Hailey Thomas of Rigby hoists her record setting 36-inch trout. Photo: Idaho Fish and Game.

HENRYS LAKE, Idaho — An Idaho angler has been granted the state catch and release record after reeling in a 36-inch rainbow-cutthroat hybrid trout from Henrys Lake.

According to a news release from Idaho Fish and Game, Hailey Thomas of Rigby hooked the 36-inch long monster on Oct. 4 while fishing with her family on the renowned east Idaho lake. Hailey’s fish comfortably surpassed the prior record – a 30-inch rainbow/cutthroat hybrid set by Ryan Ivy from the Snake River in 2018.

“Hailey did a phenomenal job fighting the fish and keeping it out of the abundant weeds, notorious for knocking large trout off the line,” Hailey’s husband Shane recalled. “After a stressful minute or so, I reached out and scooped up the fish. The net I usually use for chasing carp looked so small, as the fish barely fit in!”

Shane, a seasoned angler himself, and previous state record holder then yelled “That’s the biggest trout I’ve seen in my life!”

The couple knew they had something special, and used the boat’s live well to help the fish recover, and got measurements and photos necessary for documenting their catch.

Henrys Lake in eastern Idaho is famous for its blue-ribbon trout fishing and is home to native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, as well as rainbow/cutthroat hybrid and brook trout. Trout grow quickly at this productive lake, and often reach trophy sizes. Spring and fall are favorite seasons for anglers to chase the lake’s abundant trout, although weather conditions can often be challenging.

Toby Koekkoek is a Community News Reporter, and a recent resident of Teton Valley. He enjoys writing about our region's community events and the movers and shakers that make up the culture of this unique mountain town. He enjoys deep powder, and deep thoughts, skateboarding, playing racquet sports, riding his bike, and nerding out on music. Toby also coaches freeride skiing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and runs skateboard camps in the summer.