How to Attach a Trout Net to a Fly Fishing Vest

What is the best way for me to carry a fishing net?

One of the more perplexing components of a fly fishing setup is this question. What do you do with it? What is the best way to secure the net to the fly fishing vest? What mechanism will keep the internet up and running, and how easy will it be for me to go on it? In general, I advocate using a magnetic net release, but there are other possibilities. Below, I go into magnetic net releases in detail, as well as various alternative net holders.

When you use a fly fishing net, you can catch a lot more fish. But, of course, catching a fish by hand is conceivable. Big trout, in particular, are difficult to catch. So when you try to land these fish by hand, they are very likely to throw the hook.

What Is the Best Way to Attach a Fly Fishing Net?

Carrying a trout net on your back is one of the most common options. Hanging from the back of your fly fishing vest, to be precise.

However, how do you attach a fishing net to a fishing vest? A straight piece of rope will cause the net to drag on the ground and will not work. This puts the angler at risk of tripping, as well as the possibility of damaging the net by stepping on it or dragging it over rocks. The net becomes worthless if the rope is cut too short because you can’t bring it in front of you to land the fish.

The solution is to utilize a device that raises the net off the ground/water while still allowing you enough movement to land the fish. As previously said, there are several choices.

Release of the Magnetic Net

I utilize a Magnetic Net Release (Amazon Link) (the net release pictured both at the beginning of the article and further below).

The magnets in this setup are just strong enough to be useful.

Strong enough to hold the net in place firmly. I’m not concerned about the net being loose and tripping me, nor am I concerned about it becoming destroyed. I don’t have to fight with the magnets while landing a fish because they release effortlessly. The entire system is simple and attractive.

The magnetic net release I’m now employing is shown below. There are two images. To illustrate functionality, one with the magnets attached and one without the magnets. When the magnets are removed from the vest, the net is free to land a fish. A supplementary bungee cord connection provides additional stretch while also ensuring that the net is not lost if dropped.

Make sure you obtain a magnetic net release that comes with a bungee cord. Losing a net when landing a fish is a sure-fire way to ruin an otherwise unforgettable experience!

Retractors and holsters, both of which are listed below, are alternatives to net releases.


In principle, retractors should be good for holding nets in place, but most of the ones I’ve discovered are too weak to support a net adequately.

The bulk of fly fishing retractors on the market are designed to hold clippers, scissors, hook sharpeners, and other miscellaneous fly fishing tools in place while you fish. However, retractors (Amazon Link) are great for this, and I use several to keep my lighter gear tight while out on the water. Unfortunately, I’ve lost track of how many scissors I lost to the riverbed before I started using a retractor to keep them safe.

That said, if you locate a retractor powerful enough to support a net on the market, I’d be interested in learning more about it! Would you please share your ideas in the comments section below?


Anglers who don’t like their nets and cords dangling can use net holsters as an alternative. I haven’t found it to be an issue, but I can see how loose ropes and nets could make fly line management difficult for some people. In addition, it can contribute to the growth of tangles.

Medium and long-handled nets are better suitable for holsters. Short handle nets are easier to put in position and seat in a holster than larger handle nets.

On the other hand, long-handled trout nets will hang lower on a magnetic or retractor system, which is another reason to utilize a holster if you plan on utilizing a larger net.

Smith Creek produces a sleek, minimalistic Smith Creek Net Holster (Amazon Link) that clips to the back of your wader belt.

Back and Shoulder Strain: A Reminder

The attachment of a net to the back of the fly vest adds weight. This weight is pulling on your back, putting strain on it. If it has gotten to the point that it is disturbing you, there are two things you can do (of course, if it is serious, seek medical help).

The most likely cause is that the vest does not fit properly. Adjust the vest straps so that it fits snugly (but pleasantly) and that the weight of the net doesn’t pull the vest too far backward. It’s also possible that you’re wearing a vest that’s too big. Make sure you’re wearing the right size fishing vest. You can also purchase extra vests with a lighter build.

Lighter nets are also an option. While some places and species necessitate enormous nets, hunting mountain stream brookies does not necessitate such a massive net. Make sure you’re using a net that’s the right size for the job. Furthermore, some nets have lighter handles than others.

Earlier, I mentioned the magnetic net release. However, if you’re looking for a net as well. A Fly Fishing Landing Net and Magnetic Net Release Combo Kit is available.

Finally, you may travel lighter by not packing as much gear in your vests. Is it really necessary to have four fly boxes? How about eight different tippet sizes and two sets of fishing pliers? Most likely not. I keep most of my fly boxes in the car and only carry one (at most two) to the river.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.