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