Those of you who follow along here know that I’ve been on the “If you’re going to be a catch-and-release angler, you’d better do it right” soap box for many years. And I’ve been pushing to hold magazines accountable for the types of fish shots they run on their covers since before that became a trendy “blog-du-jour” topic. Fact is, a lot of fish get killed to make photographs, and we need to do more to improve that one way or another.
Thus, New Year’s resolution # 1 here on Fly Talk is to kill the trout grip-n-grins. If you want to see trout literally hung out to dry, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
We’re going to keep them in the water… or at least very close to the surface. Sure, we’ll still show you some great fish profiles, but those fish will always be within a few inches of the water surface, and they’ll be dripping wet. It actually takes a little more thought and practice to take those shots, but the end results, in my mind, are images that are actually more interesting and appealing.
That’s not to say that everyone who fishes and catches something great should shun (or even feel bad about) taking the classic grip-n-grin. Do it right, limit the time the fish is out of the water, and fire away. More power to you, and enjoy. But remember that trout are more fragile than almost any other fish.
In any regard, I think it’s time the media pros are held to a higher standard.