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How to "keep a grip" on Trout to Release them W/O Harm to the Fish?

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rwolf, I wouldn't think you would want "break" the jaw like you do with the Sunfish family, but I wouldn't think gripping the jaw inline would hurt.

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Like Terry said, I use, and advocate the use of a Ketchum Release tool.

I don't take many photo's anymore, I've got enough to fill scrapbooks. That,and I acutally don't like the physical evidence...that way the story can "grow".

KR tool is very easy to use, just slide down the tippet, give a poke and the trout swims away having never been touched. The bonus is the fly usually is hooked to the barrel of the KR tool making it easy to inspect. I also think this tool is better on the longevity of the fly.

G

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If the fish is small enough, I usually flip them over, and try to keep them in the water (which in my mind makes them panic less). Also, I try this while holding them just behind the dorsal fin...I know it seems weird, and like you won't be able to hold on to it, but it really turns them "off." Maybe it's my imagination, but give it a try, hold a fish upsidedown with your hand on the upper portion, then switch to behind the dorsal fin. Surely some lucky guy is out there fishing today to try this out and report back.

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Even inline, holding a trout by the jaw can damage the fish. Using a boga grip is also an option. Especially for larger fish. Trout dont have a thick jaw bone that is strong enough to support the weight so you could easily break their jaw.

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Speaking of the boga grip; I've been looking at them and really thinking I would like them. Here's my question; are they really worth the money? I like the idea of weighing my fish with the grip, I like the idea that you can handle the fish without touching them. Are they really safe for the fish? Any input from someone that's used them would be great. Thanks.

John

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(How do I say this without sounding like a member of PETA)

Any time you handle, touch, brush up against, hook, snag, gig, fight, reel, net, grip, or otherwise take a fish from his given element, there is a potential to harm him. Whatever means you take to limit this should be taken. The "cleanest" is to use some means to unhook him without touching him - such as the Ketchum Release or hemostats or other non-evasive means.

There are nets with built in scales available that - IMHO - are much better suited for trout than Boga grips. But BGs are better than putting them in the bottom of a boat and running to the nearest dock with scales...

For pictures, keeping them in the net and handling them there is best, but the best pics are those with the fish held with the hands in front of your chest (of course) and in my opinion this is OK as long as you do it as quickly as possible and get the fish back in the stream taking care to make sure he is revived.

Terry - member of PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals...)

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