Ever since the legendary Bud Lilly began promoting catch and release back in the 1970’s fly fisher men and women have learned not to harm the fish that they caught. It became very important to make certain that the protective mucous layer not be damaged but also that the fish spend as little time as possible (if any) out of the water. Landing nets have become an important part of this process and have evolved through the years from knotted cotton net bags to the Ghost bags of today.
A review of this evolution is interesting and as I looked through past brochures I found that it has been a mere 20 odd years that have passed since the old cotton bags were phased out. Following are some photos of the nets that were involved in this process.
The cotton net bags were knotted in the traditional fashion and with the popularity of catch and release fishing it became apparent that the knots were considered harmful to the mucous membrane on the fish.
Soft nylon net bags were introduced and they were quickly popular enough to phase out the old cotton bags. Unfortunately it soon became apparent that the hooks got tangled in the mesh and caused a great deal of difficulty when attempting to release the fish. More trauma for the fish.
The first rubber bags solved the snagged hook problem beautifully but were not necessarily aesthetically pleasing. However they quickly became the net bags of choice.
When Chris ordered a new "rubber" bet bag he discovered that if the bag was clear and not dyed black it not only disappeared in the water but the fish did not seem to notice it. Obviously the less trauma for the fish the better. Hence the name "Ghost".
As the original Ghost net bags contained PVC we had a mold made and are producing our own EcoClear bags which are made of silicon and are PVC free. The development is an expensive process but we have begun with 2 sizes and are hoping to expand the line in the future. And so the evolution continues....