Fly Fishing Catch and Release
Once you make the decision that you want to become part off the world of fly fishing, you have to then decide if you are going to keep your catches or release them back into the water safe and sound. Some fishermen keep all the fish they catch, others release all that they catch, and some choose to use a combination of the two. These fly fishermen keep only what they are going to eat, or give to other people to eat, and release all of the other fish they catch. If you decide to practice fly fishing using the catch and release method, it is very important that you crush the barb of the hook you are going to use. The other choice is to use a hook without barbs. This is done to avoid any unnecessary injuries to the fish.
It is also important to keep the fight as short as possible so the fish does not become overtired. At the first opportunity, bring the fish to hand but do not take it out of the water. While holding it under the water, remove the hook using a pair of fishing pliers. If the fish seems to be too tired to swim away, hold it gently just under the surface of the water with one hand around its caudal wrist, which is just ahead of the tail. With the other hand, support the fish under its belly.
Rock the fish gently back and forth making sure that the water enters its mouth and flows over its gills. Using this method, the fish should gain its energy back quickly. When you feel the fish try to pull away, gently release your hold on it. Using the catch and release method of fly fishing can be very rewarding. Often fishermen believe they should release the smaller fish that they catch and keep the larger ones. They might not be aware that the larger fish usually represent the more genetically suitable spawners. They are the ones that are the most valuable fish for keeping a healthy species. It is wiser to keep the smaller fish to eat and release the larger ones back into the water. Some people while fly fishing, feel that it is all right to catch as many fish as possible as long as they release them all. However, catch and release is not foolproof.
Many fish are injured during the process and some even die. At times, even though the fisherman doesn't keep any of the fish he catches, the overall fish mortality rate for that day is higher then if he had caught and kept the legal limit. Most fish, even if they are not physically injured, will sulk for a while after they have been released because of the trauma of being caught and released. Catch and release fly fishing can be a wonderful way to experience the sport. Every release of a fish contributes to the conservation efforts that ensures the future of having future stocks of fish.
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