The video you are about to watch is of my son, Harrison, who just turned 21. He is landing his first big trout, a hen that was a little over 20 inches. So…as you watch the video…consider the following tips to help put your trophy in the net.
* Don’t panic…the worst and first thing that most folks do is panic. Get the fish on your reel and then let the drag of the reel do its job. As I start each day I make sure that my drag is set for the biggest and baddest fish I might actually catch. You don’t want to be messing with the drag when the big one is on the other end….thus if the drag is already set you have one less thing to worry about.
* Start carefully backing yourself out of the faster water and moving your fish into the slower seams that will allow you to land the fish. If you are with a guide or a buddy…they may be able to help you and net your fish; but if you are on your own you want to get to slower water.
* Keep your rod and line to one side or the other. I know there are those that want the rod high…OK…but let the drag of the line and even the rod do some of the work for you.
* If the fish runs…keep your hand away from the reel! This is where many a trophy has been lost (an even a few knuckles have been hurt).
* Take your time and don’t try and net the fish too early. If you feel like they are still too green then give them some time. When you get their head up and headed your way, have your net ready and slip it under the fish, don’t lift the fish into the net. I like to take my net in at a 45 degree angle and scoop water and fish at the same time.
* Next … remove the fly from the fish within the net…and keep the fish in the water as much as possible during this process. If the fly is too deep or wrapped in some gnarly teeth…cut your line as the fly will rust off in a short amount of time.
* One other note…most or many rods have “hero” marks on their rods already. I put these on all of my rods at 12 inches, 15 inches and 20 inches and can quickly measure a fish by sliding it up against the butt of the rod. I use pink finger nail polish…this stands out and makes it easily seen. The less time you have the fish out of the water the better its chances are…so get your rod marked and be ready to get the fish back in asap.