S. Fork Snoqualmie Rainbow - Age?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by squaretail, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. squaretail Respect the FISH

    Posts: 14
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I caught this fish today on the S. Fork of the Snoqualmie River, east of North Bend. Most fish I catch on this river are between 6" - 10", thus this guy caught me by surprise. This rainbow was a legit 20". I am wondering, how long would it take to grow to this size, on this body of water?

    View attachment 34339

  2. SteelieD Non Member

    Posts: 1,001
    In a van down by the river
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    :thumb: WOW

    I hope some folks who know that water will chime in here. That is HUGE fish for that river.
  3. Eric Tarcha gear whore

    Posts: 1,067
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    cheers bro, I believe that is equivalent to a 20 lb steelhead for that system.
  4. Lex Story Angler, Gastronomist, Artist, Jarhead, Geek

    Posts: 380
    Issaquah, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +46 / 0
    I've seen 20" brookies but never rainbow that approached that size on the SF. Congrats and keep that spot under your hat. Now I'm all antsy to go and scout, heck that photo is giving me the Jimmy legs!!!
  5. sroffe Member

    Posts: 442
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Wow. That's one awesome fish on that river.
  6. Jacob Mitchell New Member

    Posts: 153
    Mill Creek,WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I fish that river quite a bit and the biggest I have ever got was a 13". That fish you got is a pig!!!! Congrats!!
  7. Skysoldier Trout Hunter

    Posts: 730
    Lost in the woods.....
    Ratings: +185 / 0
    Congrats! that is a beautiful fish.
  8. Dan Soltau New Member

    Posts: 1,272
    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    wow, that is a fine, beautiful specimen! well done there squaretail! big fish are a combo of food sources and genetics, that fish appears to be around 6 years old. as they get older they tend to start developing a rugged look with defined, hardened facial features. that fish doesnt really have that going on, it could be right out of the madison! what a fish!
  9. Chris Scoones Administrator

    Posts: 3,584
    North Bend
    Ratings: +295 / 0
  10. Dehlan G Member

    Posts: 336
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    You sure that it isn't a steelhead that jumped Snoq Falls? :thumb: :beer1::beer1:
  11. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,303
    Ratings: +176 / 0
    :beer2: hamana-hamana-hamana . . . . that is a nice fish anywhere but has to be close to a (if not the) modern day record on that river.
  12. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,502
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    It's a steelhead that jumped Snoq Falls. :rofl: That I must agree is the best answer. Must be at least 4 or 5 years old.
  13. Trout Master Active Member

    Very well could be a steelhead, as there is a private Hatchery on the south fork up one of the feeder creeks that raises them,and it couldve escaped .
  14. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,322
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,267 / 0
    Maybe. Looks pretty healthy for a hatchery ecsapee though, unless it's survived in the system for a few years after.
  15. troutingham Member

    Posts: 260
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I Just caught a huge one today??HMMMMM
  16. troutingham Member

    Posts: 260
    Ratings: +1 / 0
  17. Split Bamboo Member

    Posts: 648
    Tacoma, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    my guess would be 5 years, maybe 6...looks more like a lake fish rather than a river fish. 7-8 months of heavy flows a year....with a big fat belly....could it have escaped from a lake near by?

    TM, I think an escaped steelhead would have had the urge to jump the falls...heading west. And I am pretty sure that the genetics of steelhead don't cause them to get bigger than riverine bows, rather its food supply. More yummys in da ocean.

    The fins look to be in good shape, so if it was an escapee, and therefore hatchery origin, it looks to have been away from the concrete for a few years.

    My guess is its a damn nice, damn big native rainbow! A fish of a lifetime for that river. Catching that fish is rarer than catching a 50 pound king or a 20 pound steelhead!
  18. Dan Soltau New Member

    Posts: 1,272
    Bozeland, MT - Raleigh, NC
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    that fish is wild, and appears to be child of moving water.
  19. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,801
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +657 / 0
    An exceptional fish for the Snoqualmie Forks for sure!!

    Based on the ages I have seen on western Washington resident rainbows that fish could be any where from 6 to 10 years old. More likely 10 years od than 6 unless it was one of those lucky fish that found some exceptional food sources.

    BTW - Looking at the tail fin rays I doubt the fish has never seen a hatchery.

    Tight lines
  20. Keith Hixson Active Member

    Posts: 1,502
    College Place, Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    I judged fish growth by head size. If they have slower growth the head is usually bigger. If they have a smaller head and bigger body it usually indicates fast growth. This can be a good way to indicate age. It has a fairly normal head size. I am surprise that a fish that large was in the system above the Falls, which we all know eliminates steelhead, but it does look like a steelhead. Just a very pretty fish and very rare indeed.