Idaho Fly Angler Reels in Record-Breaking Cutthroat Trout

Daniel Whitesitt, a dentist from Post Falls, Idaho, recently snagged a trophy fish that will have fly fishing fanatics buzzing. While casting along the Clark Fork River in Bonner County, Whitesitt hooked what he initially thought was a snag. But this “snag” had a mind of its own and took off on a spirited run! After a thrilling battle, Whitesitt landed a magnificent cutthroat trout measuring a whopping 25 inches!

“We’d had a slow morning,” Whitesitt admits to Outdoor Life. “But then, around 9 am, I cast a large stonefly nymph below an indicator and wham! Something solid was on the other end.”

The initial weight gave Whitesitt the impression it might be a hefty rainbow trout, a known resident of the area. However, upon seeing the fish jump, he noticed the telltale crimson slash under its jaw – a dead giveaway that it was indeed a cutthroat.

“The size threw me off,” Whitesitt says. “Cutthroats typically don’t get much bigger than 20 inches. This one was a monster!”

Unfortunately, cell service was unavailable, so Whitesitt and his fishing buddy, Caleb Bravard, couldn’t immediately confirm if they had a record-breaker on their hands. They snapped some photos, carefully released the trout back into the river, and continued their fishing adventure.

Back in civilization, Whitesitt consulted the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s record book. His heart pounded with excitement as he discovered the previous catch-and-release record for a Westslope cutthroat trout stood at 24 inches, set in Priest Lake back in 2021. Whitesitt submitted a formal record application with photos to the IDFG, patiently awaiting their response.

The wait was worth it! Fisheries biologists confirmed the fish was a purebred Westslope cutthroat, not a hybrid. Whitesitt’s incredible catch officially dethroned the previous record by a full inch!

“This fish was a true beauty,” Whitesitt beams. “While a replica mount is in the works to preserve its memory, the experience of catching such a magnificent creature will forever be etched in my mind.”

Image/Source: OutdoorLife

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