I watched the video and felt that it was well done as well. However, I have a concern about tailing fish that I hope you good folks can put to rest, and which I had hoped the video would address.
On a recent Atlantic Salmon trip, the guides all insisted upon tailing the fish. When the fish was tired enough to net successfully, the guide would gram the leader, and proceed to fight the fish until he could successfully tail it - usually this took another 2-3 minutes. We spent much too much time reviving spent fish, in my estimation. When netted, I expect a fish to basically swim out of the net immediately. There wasn't a single fish we caught that was able to swim away immediately, and I believe that tailing vs netting was the cause.
Is fish exhaustion common when tailing fish, or was this a case of improper technique? Other parties in camp reported similar experiences.
I agree with you. Tailing a fish with the same efficiency as a net is not an easy thing to do and usually ends up in a longer recovery process. I suppose the question would be if a net is not available, does one tail or semi-beach the fish (Henrik Mortenson style.) One can say what they want about semi-beaching, but the fish always swim away clean as apposed to a lot of low water hot summer day fish. My only concern would be the effects we do not see that take their toll later on. All in all I think one can avoid that decision with a good C&R net, which the video included.
When I fish for Atlantics, I find that I'm able to tail my own or my buddy's fish quickly if the fish is under 18-20lbs (except for grilse - those little b*ggers are wiggly) since I fish with fairly heavy tippets and don't play them to exhaustion. Good technique is really important too - nothing worse than watching someone tail and lift a fish then see them drop it onto the rocks, or watching a fish thrash around on the rocks while it's being chased down.
Larger fish, I always break out the rubberized net. I don't like having to exhaust the big fish to get them in close enough to tail, especially for fresh silver fish where the fight for a 25-35lb fish can go on for 20-45 min if they're really determined and there's a lot of current. I find that they're landed and released much more quickly with a net.
Water temperatures and season play a big role too. In warmer waters the salmon can take longer to recover. If they're fresh out the sea, they generally have more oomph when released.
A forum community dedicated to Spey casting, fishing, flies, and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about trails, licenses, fishing, game laws, styles, reviews, optics, accessories, classifieds, and more!