Pictures of the Day: Monster Montana Rainbow Trout

Lisa Huge rainbow 1

Trying to wrestle the huge rainbow with one hand while taking an iPhone photo with the other, Lisa managed just a couple awkward photos.

photo by Lisa Savard

My friend Lisa Savard and her husband, Tim—owners of Lopstick Lodge in Pittsburg, New Hampshire—also have a house on the banks of Montana’s Rock Creek, and they try to spend as much time out West as they can. Last month, Lisa landed the largest trout she’s ever caught in more than 30 years of fly fishing. Unfortunately, she was fishing by herself and only managed a couple of awkward iPhone pictures to record the event.

According to Lisa, she and Tim had noticed a little tributary of a larger river north of Missoula. (It’s a small enough stream that Lisa does not want to name it, for obvious reasons.) At the time, they decided that they’d return in July to check it out. When they arrived last month, they split up to check out the water. Lisa was fishing a size 14 Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph on 5X Mirage tippet, when she laid into this beast. After a fight of nearly a half hour, she brought the fish to hand and measured it at 30 inches! That’s a huge trout for Alaska, never mind Montana.

When I commented on her feeble attempt a photography, she replied, “I was also shaking so bad it was hard to use the phone. I was spent. I was also TERRIFIED I would drop the phone.”

Looking closely at the photos, you can certainly get a sense of just how massive this fish was. That’s a grown woman’s hand in the photo above, and it doesn’t even go halfway around the fish near the head. And in the picture below, her foot is dwarfed by the leviathan. It’s astounding that such a fish would be found in a small stream, and Lisa assumes that it had swum up out of the larger river seeking cool water.

Lisa has obviously got the fly-fishing part down, but I wonder if it’s time for some photography lessons. Or is that just my jealousy talking?

Lisa Huge rainbow 2

Compare the fish to Lisa’s foot for a true measure of its proportions.

photo by Lisa Savard

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