This blog starts with one big assumption- you want to impress your guide. If not at least it will help you land more fish.
Landing Fish with the Help of a Net
The days are gone where nets were all bad and tailing fish was the only humane way to land your catch. Great soft mesh materials mean that fish can be subdued safely in short order with less physical exertion. We’ve all had that experience trying to tail a fish that had fighters heart. A 5 minute tussel can quickly become 10 or more.
Guides are typically good with a net. It’s a skill that takes patience and experience. That’s not to say that anyone can’t net a fish, just that it takes a lot of successes and a few failures to know when to take that stab at a trophy. A premature scoop can end in disaster and erode your cool guy status real quick. The secret though? The most important aspect is in the coaching. It’s a dance and someone needs to lead. I’ll do it!
I commonly hear “I don’t like reeling the tip in the rod because I lost a monster that way.” Now I would never call you a liar, cause I’m well trained in guide speak, but in a lifetime of angling I’ve never seen it. What I have seen is a lot of running up and down the bank, net in hand, trying to chase fish on 20 feet of line in 6 inches of water. Those are fish that get off. If you want control of your dog, shorten the leash.
Here’s how I hope my scoops can go. Fight winding down. Angler walks towards fish and collects as much line as possible (as little as 3 feet). I walk to the tip of your line and present the basket- I’m showing you the uprights now kick the field goal. I’ll say “lift” and scoop your perfectly presented salmonid (as demonstrated below). You’re the star, I’m supporting cast.
Under ideal conditions guides should direct to you to a spot with soft current, room to fight and ideally a bank with a background that will make your eyes pop when you pose with your lunker. Fast forward to 10,000 Instagram followers.