Brook trout record set in Grand County broken again

Matt Smiley of Lake City poses for a photo with the new state record brook trout he caught Oct. 8, 2022. The fish lost some of its color after a long hike down from the mountain lake where it was caught.
Matt Smiley and Colorado Parks & Wildlife/Courtesy photo

Granby resident Tim Daniel broke a 75-year old record by catching a 23.25 inch-long brook trout that weighed 7.84 pounds in Monarch Lake on May 23, but only four months later, Larry Vickers and Matt Smiley of Lake City both caught bigger brook trout a week apart from each other.

Smiley’s 8-pound, 9-ounce brook trout measured 26.25 inches in length, besting Vickers’ 8-pound, 3.5-ounce trout. They both caught their trophy fish in Waterdog Lake, which is in the Uncompahgre National Forest near Lake City in Hinsdale County.

Vickers did not go through the certification process, according to a Colorado Parks and Wildlife news release, although he did know his trout broke the record. He ate the fish so the meat would not go to waste.

Smiley set out to catch a record trout Oct. 8 after hearing about Vickers’ catch on Waterdog Lake, and as he started considering heading back after a day of catching smaller fish, he felt a tug on his line that turned out to be the record trout. Smiley said he is going to keep the fish and have it mounted.

The record trout before Daniel’s came from the Upper Cataract Lake in Summit County in 1947 and was the longest-standing fishing record in the state. The current oldest fishing record is for white bass, which dates back to 1963, while the oldest trout record is now for native cutthroat, dating back to 1964.

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