“Fly fishing for redfish while kayking the marsh on the Upper Texas Coast.”
This is probably the fattest rainbow trout I’ve ever seen. It comes from Idaho’s North Fork Clearwater River. Aaron Marshall of Boise hooked this beast — estimated between 22 and 25 pounds — in July. The Spokesman has the details:
Marshall figures the fish he caught and released weighed 22 to 25 pounds.
“I thought, wow, I caught myself a baby beluga. I’ve never seen any fish like that, ever,” he said. “It was a fighter. It was just a big, old, fat trout.”
Not sure what the fish was, he returned it to the water. Under Idaho fishing regulations, any rainbow trout more than 20 inches long caught from the Clearwater River, its North Fork below the dam, or any other river where the fish has the ability to migrate to the ocean is legally defined as a steelhead. By that definition, Marshall’s fish could only be kept during an open catch-and-kill steelhead season. However, his fish had an intact adipose fin, meaning it would qualify as a wild steelhead and would never be available to harvest.
But nobody thinks the fish was actually a steelhead. It’s much too fat and its head and snout are too short. Don Whitney, a fisheries biologist for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is likely a resident rainbow. He said it could be a descendant from a strain of kamloops trout the department used to release in the Clearwater. When the now-defunct program first started, the kamloops planted in the river were not sterile. Whitney said the fish could be an offspring of one of those fish. In later years, the fish were sterilized.
“I would expect that is either one of our old kamloops that was successful in reproduction or it’s just a resident rainbow that has found a great feeding method off of those kokanee,” he said. “Some of those big pigs like that are just hanging out there gobbling kokanee.”
Feeding on either live or dead kokanee flushed through the dam would offer trout a high-protein, high-fat diet. Whitney was fishing below the dam in June when he saw another fishermen land a fish similar to the one Marshall caught. He helped the angler land and release it.
“That looks pretty damn close to what I put my hands on,” he said. “It’s definitely not the same fish but it’s really close.”
He said a survey crew from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality found a dead rainbow that was about 30 inches long floating just upstream of the dam. It also had a fat belly.
Whatever the source of the fish, Whitney said it’s impressive.
“What an awesome fish,” he said.
The 2011 Fishing Compilation from the folks at CP Fishing is quite spectacular.
via the YouTube description:
The Condit dam was breached today, allowing the reservoir behind it, Northwestern Lake, to drain into the White Salmon River. The dam’s fall will unleash one of the Northwest’s cleanest and wildest rivers, originating from glaciers on Mount Adams.
Nothing better than seeing a river run wild again.
Really cool video of a pike being released after being caught on a floating tube. Nice visuals!
Fantastic trailer for “Off the Grid,” Rick Beattie’s 170-minute DVD about “fly fishing in locations off the beaten path.” Purchase it at offthegridfilm.com.
This pretty piece of dream property belongs to Dennis Quaid. He’s selling this 418-acre Montana ranch for $14 million. It’s located 13 miles from Yellowstone National Park, also includes horse facilities, an arena, an observatory and two miles of a fishing creek. The WSJ reports he’s buying a house in Hawaii to pursue his new love of surfing. If you have $14 million to burn, what a catch!
This looks nothing like a fly fishing trailer, but trust us, it really is an outtake from the upcoming pike fishing epic “A Backyard in Nowhere.”
Via Salmonjunkies.com comes this really cool video of a helicopter salmon fishing trip to Russia’s Grand Varzuga in June 2011.
Just a beautiful film from Wychwood Game showing some beautiful footage of fly fishing in the U.K.