Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fishing in Idaho in the 1930s and 1940s, by Joel Kifer

I love old fishing photos, and I love fishing history. So it was with great excitement that I read an email from Joel Kifer explaining the history behind some amazing fish photos. Joel has graciously allowed me to share these photos and his descriptions with everyone, and trust me, its worth reading.

Fishing Idaho in the 1930s and 1940s

by Joel Kifer (Anacortes, WA)

I have participated at Joe's message board since the beginning and have most recently been enjoying your blog pages.  I lived in northern Idaho for many years and had the pleasure of fishing Pend Orielle Lake and Priest Lake on many occasions.  Priest Lake was noted for the huge Mackinaw Trout, 40+ not uncommon, and Pend Orielle for its enormous Kamloops Rainbows and Dolly Varden char.  The lakes have not produced many big fish in the past thirty years but in the 30s and 40s these lakes were heavily fished for "World Record"  size fish. 

I'm attaching a couple of pics of interest. 

The first is of Wes Hamlet, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and his world record Kamloops Rainbow trout.  It was caught on Nov. 25, 1947,  60 years ago this month and is still the world record for a fresh water catch. This photo was taken by Jack Rottier who I believe was a photographer for the US Forest Service at the time.  It was caught on a Martin plug # 5KS-11, silver scale.   It was 40.5" long, had a 28" girth, and weighed 37 pounds.  

The second is of Wes with his fish and was taken by Ross Hall a famed photographer from Sandpoint, Idaho.

Pic #3 is of a couple of hearty souls headed out for a day of action on Pend Orielle.

They're a great piece of Northwest fishing lore. I have a few hundred more that I'll dig out sometime soon.

Nifty stuff. We should all thank Joel for sharing these amazing photos from an incredible period in Northwestern fishing history!

-- Dr. Todd


Beverly said...

What an incredible look into fishing history! I have been fishing since I was a small girl (being of Norwegian heritage), and seeing the size of that fresh water fish was amazing to me. Please give my thanks to Joel for sharing these fantastic pictures, and encourage him to share more with us all. Beverly said...

Very Kewl story, still a record catch. Wish I were around back then where the fishing was good. The fish know I'm coming and go into hiding and ignore my lure....1 fish in 4 yrs pretty pathetic. Hope my luck turns soon 'cuz I love fishin'...