Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Keeping ’em wet

As a fishing guide, a journalist and advocate being on the water, especially fishing, is one of the most rewarding parts of the gig.  Many times that means getting a photo of a happy angler with a fish.

Here’s the rub. The grip and grin, hero shot is great for the angler, but even when it is done right is not great for the fish and when done wrong can be deadly.  I’ve done it and it bothers me, a lot. Sure, I am careful when I set up those shots but I’ve always worried about it. Of course I want the client to have a memento but not at the sacrifice of my business partner the fish.

Enter Keepemwet Fishing. Bryan Huskey and the team are promoting responsible handling, photographing, and releasing fish in the future. And they are doing it the right way.

This is from the website:

ETHOS: WE BELIEVE THAT AS WE LEARN MORE WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO EVOLVE OUR MINDSET AND PRACTICES

Thanks to advances in science, we now have a better understanding of the impacts that handling can have on the long-term health of fish. We believe that anglers have the responsibility to apply this knowledge to their fish handling practices and should strive to minimize the impacts on the fish they release.

Keepemwet Fishing doesn’t believe in casting stones. Instead, we believe in mindfulness and positive progress. We know that we have all been guilty of mishandling fish in the past and recognize that we will likely err in the future, despite our best intentions. Rather than tearing down others for their missteps, we hope to promote this awareness so anglers are better equipped to properly handle, photograph, and release fish in the future.

We encourage our supporters to share this approach, to lead by example, and to serve as positive influences for other anglers.

The website has principles and tips that help anglers do a better job of fish handling. Take a few minutes to read them over.

There is also a link to Andy Danylchuk’s piece The Release – Fundamentals of fish and the path to responsible angling in Patagonia’s blog The Cleanest Line. Andy is a good friend and his experience and research on this subject is excellent. Again, give it a read.

If you are a recreational angler you should care about the resource. Spending a few minutes learning how to be a good steward is part of the program.

 

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