3 Tips For Netting Trophy Trout From a Drift Boat

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Get out of the drift boat when possible to net trophy trout.

So you’re floating the river in a drift boat and your buddy just hooked into a trophy trout. What should you do next to ensure you land that trophy? Below are three tips for increasing your chances at netting that fish of a lifetime.

1. When the opportunity presents itself get all your fly line on the reel.

After you’ve set the hook, made a few strips to keep tension, and your jaw has dropped to the ground after seeing the giant beast at the end of your line, your next objective will be to find a good time to get all that excess fly line onto the reel. The last thing you want is the trophy fish making a blistering run, and your excess fly line catching on your boot, thigh brace, or rod butt resulting in a break off. When the trophy settles down and holds in a stationary position during the fight, this is when you should take the opportunity to reel in and get all of your fly line on the reel. Doing so you can let that $300 fly reel with a butter smooth drag to do its job.

2. Use your drift boat to block danger zones during the fight.

Don’t keep your boat anchored up during a battle with a trophy fish expecting the angler to do all the work. Often the trophy will make a big run downstream or upstream, which will drastically lower the ability of the angler to control the fish. If you’re on the oars, it’s your job to row the boat and follow the fish to help keep that perpendicular fight. Look for danger zones like snags and boulders that the trophy can break you off on. If the fish starts to make a move towards one of them, the oarsman can cut the fish off by blocking it with the drift boat. Often doing so the fish will change directions and move away from the danger zone. If you’re on a river like the South Fork of the Snake River, where the current speed is often so fast you can’t maneuver very well, your only option is to follow the trophy downstream until you can find a suitable section of water to land it.

3. Get out of the boat to net your trophy.

If you’ve hooked into trophy sized fish on the river before, you’ve probably noticed how difficult it can be to raise the fish to the surface and bring it within netting distance of the boat. This is because big fish catch so much water flow due to their huge body mass and surface area. It’s crucial for the person on the oars to search out a section of water with manageable current flows that will allow them to exit the boat and net the fish. Work as a team to move the boat and the fish together to the landing zone, and often you’ll bring the trophy to hand.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline

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2 thoughts on “3 Tips For Netting Trophy Trout From a Drift Boat

  1. Pingback: Netting from a Drift Boat | MidCurrent

  2. Pingback: 9 Tips for Netting Big Fish on Your Own | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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