Editor's Note: This article was corrected and updated 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25.
Caroline May Evans is off to an auspicious start of her fishing career. The 4-year-old girl submitted a two-pound golden trout last week for official consideration in the IGFA “Small Fry” record book, which includes records from anglers under 10.
According to IGFA’s Angler Recognition Coordinator Zachary Bellapigna, the Evans Family was fishing an unnamed lake in the Snake River Basin. Caroline was drifting a redworm on a #6 Daiichi hook with 4-pound-test through the outflow of the lake when the golden struck.
After a quick fight and some quicker photos, they measured and released the fish unharmed.
“I am immeasurably proud of my daughter for this glorious catch, and know she will have her name in [IGFA] books many more times as the years go by,” Caroline’s father said.
California golden trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) are native to the Southern Sierra Mountains of California but have been introduced to parts of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Canada, mostly in alpine lakes reminiscent of their native range. The Little Kern River subspecies is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, while the California strain is not.
Caroline isn’t the only Evans to recently make the IGFA record books with a golden trout. In 2020, her father, Joseph Evans, set a catch-and-release record with a golden trout measuring 19.7 inches out of Idaho’s Pass Lake.
The all-tackle world record for golden trout has stood at 11.25 pounds since 1948. It was caught by Charles Reed in Cooks Lake, Wyoming.
MeatEater would like to congratulate Caroline and her family on the exceptional catch!