Eel or Trout?

by Tony Bishop on January 15, 2009

First the good news, the 14th Issue of This is Fly on-line fly fishing magazine for the trendy, gung-ho fly fisher is out.

Not so good news from the magazine:

I have a real thing about some ‘poses’ taken when photographing fish. In this issue of This is Fly are two photographs that exemplify the “I will do anything to make this ugly fish look longer” attitude.

It it is based on the seemingly fashionable trick of the happy angler holding the head of the fish as close to the camera as possible and the  tail close to his body. The technique can work if the fish is in good condition, fit and fat. But if the fish is skinny and out of condition, oh dear, how sad.

So have a look at the photo of the trout, and I use the word ‘trout’ loosely, on page 51, is it a trout or an eel? No amount of camera tricks can disguise the fact that is a truly undernourished fish. Yes, I know it fits with the US obsession with measuring the length of the fish to the exclusion of all other factors that go to make up whether a trout is a good all round fish. Just make the fish look long in the photo. But the fish in this picture was so out of condition and hungry it would have chewed on a brick if you threw it in the water, and probably fought like a wet sock.

The felony is compounded on pages 43 and 107. Two more fugly fish, which no amount of camera chicanery using the ‘pose’ could make look good.

So guys, if the fish is shaped like an eel, under nourished and slab sided, do the decent thing; quietly un-hook it in the water and let it swim away to do some much needed feeding.  We promise not to watch.

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