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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
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PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Sep 10, 2012September 10th, 2012, 8:21 am EDT
I now spend the majority of my trout fishing on small streams, sometimes on VERY small streams. This may mean my crawling through thickets of willow and alder like a snake and never making a full aerial flycast the entire time, relying on bow-n-arrow casting for the most part, along with some roll casting. B-n-A casting, btw, with the right rig, can punch casts as far as 30feet, very accurately and with instant engagement.

One problem I have in such tight quarters is actually getting a grip on those pretty little trout that almost certainly no one else has ever got a look at. Handling green fish in tight quarters on a short line too often results in escaped fish. When you work hard and burn time getting into position to get a proper presentation on a specific cut only to have your hard earned trophy flip off the hook at your knees, gets old fast. A net helps A LOT.

I already own several nets, including two beautiful Clint Byrnes numbers (his bamboo "dry fly " and a larger custom bird-eye maple) as well as a nice Euro-style C&R mesh net I like. But in those dense thickets even the smallest nets normally available are too big. And, outside of C&R mesh, standard mesh sizes simply let those 9" trophy's slip right through.

I began an earnest search for a tiny stream trout net this summer, eventually looking at some offered by custom makers that frankly I couldn't justify the money for, considering other priorities coupled with the fact that it would be used entirely for 8 to 11in fish. I decided to make my own, which is not ALL that hard to do.

Last week, however, I found myself "shopping" with my wife and in-laws in a tourist town (yes you SHOULD pity me) and in one of those cutesy gift shops (that smell like ... lavender and spice) I found some tiny "decorative" trout nets hanging next to a cute resin-molded black bear holding a sign I refused to read. I picked one up and found it was a real net, unfinished, but made of steam-bent ash in a pleasing tear-drop shape, with a fine-meshed soft nylon bag. It measures 14” x 5” and was $18.

I took it home, unstrung the bag, sanded and stained it, topping it with 6 coats of Spar urethane and … Voila! I’ve netted a bunch of little trout with it since and it fits the bill perfectly.

Posts: 560
Sayfu on Sep 10, 2012September 10th, 2012, 9:07 am EDT

Hard to beat that coiled up holstered net. I use to sell a lot of them...can't think of the name of those nets now. You draw it out of the holster, and it springs into round.

Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Sep 10, 2012September 10th, 2012, 2:22 pm EDT
Here's a place that sells them in PA.

Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Sep 12, 2012September 12th, 2012, 12:57 pm EDT
Beautiful net, Paul.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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