It wasn’t long ago (August) that we were writing about a 30.5-inch Yellowstone Cutthroat that broke Idaho’s previous record by 2 inches. On Friday, that record was topped by a further inch by Nate Burr of Rexburg, ID according to Idaho Fish and Game. His Yellowstone Cuttie taped out at 31.5 inches, after a fight that took the boat on a half-mile ride downstream. The fish was released after the fish was quickly measured.
Nate had this to say about the day he landed this beast, “It was one of those brutally slow days. Hunting big trout on streamers means a day on the water can go from zero to 100 in a split second. That was exactly the case with this fish.”
We caught up with Nate to ask him a few questions about his record-breaking catch:
Flylords: Did you see the eat? What was that like?
Nate: The eat was probably the best part. I was fishing a big white streamer across a shelf where the depth transitioned from 2 to probably 5 feet. The fish came from about 10 feet upstream charging down before my fly had crossed into the deep water. The trout’s back was out of the water as when he first slashed at it and missed. He short struck it again and then on his third pass I dropped it right as he caught up to it and watched him inhale it about ten feet off the bow of the boat.
Flylords: What was your first thought when you set the hook?
Nate: “Oh s**t” was definitely my first thought. It’s all a blur when a big fish is chasing the fly, but I had processed that this was probably the biggest trout I’d ever seen. When I picked up and realized I had him, that was all my only thought.
Flylords: What does your setup look like when you’re hunting these large trout?
Nate: Like I said the streamers I fish are big, but throwing big rods for 8-10 hours a day is rough. I caught this fish on a 6 WT Sage Igniter, but I normally fish a 7 WT with a Redington Rise Reel and floating line. This makes for a lightweight setup that is easy to cast for long periods of time. I do fish a relatively long leader for streamer standards, usually 9-10 feet and 0x (15lb) so the fly can still sink to what I consider a comfortable depth.
Flylords: You mentioned to IDFG that you’ve switched to targeting large predatory trout in the Snake River system. Is there one streamer tip you’d give to anglers looking to try streamer fishing?
Nate: One thing I enjoy is trying new things. It’s easy to get into a routine especially on “home water” and start fishing the same productive banks and runs every outing. I like to try and fish at least one new piece of water every time down the river, even if it looks inferior to a spot I prefer. This has helped me learn more about both the watershed and the fish.
The previous record was set by Sam Hix of Bellaire, Texas barely two months ago on the Snake River.