I was looking through J. Castwell's archives last night and reread his article on "Really Good Reeling", and this prompted me to bring up a question. A couple of years ago, I read a book by Lee Wulff in which he mentioned the difficulty in getting good action photographs of hooked salmon or steelhead. He wanted some dramatic photos to publish for articles he wrote or to use in publicizing his fish camp. He said after setting the hook, he would then release the line and let the fish swim free until his photographer had time to get his camera ready for the shot. He said that once the line tension was released the fish would go back to just waiting in the current for something else to float by and would quit fighting. When everything was set to shoot the picture, he would carefully take up the slack in the line, and the fish would still be there and would usually jump at that point and give him a chance for a good picture.
After losing several fish while holding the line against my handle while reeling up the slack, one day I decided to see if Lee's method worked on trout. So far it has worked almost every time. As soon as I release the tension, the trout quit fighting the line, and I was able to more carefully take up the slack onto the reel. Of course, you have to watch closely as the last of the slack is drawn up to prevent putting a sudden shock on the tippet. This even worked well on my first 24 inch rainbow, after never catching anything bigger than a 12-13 inch trout before then.
Has anybody else out there tried this approach? It has worked for me so far.