How to Hold a Trout
To hold a trout, steer the hooked trout through the water towards the wide mouth of your long-handled landing-net (the mouth of the net should be submerged just below the water surface.) When the trout is above the submerged mouth of the landing-net, raise the net and land your trout.
Wet your hands before touching the trout to remove the hook from its mouth. Dry fingers may damage the trout’s tiny protective scales, leading to infection if the trout, not wanted for eating, is gently released back into its watery home.
To return a trout caught from the flowing waters of rivers or streams, carefully lower the unhooked trout back into the water facing upstream (up current) into the water current, and gently hold the trout steady until it feels strong enough to swim away.
Killing the Trout
Should you wish to take the captured trout home to make a meal of it, kill the trout quickly and humanely by striking it heavily across the base of its head with a weightily blunt instrument. A “priest“, is an ideal weapon.
We have seen trout squirm free and leap from the hands of fly-fishers preparing to kill them, back into the water, or thrash their way over the bank or shore or out of a boat and back into the water.
Remember, a trout never surrenders, it never gives in. See types of trout.
Kill trout you want to keep and eat while the trout is in the landing-net, before removing the hook from its mouth.