An angler who caught a steelhead that weighed one-one hundredths of an ounce heavier than the next largest scored $2,000 at last week’s derby in the Lewis & Clark Valley.
Darrel Atkinson of Clarkston caught his 17.82-pounder in the Clearwater River on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the day after Coeur d’Alene resident Leo Wolf pulled a 17.81 from the Snake.
They were fishing the Kendall Chevrolet Snake-Clearwater Steelhead Derby, which wrapped up at noon last Saturday.
Both fish were over a pound a third heavier than the third-place entry, Deedee Pearson’s 16.50; Wolf and Pearson, of Pomeroy, won $500 and $250, in addition to daily prizes.
Last year, Atkinson wouldn’t have been able to retain his derby-winner. A low return of B-runs led Idaho fishery managers to ban retaining any steelhead in the Clearwater over 28 inches. Thankfully, this year’s return of that stock has been more than three times as large as 2013-14’s.
Ty and Brianna Rasmussen of Pullman finished one-two in the kids division with 14.86- and 13.67-pound steelhead, winning gift cards worth $75 and $50.