What do I instil in clients about playing and landing NZ trout?

I’m amazed how many, including seasoned,  anglers  take the  “death grip to the  line” approach  after setting the hook and won’t let a fish run. There’s only one possible outcome when holding onto the line so  LET IT RUN!!  Let the fish run immediately after hooking up and ensure any loose line is clear  to run freely through the guides with your hand applying the equivalent amount of drag to the line as that of your reel. Just a quick glimpse at the reel and your feet to make sure there are no potential snags ensures  this.  Nearly everyone has lost a trout when the line gets caught in behind the reel. It’s not simply bad luck …. so make a habit of taking  that quick look to ensure everything is alright.   

Remember the trout  is at its strongest  at the moment of hookup so  plan for it and act accordingly.  

Once the trout settles after the first run you can  actively work an angle on the fish that pulls  from the fish’s mouth toward its tail.  Always apply pressure via the rod  to the opposite way its head is pointing.  Unless  the trout is running they  always face into the current  so if you do not know which direction the head is pointing choose the downstream angle. 

This is done for two reasons.  Firstly, a hook that is pulled back into the side of the mouth rarely comes out as opposed to one that pulls out  from an often open mouth.  

We will cover the second reason in the next post.