Flowing westward from the Bitterroot Mountains along the Idaho-Montana border, its reputation for exciting fishing is well-known.

Matt Hosking of Lewiston, Idaho, recently experienced that in a big way. Or, should we say, in a record way!

Matt was fishing the Clearwater River when he hauled in a colossal coho salmon. Thinking he might have something special, Matt kept the 32.68-inch salmon in hopes of a record. After weighing the fish on a certified scale at a local grocery store, the 11.78-pound coho salmon was just big enough to squeeze past the previous certified weight record by a mere 0.48 of an ounce. Unfortunately, reports of what Matt was using to target coho was unavailable to us. You're on your own, there, anglers!

Image courtesy of montanaoutdoor.com
Image courtesy of montanaoutdoor.com

The Idaho Fish and Game tells us that it's the third year in a row that the state has seen a strong return of coho salmon, with over 15,000 adults passing over Lower Granite Dam. That is good news for Montana anglers, too, many of whom love the Clearwater for its salmon and steelhead opportunities.

Yet, Clearwater Region Fishery Management points out that fish like Matt's whopper are rare. Yes, bigger Coho are there, but not many.  Based on 2,400 coho trapped at Lower Granite Dam this year, only two would surpass the size of this fish.

Congratulations to Matt Hosking and good luck to all the Montana anglers in their future visits to the Clearwater.

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