Thanks Bob and thanks for all of the nice comments, I'll try to answer a few questions and give some background. I've been fortunate enough to live in Wyoming my entire life and have caught many goldens over the years but nothing more than 12 - 14 inch fish, I had heard many rumors and have seen pictures of fish significantly larger (still nothing like what I ended up catching). I did some simple research and made a few connections that pointed me to a couple of mountain ranges and drainage's not far from my home in central Wyoming. After 4 years of canceled trips due to an early spring, a late winter, or a week long low pressure system I was finally able to put a trip together to pursue the big-uns. BTW - goldens typically can only be found in lakes above 10,000 feet elevation and the big goldens typically hold in the deep dark water of those lakes, except when then leave their deep water liars for a few days a year in the spring to spawn. That's where I spotted this guy, he was holding in a lake that had a small feeder creek spilling over a rock pile into the lake. I'm assuming that at some point this fish had been washed down from one of the lakes above and ended in this lake and was simply trying to return to his home water but was unable to get past the rock pile. After spotting him it took three separate attempts over a day and half before finally hooking him on a #14 orangish scud tied barb-less, I was also using a strike indicator. In the photograph you can also see my ever faithful German Wire Hair Pointer - Hans, supervising the whole affair and the fly rod I caught him on. The rod is hand made from bamboo by Jerry Nonnemacher and was my 50th birthday gift from my wonderful wife of 27 years. This particular lake lies at the end of a 24 mile hike with three mountain passes in a designated wilderness area, most of the hike is above 10,000' I'm always looking for someone to accompany me on these adventures, so if your're interested, have a week to spend and your skiing knees can take the abuse drop me a line.
A little about the IGFA requirements, each species has several different world record categories (overall, all tackle, line class, fly fishing, tippet class, men's, women's, kids, juniors) and all of them except "All Tackle Length" is measured in weight. To qualify for the world record in the "All Tackle Length" category the fish has to be photographed on a specific measuring device that is only available from the IGFA in three different positions, a photograph of the angler with the fish and a photograph of the fish with the equipment used, and THE FISH HAS TO BE RELEASED ALIVE, all of this along with a notarized application including witness statements has to be submitted and reviewed by the IGFA before being awarded a "World Record".
It sure was a lot of fun.