This remarkable photo of Pete Kutzer showed up in my email yesterday, with the subject line “Battenkill.” At first I thought it was a joke, but it turned out to be legit. And when I asked for the real story, I got two, kind of different accounts describing what happened.
Here’s what Frazier Blair, Orvis’s Director of Inventory Management, said:
I was fishing downstream from Pete yesterday at around 4:00pm. This was during a fishing school on the Battenkill for members of my department. Pete yelled down to me, “Frazier, look what I caught!” We were both shocked, as was everyone else in the group. There was a lot of laughter and guessing about how a koi got into the ‘kill. I believe he caught it with his hands.
Pete’s version is a little more dramatic and home-spun:
I’ve given up on the fly rod, and caught this fish Hillbilly Handfishin’-style, by noodling it out of a root wad.
How such a fish got into one of the Northeast’s more revered trout streams is anyone’s guess. But it looks like Pete’s next how-to video will feature some useful grabblin’ tips. Expect to see Helios 2 catfish gloves in next year’s catalog.