Must Have Accessories for Fly Fishermen

It’s every angler’s goal: catching a fish so big you need to use a net to make sure it doesn’t get away.

But landing nets aren’t just for lunkers. A good case can be made that every fish should be netted – to ensure a successful catch, and for the well-being of the fish itself.

A caught fish struggles most violently just as it is being brought to hand. This is, after all, the moment when the fish realizes a very large, wader-clad creature is about to pluck it out of the water. Fighting for its life, or so it believes, the wriggling, flipping fish may well get off the hook, and there goes your photos or fillets.

Losing a fish is bad enough; abusing one is even worse. A hooked fish in the final moments of capture tends to thrash violently against mid-stream or shoreline rocks or the boat deck. If you’re planning to release your fish – and most fly-fishers do, most of the time – an out-of-control fish often experiences serious and unnecessary injury.

A landing net solves both problems. Scoop up the fish as you’re pulling it in, and the worst it can do is twist and turn harmlessly inside the soft fabric of the net bag. Once its initial panic subsides after a few moments, you can reach in (wet your hand first to avoid damaging the trout’s protective slime), left out the fish, take its picture, unhook it and send it on its way.

Fly Fishing for Bass – a Guide

Dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers: almost all of them were devised to catch trout.

Thankfully, almost all of them catch bass, too.

Most fly-fishing is conducted in pursuit of trout in streams, where fly-fishing gear is perfect for tossing feather-light imitations of aquatic insects, crustaceans or baitfish onto or into the currents. In many places, this activity peaks in the spring and declines during the heat of summer. Trout are cold-water fish and just don’t bite very well when the water gets up around 70 degrees.

Once the water warms, many trout anglers switch to bass, which don’t mind 70-degree water a bit.

Despite their status as Plan B fish – something to fish for when the trout fishing’s no good – bass are great fish for fly-fishing.

It’s not unusual for a trout fisher to think he or she has hooked a large trout, only to find out the fish is a small bass.

They are accessible. Many streams that are trout fisheries in their cooler, upper reaches are great bass fisheries downstream. So the same river where you fished the Hendrickson hatch in May might provide exciting bass fishing in July. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are widely distributed across the U.S., and almost everyone has good bass water nearby. Bass generally don’t prefer truly cold water, but in places with water temperatures in the 60s, they often coexist with trout.