My first attempt at a fishing "short".

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Trout Royal Slam Quest Begins!!!

I can't sleep.  I tried to no avail.  I'm closing on a house tomorrow, and while the thought of having room for rods, reels, waders, flies, tying materials, etc. ad nauseum, sounds great, the thought of the place falling down around me won't bugger off.  So, I thought I'd check my email.  There I found something to get my mind off mold, leaky pipes, backed up septic systems, and hail.

A while back I sent an email to Jack Vitek, the World Records Coordinator for the International Game Fish Association.  I was inquiring about the "Trout Royal Slam" that I had read about in an issue of International Angler.  Apparently, the IGFA recognizes several "slams" or "clubs" including the "10 lb Bass Club", several Grand Slams, and a few Royal Slams.  The Trout Royal Slam consists of catching and documenting a brook, brown, bull, cutthroat, golden, lake and rainbow trout in one's lifetime and currently the IGFA recognizes 28 members of this club.  The first thing that came to my mind was the fact that all of these species can be found in this great State of Montana.  I inquired whether or not anyone had done it in one calendar year, wanting to be the first.  Alas, four people already had, and Jack presumed that at least one of those four did it exclusively on the fly.

So, after getting my hopes up for being the first to accomplish this feat in one year, and in true Rube Goldberg fashion, I decided to make things a little harder than they really had to be.  Now, don't get me wrong, catching all seven of these species in one year is a daunting task, but not nearly as difficult as it would be if I lived in Amarillo.

For 2013:

  • Obtain the IGFA Trout Royal Slam;
    • Fully document each catch by video or photo;
    • Catch each fish on the fly;
    • Catch each fish in the State of Montana;
    • Catch all fish within one calendar year; and 
    • Catch all the fish for the Slam on flies that I tied myself.
I started this little blog to document my journey to catch a fish for each calendar day of the year, and I've done a horrible job of keeping up with things.  While my journal is still getting some use, I have yet to put any of the entries into a form that would be interesting to you the reader.  I have decided that the lofty, long term goal of a fish for each day of the year, while I'm still pursuing it, is a little broad for consistent content.  So, I'm breaking things up a bit.  Let's say the 366 idea is a "10 Year Goal".  I should also think of a 5 year goal, 3 year, and so on and so forth.  I'll start with a one year goal for 2013, and that is the IGFA Trout Royal Slam.  While I don't have to catch all of the fish within one year, I'm sure going to try to overcome the hardest obstacle for somebody like me...remembering to document the fish properly as per IGFA specifications....with a few "rules" of my own.  If anyone would care to join me, feel free.  The race starts in January.  Until then, tight lines, sharp hooks, tough flies and tougher fish.

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  1. Sky,
    I was thinking.......if I would do this.....
    Brookie, Cutty, Brown, 'Bow can be caught in a single day by fishing in YNP. Stay in Gardiner (camping) and float Upper Yellowstone if either one is missed.
    Probably the closest Laker destination is Lewis River drainage also in the Park?? You may need a little jet boat to fish Lewis Channel or Shoshone Lake. That needs a full day but result is almost guaranteed (I think).
    For Golden and Bully, my understanding is they exist NW Montana? Plan a multi-day trip (3 to 5, including driving) focusing on certain waters should do it (need right info & sources, that may be tougher than actual catching!).
    Good luck! I can give you 7-inch junk for bully!

  2. Perfect! I catch brookies, browns, cutts, and rainbows every year, and the challenge will come in catching a golden, laker, and bull. There are a few mountain lakes around with goldens that I can get to, and I'll try to knock out the laker and bull in one trip to Flathead/Glacier. I've never caught a bully and look forward to dragging some junk around. The Blackfoot might also be a good spot to try to catch el toro. Any and all advice will be well appreciated!

  3. ...not that I would intentionally target a bull when I'm not supposed to...I'll be very wary not to break any IGFA rules or Montana laws in getting this done. We'll see!