Fly Fishing photo

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about catch-and-release ethics and taking grip-n-grin photos, keeping ’em wet, and all that stuff. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of sticking to our 2015 New Year’s resolution of getting away from grip-n-grins, but to be honest with you, the notion that fish won’t ever get lifted out of the water for a photo is pure poppycock. Never gonna happen…

So for those of you who want a good, realistic guideline, now you have it. A recent scientific study published in Fisheries boils it all down to this: If you have to lift a fish out of water, keep it limited to 10 seconds or less. Of course, a number of variables affect a fish’s survival rate after being caught, such as water temperature, duration of the fight, and so on.

This is a simple, straightforward guideline that everyone should be able to live by. Ten seconds. Ten Mississippi. That’s it. Whether you get the shot or you don’t. Not 10 seconds, fumble around with your camera, rinse the fish in the water for a few seconds, and then 10 more seconds. Ten and done. Works for me, how about you?