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Best Practices for Catch-and-Release Trout Fishing

Best Practices for Catch-and-Release Trout Fishing
With trout or other gamefish, cradle the fish with your hand under its belly. Never squeeze the fish, as you may harm its delicate internal organs. Revive the fish in clean water before you carefully release it. Ross Purnell photo.

This story was originally titled “Catch-and-Release: Best Practices to Release Your Fish Unharmed.” It appeared in the Fly Fishing Made Easy 2020 issue of Fly Fisherman. 

Lee Wulff famously said in 1938 that “gamefish are too valuable to be caught only once.” It took decades for catch-and-release fishing to catch on, but later generations of North American fly fishers eventually realized that it was a critical way to conserve fish stocks amid a growing population and dwindling habitat. In many places, our angling opportunities would be greatly restricted without catch-and-release ethics or catch-and-release regulations. There simply wouldn’t be...

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