When it comes to fishing, nets are necessary piece of equipment for any angler. Nothing beats the feeling of scooping a fish you have been fighting into your net knowing that you landed it after a good fight and it is not going anywhere. It is a sense of relaxation and relief for me whenever I land a fish in the net because the whole time I am focused and making sure that fish does not break the line or spit the hook. Nets are essential for making your time on the water worth while and it allows you to get those once in a lifetime shots with the fish you worked so hard to get.
I was recently in the market for a new net. The net I currently had was too short for my liking and I constantly found myself dancing around with the fish trying to get it netted. It would make other anglers laugh at me and I often found myself laughing too. So I started looking for nets that had a wider basket and opening as well as a longer handle. The wider opening would increase my ability to get the fishing netted quickly and the extra handle length would increase my reach.
Now the need for a new net came at a time when the virus did a number on the economy. Everyone knows what it has been like so I will not go into any details. This motivated me to look locally for the net. I did not feel very comfortable going to my local outfitter and buying a net that was mass produced and "Made in China". Plus it was the same price as the nets I was looking at from the Snake River Net company.
Snake River Net Company is a company started by Mike Avery. He is a local artisan, businessman, and fly fisher. He has a lot of experience when it comes to fly fishing. This knowledge spills over into his net and fly box making. It has helped him design beautiful wooden nets that help an angler land fish easily but can stand up to the task of being used frequently.
Mike hand makes his nets and wooden fly boxes. He makes the net out of durable hardwood and finishes them with Tung oil. This makes the nets low maintenance and easy to take care of. The hardwood makes them durable and able to take hits on rocks or other structure that may get hit while scooping the fish up. The wide mouth to the net and large basket make it easier to scoop the fish out the water. He has put measurement markers along the net handle and in some of the nets that make it easy to measure a fish. On my net they are mayflies every two inches.
Mike also makes wooden fly boxes. He adds a unique touch to these by engraving different river systems into the top of the box. When I met with him he was testing out a fish design. To make the designs pop out he puts ground turquoise into the river system.
Courtesy of Snake River Net Company. "https://snakerivernet.com/?page_id=127"
Mike himself is great. We spent a good amount of time talking not only about the net but where we like to fish and what the fishing has been like lately. He was even willing to give me some suggestions on fishing techniques and where some good areas might be to fish right now. Knowledge that some of you may know is not easy to get from local anglers. He was even kind enough to gift me a few of his flies that he has tied. He is easy to talk to and is really passionate about fishing and the works of art he makes.
All in all if you are in the market for a great handmade net that is not only sturdy and can handle what you throw at it on the river, but also stands out as a unique work of art Snake River Net company is where you can find that. I highly recommend checking out his different net selections and his fly boxes. Check out his website and Instagram below to see his work or to get in contact with him.