To call this trout a lunker would be an
understatement: 33 inches long, 17 pounds, 2.6 ounces.
That’s the size of the Snake River cutthroat trout caught Aug. 28,
2005, in the Blue River by Rob Peckham, 48, of Oak Creek, Colorado. A
new state record for that species.
The size of the fish was confirmed by Bill Atkinson, aquatic
biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) in Steamboat
Peckham, who has been fishing all his life, caught the fish while
floating the river below Green Mountain Dam. He was using a
rainbow-colored Rapala on spin-casting gear. Peckham explained that
he has fished that section several times and had seen big trout
there. Normally a fly fisherman, Peckham said he switched to spinning
gear because he didn’t think he’d be able to bring in a giant trout
on a fly rod.
“I knew there were big fish in there, but I was surprised when I
caught one,” Peckham said.
Because the fish is not native to Colorado, the DOW has established
Peckham’s catch as the record for the Snake River cutthroat category.
The DOW maintains a separate category for native cutthroat species -
Colorado River, Greenback and Rio Grande.
The largest native cutthroat recorded in the state was a 16-pounder
taken from Twin Lakes in 1964. The exact species is not known; but it
was caught before the DOW started stocking the Snake River variety,
said Robin Knox, the agency’s sport fish coordinator.
The size of the fish gives evidence that the Blue River continues to
be a high-quality fishery, Knox said.