Soque River Produces Record Rainbow Trout

A 17 1/2-lb. rainbow trout, a new state record, was caught on a managed stretch of Georgia’s famed trout stream.

Steve Smith | May 7, 2004

Mark Cochran’s incredible rainbow trout weighed 17.51 pounds on cerified digital scales, shattering the previous state-record weight of 15 pounds.

It will come as no surprise to the avid trout fisherman of Georgia that a new state-record rainbow has been caught in the Soque River, a stream with miles of private, managed waters that are famous for their trophy rainbow, brown, and even occasional brook trout.

On a Friday evening, May 7, Mark Cochran of Clarkesville landed a 17-lb., 8-oz. rainbow trout while fishing at Riverside Trophy Trout Stream, a private, managed stretch of the Soque between Helen and Clarkesville.
It was only after unfortunate circumstances that the record fish was even weighed.

Normally, even a trout of this size would have been released, since Riverside, like many of the managed trout operations, only allow catch-and-release fly fishing. The new record fish was kept and later weighed only after all efforts to revive and release the fish were exhausted.

The trout had a length of 28 1/3 inches and a girth of 22 1/2 inches. The fish was caught on a flyrod with a size 14 humpy with a 3x tippet.

Jimmy “Bear” Sutton, owner and operated of Riverside, was surprised by the weight of the trout.

“I had guessed it weighed 13 or 14 pounds. We have caught several other fish this year that were larger than this one, and we are still upset about losing a fish of this quality.”

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