Posts Tagged ‘Catch Fish


Handling Fish: Counter Balancing Our Ego’s & Excitement

A beautiful Trout is released back to the depths. Was it posed? Yes (SwittersB)

Handling Fish:

“Keep the fish in the water

Don’t lift fish out of the water – don’t even touch the fish if you don’t have to. Many fish can be released without ever touching them. Just bend over, remove the hook with your hand or with pliers, and let the fish swim away. Research has shown that keeping a fish in the water dramatically increases its chances of survival. Think of it – after the fight of your life, say going 12 rounds in a boxing ring or running a marathon, imagine having your air cut off! That’s exactly what we do when we lift fish from the water. Fish kept out of the water for more than one minute have a greatly diminished chance of survival, once a fish has been out of the water for three minutes, it has virtually no chance of survival, even if it swims away.

Keep your hands wet when handling fish

If you do handle a fish, and you do it with dry hands, it can cause some of the protective coating (“slime”) on the fish’s skin to come off. This coating is designed to protect fish from disease.” (more)

Here I hoisted a large Trout out of the water, in a net up, onto my apron. From there I work on releasing the barbed hook and lowering the net back into the water with the fish still in and release the fish once it looks ready to jet. Was this fish posed…hell yes!

Trophy shots of live fish…Fish Porn…Most of us do it. To celebrate the size, the beauty, the outcome, the proof, the epic quality of it all. But, most of us that do such things have close calls with fish that are too over taxed by the struggle to just jet away. They leave but then rise to the top, belly up or on their side struggling to correct. I pose few fish that are not partly in the water or but a few seconds out of the water.

But, if you end up in that harmful struggle on the bank, on the apron of a tube or the deck of a boat seriously don’t waste time with a stressed, stunned fish. No squeezing them to protect them while they thrash. If you celebrate the beauty and quality of those fish then forget the picture. Get the fish back in the water and make certain they are revived. 

This was a good moment. The fish was powerful and still fresh. But, leaning out like that, hollow foot rest and cradling the fish is problematic. It is precarious for me and the fish. If the fish jets and seemed ok then great. But sometime they surface 15 feet out from you and then a timely, often backwards response is in order as you turn, kick, position and attempt to recontact the fish in order to save it. As much as you cherish that fish is as much as you will feel panic or dread as that fish dies or struggles to survive. Yes, yes I know. Simply kill the fish. Well, short of hatchery salmon or steelhead I haven’t killed a fish in years. For many reasons. So, I do try to do all this recording of great moments in as expeditious/safe way as possible. Forfeit the picture if the fish is in harms way.


A Fish in Hand is Worth Two in the Book



Personally, beyond identifying various fish species, I don’t care about the why’s of color beyond adaptation and camo. I simply marvel at their individual beauty. Good enough for me. My mind, anymore, glazes over with too much detail re fish, entomology, climate change, etc. I simply want the decompression and want to think less and less. For now anyway.




Fishing and the Lunar Phases

New Moon & Full Moon...Is it important to your fishing?

I have enjoyed some magical fishing by moonlight. Actually, by the last light of the day and as darkness fell my son and I worked our way back to our put in point. The fishing was phenomenal while the moon light bathed the lake’s calm surface. Well not totally calm because the Kamloops trout (oops) were working hard. Was that memorable moment because of the moon? I have always linked the two but really only guessed. 

For many of us that is enough to plan our next outings around a full moon. We even spread the word and perhaps others think…’hey why not….maybe…’. So I offer up a piece that is perhaps right up the alley of the frequent angler looking for an edge. It may be too complicated for some or add veracity to already held beliefs.   LUNAR PHASES & ANGLING  

Being more of a once in a Blue Moon Angler of late, I will tuck this info away by narrowing it down to the key points and see if my outings verify it in the years to come. I don't fish enough to keep a log. But, lunar and barometer considerations are worth charting or at least noting. SwittersB


Fly Fishing: Pesky Whitefish (‘Rubber Lips’)

There was a time one could walk a stream’s edge in Oregon and find Whitefish laying atop rocks, dead and wasting. They were and are still viewed by many as a member of the sucker family and that is enough to sentence them to a high and dry status.

The incidental catch of Mountain Whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni) has never bothered me. I love catching all fish, be they Trout, Whitefish, Carp or the lowly Chum Salmon, to name but a few. The Whitefish is often described as a fish of 8-12″ on average, but they can get considerably bigger in Western Waters (I have caught them in excess of 24″ on the Metolius River). The Whitefish has a range from the NW Territories down into the Western U.S. The fish readily take a small nymph and on occasion a small dry fly can bring them up out of the riffles and quieter water adjacent to riffles. Some say they hold in different water than a Trout.

Western U.S. Mountain Whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni) Range

The one place I do see this is in fairly fast riffles of say a foot deep with no structure to provide relief from the current. The Whitefish will be in that water and you don’t see a Trout attempting to hold in that sort of water very often (unless Summer time low water and depleted oxygen levels force them into that water for brief stints of oxygenation).

The Hook & Hackle Company

If along the way, you have to pass the time catching some Whitefish on an otherwise Trout barren day, they are worth the time of feeling the tug. Small flies, nymphs, are in order and never allow any one to toss them up on to the rocks. I believe most fly fishers are intelligent enough today to know that Mountain Whitefish are not a threat to their cousins, the Trout and are a sign of a healthy watershed in many instances.

Small Nymphs for Whitefish (SwittersB)


Fly Fishing Tips: Wintertime Advice

Here is a compilation of tips for those fortunate enough to venture out in the Winter to wet a line (it assumes colder conditions):

“Use a Net – The air temperature tends to be colder than the water temperature during Montana winters.  By using a net you can prevent shocking or freezing the gills by keeping the fish in the water during a release.” (more)

Deschutes River (Evan Muncy, SwittersB)

“If  you are hiking into remote areas, keep track of the time and if you are catching fish it is very easy to forget about the time. Remember, the sun goes down much earlier in the winter especially if you are in the woods or in a valley.  Even an experienced angler will easily lose track of the time so be prepared by carrying a flashlight; it will come in handy.”  (more)

“…you need to look for different kinds of water. Fish generally vacate fast moving riffles and runs, and spend their days in deep, slow pools. This allows the fish to hold their positions without using too much energy. For this reason, you should focus on slow water, and move past water that has a high gradient. Also, winter fishing tends to be best on rivers and streams where water temperatures are relatively stable. The best waters are spring creeks, and tailwaters. The water temperatures in these areas generally stay comfortable even in the coldest weather, and you will catch more fish.

It is important to fish during the warmest part of the day. Although during the summer you probably spent most of your time fishing in the early mornings and late evenings, you should do the exact opposite now. Generally, the best fishing occurs from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. This is especially important on free-flowing rivers that get very cold in the winter, but it applies on any trout water during the winter.” (more)

“The majority of fly fisherman coming into the sport today did not spin or bait fish. So they don’t have the basic instincts of someone who has learned something about streams and fish before they get into fly fishing. They are overwhelmed by the amount of equipment, websites, information, books, magazines that’s thrown at them. Television programs make it appear that trout and especially large trout are easy to catch.  What they don’t tell the viewer is that it may have taken them a week of fishing to get 20 minutes of video show the experts catching fish.”(more)


Green Fish Garb and Sustainable Fish Hoodie

Green Fish Garb and Sustainable Fish Hoodie




Fly Fishing: Pose that Fish & That Odd Growth

Ok, I admit, if I caught that fish of the year or life time, I would love to have a picture of that fish and me. I would cross my fingers that the shot turned out perfect and that it was there to look at years later. I have such pictures and love looking at them. Especially now, that for a variety of health and stages of life reasons I cannot get out as often. 

There is posing and then there is posing... (SwittersB)

But, Martin Joergensen at Global Fly Fishers came up with a collage of pictures that, when viewed together, presents an odd, recent dynamic of what to do with the rod when posing the fish. It looks silly when seen in a group setting. Sometimes that rod does get in the way of those taking the shot. Should you decide to forgo the behind the neck pose (please, at least in a group setting) and set the rod down be very careful it is not stumbled upon. 


The Fish Hook: Ranking In History

The staple of our sport…the hook. Quickly we cover it up with all manner of adornments. Well, a group, via Forbes, has poured through various inventions and tools of mankind and come up with their version of a ranking of the worth of tools. Read more here….


Beginning Fly Tying & Fishing: Balanced Fly Patterns

On Stillwaters, the presentations can be vertical, diagonal or horizontal. The Intermediate Clear/Camo line is indispensable for that horizontal presentation. Tonight, I was watching a WFN show (B.C. Outdoors) and Phil Rowley was mentioning a horizontal presentation with a ‘balanced fly’ beneath the slip/strike bobber (floating line). I did a little checking and discovered the fly pattern promotes a horizontal path beneath the bobber, a non-slip loop knot and the hook point riding up.

The combo of the hook eye set back and on top. The bead head and materials should be presented to provide a balanced fly when drifted with a loop knot. Phil Rowley

 The experimentation will be to extend the bead out just far enough beyond the hook eye to achieve a balanced presentation beneath the loop knot/bobber. Query ‘slip strike bobber’ in the search box upper right and you will see several past posts regarding how to rig up the bobber/pin & the ‘non-slip loop knot’. I wonder if some jig heads would achieve this same balanced presentation? Still worth a little experimentation on lakes and wind drifting a pattern beneath a slip strike bobber.

Balanced Leech Pattern by Andy Larkin


Fly Fishing & the Loop Knot

Loop Knot attached to spoon, but perfect for many fly patterns as well. SwittersB

Tie that basic overhand knot first, then run the tag end through the eye of the hook and then finish off like a regular clinch/cinch, Trilene knot,

Just a refresher for the beginning fly fisher to remember this simple loop knot for many of your fly fishing presentations where freedom of movement is desired for the fly pattern. I have seen fly fishers use the loop knot on dry fly patterns, although I haven’t tried it myself. I invariably use this simple knot for all nymphs and streamer/buggers. FlyFishLouisiana

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