NICK IVIE, Hagadone News Network, June 11, 2015
TONASKET, Wash. – Longtime Priest River resident Kelly Flaherty has a whopper of a fish story to tell, only this experienced angler has the proof and backing of the state fish and wildlife department to keep his account from becoming just another fisherman’s tale.
Flaherty, 53, reeled in the Washington state record tiger trout on May 5 during an annual fishing trip at Bonaparte Lake in Tonasket.
Hooked only 10 feet from the shore, the massive trout weighed 18.49 pounds and 32.5 inches long with a girth of 21.75 inches.
“It’s going on the wall,” Flaherty said assuredly. He added that while the tiger trout is no longer stocked after being introduced in 2004 he has, “caught fish 18 inches so who was to say they can’t grow up big.”
Certified by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Flaherty’s tiger trout, a cross between a German brown and an eastern brook trout, broke the previous state record of 15.04 pounds set in 2012 at Roses Lake in Chelan County.
According to the International Game Fish Association’s all-time list of world records Flaherty’s tiger trout also ranks second in the world. The 20.13-pound world record fish was caught in Lake Michigan in 1978.