How to Catch and Release Your Fish

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How to Catch and Release Your Fish
An Investment in Your Fishing Future
Quill pen & India ink drawing by Mark Bachmann.

Wild and hatchery steelhead, and salmon are commonly found together in many Oregon rivers. Hatchery trout may be found with wild trout in many lakes. Hatchery-reared fish are used to supplement natural production or compensate for lost production (e.g. dams). However, catching and keeping a wild fish has a greater effect on a fish population than catching and keeping a hatchery fish. Here's why:
Hatchery fish are protected in a hatchery pond until adulthood, while wild fish must survive stream disturbances and predators to become adults. Adult wild fish that survive are the strongest and most cunning of their kind. Also, wild fish are much more likely to spawn in a stream than hatchery fish. So, returning wild fish to the

stream allows those fish to spawn and pass on their ability to survive to their offspring - enabling the wild fish population to remain healthy and grow.  In most Oregon waters wild fish are protected by law and must be released unharmed.

Hooking and Playing the Fish

  1. Use hooks that are barbless to reduce trauma.
  2. Decide to release a fish as soon as you determine it is wild.
  3. Set the hook immediately. Try to prevent a fish from swallowing your fly.
  4. Land your quarry quickly; don't play it to exhaustion.
  5. Don't beach a wild fish or let it flop around on the bank.
    6. If a picture is to be taken, get the fish back into the water quickly as possible.
    7.  Always keep release tools handy.

Pencil drawing by Mark Bachmann. Handling Your Catch
1. Leave the fish in the water (if possible) and don't handle it. Use a tool to remove the hook.
2. Keep the fish from thrashing.
3. Net your catch only if you cannot control it any other way. Rubber-bag nets remove less slime and fewer scales that mesh nets.
4. When you must handle a fish:
  • Use a wet glove or rag to hold it.
  • Turn a fish on its back or cover its eyes with a wet towel to calm it.
  • Don't put your fingers in the eyes or gills of your catch.
  • Avoid removing mucous or scales.

Pencil drawing by Mark Bachmann.

Get the fish back in the water as quickly as possible.
Releasing the Fish

  1. Place the fish in the water gently, supporting its mid-section and tail until it swims away.
  2. Resuscitate an exhausted fish by moving it back and forth or tow it gently alongside the boat to force water through its gills.
  3. Watch your quarry to make sure it swims away. If it doesn't, recover the fish and try again.

Remember, a released fish has an excellent chance of survival when handled carefully and correctly.

Wild Fish: All fins with straight, branched fin rays and adipose fin is intact.
Hatchery Fish: have had adipose fin, and possibly the ventral, or pectoral fins clipped off at the hatchery. To confirm hatchery origin, look for the healed fin clip.

Black Diamond Head Lamps 

One of these lights on your hat will pay for itself the next time you launch your boat in the pre-dawn to get a jump on the competition.  Besides a light can aid your comfort or survival if anything goes wrong.  The last thing you want, is to get stuck in the middle of some epic. Any carefully thought out adventure can turn into an unplanned night under the stars. Many of us have stumbled zombie-like through the forest at night one too many times trying to find the trail back to the car or camp. Beyond your personal safety and survival is the unhandiness of trying to thread leaders through hook-eyes or tying knots in low light conditions. Black Diamond headlamps are more than just batteries and bulbs. You need illumination technology that’s tough and reliable with just the right components for crisp, clear, usable light. Don't get caught in the dark without a light.

Spot Cosmo Ion

Black Diamond Head Lamp, Spot Model

Spot Model

Focus your attention on what's ahead with the new Spot. The only batteries-in-front headlamp available with a one-watt HyperBright Bulb and three SuperBright LEDs, the Spot's compact exterior disguises its powerful punch, providing far-reaching illumination for climbers, skiers and backcountry travelers. We've refined our reflector to increase the HyperBright Bulb's spotlight beam and clustered it with three SuperBright LEDs for bright proximity lighting. Powered by three AAA batteries and with a tiltable housing, the sleek Spot has intelligent circuitry that gives three brightness settings and includes strobe illumination in either mode. The Spot is a lightweight, dependable and powerful option for serious users when success is on the line.
  • Batteries-in-front design
  • Improved reflector for better spotlight capability
  • Intelligent circuitry for 3 brightness settings & strobe
  • Item Description Model Price To Top
    620586P Black Diamond Head Lamp Spot, Pearl $42.95

    620586T Black Diamond Head Lamp Spot, Titanium $42.95


    Black Diamond Head Lamp, Cosmo Model

    Cosmo Model

    • Low profile & super compact with tiltable head
    • 3 brightness settings & strobe illumination
    • SuperBright LEDs provide good proximity lighting
    Item Description Model Price To Top
    620585A Black Diamond Head Lamp Cosmo, Argent $29.95

    620585M Black Diamond Head Lamp Cosmo, Marigold $29.95


    Black Diamond Head Lamp, Ion Model

    Ion Model

    If you need to leave most of the “ten essentials” behind, make sure you keep the Ion on the short list. This emergency backup headlamp provides you with two SuperBright LEDs for close- range lighting—stash it in your pocket, keep it in your first-aid kit or throw it in your pack. The Ion is the ultimate light for when you don’t think you’ll need it. Weighs less than an ounce. Comes in assorted colors.
    Item Description Model Price To Top
    620575 Black Diamond Head Lamp Ion $19.95


    Good Fishing !!!

    This big hen ate a Red Rocket Tube Fly
    for Don.  Mark Bachmann photo 02/09/06

    This big buck ate a Red & Orange Metal Detector Fly
    for Brent.  Marty Sheppard photo 02/10/06
    Steelhead fishing continues to be good in both the Sandy and Clackamas Rivers.  Main concentration of hatchery fish is below the mouth of Eagle Creek on the Clackamas and just down stream from Cedar Creek on the Sandy.

    The Fly Fishing Shop HOME. The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

    1(800) 266-3971

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    Fish long & prosper,
    Mark Bachmann, Patty Barnes


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