The other week, I had the fortune to visit Corbett Lake in British Columbia near Merritt to do some trout fishing. Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in BC, the lake has an elevation of about 3500 feet. Corbett is a private, fly fishing only lake known for its trophy-size rainbows up to 18 lbs. Before going there, I was very incredulous that rainbows that big could inhabit this lake.
On the second day of fishing, I was trolling the depths using a large chartreuse bunny leech under a full sinking line when something big bit my fly. I could immediately tell that this was not like the 20″ fish that I caught earlier in the day. Nope, this was a substantial fish.
I tried my best not to play the fish too long to avoid unnecessary stress on the fish but my 5 wt. with 6 lb. tippet was underpowered for this fish. After several runs into my backing, the fish tired and I quickly brought him in. I had to get one of my friends on another boat to help net the monster. We caught glimpses of the bruiser just below the surface and knew he was going to be a trophy fish. His head was as big as a salmon’s.
When we got him into my measure net, his head and tail stuck out beyond the net and the numbered inch markings. He was 30″ long and had enormous shoulders! The owner of the lodge later estimated that he weighed a good 14 lbs!
We slowly revived him before we let him go back to the depths of Corbett Lake.
The fish handily beat my previous personal best rainbow of 26″ when I fished the Alagnak River in Alaska a couple of years ago. Hopefully, I’ll see “Walter” again in a future trip to Corbett Lake.