Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bag the Net

I have never used a net while fly fishing. Since all my fishing is catch and release, I'm not over concerned about having a fish shake off. I'm actually more concerned about getting the fish back into the river as quickly as possible.

I recently started taking pictures, and found I really could do a self portrait of a larger fish. I just wasn't able to control the fish in a manner I felt comfortable with, long enough to get the camera on and focused.

I thought about using a net. As I thought, my rod weights in at less than 3 oz. I only carry a small box of flies, and maybe a spare spool of tippet. If I went to a net, it might very well weigh more than all my other fishing equipment combined. It would certainly be the most ungainly thing I would be carrying.

I while back I saw a reference to a mitt that could be used to help control fish. I decided if it worked, that might not be a bad way to go. Both for me and the fish.

I bought some mesh material, and had intended to roughly lash something together myself. But then my wife, the Bag Lady graciously offered to sew something up for me -

Having used this for the past several weeks, I can only say, it works great! The fish actually seem to settle down, it only takes a very light touch to hold them.

The mesh bag weights nothing, I keep it tucked into my wader belt, it only takes a second to deploy.

Biggest fish landed to date using the mesh bag was a feisty 16" rainbow. I was able to cradle and control the fish just fine. I could have even takes a dandy picture, had I only remembered to bring my camera.

If it's not one thing, it's another.