Hailey Thomas of Rigby hoists a 36-inch rainbow/cutthroat hybrid trout from Henrys Lake before releasing the fish and taking home a catch-and-release state record.
Congratulations to Hailey Thomas of Rigby on landing a new catch-and-release state record from Henrys Lake. Hailey hooked the 36-inch long monster rainbow/cutthroat hybrid on Oct. 4 while fishing with her family on the renowned east Idaho lake. Hailey's fish comfortably cruises past the prior record - an already impressive 30-inch rainbow/cutthroat hybrid set by Ryan Ivy from the Snake River in 2018.
Hailey and her husband, Shane, set out on the lake with their two kids, hoping to enjoy an afternoon of warm fall weather and hopefully catch a few nice trout. Despite the beautiful weather, the water was a bit off-color, and fishing was slow. By mid-afternoon they were struggling to locate fish with only a few trout to hand. As they raised the anchor to move spots, Hailey hooked up on a heavy fish.
As Shane recalls, "Hailey did a phenomenal job fighting the fish and keeping it out of the abundant weeds, notorious for knocking large trout off the line. After a stressful minute or so, I reached out and scooped up the fish. The net I usually use for chasing carp looked so small, as the fish barely fit in!"
Upon scooping the the fish, Shane — a seasoned angler and previous state-record holder — yelled with excitement, "That's the biggest trout I've seen in my life!" Knowing they landed something special, they used the boat's live well to help the fish recover. Suspecting they might have caught a record, the angling pair got the measurement and photos needed to document the catch. At 36 inches long, with 21-inch girth, the fish might have weighed anywhere from 17-20 pounds! After a quick photo, Hailey released the lunker trout back to the lake to fight another day.
Henrys Lake in eastern Idaho is famous for it's blue-ribbon trout fishing and is home to native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, as well as rainbow/cutthroat hybrid and brook trout. Trout grow quickly at this productive lake, and often reach trophy sizes. Spring and fall are favorite seasons for anglers to chase the lake's abundant trout, although weather conditions can often be "challenging".
Learn more about Henrys Lake and the science used to manage the fishery:
- Researching effects of Utah Chub on Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout at Henrys Lake
- Henrys Lake Spring Newsletter - Spring 2022
Think you might land a record fish? Click here to learn more about state records and how to apply.