a steelhead…

The following is published with kind consent of Peter Harrison.  If you’re like me, your reaction to it will be visceral. Please leave a comment if you feel so inclined.

>From: Peter Harrison
>Sent: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 16:05:34 -0800
>To: Peter Harrison
>Subject: Big Fish

> Dear Friends and Fellow Fishermen,
> As some of you may already have heard, last week, on Friday, 20 February I was out fishing on the Hoh River with Shirley. It was a wonderfully clear day, the temperature a little below freezing and a herd of elk were grazing in a Riverside pasture. The river was running exceptionally low and clear and we were swinging flies through some attractive water. I was using my 15-foot Spey rod, Shirley was using her eight-weight, single-handed rod.
> There had been little action but I had seen one good-sized fish roll a little ahead of me and, for a brief few seconds, I had hooked into what appeared to be a 12-pound or 15-pound fish. At around 2 PM I was swinging my fly through some good-looking water and something that I can only describe as a lightning bolt hit my whole body. Suddenly my Ross reel was screaming at a decibel level usually reserved for Rolling Stone concerts. In a couple of heartbeats 200 yards of line had disappeared from my reel as the fish headed for Alaska. I told myself not to panic, but my whole body was shaking; I knew that if I could survive the first round I would at least have some chance of getting the fish to the bank. For the next 30 minutes I battled the fish, standing at times chest deep in the middle of the river on a submerged bar.
> At this point I had not seen the fish, but eventually I managed to make it back to the river bank and was able to stand on dry ground. At that time the fish exploded into the air, executing three cartwheels. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the fish was almost 4 feet in length. I had never seen a steelhead like it. After 45 minutes of battling the fish I managed to beach it gently. My intention was to let it go, having first measured the fish, but it was bleeding quite heavily from the gills. As it seemed likely not survive the ordeal, and because it was the fish of a lifetime, I decided to take the fish. In 10 years of fishing Washington state rivers this is the first fish I have ever taken, of any kind, from a river.
> At this point, several boats appeared, heading down river. In one of the boats was my good friend and mentor, Jim Kerr; with him in his boat was a state biologist, who measured the fish and took some fish scales. A couple of other boats arrived and had spring scales with them, and we weighed the fish. One set of scales said 31 pounds and the other said 32 pounds. The fish was dragged for about a mile through the forest to our parked car and then taken to Olympic Sporting Goods in Forks. We weighed the fish on their scales and it registered 31-1/2 pounds.
> As many of you already know, there is a formula for estimating the weight of a fish. In essence you square the girth of the fish and then multiply that by its length and divide by 800.. My fish was 44 inches in length with a girth of 23-1/2 inches. That would result in a fish weighing 30.38 pounds. It was not until the following day, 23 hours after the fish had been caught, that I managed to get the fish to a State-accredited set of scales, at Key City Fish Company in Port Townsend. The fish had obviously lost a little weight due to loss of fluids and bleeding, but it still weighed 29.5 pounds at that point.
> I have subsequently contacted the International Game Fish Association to check on records for fly-caught steelhead. It turns out that the existing world record for 8 kg tippet is a 28-pound fish caught by Chuck Stephens on the Skeena River on 20 October 1985, 24 years ago. I am now in the process of submitting my fish of last week as the new world record. On further research it also appears that this would also be [one of the largest steelhead to have been caught on a fly] rod for all tippet classes.
> Hopefully you all enjoyed the story and the pictures. Many people got to see the fish before I dropped it off at a local taxidermist. One state biologist confided in me that he was 62 years old and had personally caught over 5000 steelhead and that this was the biggest steelhead he had ever seen in his life. Another chap simply shook me by the hand, looked me in the eye and said, “This isn’t the fish of a lifetime, it’s the fish of a thousand lifetimes.”
> I guess English Pete got lucky.
> Best regards
> Peter


From: Ryan Peterson
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 5:07 PM
To: Peter Harrison

Subject: RE: New world record steelhead Hoh River on a fly rod!?!

Hi Peter –

Let me be the one hundredth person to congratulate you on the huge Hoh steelhead you encountered last week!  It’s a rare thing indeed.  Right up there with Shirley’s 20#er on the Rio Grande two years ago!  What a bitter sweet experience it must have been with the death of the fish.  At age 13 I caught a blue marlin off the coast of Maui.  It came in bleeding from the gills and was thus kept.  I’ll never forget how sick I felt when the crew strung it up on the dock when we got back, and the passers by stopped to gawk in awe.  Yet the memory of the angling experience is always formost in my mind.

Anyway, I wonder if you would allow me to post your letter and photos (below) on my weblog here: www.thebigpull.wordpress.com Many dedicated steelhead anglers check in there and I bet your story would cause good discussion of the issues at hand: huge steelhead caught with “pure” swing methods, dealing emotionally with the death of a steelhead, the role of the IGFA in our sport, etc.  I think yours is an incredibly provocative story.

Please let me know!  And congrats!

Ryan Peterson


—–Original Message—–
From: Peter Harrison 
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 6:55 PM
To: ryan@theflyshop.com
Subject: RE: New world record steelhead Hoh River on a fly rod!?!


Hi Ryan,


Thanks for your e-mail. I must say that I have been rather surprised at all the interest calls since I caught the fish last week. I even had a call from a writer in Iceland today asking whether he could write up the story for his own local fishing column in the newspaper. The darker side of the story is that I killed the fish, something that I have never done in over 15 years of fly fishing in the USA. I certainly catch my fair share of fish but I have never taken a single fish at any time before. As you probably know Washington’s state laws let you to take one wild steelhead a year, there is no limit on size.


I certainly have bittersweet emotions. The elation of hooking a giant fish and beaching it but real trauma and actual stress about killing the fish. I am still upset at that part, believe you me I did not do it lightly. Emotionally I am scarred, I still have knot in my stomach over the whole incident. That has led me to ask myself the question: “ isn’t it time that all wild steelhead be released?. “  After all, if they lived long enough, and evaded seals, net’s and hooks, all those smaller wild steelhead that are killed each week, would stand a good chance of growing up to be a large size too.


Please feel free to post the article and photographs, it is sure to be contentious, perhaps some good will come of it. One last point, I would appreciate it if you could edit the text slightly for me. Where it reads largest steelhead ever caught on a fly, a more accurate statement would be to change that to: one of the largest steelhead to have been caught on a fly.


Best regards









What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.

77 Responses to “a steelhead…”

  1. 1 kbarton10 February 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I imagine he was awful grateful he had a two hand rod and plenty of backing, was I in the same predicament (with my little one hander) I’d likely run screaming for the car.

    Truly amazing fish.

  2. 2 Ryan Peterson February 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    So far the following comments have come to me annonymously on email –

    1.) too bad it hadn’t spawned before it died

    2.) should have left it in the river anyway because the next best thing to a live fish in the ecosystem is a carcass in the ecosystem

    3.) should consider not pursuing IGFA certification as a gesture of respect to the fish. IGFA is an antiquated institution – a relic from a time when trophy hunting and ego pushed the sport forward. it shouldn’t matter to the angler that it may be “the biggest.”

  3. 4 tspey February 26, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Tragic… I’ve waited to respond for some hours to let the question posed marinate. The time spent simmering about this brought me back full circle to my initial gut reaction upon hearing of this steelhead’s sad demise. The reality is that this story plays out over and over in our society, be it on our rivers, the IGFA or at IHOP.

    Bigger means better. Doesn’t it? Of course not, but many people get caught up more in what other people think rather than what you experience within. Maybe this is just one of humanity’s Achilles heels or maybe we should try to change.

    Interestingly, a similar scenario played out locally in AK a few years ago. An ‘angler’ submitted his trophy tout pic to the local paper. He was standing in a very popular local stream holding up a 32 plus inch rainbow. The problem was his finger through gill grip, the lifeless trout eyes and the straight dead-hang. To this day his name is synonymous within the fly-fishing community. Sargento = trophy trout poacher.

    Pose the question 50 years ago and it would be mostly moot (different school of thought). Most people back then were out for meat. Ditto, if this steelhead were taken for subsistence purposes. But killing it for a trip to the taxidermist and a spey fisherman to boot? Come on.

    I fly-fish because of so many reasons… but killing the biggest one I catch is definitely not nor will it ever be one of them.

  4. 5 Ryan B. February 27, 2009 at 12:04 am

    The fish is obviously old. I am sure this isn’t it’s first trip out of the ocean, therefor, it has already spawned a couple times. I would not want to release a fish that had any chance of it floating belly up moments after it was let go. As for the whole ecosystem comment: I am sure there are plenty of salmon and other dying steelhead that have provided “nutrition” to the river. The IGFA is a great organization that recognizes quality trophy fish that many people have worked hard for, and payed great dues to catch. I am sure this fisherman feels sad for the fish having to die, but it gave him a great fight. He is not the first guy to make a tough decision like this. Let’s not be jealous. Let’s give this fish and fisherman congratulations on a great story.

  5. 6 Brent10101 February 27, 2009 at 12:40 am

    It may be a record for landed and killed, but it is certainly not the record for fly caught steelhead..fish like that are landed every season on the skeena

  6. 7 tom darga February 27, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I know Peter Harrison, and I sincerely believe that he would not intend to kill this fish. His wife and him have done a lot great conservation related work around the world. That said, I wish the fish had been returned to the river where it might have survived. Like previous comments, I wish IGFA would change its approach to its recordbooks. Why does a fish have to die for it to be certified as a record? It is very antiquated approach to fishing, and it brings me back to the travesty of the Tarpon killed by that Holland character in Florida a few years back. If I remember correctly, he said, I hated to kill it, but it would have died anyway. Really? What would have happened if you had cut the fly and never taken the fish out of the water? I guess we will never know.

    Don’t be too hard on Peter. I believe his story, but it is a shame that this fish did not make it up the river one more time. If you want to pay the fish a tribute, write the IGFA a letter asking them to change their policy.

  7. 8 Brendan Mason February 27, 2009 at 11:05 am

    To clear up some confusion on world record requirements, IGFA regulations do not require a fish to be dead to qualify for a record. They only require that weighing take place on a certified, land-based scale and that accurate measurements and photos are taken. You can weight a fish with a Boga Grip or another quality scale, release it, then have your Boga certified after the fact if it hadn’t already been submitted for certification. Assuming it passes certification (most do), your released fish would then qualify for a record.

    Another requirement for IGFA records that could make or break this application is that the fly, tippet, leader, and one inch of fly line must be submitted intact with the record application. If Pete clipped his fly off, it won’t qualify.

  8. 9 Rick Baerg February 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Nice Fish!! Sorry to be negative but it is really sad to see that enormous, wild steelhead dead before spreading it’s superior genetics! I can’t believe that there are still rivers in WA where you can kill a wild steelhead. Washington state really needs to change their regulations!!

  9. 10 Brian J. February 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    this is just amazing– I hope he doesn’t beat himself up too bad about killing a fish– 1 fish in 15 years, sheesh, I wouldn’t feel bad about that.

    hope he gets the record.

    –brian j.

  10. 12 Adam Kurk (Rib) February 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    A question was posed recently regarding Peter Harrison’s recent experiences, it asked: What would you do…? I felt compelled to answer…

    What would I do?

    I wouldn’t be smiling about it. I would’ve felt ashamed to even have my picture taken with it. Nor would I publicly post a write-up of the day, describing the event as though it were some grand story deserving of credit, drawing attention to world records and other points that many could interpret as justifications or excuses for killing that fish. I would have felt sick to my stomach and likely not gone on another fishing trip for a long time.

    If I were the angler that brought that fish to hand I would have held that fish in the water until one of three things happened:

    My hands fell off,

    the fish swam off vigourously,

    or it died in my hands…

    If the fish died, I would have let it float away into the depths and then likely just sat there on the bank stunned and somber for the rest of the day.

    What I won’t do is argue the details of the story as posted by the angler. No point in that. His story and quoted emails implore us to believe in his ethics, his remorse and his sincerity. My only hope is if the author is at fault in this instance, that somehow he learns from this…(and only he and presumably his wife know if he is).

    If the author is not at fault as he implies, then hopefully other anglers who may or may not have been in this situation before, learn from it. There is no pride to be taken from killing a fish…only from perfecting the skill of catching it.

    I see multiple pictures, talk of phone calls and fame. I see a follow up email that cautions there might be a “darker side” to the story…as if the attention from a newspaper or the interest calls were the bright side…The anglers initial story expresses hope that we all “enjoyed the story”, there is no pleasure to be taken here.

    Enjoy the Story…? Did the angler enjoy their day…? All pleasure in hunting and catching that fish should have been gone when you believed it was going to die, not thoughts of records.

    Whatever the case, whatever you want to call it, this instance is not a “record” to me. Claiming a title of record holder implies something to celebrate.

    There is nothing to celebrate here.

  11. 13 willie g February 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    A really sad story. I am curious as to how a fish hooked in the top of the upper lip was a bleeder? I have never had, seen or heard of this happening. I hope “English Pete Harrison” enjoys his new fame. The comments that the fish had already spawned a few times is not really accurate as these big fish usually spend a extra year or two out a sea (4+ salt fish) and a buck rarely gets to spawn a second time. With a few photos and good measurements this bloke could of had a wonderful replica made and in doing so would have become a hero. Now we will all remember this…shame on WDFG for allowing such outdated and rediculous regulations on wild, native steelhead.

  12. 14 Don February 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Why did you kill the fish?
    A fish like this should be allowed to spawn.
    Poor judegment to show photos killing the fish.
    Would have rather not heard about it.

  13. 15 Ryan Peterson February 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Don – thanks so much for your comment. Not trying to give you a hard time, but just wanted to make sure that you’d read through the whole story. The circumstances surrounding the death of the fish are dealt with in detail. Thanks again. –Ryan

  14. 16 Rick Matney February 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Was on the hoh that day. Talked to the game warden at oxbow the next day and saw pictures, Heard from a buddy that talked to Kerr the next day. I really don’t understand the series of events. None of these stories are the same. Three sources, no consistancy. Just my point of view. With the water being so low a fish like that is more accesible to a fly angler. It “was” an amazing animal. I hope the Washington state department of fish and game can use this to maybe rethink the legal killing of wild steelhead….and it probably was it’s first time trying to spawn. Those genetics are now gone from the system. Also heard about a 34 Lb. fish that was caught in a net and sold to a taxidermist in P.A. for $300. This is comming from the game warden….same week. Oh well, It’s not like steelhead numbers are plummiting downhill and average size is decreasing at an alarming rate, C’mon we still have a sustainable population of wild steelhead for harvest……


  15. 17 Gavin Bush February 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    First of all, congrats to Peter. We don’t choose the steelhead with a swung fly, they choose us. This is a magnificent specimen and hopefully the wardens and fishery managers of Washington state will take note of him, and realise that the genetics (unfortunately not his) of the great Hoh race of steelhead are still somewhat intact and worth protecting. Think of the generations that will have the opportunity to pursue this great race of fish.

    Secondly, I think we as fishermen tend to not give each other the benefit of the doubt. This is very unfortunate. I see it most often arising when someone’s technique differs from how we think fish should be caught (e.g. Nymphing vs. the swung fly), or, as is the case here, when someone catches an outsized fish. We must remember that we were not there, we only have Peter’s story and photographs to rely upon to formulate our opinions. If Peter says that the fish was mortally hooked, then I cannot pass judgement on him for harvesting the fish. The taint enters this situation in the form of the world record. It is much too easy for us to assume that this fish was taken in an ego-driven decision to hold the title of the world-record fly-caught steelhead. If I try place myself in Peter’s wading boots, I would be horrified watching the life drain out of this fish. However, if there was no hope and since it is legal to harvest wild fish in the Hoh system, I think that honoring the fish with a spot above the mantel is an exceptable, though tough to stomach, alternative.

    Finally, does anyone remember a guy named Karl Mauser? In 1963, Karl Mauser landed the current world-record fly-caught steelhead of 33 pounds on British Columbia’s Kispiox river. Even in 1963, Mr. Mauser faced a lot ridicule from the fly fishing community for harvesting that fish. Since then, many larger fish have been recorded (length and girth measurements), but were released and not officially weighed.

    Again, congratulatons to Peter and kudos for taking that fish on the swung fly.

  16. 18 willie g February 27, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    In the third picture you can clearly see the fly in the top lip of the fish, could someone answer how it was bleeding from the gills? this story keeps changing and does not add up, if he wanted to take the fish man up and do it but don’t come up with a story after the fact…what gives????

    willie g

  17. 19 JD February 27, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Nice fish. Really. Here’s the thing, I don’t believe for a second that fish was injured so badly that it was going to die. I am not going to judge someone for keeping a fish. I’m all for selective harvest, it’s helped some of the waters that I regularly fish get more big trout. That isn’t the case with Wild Steelies, but hey… I will stand in admonition of someone that cannot sack up, and say he killed a fish for no other reason that it was a big fish. The pictures aren’t lying, not a bit, that fish doesn’t have any blood any where near what would be fatal. heck, look at the pictures that show the gills, they’re nice bright red, and have excellent color. Why not just man up, admit that you killed her to have her, and be done with it?
    I’ve heard several stories that don’t add up, they’re so radically different that it just doesn’t make sense.

  18. 20 Ryan Peterson February 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm


    First off, these comments are totally amazing! Thoughtful, insightful, impassioned and for the most part compassionate (or at least polite) toward the fish and the fisherman. With a topic like this it would be all too easy to yield to our own emotions and egos and throw venom and sucker punches. But steelheaders are SO much more cooler than that. And way more sane than the fish managers who continue to allow the killing of wild steelhead.

    There are yet more forums devoted to this subject


    A few of the more brash and rude style of comments are in some of these. But what stikes me most, even in the gnarliest hard-bitten curse word happy respondents, is how they are, almost without exception, absolutely pissed at the killing of wild steelhead. Fuck yeah. Steelheaders are so rad.

    It is still legal in certain rivers of WA, OR and CA to kill wild fish. What if we all spent 30 min of our time writing to the Fish and Game commissions of our respective states and insist that we won’t stand by like sheep while one of the most inspirational species on Earth is whittled away to extinction.

    Washington – commission@dfw.wa.gov
    Oregon – odfw.commission@state.or.us
    California – fgc@fgc.ca.gov

    Then maybe, as Pete hopes, “perhaps some good will come of it.”

  19. 21 carcus1211 February 28, 2009 at 8:47 am


    As a fellow avid steelhead fisherman, I salute you in your moment. In Northwest PA, we do not get them that big, on average about 10-11 pounds. As a fellow catch-release fisherman, there are times that your catch has a low chance of survival and I truly believe you did the right thing. Once again, congratulations.

  20. 22 willie g February 28, 2009 at 9:24 am

    someone please correct me if I’m wrong but I pretty sure CA doesn’t allow for the taking of wild steelhead. With the exception of some rivers on the Southern OR coast and WA’s OP both those states have disallowed the practice. it’s time that this practice ends at all of these locations.

  21. 23 Sam S February 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

    That’s pretty big. I released a fish of smilar size last fall. It is an amazing thing to hold a 30 pound steelhead and watch it swim away. You wonder if you will ever again get to see something like that again.
    You are within your rights and if it becomes a world record…good for you. I for one plan to raise hell about this with the state agencies. This option needs to be erased, and the IGFA needs to pull their head out.

    Oh by the way this fish could have spawned. It is far from it’s prime. Let hope it got er done.

  22. 24 Sam S February 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

    willie g. you can still kill fish in the North Umpqua which is a far better stream than the Hoh. The guides are crushing the wild fish every year.

  23. 25 Ryan Peterson February 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

    You csn kill wild steelhead on CA’s Smith River. It’s the largest undammed drainage on the w coast s of BC, with some of the largest (dwindling) genetic stock…shame. (Pursed lips, head wagging.)

    See film rivers of lost coast.

    South ump has a reg that allows wild kill, but last yr fly and bait guides ganged up on odfg to push thru a temp moratorium. Grt eg of cooperation 4 tha greater good.

    N ump is no kill. Im on it right now, typing into phone. Gotta go swing this run. -r

  24. 26 Gavin Bush February 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    The entire Umpqua drainage is no kill for wild winter fish (North, South, & Mainstem). Regulation for 2009-2012 passed this last year through a public hearing process, state managers voted 4 to 2 in favor of the no kill regs on wild winter. It was nice to see how many people were in favor of this regulation, fly guys and gear guys alike. Although there were some stubborn good ol’ boys who still felt they were entitled to these fish. (Amazing!!! a bureaucratic process that actual worked.)

    Ryan, give a brother a shout if you make it up to the North this spring, it is my favorite flow & time of year.

  25. 27 Gail Campbell February 28, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I, too, am sad the fish was never to spawn, considering what a great steelhead it was and how his ilk might have been perpetuated…. But it makes me smile to know such fish still come back to the Hoh.

    Did the biologist have an opinion about how many times this fish had returned? Many, it would seem.

    Old friends who remember fishing the Columbia a long time ago, before Bonneville Dam went in, wistfully talk about the summer salmon, also huge, who could top 100 lbs. there.

    You’re to be congratulated for never having taken a fish from a river before. And to land a fish that was that srong, who did a triple sommersault without spitting the hook or breaking off is testimony to your fishing skills.

    Please let us know what the biologist has to say about your fish. Thanks for this posting.

    Gail R. Campbell

  26. 28 Gail Campbell February 28, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    What would I have done? I think that because it was bleeding, I would have held it for a very, very, very long time in the current to see if the bleeding lessened or stopped, and if the fish had enough strength to jet out of my cradling hands. When resuscitating fish, I’ve noticed that they often burp about the second time they try to break free (somewhat weakly). If held longer, the third lurch seems to work like a charm, and they bolt strongly away into current. I’ve looked for belly-up fish downstream later the same day, and the next, without spotting them. Granted, that’s not a sure-fire way to know that a bleeding fish didn’t make it, but I feel encouraged that the fish may have had another chance at life.

    As much as I like steehead on the barbie, I think I would have let the river have it.

    Gail Campbell

  27. 29 Brian Stone February 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Personally, I think it a shame that you killed that fish. Based on where it was hooked, I find it hard to believe it was going to bleed out. It still had a chance to live if released versus being 100% dead after you gave it a rock shampoo. I’m really surprised it didn’t die from exhaustion after you played it for 45 minutes. What a joke.
    Your story doesn’t ad up and I hope you don’t receive any type of record.
    Next time think about the fish, not yourself.

  28. 30 the sad fisherman February 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    wow, killing endangered species sure sounds fun! good work killing off one of the last of the genetic greats! this site is a joke.

  29. 31 Jason Hooley March 1, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Thanks, Ryan, for the forum of discussion. My thoughts go out to Peter, who probably had his greatest—and most tragic—day as a steelheader simultaneously. Who of us would even want to catch a 30+ pounder, if it meant its death? Not me. And I’m greedy. Bittersweet, except more so. Monday morning quarterbacking often frustrates me, having devolved into mostly predictable condescension and judgment. Is there something to learn here…or is this just another chance to spout off about how smart we already are?

    We all agree, including the angler, that it would have been ideal for this fish not to have died. It would have spawned again. But there is a reasonable chance that any steelhead over 30 pounds has spawned in a previous season. There’s even a chance that he already spawned this season, though I don’t know where he was caught in relation to the spawning grounds. A steelhead buck might fertilize a number of redds, depending on his status in the pecking order (which doesn’t always depend on size), and other factors. Anyway, I take hope in the research that suggests this enviable refractory period. In this case, we’ll never know.

    I’ve caught several salmon (hooked in mouth) that have bled from the gills after rolling in the leader, getting it caught tight behind the gill plate. I also caught a steelhead hooked in the gill (from the outside) that came in bloody. I believe I hooked that fish in the mouth, it rolled—catching the leader behind the gill plate, the hook pulling out of the mouth and then finding purchase in the gill on its way back to me. I released that fish, and it swam away, but have agonized more than a few times about its fate. That was, and still is, a heartbreaker. Here in Alaska, licensed anglers are allowed to harvest 2 steelhead (wild) annually, provided they exceed 36”. I hope I never meet the guy hoping for that 36 incher so he can keep ‘em.

    I guess what I’m most impressed with in this forum is the passion from you, fellow steelheaders, that centers around genuine value and respect for our steelhead. As excited as we get towards a guy who’s killed one fish in 15 years, we can use our zeal against whatever is a truly serial threat to the fish—high seas fishing or bycatch, loss of habitat, excessive bag limits, dams, pollution, whatever. Personally, I can step up my handling of fish. I’ve taken self-righteous comfort in the fact that I release wild fish, but how many times do I push it for the sake of a photo? We never know what happens to a fish that we release. For me, there’s nothing like swinging a fly. It’s hard, but fun, to imagine the pull from a 30 pounder. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

  30. 32 Captain Terry Duffield March 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    First off congrats on a great fly caught steelhead! However fish as big or bigger than your Hoh fish are hooked and landed every year in BC, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Not many, but they are. You know why we don’t hear about alot of them my British friend? They are RELEASED that’s why. So although your fish is the fish of a lifetime and should be celebrated as that, your comments about it being one of the biggest steelhead landed on a fly are BS. Hell, our own Ken McCloud landed a 29 pounder in the Kispiox on October 6th, 1955. on the fly. So it’s safe to say that since 1955 literally dozens of fish larger then the one you KILLED and eliminated from the gene pool have been landed on the fly. But since my home state still has it’s head up it’s ass what you did is legal. Fish of a lifetime? Sure. But that thing isn’t even one of the top 50 steelhead landed on the fly, probably not even top 150. And you fucking killed it for no damn reason. “Cheers” The Coach

  31. 33 Gail Campbell March 1, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Fished BC on the Telkwa and Maurice in ’86-87, but it was the really big steelhead – 43-44″ – on the Kispiox up near what was then Olga’s Fish Camp, that were all the talk. I had the impression that those fish weighed in above 30 lbs in general. The guys in the Everett Fly Club are legend for catching big steelhead on the Stilli and other WA rivers. I believe there was a 32# caught in the 80’s on the Chetco on a fly. I’m just grateful to the 39″ buck who took a plain GBS on the Telkwa and helped me turn the corner on catch and release for good. At seeing this giant beauty gasp for air in my hands, I felt so apologetic, like saying, Oh, Excuse me for bothering you! He was too beautiful to harm any further. Have since cut fish off rather than stress them so. Someday I’ll make peace with leaving the fish alone altogether. I even have a hard time taking Brookies, which I love to eat. Just because I can doesn’t mean I have to.

  32. 34 Ryan Peterson March 2, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I was away fishing this weekend and got out of the loop on monitoring all this. Great to see the discussion continues, but saddened to see a turn in some comments toward character assassination. Terrorism is bad, mmkay?

    I un-posted two comments. One threatened violence, which isn’t cool at all. (It’s probably actually illegal.) C’mon man, rivers are churches, not schoolyards.

    The other published Peter’s address, which also isn’t cool and is totally counter productive. Trust me, he gets your points. A much better address to publish would have been the WA Fish & Game regulation makers. Now is the time to trasfer some of this agro energy into making meaningful change.

    I also want to say I had the pleasure a couple years ago of getting to know Peter a little bit. I will not post his resume of achievements in wildlife and habitat conservation world-wide because they’re not relevant to this one specific incident. But I can assure you, they are probably greater than all of ours combined. (You can google him.) The point is, Peter isn’t one of these douche bag kill-em-all types…he’s one of us. Which is what, to me, makes this such a fascinating story. You would have played it differently, I would have played it differently, maybe even he would have played it differently, if…

    Don’t want to lose focus, but can’t resist. How bout this one?: There is a belief in some Alaska Native circles that to catch and release a fish is the ultimate form of disrespect to the animal. It could more appropriately be called torture and release. The ethics logic is that creatures don’t exist solely for the amusement of humans. If you are going to cause stress to an animal, it better be for a damn good reason – like for your own survival.

    all for now, -ryan

  33. 35 Gail Campbell March 2, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Ryan, you make good points. My tribal friends look at me like I’m crazy to let fish go. Their lives have continuity and meaning with the cycle of foods. Last Spring, in the kitchen of a longhouse I help cook at, there was only one fresh salmon for the Root Feast. The cooks wmet this news in silence and the kitchen was somber and muted that day. Another part of their lives fading away. I no longer fish for salmon.

  34. 36 micky March 2, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Remember the buffalo?

  35. 37 micky March 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    What do you mean…” the fish was dragged for about a mile through the forest to our parked car and then taken to Olympic Sporting Goods in Forks”? I think April First is next month.

  36. 38 micky March 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Let’s review here. The biologist is 62. You say that he has caught over 5000 steelhead. That would mean 80.6 steelhead a year since he was born. Now that is a record that should be recorded. This month I will be fishing with Jim Kerr.

    I’ll be asking him where not to step should I need to get off the river for a good shit.

  37. 39 coastalcutt March 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    What a sad story all around.

    Sad first in that such a magnificent and now-rare fish was caught in the first place. Sad again in the circumstances surrounding its demise. And sad finally in the rush to judgement of many of the posters here.

    It’s worth remembering that fishing, even C&R fishing, is a blood sport. Not every fish released swims happily off to complete its life cycle role. But out of sight is out of mind and those will less active imaginations can and do congratulate themselves that their impact on the fish was minimal to nil.

    I think a pretty good case can be made for C&R as a form wildlife harassment. Some of the holier-than-thou here should contemplate the notion that if they’re truly concerned about the survival of anadromous fish, the best thing they can do is to stop fishing for them altogether.



  38. 40 BlackDog March 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    My thoughts are in line with Coastalcutt’s. Fishing is a blood sport. Some fish die. Get over it. It is sort of creepy that some people will fish for years and decades without knowingly killing a fish. Reducing fish to playthings is perhaps even more loathesome than being a kill-em-all meat fisherman. If you don’t want even some of them to die, then you shouldn’t fish for them.

  39. 41 Jeremy March 2, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    CC I agree wholly,in that people ought not be fishing anywhere there’s a wild population. Shouldn’t be happening at all, really. While we’re at it, let’s restrict the fishing of Esocidae in WI and MI where VHS has been found, and make sure that we don’t transfer that to any other body of water. While we’re at it, let’s say there’s no more Atlantic Salmon fishing, either. Hell, while we’re at it, might as well lock down evey high mountain lake in CO with Greenbacks…
    Ok, if you’ve not figured out, my agreement is that sometimes things get taken too far. I stated in my original post that I’m not going to batter a guy for killing what is, after all is said and done, just a fish. What I don’t like is that the stories of people that bore witness, and the story that the fisherman posted just don’t mesh, they don’t add up. It makes me sad in a couple different ways. Sad that he either feels that he’d be persecuted for killing the fish, sad that we (again, as a collective) WOULD persecute him for killing the fish, and if, in fact, it was intentional he won’t just man up to it.
    Many times I think we (yup, collective again), as flyfisherman, take things to the extremes. There are instances when we absolutely NEED to take things to extremes, and there are times we’d all be better brushing things under the rug. The more I learn about this instance, and the more I learn about the person involved, it’s one that I really would like to see swept under.
    Long and short of it is that it’s a damned nice fish, no less no more. It isn’t my place to judge, so I won’t. I don’t think any one of us has the right to judge, and I may well have come across wrong in my original post.
    For what it’s worth, which in today’s economic climate isn’t a whole hell of a lot.

  40. 42 Jeff March 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    I cant believe a fish like that made it through the gauntlet of tribal nets in the river!! give me a break people its legal to keep ONE wild steelhead per year on the hoh and by god I wouldve loved to get one like that. as far as im concerned if they let the tribes and commercial guys kill all these fish and there so called by catch crap whats the harm in keeping one trophy fish?
    Until they Ban all commercial fishing I say congrats on a great fish. And yes I do practice C&R
    Im not gonna bitch about 1 fish when hundreds of thousands are killed to go to market!

  41. 43 Cattman March 4, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Is it the same fish? It appears in the top phote the fly is in the upper lip and the next photo it is in the throat are. Whats up with that??

  42. 45 Rob Russell March 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm


    you’re being called a liar by a bunch of serious dudes. there are some eyewitness accounts that say the fish wasn’t bleeding until you picked it up by the gills. and the photos don’t seem to support your story. i will gladly suspend judgement, but within a tight circle of fishcons you’ve already been tried and convicted. not saying it’s right, just saying.

    i strongly urge you to consider your next move carefully, and if you have stretched any truths, put them behind you and tell the whole story. because it will come out. you were within your rights to kill that fish. and contrary to the assertions of many respondents, that fish was not some kind of unique genetic specimen, and the chances of it passing along big-fish genes to offspring was no greater than any other male steelhead in the system.

    maybe you deserve to hold some kind of record. i don’t kow. but i do think you would be respected much more for admitting a lie than allowing others to call you a liar the rest of your life–and long after.

    if your letter to anglers is the whole truth and nothing but, then bless you and disregard my comments.

    best wishes,


  43. 46 steve March 6, 2009 at 12:32 am

    blackdog you got it!! i can see both sides of the story, but it does come down to the point, that if you don’t want any of them to die, fish ’em with a damn camera!!

  44. 47 Stacy March 6, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Man, I haven’t seriously pursued steelhead for several years. When did flyfisherman get so damned snotty? Talk about a bunch of elitists. I’m glad I stopped the pursuit on my own terms. Sharing the river with you guys would have pushed me out.
    C’mon guys, own up to your sport. When you tie that hook onto your tippet you have armed yourself for the possibility of killing a fish. If you think you won’t you’re naive. I suggest all that have made any negative comment about Peter’s catch and unfortunate kill cast velcro from here on out.

    Don’t listen to these scoundrels. They weren’t there, they didn’t fight the fish. You know the moment and I hope you remember how grand it was during the fight. I would share your thoughts of regret that the buck died, but don’t let these guys ruin what is a fish of a lifetime. You have paid your dues and been a faithful servant. Your conservation your entire life more than makes up for this one fish. And as grand as it was, it was ONE fish. Congratulations!!

  45. 48 Rob Russell March 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm


    Please understand that eyewitness accounts including those of Pete’s friends suggest his published account is inaccurate. Some of the comments are silly, elitist, etc. But we are talking about a potential world-record catch, which carries with it increased scrutiny. And to those close to the Hoh River, such seemingly trivila issues are a big deal.

    Elitism sucks, lots of fly guys are dicks. I get tired of it, too. But this story is worthy of all the hoopla. Lots of folks want to believe Pete. But the ball is in his court. He has to explain how a giant trout could possibly bleed to death from a hole in its jaw. Or did he stick the fly back in there for the pic? I can imagine a series of events that could explain the inconsistencies and leave Pete in the clear.

    C’mon, Pete. Give us the whole story! This one’s for posterity. For all of us.

  46. 49 Stacy March 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    The guys crying on this site didn’t know anything about Pete’s friends suggesting the story is inaccurate.

    I just find it amusing that people are so quick to be negative and so judgemental on a fellow fly fisherman who releases everything he catches. Pictures are horrible accounts of history. Pictures contain no context.

    I’m with Blackdog on this one. If you think a steelhead should never be killed or injured then don’t fish for them.

  47. 50 Rob Russell March 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    We are hunters, and our prey occasionally die, no doubt. And fish are delicious. In fact, just thinking about it is making me hungry for a slab of grilled steelhead with a big scoop of caviar on top.

  48. 51 Matt March 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    An amazing capture but an even more amazing reaction from other anglers. It was a beautiful big fish that died aged 62 after being caught by one of the many predators out there. I’m perfectly prepared to accept Peter’s judgement that the fish was a goner after what must have been a prolonged fight.

    It’s sad, but it goes with the territory. Any of us who puts a hook and line in the water will ultimately end up killing fish no matter how careful we are or how hard we stick to principals of C&R. None of us will end up on the centrefold of Bhuddist monthly.

  49. 52 Ed Phelan March 7, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Peter My Son,
    Congratulations on a great catch! Not releasing the fish was an uneducated novice move. Removing the genes of that fish from the pool is a shame that you will carry to your grave.

    The last wild steelhead I killed was the winter of ’59/’60 on the Russian. Last season I landed steelhead over thirty pounds on the fly and smiled as they swam away none the worse for wear. Good news is their genes are still in the pool.

    Bye the way, this post is my first public comment relative to landing plus thirty pounders on the fly. It’s not uncommon. The real ‘pros’ are not listed in the record books.

    God Bless,

  50. 53 Warren March 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I can’t believe the hammering that Peter is getting over this. I have never heard so much false elitist conservation rubbish in my life! The fact is, any fish released has a significant chance of dying, and that chance is very, very much higher if bleeding from the gills. Every time I release a trout, I am acutely aware that the fish may die. If you guys are real conservationists, you would not even fish. Give Peter a break! In my 26 years of fishing for trout and salmon, I have had a number of fish bleed from the gills, when hooked in the lip (and I never touch the gills when landing a fish). In the Taupo region of New Zealand, there was a ‘revolution’ when upstream nymphing started to take over from a swung fly when fishing for lake-run ‘steelheads’. Upstream nymphing was considered ‘unsporting’, but in the end they are both valid methods. This is all about snobbish (false) purism.
    Yes, it is a shame the magnificent fish died, but better to be a visible memory to Peter, and all, than rotting in the river an hour after being released.

  51. 54 Woody March 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Coach (Captain Terry Duffield),

    I find you comments pathetic, they are only overshadowed by your hypocrisy. Taking this gentleman at his word, which I have no reason not to, he killed the fish because it was bleeding heavily from the gills. It was not the choice he wanted. It is a record fish for Washington State. So what if bigger fish have be caught elsewhere. Anybody would be excited about catching a fish like that.

    Now on Washingtonflyfishing.com you are searching for information on big game fly rigs for Makos’ and Marlin. These are species that you plan on fishing for in your current home state of Hawaii. Populations on both of those of those species are declining rapidly, but fishing for them and taking them is legal. Perhaps you don’t plan on taking any for the table, (but the Hawaiian sport fishing industry is notorious for its catch and kill practices).

    Be that as it may, what you going to do about the fish that you catch and inadvertently kill. It will happen. Will you have the same words for yourself, or will you just rationalize it out. Sharks are long lived fish, they don’t mass reproduce and are highly endangered. If you inadvertently kill one, you are in the same boat that you just placed the fellow above in. Are we to take your word that it was an accident and that the hook wound was fatal. You may think yourself above reproach but that would be a tough one to believe, especially since you can’t believe or give somebody else the benefit of the doubt. But then, I then guess it takes a liar to know a liar. So, when the inadvertent kill does happen, I guess you will just have to go and fuck yourself.



  52. 55 Ryan Peterson March 9, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Woody –

    Thanks much for your comment. I will allow it to stay up now, but the negativity which you express toward the other commenter and the vitriolic language you use is teetering on the edge being incindiary rather than helpful – which I think, ironically, is exactly your criticism of Coach’s comment. Not saying he hasn’t put himself up for criticism by making his view public. It’s just that no one likes to be told to go fuck themselves. Not Coach, not Peter, and I’m guessing not you. Rarely has that approach brought an adversary around to seeing things our way. It’s a don’t-stoop-to-that-level type of deal.

    But I do really like, and agree with the sentiment of your comment, which if I understand correctly is; we should think real closely about our own situations before we cast stones, and that catch and release flyfishing is a blood sport related more to lion hunting than to gardening.


  53. 56 Chris Q March 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Count me in the skeptic category. The fish is only bleeding in one photo in which the fly has been removed. The one photo that has the fly in it (and as such appears to be the first one taken based on that and the flyrod in Pete’s hand) show no traces of blood. He may have accidentally broken a gill when lifting the fish by the gill cover to photograph it or he may have bonked it to weight it for the record, but I don’t believe for a moment that this fish was bleeding heavily from a hook wound. His description in the Peninsula Daily News (http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20090301/news/303019990) states, “The fly was flossed perfectly in the corner of its mouth.” There are also no traces that the line wrapped around the fish and cut its gill. That leaves the two explanations mentioned above. If he took it for a record, “own it”.

    As far as the mention of elitist fly fishers go, there are some, but far more are simply interested in maintaining a healthy steelhead population. I flyfish, but I also fish conventionally and have kept steelhead (they are delicious), but prefer to keep only an occasional hatchery fish now. If the WA regs aren’t changed to prohibit the take of wild fish on the OP rivers, you will likely end up like here in coastal CA, where it is illegal to keep any steelhead, but it won’t happen until the populations are greatly reduced. I also think that eliminating a large fish that has the genes to survive for that long from the small gene pool will hurt the population and reduce the size of the fish. This happened at Pyramid Lake Nevada, which was famous for its huge cutthroat (the lake record is about 45lbs). Now a10 lbe is a trophy and 15-20 lbs fish is a whopper; before those wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. Biologists have determined that the take of all the large fish has altered the population’s genetics so that the fish are now smaller.

  54. 57 Jeff Layton March 9, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I agree with Jeff (March 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm)

    Let me first say congratulations!!! Gee wish I was in your position. I can’t believe some of the critical post here. This is a once in a lifetime catch. We have to remember that we are fishermen. We fish to catch fish. This is an instinct that we have modified to a higher level of fly fishing, but it is a primal urge. The same as the Steelhead that we are discussing.

    This steelhead is a champion, and Peter is the better champion of this contest. Peter has been very respectful and gracious in his treatment of this catch. I think it may have been better if Peter ate the fish, as I think photos say more that wall trophies, but if I had caught a steelhead this size I would have probably done the same thing.

    This is a great catch; a great story; and a celebration that a steelhead like this still exists to migrate back to a Washington stream.

    PS. I’m putting more backing on my reel, thanks Peter!

  55. 59 Evan Jones March 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    It would appear that Mr. Harrison chose a very inopportune time to keep his first fish in 10 years. Evidently the opportunity to put his name on the biggest steelhead anyone in that area has seen in years (decades?) was worth more than that same fish’s life. Does catching that fish mean he’s a better angler now? Will it win him the respect of friends and peers? Turn his life around maybe? I hope so, because all I see is a big, bloated dead fish and an even bigger, bloated ego to match it.

    IGFA = EGO

  56. 60 Will Fisher March 12, 2009 at 10:33 am

    While I am certain that the killing of this fish has stirred up a great deal of controversy in the fly fishing community, it is, in my opinion, entirely to miss the point as to critique the sincerity of the consternation over the killing of such a majestic fish. This topic has been argued over even in Kansas City, between myself and my friend B. J., who some of you might know. The true essence of the problem, of which an event like this can act as a catalyst, lies not in the singular act of killing a fish, but in the cultural construct of institutions and societal habits such that promote the extermination of the very thing that we all hold dear.
    The following “larger” questions need to be asked to which I don’t have the answers. Why do we have an institution that measures “record” fish for the purpose of self-aggrandizement? Outside of the purely scientific research motivation an institution such as this should be questioned as to its usefulness and if decided to be useless should be discarded. Also, why is it that people who should be allies in the preservation of salmon and steelhead, fly fishermen, bait fishermen and commercial fishermen, take up adversarial positions against each other? We have created these positions because we don’t talk to each other. Fly fishermen are viewed as purists, elitists, egotists. Bait fishermen are seen as lazy, uncaring, greedy killers of fish. And commercial fishermen, they are the mass murderers. However, one of the beauties of human society is that it is malleable. Habits can be changed. This is not a question of jobs versus the environment, which Marx would label as a fetishism of the problem, nor is it about bait fishing versus fly fishing. It is about coming to the conclusion that we all rely on these fish, some for their livelihood and some for life’s enjoyment. We MUST talk to each other! We must recognize ourselves as a society not as a conglomeration of individuals, for this problem cannot be solved individually, nor can it be solved as segmented adversarial groups. No this problem needs us all. Fishermen must unite around our common theme, for if we do not we will not be talking about a man who killed a fish, we will be remembering how wonderful it was when there was such a thing called fishing.


  57. 61 steelie March 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Sham that fish’s genetics didnt get passed on….. I wouldnt even think of bonking a fish in that condition!

  58. 62 Tom March 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Hello Mr. Harrison,

    I feel for you and the choice that you had to make. After reading some of the things said, what I find sad is that these “people” have such compassion for a fish and yet will not blink an eye a an abortion. I have fished for all of my short forty three year life and can think of no other pastime that so fullfills the sole and washes the mind. I applaud your efforts to document the experience and thank you for sharing it with us.

  59. 63 Derek March 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Would have been good for the gene pool. Too bad he bonked it.

  60. 64 Bill April 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Get your facts correct. The taxidermist in P.A. did purchase a steelhead from an Indian’s net. It was not for $300 dollars. It was purchased at meat market value…. It was sold the same as any other steelhead caught in an Indian net.

  61. 65 Bill April 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

    As far as Mr. Harrison’s big fish. Until all you jealous people get a biology degree, and inspect the actual fish, you all have NO idea if that fish had spawned or not. My money would be on that fish having spawned a couple of times. You think it may have been better to turn that fish loose to be caught in a net, either by the indians or in the ocean by the non-regulated japanese or chinese fishing boats. The population of the fish in the rivers is NOT determined by the sportfishermen. There are FAR many more fish killed by nets than by dieing at the hand of a TRUE sportsman!!!
    Mr. Harrison had purchased a fishing license that stated HE may keep ONE native steelhead. He punched that card ONE time in TEN years. Be it a 30 lb. fish or a 6 lb. fish. HIS RIGHT!!!

    Mr. Harrison. You, my friend, are a TRUE sportsman and I congratulate you on that AMAZING FISH!!!

  62. 66 JB May 7, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I have goosebumps… Thanks for the post and the description of the event. That’s the moment that really counts, don’t you agree? Nobody can take that away.


    Sport Fishing Americas

  63. 67 chris aff July 31, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    i guide trips on the russian river where it is not permited any longert to retain a non-hatchery fish. most of the really big ones are wild, but a bleeding fish is a dead fish and i don’t hold this against anyone. nice fish. don’t kill anymore. tight lines, chris

  64. 68 mark October 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Wow, a lot of whining from folk not on the scene. Not exactly any laws broken. But, one very important accomplishment from the many negative comments here: it will certainly keep the crowds down – who’d want to fish within a dozen zip codes of this crowd?!

  65. 69 Ben Gedalecia October 23, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Did you TRY to revive her? I know it can take 15-20 minutes. But maybe she was too old to even be a good breeder. Then again if she had that much fight in her, she might’ve revived.
    At any rate..Congratulations1

  66. 70 mike jackson November 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    45 minuets what is that? 15 to 20 minuets its time to break it off.

  67. 71 gailrcampbell@hotmail.com November 21, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I appreciate all the things I’ve learned reading this discussion. When I caught my first magnificent, rosy-sided, steelhead on a GBS on the Bulkley, he was so beautiful I immediately felt apologetic for bothering him and quickly returned him to the water. It was then that I made my journey to embrace C&R. Although I landed him promptly, all 38.5 inches of him, his gasping compelled me to ever after land fish as quickly as possible and return them to the river equally as quickly after resusitation.

    Each fish seems as different as each fisher, as each fishing situation & circumstance. I feel sad that that fish died in such a way. I wonder whether the man who took it still feels that he made the best decisions he could have. Maybe he’s learned something, too. If so, one of the more regrettable results of the entire episode is that any learning will have been at the fish’s expense. Sadly, the folly of humankind tends toward our pursuance of our own agendas down the sorry road of other species’ extinction. Bring fish in quickly so that you can promptly let good fish, and hens in particular, go. No world record is worth such a fish’s death.

  68. 72 Anonymous January 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    he should have let it go…Simple-

  69. 73 Anonymous January 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    “and because it was the fish of a lifetime, I decided to take the fish.”
    kinda tells the story within the story- Shame on him-

  70. 74 Alyssa October 2, 2014 at 10:46 am

    I have seen this event posted in many different places on the interweb. Nowhere else have I had the opportunity to read the responses and reactions of such an understanding, passionate, and articulate crowd. This changes my view on the situation, not necessarily in favor of one thing or the other, but perhaps just that. I wasn’t there, and the ones who were made decisions that I may or may not have made based on circumstances that will never be duplicated exactly, and which I will never understand fully. Stumbling upon this again (after spending about 3 hours reading the more recent posts) inspired me to write to WDFW once again asking for selective gear and no-kill rules during wild steelhead season. Lets hope it falls on open ears. Those steelhead aint dead yet. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  1. 1 World Record _ Catch or Release? « Mountain River Journal Weblog Trackback on March 2, 2009 at 6:56 am
  2. 2 Mornin’ Coffee « Up’North Maine Fly Castings Trackback on March 9, 2009 at 5:32 am
  3. 3 The Big Pull (For the Fly guys) - Nebraska Fish and Game Association Trackback on March 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm

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