I just posted a new poll to get everyones thoughts on this somewhat controversial topic. Here's a bit of background on it:
Up until recently I only considered a fish in my hand to be considered "caught" and it gets the esteem of becoming a notch on the rod. But these past few days I've had a few fish that I fought to my feet and, for one reason or another, got free.
And I started to wonder, does it really matter that I didn't bend over and grab him? A few of them I could have, but instead I let them fight for a few more moments. For a few, the only difference was a matter of distance between my hand and the fish since I was going to release him anyway.
So what do you think? Does a fish only count if is makes contact with your palm? Or are you content with fooling the fish to take your fly, fight him to you and them have him go on his merry way, no matter how they manage to get released.
I'll be honest, I was having a better thrill watching the fish hammer the fly and then experiencing that heart pumping action of the fight so much that I think getting one of them to hand would have been just a little cherry on top. Maybe I'm just getting to enjoy the art of the chase more than the catch.....