On the Fly column: A good net man should be cherished | PostIndependent.com

On the Fly column: A good net man should be cherished

London Krapff holds a Fryingpan River brown trout.
Max Krapff

It always pays to have a good net man. There is also something incredibly satisfying about being the net man (or woman) when a buddy lands a nice fish. As net men go, there are all sorts of stories about landing and losing fish. I happen to be married to my net man, and some of the most strenuous arguments and fights in our marriage have actually come from losing a fish. There was the “Incident on the Blue” and “The High Country Incident” that led to a lost rainbow and a lost cutthroat that still cause tension between us when mentioned.

Communication and anticipation are two qualities an angler and net man must possess. They must communicate with each other where the fish is heading and anticipate movements before the fish makes them. Recently, I hooked a nice brown on the Pan, and I cannot over-emphasize the crucial role my net man played in our success. I hooked into the fish and immediately knew I was in for a fight. I yelled for my husband, Max, who was fishing 100 yards or so up river. He quickly made his way over to me, and the chess match was on.

After a few minutes of fish fighting, Max began to try and scoop the brown trout. When Max got too close, it would immediately spook and head back into deeper water. Max processed this and then altered his tactics. He crept closer to the side of the fish, and using his long net parried and blocked the fish’s only outlet into the river. He then approached, and the fish swam directly into the net.

It was a genius solution in an effort to help me land the biggest trout of my life to date. My advice to you is this; if you have a good net man, marry them. If you can’t marry them, then at least buy them a cup of coffee or tank of gas after. I hope Max gets many more chances to redeem himself.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at 970-927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.

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