Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
This may seem obvious, but fish like water. I mean, they really really like water! Continuing with the obvious, they really don't like being out of said water. After anglers land a fish, it's important to keep this in mind. Keeping our caught quarry in the water while we reel in slack line, dig out a camera or phone, and decide which backdrop is most desirable can all be accomplished before picking up the fish. By doing this we can limit the time spent in the danger zone for trout.
Now, for the main attraction: holding the fish. This blog came about because of the way fish are often handled in social media pictures. At times it's cringe-worthy, and could potentially lead to the fish's untimely demise. The thing is, this isn't meant to be some sort of scolding blog shaming anglers. In fact, a properly held fish also makes for a much better picture!
A caught fish about to be posed for a picture should be cradled right in the crease of where fingers meet the palm of your hand. This serves as a solid anchor point where the fish can rest comfortably without the angler squeezing it to the point of bursting. The grip should be less than firm, but solid enough to control the trout. Fingers should be far away from the gills at ALL times! Never should we ever do anything to compromise the gills, because doing so is one of the easiest ways to harm the fish.
Once the fish is held properly, the picture can be taken. When lifting it up out of the water, consider what's underneath our soon to be photo. Keeping the trout over water ensures that even if they squirm free, their fall will be back into H20 and not harmful rocks or other dry land hazards. The picture opportunity might be lost, but the trout will be safely swimming back to be caught again another day.
Pick the fish up from the water directly towards the camera. Make sure that your fingers and hand aren't covering the fish's flank. Nothing is worse than a great fish being overshadowed by an angler's hand wrapping around the entire trout. This is something that I've often been guilt of in the past. A cool fish is made to less smaller or less pretty because my hand is the dominating feature in the photo. Snap a ton of pictures and sort through them later. The beauty of modern technology is the ease at which pictures can be taken and later deleted. If done correctly, the fish is out of the water less than ten seconds!
Here's a list of things that people rarely want to see in a fish picture: the angler, what color buff you're wearing, your hand, your fingers, your vest, your fly boxes, cans of beer, or anything else. Here's a definitive list of what people always want to see in a fish picture: the fish! Focus on the trout, it's what the masses want! There's nothing wrong with snapping a few pics smiling or holding the rod, but in general the fish is the star, so pay homage to that.
Holding trout correctly helps them be released safely back into the water. It also provides far prettier pictures of trout. It's a classic two birds, one stone scenario, so relax that grip and get the camera ready!
We focus on educating anglers on all guide trips. That includes how to properly and efficiently hold fish!