With great honour, Karen and Kenn Strass, alongside the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, introduce the Cody Strass Memorial Trophy Trout Award, awarded annually to the year’s top trout angler.
Cody James Strass was born November 24th, 1985, in Regina, Saskatchewan. At about two and a half years old, he caught his first fish with the help of his uncle Gord. When he was four, Cody caught his first fish on his own, fishing with our neighbour. The first big influence on Cody was Tom Kadachuk of Melfort, a family friend who took him out fishing multiple times. At a young age, Cody would make his own lunch and wait for Tom on the front step at 5:00 AM to go fishing. He told his aunt Audrey that “fishing is my life” when he was eight. Then, Cody met his friend Richard, and Richard’s dad, Mickey, who regularly took the two boys to Piprell Lake, and other lakes in the area. He was hooked!
Cody’s passion grew exponentially, and he was awarded many plaques from the Melfort Wildlife Association as a Junior Fisherman from 2000 to 2004. The variety of trout in the north attracted Cody, who won many angling pins in his early adult years from Rainbow Lodge at Piprell Lake for his catch. He continued fishing for trout across northern Saskatchewan, from Meadow Lake area, to the Narrow Hills Provincial Park. In his early twenties, Cody started guiding, first in Ontario, then in northern Saskatchewan, and eventually in the Northwest Territories. In his thirties, he became one of the top guides at Plummer’s Arctic Lodges, guiding his guests to lake trout weighing over forty, and fifty pounds. Cody’s last year at Plummer’s in the summer of 2021 was a record year for one guide. He guided his fisherman to more big fish in two months than any other guide in the Lodge’s history of over 60 years. In his eight weeks on the water, Cody brought in 34 fish over 40 pounds, and 8 over 50 pounds, topping it off with a 61-pound lake trout on the last day of the season!
Not only was Cody a skilled and passionate angler, but he also advocated fiercely for proper fish handling, and a sustainable fishing industry in Saskatchewan. He helped stock some northern lakes, and wrote many emails to Saskatchewan Fisheries, and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, helping to improve fisheries in the province.
Unfortunately, Cody died on September 12th, 2021, in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 6 while returning home from the Last Mountain Fall Walleye Classic Fishing Tournament. His legacy will live on in the many fishing friends, guiding colleagues, and the industry, as he was always willing to share his experience and talents with others.
The Cody Strass Memorial Trophy Trout Award rewards anglers with a similar love for trout fishing as Cody. Anglers who submit their qualifying trout to the Saskatchewan Master Angler program will automatically qualify for the award. The size of each qualifying trout species will count towards the overall score. If multiple fish of the same species are submitted, the largest entry for each trout species will add to the angler’s score. The trophy is presented for the highest score between April 1st and March 31st annually.
See the table below for an example of scoring, in which Angler 2 would win the award with a combined score of 306:
|Brook Trout||Brown Trout||Rainbow Trout||Splake||Tiger Trout||Lake Trout||Total Score|
|Angler 1||62 cm||60 cm||60 cm||101 cm||283|
|Angler 2||50 cm||56 cm||57 cm||52 cm||91 cm||306|
Cody’s passion for catch-and-release fishing and trophy trout is carried forward with this trophy in his name. Saskatchewan is home to some amazing trophy fish and waterbodies, and the anglers who win this award will undoubtedly see plenty of each.
Best of luck!