It’s been one helluva year for trout fishing in the state of Colorado.
According to FOX News, Matt Smiley, a tackle salesman from Lake City, Colorado, caught a massive eight-pound, nine-ounce brook trout from Waterdog Lake on October 8th.
Smiley’s trout measured 26.25 inches in length and 16 inches in girth, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CWP).
The angler weighed in on the catch:
“The experience of this catch has been surreal, and it took a few days to soak in. It’s a really special fish.”
Smiley said he typically releases the fish he catches, and keeping the trout was a tough one. Due to the massive size of the trout, he plans to get the fish mounted:
“I’ve released so many over the years, but it was one of those deals where I made a quick decision and wanted to give this fish the recognition it deserves.”
The state brook trout record has been broken three times in only the last five months.
Tim Daniel of Granby broke the brook trout record in May after reeling in a 7.84 pounder from Monarch Lake in Grand County, measuring 23.25 inches with a girth of 15.375 inches.
The catch broke the 7.63 pound brook trout record originally set in 1947 at Summit County’s Upper Cataract Lake.
The CWP called the record:
“The longest standing fishing record in the state.”
Larry Vickers, also from Lake City, reeled in an 8.22 pounder a week before Smiley, but decided not to submit it for a state record, because he said he’d rather eat the fish than see the fish meat go to waste.
Dan Brauch, an aquatic biologist, said:
“Having sampled that water, I know the shoreline is loaded with scuds.
“I am not too surprised this fish came from that lake, but it is a smaller body of water. It’s not a lake that handles a lot of use or fishing pressure and is difficult to access. Seeing two record fish in one week caught from there, it’s a cool story.”
Brook trout were originally introduced to Colorado in 1872.
The CWP wrote in a statement:
“It is a beautifully colored fish with pink or red spots surrounded by blue halos along the sides and a distinctive marbled pattern over an olive-green back.
Brook trout, which are native to Northeastern United States, often grow anywhere from 11 to 23 inches in length.”