Greatest World-Record Fly-Fishing Catches

These 24 record fish would be worth bragging rights on any tackle, but on fly-fishing gear they’re remarkable.

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records
With skill and a bit of luck, no trophy is out of bounds for serious fly-roddersCourtesy IGFA / igfa.org

Catching fish on a fly rod involves challenges unique to this specialized form of fishing. Presented here are 25 memorable International Game Fish Association world-record catches made by fly-rodders. These are not all the great fly-rod records one can find in IGFA records by any means, but all 25 are impressive by any measure. They're listed alphabetically (by species, e.g. Red Drum is placed where "Drum, Red" would go in the list, etc).

Finally, a word of thanks to the IGFA’s Jack Vitek for his help in providing these photos.

bonefish release
More and more anglers are choosing the option of entering their potential IGFA record catches in length categories, taking quick measurements and a photo, to release their trophies alive.Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

Editor's note: Sport Fishing does not condone or encourage the killing of marlin, sailfish, tarpon or large sharks by anglers. In general, we avoid showing photos of such fish, dead at the dock. However, we make a rare exception in cases where legitimate world records are involved. But generally, we hope young anglers learn the satisfaction that comes from seeing a trophy fish swim away from the boat in great shape.

ALBACORE — 47 POUNDS

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Albacore Tuna
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Robert Lubarsky (Effort, Pennsylvania)
Location: Hudson Canyon, off New Jersey
Date: September 1992
Fly: Deceiver
Fight Time: 20 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

GREAT BARRACUDA — 60 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - great barracuda
Tippet Class: 16-pound
Angler: Jodie L. Johnson (Peterborough, New Hampshire)
Location: Cosmoledo Atoll, the Seychelles
Date: December 2005
Fly: Tandem Needlefish
Fight Time: 8 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

STRIPED BASS — 64 Pounds, 8 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - striped bass
Tippet Class: 12-pound
Angler: Beryl Bliss (Fallon, Nevada)
Location: Smith River, Oregon
Date: July 1973
Fly: Home-tied bucktail
Fight Time: Not provided
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

COBIA — 83 Pounds, 4 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Cobia
Tippet Class: 16-pound
Angler: Jim Anson (Miami, Florida)
Location: Key West, Florida
Date: January 1986
Fly: Deceiver
Fight Time: 2 hours
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

DOLPHINFISH (MAHI)— 32 Pounds, 8 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records- Dolphinfish (Mahi)
Tippet Class: 4-pound
Angler: Jodie L. Johnson (Peterborough, New Hampshire)
Location: The Bahamas
Date: April 2006
Fly: Popper
Fight Time: 1 minute
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

RED DRUM — 41 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Red Drum
Tippet Class: 6-pound
Angler: Jim Seegraves (Tampa, Florida)
Location: Houma, Louisiana
Date: April 2003
Fly: Crab fly
Fight Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

PACIFIC HALIBUT — 138 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Pacific halibut
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Jim Seegraves (Tampa, Florida)
Location: Icy Bay, Alaska
Date: July 2008
Fly: Not listed
Fight Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

HORSE-EYE JACK — 25 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Horse-eye Jack
Tippet Class: 12-pound
Angler: Hermann Fehringer (Lenggries, Germany)
Location: Ascension Island
Date: April 2002
Fly: Homemade
Fight Time: 23 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

KING MACKEREL — 51 Pounds, 4 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - King Mackerel
Tippet Class: 16-pound
Angler: Rick Gunion (Palmetto Bay, Florida)
Location: Key West, Florida
Date: February 1987
Fly: Streamer
Fight Time: 31 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

BLUE MARLIN — 288 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Blue Marlin
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Thomas M. Evans, Jr. (Wilson, Wyoming)
Location: Port Stephens, Australia
Date: March 2002
Fly: Flashy Profile Tube Fly
Fight Time: 1 hour
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

STRIPED MARLIN — 97 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Striped Marlin
Tippet Class: 4-pound
Angler: Tony Hedley
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Date: December 2000
Fly: Mackerel imitator
Fight Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

PERMIT — 41 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Permit
Tippet Class: 8-pound
Angler: Del Brown (Watsonville, California)
Location: Key West, Florida
Date: March 1986
Fly: Not specified
Fight Time: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

POLLOCK (COALFISH) — 28 Pounds, 14 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Pollock (coalfish)
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Kritian Keskitalo (Sweden)
Location: Norway
Date: August 2001
Fly: Streamer
Fight Time: 20 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

TALANG QUEENFISH — 35 Pounds, 4 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Queenfish
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Steve Starling (Parap, NT, Australia)
Location: Darwin Harbour, Australia
Date: June 2012
Fly: Clouser
Fight Time: 35 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

ROOSTERFISH — 60 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Roosterfish
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Margaret Shaughnessy (Medford, Oregon)
Location: Punta Las Arenas, Mexico
Date: June 2013
Fly: Raton fly
Fight Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

RAINBOW RUNNER — 18 Pounds, 3 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Rainbow Runner
Tippet Class: 20-pound
Angler: Frank C. Carter (Wormsleyburg, Pennsylvania)
Location: Challenger Bank, Bermuda
Date: June 2006
Fly: Gummy Minnow
Fight Time: 20 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

PACIFIC SAILFISH — 136 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Pacific sailfish
Tippet Class: 12-pound
Angler: Stu Apte (Tavernier, Florida)
Location: Piñas Bay, Panama
Date: June 1965
Fly: Not specified
Fight Time: Not specified
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

TIGER SHARK — 490 Pounds

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Tiger Shark
Tippet Class: 16-pound
Angler: Rick Gunion
Location: Matanilla Shoal, The Bahamas
Date: March 2008
Fly: Orange streamer
Fight Time: 40 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

RED SNAPPER — 26 Pounds, 9 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Red Snapper
Tippet Class: 16-pound
Angler: Doug Borries
Location: Gulf of Mexico off Mississippi
Date: October 2013
Fly: Enrico Puglisi
Fight Time: 15 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

SWORDFISH — 89 Pounds, 15 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Swordfish
Tippet Class — 16-pound
Angler: Fouad Sahioui (Casablanca, Morocco)
Location: Watamu, Kenya
Date: December 1998
Fly: Homemade
Fight Time: 25 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

TARPON — 202 Pounds, 8 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Tarpon
Tippet Class — 20-pound
Angler: James Holland, Mr. (Vancouver, Washington)
Location: Chassahowitzka, Florida
Date: May 2001
Fly: Kilpatrick's Slick Slider
Fight Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

DOGTOOTH TUNA — 147 Pounds, 14 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Dogtooth Tuna
Tippet Class — 16-pound
Angler: H. T. Chittum III (DeLand, Florida)
Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Date: October 2005
Fly: Konochik Tube Popper
Fight Time: 35 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

YELLOWFIN TUNA — 107 Pounds, 2 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Yellowfin Tuna
Tippet Class — 20-pounds
Angler: Trevor M. Hansen (Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Date: February 2006
Fly: Sardine fly
Fight Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org

WAHOO — 77 Pounds, 2 Ounces

Greatest Fly-Fishing World Records - Wahoo
Tippet Class — 16-pound
Angler: David Long (Bilgola, NSW, Australia)
Location: Banks Island, Vanuatu
Date: February 2006
Fly: Red wahoo fly
Fight Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Courtesy IGFA / igfa.org