In the world of fly fishing, there are very few truly universal truths. Today we start a mini-series of posts on those very few tips, guidelines and rules that pretty much apply anywhere in the world you can go fly fishing.
Net the head!
The setup here is pretty simple – your buddy is hooked up to a nice fish, and you’re the one with the net in your hands. Or maybe, you’re fishing for something less-than-massive and you’ve got your rod in one hand and your net in the other. Or maybe, it’s your first day guiding. Regardless, this is a universal rule, right?
When the fish is in close and seems tired enough to be landed, you need to get it in the net. Net the head! Jab the net down in front of the fish’s face, and sweep towards its head. It’s as simple as that.
Why? Fish can’t swim backwards. If you get them pointed into your net with their head inside it, almost every time you’re good to go – in goes the head, and in goes the fish.
Under no circumstances should you ever sweep from behind the fish. Fish can swim forward really well – that’s what they’re made for. You’re not going to catch up to the fish if you’re sweeping from behind it. Don’t even try. Sweeping from the side is an equally low-percentage affair.
Trust us on this one – whether it’s a little brookie or a fat steelhead, a graceful grayling or a bruiser of a brown, when the fight is over, net the head.