Line Tip: Slip and Grab

You're trying to land a large trout but you don't have a net, and you don't want to injure the fish by beaching it. If you "high-stick" the rod while under tension, you may break the tip, so how do you land the fish? With the trout exhausted and about a rod length away, pinch the line tightly under the index finger of your rod hand and strip about 10 feet of slack line from the reel. Quickly raise the rod high, and allow the slack line to slip under your index finger, taking all the pressure off the tip. The quick combination of pulling the rod high and allowing the line to slip under your finger will cause the tip of the fly line or the leader butt to slap you in the chest. Grab the line or leader with your opposite hand and carefully handline the fish toward you until you can tail it or support it under the belly to remove the fly. For a video demonstration of the technique see:

Ross Purnell

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