Massive rainbow trout caught in the Roanoke River

Fish measured more than 26-inches long

There’s fishing. And then there’s fishing.

Bobby Welsh was fishing for bass in the Roanoke River, when a massive trout hit his fly.

“My fly line, which is on top of water, acts as bobber, I saw it tug and then pretty much immediately, the fish just darted to other side of river, and I knew it was big immediately because it was just pulling drag outta my reel,” Welsh said. “I saw the flash immediately when I hooked it, saw flash in the water and it looked really big.”

He had to walk the bank to stay with the fish and keep it from breaking the line.

“It took me probably a quarter mile down the river just trying to manage line, trying to make sure it didn’t go too far too fast,” Welsh explained.

Welsh eventually reeled it in, but the fight wasn’t finished.

“It took me four or five tries with the net, and it barely fit in the net... but, ya know, eventually I got it in.”

In the end, the rainbow trout he weighed at 7.8 pounds and 26 and a half inches. A trophy, for sure.

“I was surprised. I’ve been fishing the Roanoke for a long time and I love the Roanoke and all the opportunities it offers me 10 minutes from my house, but I never realized something this big, this far into summer could hold over there. I was just in awe truly, truly the biggest rainbow trout I’ve ever caught and the biggest one I’ve seen out of the Roanoke River. It just makes me all the more motivated to spend more time out here and keep fishing,” Welsh said.

About the Author

John Carlin co-anchors the 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on WSLS 10.

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