On the morning of October 6, an angler from McCall, Idaho hooked into a large steelhead trout whereas swinging a two-handed spey rod within the Gem State’s legendary Clearwater River. After what he described as an unforgettable battle, Kyriacos Panayiotou netted the wild steelhead, measured it with a versatile tape at a whopping 41 inches, took a couple of images, and returned it to the river. Late final week, the Idaho Division of Fish & Recreation (IDFG) declared the fish a brand new catch-and-release state document.
In response to IDFG Clearwater Fisheries Supervisor Joe DuPont, steelhead the scale of Panayiotou’s are a particularly uncommon sight in Idaho, even for the biologists who’ve monitored a whole bunch of hundreds of the migrating fish as they negotiate a close-by dam on the Decrease Snake River. “Since we have now all of the trapping information from Decrease Granite Dam, we have now a very good sense of the scale distribution of Idaho steelhead,” he mentioned in an October 27 press launch issued by IDFG. “In a typical 12 months, the variety of steelhead within the 40-inch vary is lower than 1% of the run.”
When DuPont scoured the info from greater than 260,000 steelhead trapped on the dam, he solely discovered information of 4 fish the identical dimension or longer than Panayiotou’s. In response to IDFG, wild steelhead should journey almost 400 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River to succeed in the fish traps on the Decrease Granite Dam. “After reaching Decrease Granite Dam, these fish should swim up a fish ladder and migrate a further 32 river miles earlier than making it to Idaho on the confluence of the Clearwater River and Snake River,” writes IDFG, in a publish concerning the dam on its web site.
Panayiotou mentioned he had greater than 120 ft of floating spey line on the floor when the record-breaking fish engulfed his fly. “At round 30 levels of a swing, this stunning wild steelhead buck boiled to the floor and grabbed the fly with authority,” the angler recalled within the IDFG press launch. “The classic Hardy Excellent reel might do nothing in slowing down this fish… it’s one thing that I’ll always remember.”
Anglers use quite a lot of strategies to pursue steelhead on the Clearwater. Matt Hosking, who caught the Idaho state-record coho salmon on the Clearwater on October 24, informed F&S that he catches them throughout the fall run utilizing spinning deal with and deep-diving Magazine Lips. Conventional fly fishing for steelhead is extra frequent within the spring, whereas long-distance spey casting will be efficient throughout fall when fish congregate in hard-to-reach slack water or deep holes on the far finish of a run.
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Steelhead are sort of rainbow trout that inhabit each recent and salt water. In response to the Nationwide Oceanic & Atmospheric Adiminstration (NOAA), they develop significantly bigger than rainbows that stay in recent water 12 months spherical. “They return to freshwater to spawn,” NOAA states on it web site. “Steelhead trout are weak to many stressors and threats together with blocked entry to spawning grounds and habitat degradation attributable to dams and culverts.”