Kyriacos Panayiotou, a resident of McCall, made headlines on October 6 when he landed a record-breaking wild steelhead in the renowned steelhead haven of the Clearwater River in Idaho.

Idaho Fish and Game confirmed this remarkable feat. Despite releasing the fish back into its natural habitat, Panayiotou couldn’t contain his excitement. He was employing a two-handed spey rod when the steelhead aggressively took hold of the fly.

“I was able to measure the fish with my flexible tape and proceeded to take a photo of the wild steelhead next to my spey rod for future memories… and released it back to the water to continue its journey,” recounted Panayiotou.

The record-breaking fish stretched to a length of 41 inches, surpassing the previous catch-and-release state record established in 2021 by Scott Turner, as confirmed by Idaho Fish and Game.October proved to be a month of exceptional angling on the Clearwater River, as just a week after Panayiotou’s feat, an 11.78-pound Coho Salmon was reeled in.

Joe DuPont, the Clearwater Fisheries Manager, explained, “In a typical year, the number of steelhead in the 40-inch range is less than 1% of the run.”

Take a look at the full story by clicking here. Header photo courtesy of Kyriacos Panayiotou & Idaho Fish and Game. 

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  1. The description of this fish as “wild” seems completely in error. Looking at the photo the adipose fin is missing, indicating it is of hatchery origin. I’ve fished the Clearwater on multiple occasions and have had the pleasure of hooking and landing a 36″+ steelhead which was also of hatchery origin, as are essentially all of the “B” run fish which constitutes all of the larger specimens.
    This is not intended to denigrate the accomplishment of landing this remarkable specimen, but clarifying the description. If there is any other indication that it is actually a “wild” steelhead I humbly stand corrected.


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