Brian Yamamoto with his World Record 41.66 pound Brown Trout, from the Rio Grande River, Argentina
From Fly Fisherman, Sept 2008
“Brian Yamamoto, of Fairbanks, Alaska, released what may be the largest brown trout ever caught on rod and line, and probably the largest ever with a fly rod.
On March 14, 2008, Yamamoto was enjoying his last day fishing the Rio Grande in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego. He was fishing Maxi’s pool in the evening, caught an 8-pound brown on a Woolly Bugger, and then switched to a #4 Muddler Minnow.
On his first pass down the pool with the Muddler, the big fish grabbed the fly, made 5 or 6 deep, throbbing head shakes and then jumped clear of the water four times. The immense trout ran to the top and then the bottom of the pool where Yamamoto stood his ground. The trout jumped three more times before guide Jorge Castro slid a net under it.
The hook-jawed male trout “bottomed out” a 30-pound BogaGrip and was then carefully measured: girth 25 inches; length 46 inches. Based on the formula weight=length x girth2 / 690 the fish weighed 41.66 pounds...
The current International Game and Fish Association (IGFA) all-tackle record brown trout is a 40-pound, 4-ounce fish from the Little Red River, Arkansas. IGFA fly-rod line class records range from 12 to 35 pounds and all but one of those fish were also taken from the Rio Grande.
Yamamoto was using a 15-foot Snowbee Spey rod and a 750-grain Rio Skagit line with a 5-foot cheetah, 15-foot type 3 sinking tip, and 9-foot 16-pound flurocarbon tapered leader.
On his last cast the same evening, Yamamoto hooked and landed a 24 pound brown on a 4 inch-long olive Sculpin imitation. He called the trip to Maria Behety Lodge (booked through the Fly Shop at Redding, California) “the trip of a lifetime.”
Painting of Brian's huge Brown Trout. Oil on Canvas.
Click on picture for an enlargement.
I've never met Brian in person but he had seen my work overseas, and when he caught what may be the largest ever fly-caught, true wild brown trout (46 inches long, 25 inches in girth, ~ 42 pounds) he contacted me to paint the portrait for him, and I feel honored to have been selected to do his painting.
As the fish was just so big I was unable to fit it on my normal illustration board, so we decided I would paint it as an oil on canvas.
Brian wanted a portrait of his fish laying at the water’s edge, but only had photos of his fish being held.
In order to get reference images for the painting, Brian took photos of the bank on his next trip to the same river, and from these we worked out the composition.
Other details, such as goose feathers washed up at the water’s edge, and the wind-blown ripples, will also serve to bring back memories of the wild, windswept waters of Argentina and the environment where the giant was caught.
Here is Brian's huge Brown Trout painting hanging in his Trophy Room in Alaska.
Truly, a fish of a lifetime!