Greg Jannetta

As I was driving back to Twin Falls from a trip to Oakland on Monday, a sign off of Highway 93 caught my wife's attention. It said, "State Record Walleye" on display.

I pulled off into the parking lot of the Rogerson Sinclair Station around 2 PM on Monday. The building is also home to Helen's Café," named after the woman who originally opened the business more than 70 years ago.

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Greg Jannetta

"My mother opened the place in nineteen-forty-seven," said Anita Young, who currently runs the business. I then asked her about the sign we'd seen off the highway, approximately 28 miles south of Twin Falls.

"That was the record holder for about five years. I think it was broken by a few ounces," said Young.

The fish she was referring to was mounted on a plaque by Dan Johnson Wilderness Taxidermy in 2006. It was fished out of the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir by a man named Mark Able. Anita Young actually weighed the fish herself, which came in at 17 pounds, six ounces.

The back wall of the station offers up other pieces of state history. A photograph of Paul Reynolds, of Reynolds Funeral Chapel in Twin Falls, hangs near the record Walleye. This 1978 photograph shows Reynolds posing with a smaller fish he pulled out of the same reservoir, which too was a record holder for a short time.

The current Walleye state record holding fish was caught in 2011 by a man named Damon Rush. It weighed 17 pounds, eight ounces. The fish that hangs on the wall in the station on Hwy 93 is still the second biggest of its species caught in the state of Idaho.

Just like Helen's Café, it just goes to show that there are hidden gems--and not just of the stone variety--that can be found in the most unlikely places throughout the Gem State.


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