10 Mind Blowing Giant Steelhead

Okay steelhead junkies, hang onto your hats…here are 10 massive steelhead that will make your heads spin!

37-pound steelhead
Nick English with his massive , jaw-dropping and and well-publicized 37-pound beast caught on the Kispiox River in British Columbia.

MOBY
Andrew Fairclouth, right, with guide Gill McKean, hooked “Moby” on a fly in BC’s Kitimat River. While Moby was not weighed prior to release, he was very likely in the mid 30’s. Using Sturdy’s Weight Formula (length x girth squared x .00133), which was developed for Dean River steelhead, you get an amazing 35.8 pounds. The Skeena/Kispiox Formula (length x girth squared divided by 775) designed to estimate the weight of the extra girthy fish those drainages are prone to produce, gives you 34.8 pounds.

In either case, Fairclouth’s steelhead would eclipse the fish long accepted as the world fly rod record of 33 pounds, set by Karl Mauser in 1963. Read the incredible story of “Moby” HERE

IGFA-WORLD-RECORD-STEELHEAD
The current IGFA All-Tackle World Record Steelhead was caught while salmon trolling in the salt!!!

36-pound-steelhead
Chuck Etwart caught his 36-pound steelhead onOctober 5, 1954 in the Kispiox River

35 pound steelhead
This massive dark buck was caught and released by Jeff Wissing (left) on the upper Quinault River with guide George Rose (right) in 2004. It measured 46 inches, with a 24 inch girth and weighed approx. 35 pounds!

Photo from Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies, by Trey Combs (one of the all-time great reads, by the way!)

Photo from Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies, by Trey Combs (one of the all-time great reads, by the way!)

On October 8, 1962, Karl Massuer listened to his beloved San Francisco Giants defeat the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the World Series on the radio and then went out and caught this 33-pound World Record Fly-Caught steelhead on the Kispiox River. A pretty dang good day! By the way, the starting pitchers that game were Juan Marichal and Whitey Ford, respectively…neither of whom got a decision. The winning pitcher that game? None other than Don Larsen…who had thrown the only Perfect Game in World Series history as a member of the Yankees on October 8, 1956!

32 pound steelhead
All I know about this leviathan is that it  measured 44 inches by 24 inches, which using the steelhead weight formula, comes out at 32 freaking pounds! WOW!!!!!

29.5-pound-steelhead
Peter Harrison of Port Hadlock, WA shows off the enormous 44-inch, 29.5-pound wild steelhead buck he caught in Washington’s Hoh River on a spey rod. The mammoth steelie created quite a fuss in angling circles for a couple reasons… First off, it’s huge (duh!). It was weighed almost 24 hours after it was caught, so it was most likely a 30 plus pounder alive. Secondly it was a wild fish that was killed…

Read more about it HERE

Huge British Columbia steelhead
This obese chunkier of a steelhead got released by a client of guide Gill McKean of West Coast Fishing Adventures (left)while fishing a yarn ball under a float in BC’s Kitimat River. Estimated weight: 30 pounds!

Photo:: www.pioneersaloon.com

Photo:: www.pioneersaloon.com

On October 1st, 1985, Clay Carter beached an enormous steelhead at lower Patch on the Kispiox River in BC. He quickly measured the fish and let it go (So awesome!). Using length and girth measurements, the fish was estimated to weigh 37 pounds!

A fiberglass replica of Clay’s prize catch is on display just inside the Pioneer Saloon dining room. in Ketchum. A photo of the memorable moment hangs just outside the grill. Clay’s close friends and the Pioneer Saloon are proud to keep alive the memory of this gracious sportsman.

For more info, check out my steelhead techniques

Throw that junky old cooler away and get a Kill Bag!

Ol' Reliable…well used and hanging tough. So much better than a cooler!

Ol’ Reliable…well used and hanging tough. So much better than a cooler!

Man do I hate coolers! Unless you want to spring for one of the fancy ones like a Yeti and drop several hundred bucks in the process, you’re stuck with the standard models. You know – the ones that have cheesy hinges and latches that always fail. Always!

I’ve bought a zillion coolers over the years and have never had one last more than a season. Granted, I use the things daily and put them through more abuse the most, but still, it would be nice to get a little more service out of one.

The other aspect of ice chests that I’m not a big fan of is the space they take up – especially on a boat. Considering the fact that you need to keep fish on ice about 10 months a year around here, coolers are essential for keeping your catch fresh. Hanging a fish on a stringer or putting it in a boat’s fish box ensures that the taste and quality will be greatly comprised. So a cooler is a must…but what do you do when space is at a premium and a normal cooler is destined to eventually disintegrate anyway?

Get a fish bag, that’s what!

I switched about four years ago from a standard hard cooler to soft fish or “kill” bag and will never go back.

Help support this website: When you purchase a product through one of the Amazon links you find on this site, I get a very small commission – there’s no extra cost to you. I only highlight products that I have used and believe in. By using these affiliate links you can help me keep this website up and running.

For more info, check out our Affiliate Disclosure page here.

A bunch of companies make fish bags in sizes that will suite everything from kokanee to tuna and I’ve been quite happy with the one I purchased from Reliable Fishing Products. Kill bags are insulated and hold ice as well or better than regular chests, they don’t have latches and handles to break and save a ton of space.

A nice sack o' salmon!

A nice sack o’ salmon!

My 20 x 48-inch bag holds ice and 8 Chinook salmon and fits inside my boat’s fish box, so it’s completely out of the way. It’s also a big space saver in my drift boat. One 7-pound bag of ice keeps fish cold even when it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s also extremely easy to clean and can be rolled up for easy stowage – try that with a 120-quart hard sided cooler!

When looking at fish bags, there are a few things to consider before you buy one. First, inquire about the insulation. You want one with quality “guts” so your fish stay cool. Next, check out and try the zipper. It needs to be strong, smooth and reliable. Also check out the stitching and reinforcements on the carrying handles (which are kinda like the strap on a purse). These need to be burly, as they will shoulder most of the weight when lifting fish in and out of the boat, truck, etc.

I also really like a bag that has a drain plug so you can easily let out any water and blood that accumulates in the bag. My first bag didn’t have one, and it was kind of a pain to have to lift the bag up on its edge throughout the day to drain excess water out though the zipper on the top.

Another thing to check out is the shape of the bag. Some are more flat and “envelope” shaped, while others have more of a “purse” shape to them in that they are wider on the bottom than at the top. I’ve owned both and prefer the Reliable I have now because of the 12-inch wide bottom, which gives me more carrying capacity for fish.

As I noted earlier, fish bags are super easy to clean. After each trip, I rinse mine out with some dish soap and water and, every week or so, I’ll spray it will a little bleach. Keeping it clean is essential so it doesn’t get a funky smell going – plus by keeping it clean I can also use my bag for “non fishing” situations as well.

Fish bags are great for Costco runs, backyard barbecues and big game hunting trips.

Trust me, once you try a kill bag, you’ll gladly say goodbye to your old cooler!

Sign the Letter to Stop the Shutdown of Salmon & Striper Fishing!

Kill-the-SalmonHere we go again! There’s a bill currently making its way through Congress that  will virtually wipe out the Central Valley salmon. It also begins the eradication of stripers and bass.  The merged bill is based on Senator Feinstein’s Senate water bill (S2198) and the water bill passed by the House last February (HR3964).

They both overturn the Delta biological opinions and they both will do irreversible damage to the ESA listed and non-listed salmon runs of the Sacramento River.

The water mongers won’t stop and that’s why we need to fight. It only takes about 30 seconds to have you voice heard! Just sign the petitions below!

THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!

GOLDEN GATE SALMON ASSN. PETITION 

WATER4FISH PETITION

56-pound Sacramento River King Salmon!

56-pound-king-salmon1

It’s generally been a lackluster salmon season on the Sacramento River, but don’t tell that to Brad Ceo and Ross Berlin, who teamed up for this massive 56-pound Chinook on Monday, Nov. 10. They caught the behemoth while fishing a Flatfish on anchor near Verona. The interesting thing about the catch? The fish had no milt sacks in it…some sort of sterile mutant I guess.

In any case, an awesome catch to say the least! And if you like big salmon, check out the 80-plus pounder biologists found on the Sacramento River HERE

56-pound-king-salmon