Don’t Lift!

Many of us start our fly fishing journey focused on trout. However, there are a few things trout fisherman do that should not be done while fishing for larger species.

When landing a trout it is common to pull the rod back behind your head/over your shoulder while netting a fish. This allows you to pull the trout closer and extend your other arm with the net. However, doing this can be an issue when landing larger fish.

While fighting larger fish use side pressure, fight with the butt of your rod, and try to work the fish to the shallows where netting it is easier. DON’T LIFT the rod behind your head when landing larger fish.


I made this mistake while fishing during my lunch hour. I saw a carp feeding in a nearby ditch, presented the fly, and the fight was on. I couldn’t reach the fish because I was above it on a ditch bank. While landing it I tried lifting the rod behind my shoulder to get the fish up higher on the bank where I could net it. My rod was at an angle that put too much pressure on the top section of my rod and…… Snap!

Sometimes you have to put the rod behind you to get close enough to net a fish. However, try to use the entire length of the rod when dragging the fish to your net. If you manhandle the fish with the tip section you might end up like me. I have found that pulling my rod back by the side of my body (instead of over my head) makes it easier for me to use the entire length of the rod (not just the tip) while landing a fish.

Hope that helps.

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