colorado brook trout record
Tim Daniel with his record brook trout; (photo/Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Angler Breaks 75-Year-Old CO Brook Trout Record

If you’ve ever seen a brookie like this, it just so happens you saw one that belonged in the record books.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced in July that a Granby man broke the state brook trout record with a specimen that defies … well, everything GearJunkie previously knew about brookies.

Tim Daniel hooked the lunker in Monarch Lake on May 23. When department Aquatic Biologist Jon Ewert inspected and weighed it, it hung at 7.84 pounds. It was just enough to out-heft the long-standing state record for the biggest Colorado brook trout ever caught: a 7.63-pound fish, recorded in 1947 in Summit County.

Daniel’s brookie measured 23¼ inches in length and 15-3/8 inches in girth.

“When I headed out to fish that day with my friend Karen and four-legged friend Moose, I had no intention of breaking a record,” the angler told CPW. “I wasn’t sure what I had hooked, but I knew it was big. I’ve fished waters in Northwest Colorado for many years, and I have landed some big fish.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of CPW aquatic biologists, Northwest Colorado has some of the best fisheries in the state.”

Secrets Divulged … Sort Of

What were Daniel’s secret spot and tackle? He came right out with it: when first asked where and how he caught the hog, he said, “In the water, with a hook,” per CPW.

“We always suspected that Monarch Lake had the potential to produce a state record brook trout,” Ewert, with CPW, said. “This is a real testament to the quality of our angling opportunities in Grand County. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving angler than Tim. He’s just one of those guys that is always out there on the water and, as a result, has an intimate knowledge of the subtle details necessary to be so successful.”

How to Spot a Brook Trout

The brook trout, sometimes called the speckled trout, belongs to the char genus of the trout and salmon family. Anglers or other aquatic enthusiasts can identify it by its pink or red spots surrounded by blue halos along its sides and its distinctive marbled pattern over its olive-green back.

Brook trout can grow anywhere from 11 to 23 inches in length, CPW said — and, according to recently collected evidence, even bigger than that. The world record brook trout was 14.5 pounds, caught in 1916 by John William Cook in the Nipigon River of Ontario.

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.