Catch and release fly fishing has been instituted into many of our key fisheries throughout the United States, but why? Many wonder why not keep the fish and harvest them for food. I am often asked this by many non fisherman, so I want to open the discussion here.

First of all, when river fishing we tend to be on the move up and down the river a lot so it doesn’t make sense to be hauling around a few dead fish. You can’t just leave a line in the river 1/4 mile downstream to then retrieve it every time you decide to keep a new fish. Secondly, and more important, as we let fish go it helps to keep the trout population thriving and as the trout population thrives so does the beaver, otter, bear and bird populations. Each of these animals rely on fish as a sustaining life blood. If all of the fisherman fishing these many waterways even just kept their limit then we would start to lose a vital fish population among other wildlife. Third, by letting fish go back into the waterways they then have a chance to grow larger and be caught again, thus giving us a continual joy through catching healthier, larger fish more regularly.

Experience the joy of keeping your fish wet and healthy and then letting them go back to live another day.

I footnotes