold of the camera, take a picture or two, and then quickly de-hook the fish and let the fish swim away. If you use this method you don't ever even have to touch the fish.

When you are with a buddy it is much easier to get good pictures if he is willing to stop fishng for a few minutes. He can get the camera out and get you in focus and compose the picture. I like to kneel down so I don't really have to lift the fish more than a foot out of the river. I wet my hands first, and cradle the fish just under the pectoral fins, and back under the anal fin. You tell your buddy your ready and as you lift the fish he clicks the shutter and you have your memory and the fish is handled safely and released.

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Shawnny3February 28th, 2009, 9:15 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
By doing this you will no longer have any qualms of conscience and the trout will be no worse for the experience.


But what about the mental anguish the trout suffers when he finds out the meal he thought he was inhaling is actually just fur and feathers? Not only will he still be hungry but will also have to endure the shame of being duped by a cheap imitation. The scarring from repeated exposure to such abuse might last a lifetime, causing him to be forever suspicious of every human he encounters.

Isn't there another way?!

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
PatcrisciFebruary 28th, 2009, 9:22 am
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
A happy medium for you may be barbless hooks. They are easy to hook, and release (intentionally or not)trout. You never need to touch the fish that way.
Pat Crisci
WbranchFebruary 28th, 2009, 10:37 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
Shawnny,

"Isn't there another way?!"

Yea, quit fishing and take up bowling.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutFebruary 28th, 2009, 10:50 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2727
They say that a Trout lives in a gravity free environment.When a Trout is removed from the water that its insides can be harmed or even crushed just from the gravity induced on the fish


I've never heard that argument before, but I'm certain that it's 100% wrong. Being neutrally buoyant underwater like a trout is not the same as being weightless in outer space. In near Earth orbit in outer space, you're weightless because the force of gravity pulling you toward the Earth, and the centrifugal force pushing you away from the Earth, balance each other out, and both of them act on every single atom in your body. The difference for trout underwater is that gravity and the buoyant force don't both act on every single atom directly. Gravity still pulls every atom down, but the buoyant force that balances it out only acts on the outside of the fish. So the fish is being held up from the outside by water, just like it's held up from the outside when you pick it up in the air. The effect of gravity on its internal organs isn't any different in the air than underwater.

the damage to the Trouts skin when handled


It's certainly possible to damage a fish's skin and leave it more vulnerable to infections. That might be common for people who are really bad at handling fish, who have them flopping and tangled in the net for several minutes or banging around on the rocks, etc. But if you keep your hands wet, keep the fish in the water most of the time, and just lift it a few times for a quick unhooking or a couple photos, it'll be fine.

So many times I see people holding a Trout for a picture or photographed on the bank of the stream.I have done this myself and am not trying to judge anyone.I Have changed my C+R practice over the years and wonder how you all feel about this.


I don't think there's any science to justify a high level of paranoia about taking a picture or two of a fish. People just need to try to handle the fish carefully.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Aaron7_8February 28th, 2009, 11:16 am
Helena Montana

Posts: 115
I never thougnt that trout were that fragile. I recall seeing a picture on I believe this web site of a smallish brown trout with a corroding copper john in it's side and a fly in it's mouth and a recently healed scar from being hooked. I have also caught fish with long gashes from predators in their sides that have completely healed over. I realize that this isn't normal however a little handling for a picture and un hooking has never in my opinion hurt a fish. Although I did not study the habitat for weeks after to make sure I didn't give the fish a mortal wound that was just a slow killer.
WbranchFebruary 28th, 2009, 2:34 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
HellgramiteFebruary 28th, 2009, 5:22 pm
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
HAY Guys I am glad that all of you are as passionate about Fly fishing as I am.I wrote this post because I wanted to know how most of you felt about this subject.I always keep a couple of fish to dine on because Trout are the best.I am no were near a purist and do not claim to know all.I think we are all in a class of our own and that sets us apart.I also hunt and eat what I kill.For those that do not they will never know.
OMGMarch 2nd, 2009, 1:14 pm
Posts: 8
hello fellow fanatics,one thing for sure,everyone is concerned,and that is what appeals to all of us.To me there is not nor will there ever be enough time to do this thing I love most of all. At least not in one life time. As for the topic,I lean toward Pat, barbless. if you get hold of one of those little leatherman squirt plyer tools attach it to your vest you can pinch the barb right then and if you tie your flys pinch the barb first.In hardly more than a few fish,you will be a convert,it's just so more easy and gratifing. The net has a way of catching on everything and then releasing with considerable force. I dont use nets. Anyway you guys sure got to me on this one. Shawnny3, man you are a treasure, yap I been into that psyche...thinking outside the box were we..Well i love yus all,great to be so blessed with this comm.technology.and get close,..As the Rev.C.E.Pullen puts it, I remain , in his love,OMG.
FalsiflyMarch 3rd, 2009, 2:58 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
I too gave up the net long ago; tiring of the back-stabbing brush-snagging culprit. And where the net could have been beneficial, the damn thing was too small. I agree with Wbranch when he says,
To do this well you need a man sized net, not one of those silly girlie nets with a ten inch hoop.
. Now to exacerbate the situation lets add the barbed hook, another thing I despise and gave up long ago. Countless times I have seen others struggle to untangle fish and fly from the net, to the fishís demise Iím sure; another useless aid in the hands of the inept. Case in point: Take the fish that has entered the net with hook and barb exposed through the mouth, twisting and turning so as to wrap itself in tippet and leader, and then snagging the hook and barb through the net twine. The only way to properly extract the fish from this quagmire is to cut the hook with a wire cutter. Maybe the newer netting materials have eliminated this scenario, I donít know I havenít used them, but barbed hooks and twined nets are a disaster. And too, I pity the gullet hooked fish which must succumb to the major surgery necessary to remove the barbs tenacious hold, as opposed to the simplistic extraction of the hook, sans barb. One could argue in this case that cutting the tippet and leaving the fly is the best approach, and I would agree, but that still leaves the nagging question of doubt upon survival. Any pro argument favoring the barb would have to be in terms of success rate; that being fish hooked and brought to hand, net, or heal, and it would be hard to argue against the barbs favor. I personally cannot distinguish between the two when proper line tension technique is used. To those who advocate catch and release, I think the use of barbed hooks hypocritical. Hypocritical in the sense that a barbed hooks essence lies in its release resistance. As for wetting the hands before handling a fish I would add this: I wet my hands, but to the less experienced fish handler I can see where wet hands make the fish more difficult to handle thus causing a reaction to increase hand pressure. Which is worse I donít know; the removal of some protective mucoprotein or the crushing hand grip? I believe handling trout, by hand or net, can be done in a safe and efficient manor; safe to the fish and efficient to the fisherman, when prudently administered. But by the same token some of the means we use to handle fish, as perceived to benefit the fish, can have the opposite effect.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
CharlieSawdMarch 4th, 2009, 7:25 pm
St. Michael, Minnesota

Posts: 26
"Gravity still pulls every atom down, but the buoyant force that balances it out only acts on the outside of the fish"

To begin, everything happening on the "outside" of the fish, is happening on the inside somewhere as well. Secondly, this is an extremely simplified view of the variant turbulent/laminar flow of our favorite streams. Yet, the trout, agreed, certainly feels gravity in water, no question. Perhaps the point, and I believe you were getting at this, is that gravitational force/normal force do not cancel and this is experienced by our quarry.



"The effect of gravity on its internal organs isn't any different in the air than underwater"

This is not true. Gravitational acceleration (9.8m/s^2) is directly correlated to distance above a given plane. A trout in a stream may be 1/2 meter above planar earth. When that particular trout is caught, and subsequently hoisted, he/she is further above the earth, the force of gravity enhanced. That said, hoisting a trout for a quick snapshot is a trivial, harmless experience for the trout.
Charlie Sawdey
www.driftlessflybox.com
WbranchMarch 5th, 2009, 2:04 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
Okay, I'm convinced fishing is just a terribly mean and violent pursuit. I've decided to sell all my rods, reels, flies, and boats on Ebay and have mailed in my registration and dues to PETA.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
FalsiflyMarch 5th, 2009, 9:14 am
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Good one Wbranch. Oh, by the way, if you go to ebay you will see that I placed the first bid on that big net.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
HellgramiteMarch 5th, 2009, 9:15 am
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
Wbranch:Let me know when your ready to sell I may know someone who would be interested.Besides with your attitude maybe you should take up a new hobby.
HellgramiteMarch 5th, 2009, 10:43 am
Southern calif.

Posts: 45
We all need to set our(EGO)aside and understand that Fly fishing for Trout is a life style.I find that when I have a bad day I think about a high mountain stream and casting to a healthy Trout, it puts me back on track.So we all see things in in our own way which is our right.But what we all must understand is just how fragile our streams and the Trout that live in them are.Trout have been around for millions of years and until the last ice age were sea run fish.When the ice melted they became land locked.So they have come a long way.Then man discovered just how good eating these fish were and almost killed off many of the Trout populations in the world.So people like us took action and put a stop to the kill off and became one of the first true conservationist groups.At the turn of the 19th century people like us found that there were no Trout in lakes above water falls because they could not get above the falls.So Trout were placed by hand into the lakes above water falls.This was the begining of the planting of Trout.Now many years later with people taking for granted our fisheries,Who well protect our life style?If it were up to PITA no one would be able to fish.The only one who can protect us is (US).This is why we of all people MUST respect what we have or it well be taken away.This means that we must do all we can do to treat each other and most of all Trout with the utmost respect.With that said we must put our EGO aside and and understand that (KNOWING WE CAN ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING WITHOUT DOING IT)is that not enough?Or must we have that picture,must we grab hold of that fish to show to our friend up stream.We well all do what we want because this is our freedom.All I would like is everybody just stop and think.
PatcrisciMarch 7th, 2009, 4:28 pm
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
This gets to the heart of one's motivation for flyfishing for trout.

For me, as for many, it's not about about catching many fish, or big fish. It's about being connected to a wild world inhabited by ideally (but not always) wild creatures. It's a way to get back in touch with the seasons and the cycles of nature. It's a way to relax and, yes, escape and marvel at the beauty of a wild brook trout finglerling. William Wordsworth said it so well in his poem The World Is Too Much With Us.

Check it out http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Too_Much_With_Us
Pat Crisci
Page:12

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Olympus FE-20 On Sale/Opinions, Please
In the Photography Board by Lastchance
1Nov 27, 2008
by Chris_3g
Re: Need advice
In General Discussion by Hueste
5Mar 14, 2007
by The_Sib
Re: maps
In General Discussion by Jtberez
3Jul 9, 2009
by Gentleshep
Wednesday
In the Photography Board by LenH
0
Re: Pycnopsyche
In the Identify This! Board by Crepuscular
5Nov 27, 2015
by Crepuscular
Re: For sale: Quick-Seines to capture insects
In Gear Talk by Levwood
2Jan 25, 2017
by PaulRoberts
Re: New mayfly from Spain: now, a nymph
In the Identify This! Board by Isidro
2Mar 26, 2008
by Isidro
Re: A Small Stream Trout Net
In Gear Talk by PaulRoberts
3Sep 12, 2012
by Entoman
Re: Water Penny (ventral image)
In Psephenus Beetle Larva by LowBudget
2Jan 18, 2014
by LowBudget
Re: What's the best lighting source?
In the Photography Board by Psyfly
4Dec 22, 2013
by JOHNW
Most Recent Posts
Re: Matching a rod to Reel
In Beginner Help by MarshallP (Wbranch replied)
Re: Modern Darbee Genetics
In Fly Tying by Pabrookbum (Wbranch replied)
Re: Rod and reel suggestion?
In Gear Talk by 87North (Wiflyfisher replied)
Fighting and Landing Big Trout
In General Discussion by GWT
Re: Stream ecology: 50 years ago this was just an OPEN DITCH
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: Happy Thanksgiving!
In General Discussion by Partsman (Jmd123 replied)
Re: The South Holsten River
In Fishing Reports by Martinlf
Re: Fish and more fish
In the Photography Board by Monello
Re: Website error message??
In Beginner Help by Soosam
Re: Happy Veterans Day to all fellow Troutnuts who served!
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Martinlf replied)