Skip to main content

New Record Brook Trout Reported in Colorado

It's the third time the brookie record has been broken in 2022.

New Record Brook Trout Reported in Colorado

Matt Smiley of Lake City, Colo., caught the state-record brook trout on Oct. 8. (Photo courtesy of Matt Smiley/Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

It's been the year of the brook trout in Colorado in 2022, with a once 75-year-old state record falling multiple times.

The latest came Oct. 8, when Matt Smiley caught an 8-pound, 9-ounce brute at Waterdog Lake near Lake City, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported. The fish was 26 1/4 inches long and had a girth of 16 inches.

The trout beat the previous record set on May 23 by Tim Daniel, who caught a 7.84-pound brook trout at Monarch Lake in Grand County. That catch beat a record (7.63 pounds, Upper Cataract Lake) that was caught in 1947. It had been Colorado's longest-standing fishing record.

Another record-sized brook trout also was reported the weekend before Smiley's catch, another 8-pounder from Waterdog Lake. But the CPW, which knew of the catch, said Larry Vickers of Lake City decided to eat his 8.22-pound brook trout instead of entering it for state-record consideration.


Read More About This Record Fish


"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 in a CPW news release. "The toughest thing for me with this whole deal was deciding to keep the fish. 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."

Smiley, who sells tackle for the company Favorite Fishing, said he was eager to get in the high country for some fall fishing. So, he hiked nearly 4 miles up the Waterdog Lake trail, an elevation gain of 2,400 feet, to the lake beneath Mesa Seco at 11,130 feet.

Catching only small fish for most of the day, Smiley said he was ready to pack up and head home, but that thought ended when he hooked up with the record.

"I’ve caught big brookies in the past around the state, but when I saw this one, it was just different. It had way more length than any of the big ones before," Smiley told the CPW.




After hiking back down, Smith took the fish to the Lake City post office to get it weighed on a certified scale. CPW aquatic biologist Dan Brauch confirmed the species and weight.

Now, the oldest fishing record in Colorado is for white bass, dating back to 1963. The oldest trout record in the state is for native cutthroat, dating back to 1964. Click to see the full list of state-record fish by weight in Colorado.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Sometimes you have to fish a bait that allows you to cover a lot of water efficiently. When you're on the search for bass that have moved into deeper water off the bank and away from obvious holding spots, a swimbait can locate them.
Fishing

On the Search with Swimbaits

One of the best imitations of a wounded baitfish is the soft-plastic jerkbait, or fluke. A fluke darting just beneath the surface can be too much for a bass to resist. Rig it and fish it according to water conditions and cover to make this great bait even more effective.
Fishing

Fun with Flukes

There are three models in SPRO's Outsider crankbait series: 55 (runs 3-4 feet), 60 (7-9) and 80 (19-21). Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley goes over the specifics at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Fishing

SPRO's New Outsider Crankbait Series: First Look

Professional bass angler Jonathan Kelley highlights the features of SPRO's new lures at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Essential Series Spinnerbaits and Buzzbaits from SPRO

Syd Ribes with Sea Falcon highlights four new lures for saltwater fishing. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Lineup of Lures from Sea Falcon

Syd Ribes highlights two new saltwater lures from SPRO: Flutter Tail Shrimp and Cannon Ball Jig. At ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

New Saltwater Lures from SPRO

AFTCO's Matt Florentino highlights the features of the new Barricade cold-weather suit, a Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022 in Orlando. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

New from AFTCO: Barricade Cold Weather Tactical Gear

Three-time ICAST Best of Category winner Bubba covers it all with new knives set. With Bubba's Matt Kinamore and Game & Fish's  Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2022 in Orlando.
Gear

4-in-1 Bubba Multi Flex Cutlery Kit

The innovative landing net will weigh and measure your catch while it's still in the net. Best of Category winner at ICAST 2022. With Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller.
Gear

Award-Winning Frabill Witness Net 'Keeps You Honest'

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now