Colorado Angler Breaks Brook Trout Record After 75 Years

by Caitlin Berard

On a warm spring morning in May, Tim Daniel, a resident of Granby, Colorado, set out for a day of fishing on Monarch Lake with his friend, Karen, and dog, Moose. As an experienced angler, Daniel knew that late spring was a great time of year to catch large fish. However, that wasn’t necessarily his goal.

As he gathered his equipment and his beloved pal Moose, he looked forward to a relaxing day of quality time with his friends. He arrived at the lake, dropped his line in the water, and waited patiently.

Suddenly, something was on the hook beneath the rippling water – and though he couldn’t see the fish below, he knew it was of considerable size.

Tim Daniel fought with the struggling creature until finally, his hook, and the fish attached, broke the surface. To his surprise, it was a huge brook trout. Typical lengths of brook trout range from 9.8 to 25.6 inches, and this one had to be close to two feet.

With the massive brook trout in his possession, Tim Daniel approached Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Could it be a new record? Surely not, the previous state record had been held since 1947 – three-quarters of a century!

Well, the previous record-breaking catch was a 7.63-pound fish. As officials measured Daniel’s catch, they were astounded to find that it was 7.84 pounds, making Tim Daniel the proud new record-holder.

Angler Tim Daniel Reacts to Record-Breaking Brook Trout

On Friday, Daniel’s record was made official by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who shared that the fish was an impressive 23.25 inches in length and 15.375 inches around, the largest brook trout on record in Colorado.

“I had no intention of breaking a record,” the accomplished fisherman explained in a press release. “I wasn’t sure what I had hooked, but I knew it was big.”

Jon Ewart, an Aquatic Biologist for the CPW, inspected and measured Tim Daniel’s record-breaking brook trout. As Daniel is a regular at Monarch Lake, Ewart was already familiar with him. And he couldn’t have been prouder of his friend and fellow fish enthusiast.

“It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving angler than Tim,” Ewart said. “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.”

As for Tim Daniel, he believes partial credit for his incredible catch should go to Jon and the CPW. “I’ve fished waters in Northwest Colorado for many years,” Daniel explained. “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.”