Over a year ago the story of Peter Harrison, AKA English Pete, and his,"world record" Hoh River steelhead, was making the rounds on all the fish blogs, forums and porn chat rooms. In a nutshell, Pete hooked a REALLY big steelhead on the Hoh, claimed it was mortally wounded, clonked it, and then proceeded to submit the fish to the IGFA for world record certification. At the time many people called bullshit on Pete's claims that the fish was, "bleeding heavily from the gills" and he dispatched the fish purely for his personal satisfaction in recording a "world record" fish. Ultimately Pete got his IGFA record even though we've all seen images of larger fish that were released by serious steelhead anglers. Why the IGFA even issues world record status to endangered fish is another whole topic of conversation.
Then, through advancements in modern print media, Fly Rod and Reel published Pete's story over a year later in their most recent issue......with an intro from none other than Joan Wulff. We heard about it from the Chum nation and never quite got around to calling bullshit on Fly Rod and Reel for reviving a story that did not deserve the to be on the pages preceding the Ted Willliams conservation column. Celebrating the killing of a magnificent wild steelhead on a river that has not met its escapement goals 4 of the last 7 years shows a complete lack of understanding of the plight of wild steelhead in this region.
Now Fly Rod and Reel has posted English Pete's story front and center on their website and is asking for comments pro and con about the whole affair. To continue to flog this old story is a thumb in the eye to all of us who volunteer our time, donate our dollars and fight on behalf of wild steelhead. Even the title of the story, "A Change of Tackle, A Happy Ending" is insulting to all conservation minded anglers. As others have much more eloquently pointed out, will the loss of that one fish make a difference in the grand scheme of things? No.... but that fish is a symbol for everything that is wrong with the current path we're on when it comes to wild steelhead and Fly Rod and Reel should be ashamed of themselves for keeping the story alive.