fishnetflysbBecause most of us practice catch and release, more often than not, it is important to minimize trauma to the fish prior to release. Some would say don’t even net a fish. 

Because I fish from a slightly elevated platform when on a lake, I use a net for larger fish. When netting a fish try to guide the fish into the net head first rather than tail first, especially if the net has a shallow basket. The fish can easily use its powerful tail to fulcrum up and out of the net thus prolonging the fight or you will probably, instinctively, over react in keeping the fish inside the net and possibly complicate the release process. Head first, the fish loses some power (not all…they are p0werful side to side too) providing access to remove the fly (barbed de-barbed barbless hooks please), revive the fish and safely release it to the depths to figure out what happened.