North Idaho Record Rainbow Trout Catcher is an 8-Year-Old Girl
This is not an exaggerated fish story, nor a tale of the "one that got away".
This young lady, 8-year-old Sophie Egizi, not only landed a huge fish, but it's a record-shattering rainbow trout. Of course a trophy like this needs a name: Old Man Sparkles. Sophie fought the fish for 30 minutes to the point her hands were cramping, but she persevered and landed it.
Sophie's dad says the fight of fishing and identifying the fish she catches have been obsessions for Sophie almost all of her life. In fact, the Egizi family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, from Fort Meyers, Fla., in no small part because of what this part of the country offers in fishing. Especially Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho.
Lake Pend Oreille holds the certified weight record of 37 pounds for Gerrard rainbow trout set in 1947. Another man recently set a new catch-and-release record of 29 inches for bull trout while fishing on the lake.
Idaho Fish and Game says Gerrard rainbow trout are unique to the Clark Fork River drainage and have long been handled as a separate trout record species due to their notorious size.
The gregarious little girl even put the pressure on the captain of the boat on which she caught the fish, saying today was the day he was going to help her land a record fish.
No pressure there. And then it happened. Dad says Sophie has been convinced for some time this record setting fish landing was going to happen.
Just a note on why Old Man Sparkles? "Because it looked like he had sparkles on him and it was a funny name," she explained.
Not just a one-hit-wonder at the age of 8, at a mere 4 years of age Sophie snared a 15-pound black drum.
Sophie's parents say that they believe she will pursue a career as a veterinarian, biologist or environmental activist. “She picks up trash when she sees it and every year for her birthday she does random acts of kindness, the amount equal to her age,” her dad said.