Fly fishing nets aren’t really optional; here’s why you need one.
“Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it.” – Harry Middleton
It has always amazed me the amount of people I take on fly fishing trips that never bother to bring a net. Some will say they don’t need them, others claim to only bring them on certain trips.
However, I have never found a situation where I am fly fishing and a net wouldn’t be immensely beneficial.
Can you get by without it? Yes. Can you get by without a dishwasher in your kitchen? Yes, but it’s going to make it much more difficult.
Why Do Fly Anglers Need a Fishing Net, Really?
There are several reasons that I always bring a net on my fly fishing trips, so much so that I would feel naked without one.
Let’s start with the obvious: using a net increases your chances of landing a fish exponentially. Fly rods are designed to be extremely lightweight, long, and to use with low-pound leaders. Without a net, you’re risking significant damage on your equipment as well as losing your catch.
Not only does a net help the angler land their fish, but it also makes handling the fish much easier. With a quality net, you’re taking out a lot of the hand work that goes into catch and release fishing. If you are releasing your catch, using a net gives the fish time to regain its strength and gather itself before being released back into the water.
Finding the Best Fly Fishing Net
I have actually used several different fly fishing nets over the course of several years. This is not because of bad luck with the former, but because I was interested to see if there was one particular net that outperforms the others, and to find the net that worked best for me.
While I haven’t narrowed my gear down to one specific net, I have had great experience with a few quality nets that all have their advantages on rivers and streams.
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