An Idaho fly-fishing guide has broken the only weeks-old state record for reeling in a 31-inch Yellowstone cutthroat trout on the Snake River.
Nate Burr, a 23-year-old from Rexburg, had been fishing on the river for three days with no luck. However, Burr and a friend’s trip changed in an instant when they were then taken on a half-mile chase downstream after the monster trout.
“It was one of those brutally slow days,” said Burr. “Hunting big trout on a streamer means a day on the water can go from zero to 100 in a split second. That was exactly the case with this fish.”
Burr caught the fish on September 8 but it was not confirmed by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game until Friday.
After a 15-minutes fight with the cutthroat, the fish was brought aboard, measured, photographed, and released.
The previous record was set on August 7, with a 30.5-inch trout, also caught on the Snake River.
The two fishermen had been floating on the same section of the river for a few days, spotting large fish in the water below. The men would take turns rowing while the other would cast their line.
“I was fishing a white streamer that would swim about a foot under the surface,” said the experienced guide.
“I threw a long cast to the shallow side of the run and began stripping the fly through the run. Before the fly hit the deep water, a massive shape appeared from upstream, charging down toward the fly. One-third of the trout’s back was out of the water as he made his first charge.”
After the trout’s third charge at the bait, it was hooked and sent the men on a chase downriver.
Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Yellowstone cutthroat trout longer than 30-inches are “exceedingly rare” in rivers. Most of the time, ones this big are found in deep-water lakes such as Yellowstone Lake in Wyoming.
In addition, Yellowstone cutthroat trout are one of four types of trout found in Idaho.