Give "Grip and grins" a thought!

By, Howard Hart, 

     "At What Price Glory?" is an article by Erin Block for Trout Unlimited magazine (Fall 2013) discusses catch and release and specifically "grip and grin" photos, or as some call them "hero" shots.  Erin points out that emerging studies on handling time and especially air exposure time have shown to be more harmful to trout than hooking or even long plays. If the goal is to preserve a life or a fishery (and it should be) we should immediately release a fish, preferably without even taking it out of the water.

     There are several national fly fishing clubs that have taken the stand against taking and posting "hero" photos and that they should never include location (to protect delicate fisheries)

     Photos of children (the future of fly fishers) beaming with happiness and pride with fish in hand is one thing.  An occasional adult "memory photo" of a fish of a lifetime is also understandable.  However, we should always consider one thing -----is smiling and holding up a fish about the fish, or fame.

     Personal ethics are a private matter and each of us defines our own fishing ethics.  It is not my intent to define yours, but only to offer food for thought.  However, please consider all the aspects of "grip and grin" or "hero" photos and their posting of them on cold water species.  Remember, as fly fishers and specifically TU members, our charge is to "conserve, protect, and restore."  "Stewardship demands restriction and limitation......."-----  Nick Lyons

 Good luck fishing, 

Howard is a TU Lifetime Member and former Habitat Chairperson for Wyoming Seedskadee Chapter #533


Well said, Howard.  Respect for your quarry dictates doing everything you can to keep your fish from becoming too tired or stressed to be released successfully -- unless you are fishing for food.  You can still take a hero shot while keeping the fish (at least mostly) in the water.