Catch and Release Me … Please!

“Hang on there,” says Mr. Brown Trout. “Don’t skip this post, just because you think you know how to do it. And maybe you do. Perhaps you have even released me … Thanks! But a little review never hurts, certainly not as much as the hooks you keep sticking in me. So, let’s go over it again and who knows you might even learn something new.”

1. “Okay, first of all, use barbless hooks … for three reasons: you will spend less time unhooking me (Yeah!), it’s easier to get out of your clothing, and it’s easier to get out of your ear. Yeah, I know, that never happens to you. ‘Rip some lips’ is just a saying right?”

2. “I know that the ‘tug is the drug” but let’s see if we can keep our tussle to a minimum amount of time, particularly when the water temp is too high or too low. I know it’s not always up to you. Sometimes I get pretty angry and don’t know when to give up. And if that is the case, take extra time getting me ready to go.”

3. “Speaking of extra time. Us older big boys are less resilient than the smaller ones, so be more carful with us.”

4. “We have a protective slime, (we prefer the word ‘glisten’). Make sure your hands are wet (with water, not sunscreen or mosquito repellant) when you handle us.”

5. “Please don’t touch our gills at any time and we won’t touch your … .”

6. “It’s okay if you have go into our mouth to remove the hook as long as you don’t damage anything (like our gills), but if it’s too hard to get, cut the line. I’ll deal with it … yuck and ouch. BTW, some of us have bigger teeth. If you turn me upside down, I get a little disoriented and it may be easier to remove the hook.”

7. “For those ‘grip and grin’ photos, don’t grip the life out of us. However, you can hold us pretty firmly where the tail joins my spine. It’s called the Caudal Peduncle, if you want to impress your friends. Putting my pectorals between your fingers might help while holding me for the photo. Also, don’t forget we can’t breathe out of the water. If you want to know how long we can stand it, stick your head underwater and go f … I mean, time yourself.”

8. “During the photo session, keep me low to the water (with my good side to the camera.) If my air bladder inflates and you drop me (or I squirm out), it might pop … and then I will haunt you forever.”

9. “Don’t just throw me back into the rushing river. Hold me gently in a soft current until I swim out of your hands. If I’m in a lake, move me back and forth slowly until I get my bearings and swim away upright.”

10. “Thanks for your time and consideration on this. And as we say in trout land: ‘May you always forget to put hooks on your line.”