Landing big trout on light tippet can be tricky. The above 18″ and fat rainbow took a dry fly attached to 9x tippet.
I’ve learned through trial and error how to do it (more here). A key technique for me has been to use “sideways” rod pressure when fighting a big fish. It doesn’t always work, but it really helps me control a fish.
That is because fish hate being pulled up. I find that keeping the rod tip parallel to the water, or sometimes, even in it, helps me better guide the trout to the net. In particular, if a fish jumps into a fast current, side pressure helps me glide the fish to a slower current, where I don’t have to fight the trout and the current.
Here is a great video demonstrating why side sweepin’ really works.