Fly Fishing Photography
How to hold a fish!

orvis sale



Apparently I'm not the best person in the world to educate you on fly fishing photography and instruct you on how to hold a fish!

So if I can’t be a good role model – let me be the best bad example I can be.

This is how “not” to hold a fish for fly fishing photography.

No fish were harmed in the making of this awesome fishing day on the Frying Pan.

Fish this size rock you like a hurricane. They’re so much fun to bring in. But holding on to one long enough to get a good photo isn’t so easy!

The only other fresh water fish I’ve ever held this size were caught in private waters and probably fed trout-chow to fatten them up because the 4 lb’r I caught at Elk Trout Lodge was far easier to hold then this Basalt rainbow. Since this is how not to hold a fish, here are a few guides on a better way to do it.



1. Leave the fish hooked while you photograph your catch. That way, if you drop it, you still have a fish on.

2. Make sure your hands are wet. Fish have a protective film that your dry hands destroy.

3. Don't squeeze its stomach. Firm but gentle.

4. Leave the fish in the net, in the water - until the moment you're ready to snap the picture.

Hopefully, if I take my own advice, I'll be able to hold a fish the right way and my next photos will be improved. I’m going to get me one of those, “The Fish Are Scared” t-shirts.

Gifford, our Frying Pan Guide,(womanizer, but a good guide), instructed me to hold it with fingers in front of and behind the front fin but I couldn’t seem to get the grip of that technique. (Actually, I got a grip and then some). Easy for Gifford to say, he has hands the size of Andre the Giants.


Gifford the (womanizer) Guide


Finished with fly fishing photography- take me to Home Page


More Fly Fishing How To


I think part of my problem is the rush I get when I get a fish to the net. The fish is flailing, my heart is pounding, and it's tough to juggle a rod, a net, and a healthy fish. I suggest putting your gear down and using both hands - your results will come out much better. Unless you have hands like Andre's.


How to Hold a Trout

How to hold a fish