Catch a trout, take a photo, and release it back into the wild in a healthy state to keep a sustainable fishery.
Increasingly, catch and release is becoming a favored fishing method. While there is nothing wrong with keeping the odd trout for a fish-fry, letting go of the bulk of a catch ensures a sustainable fishery for everyone. Consider also that the best fish you catch are at the top of their genetic game and you want to keep that going in the rivers and lakes you fish.
There are a few techniques and considerations to ensure that you release trout back while doing as little harm as possible to ensure their survival and they are well covered in this short video from New Zealand.
These are excellent tips to release that healthy trout back into the wild. The biggest tip being to keep the fish in the water as much as possible and handle it gently, which recently has sparked the use of the Instagram hashtags, #keepemwet and #catchandrelease.
Other considerations are barbless hooks, which cause much less stress to a trout to remove. Incidentally, many areas that I fish are barbless hook zones anyway. Finally, use smooth unknotted nets to not strip away the protective film on a trout’s body.
Good luck fly fishing this winter and into the spring; may you keep tight lines.