Christmas came early for yours truly yesterday courtesy of the Hayward, Wisconsin-based National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. Waiting for me in my mailbox were two certificates for catch-and-release fly-fishing world records. The fish in question? A 40-inch lake trout that broke the 17-pound tippet record and a 39-inch laker that reset the bar in the 15-pound tippet category (the fish are pictured below).
Both trout were caught on northern Saskatchewan’s Lake Athabasca, fishing out of Lakers Unlimited’s Johnston Island Lodge. I was up there this past September, sharing a boat with Eppinger Manufacturing’s marketing director, John Cleveland, who kindly showed me the ropes on fly fishing for fall lakers. He also encouraged me to go for the records, and I’m glad he did (John himself holds several line-class records for lakers caught on Athabasca). Read more about our adventures here.
To be fair, though, the fact that I was able to break two fly-fishing records speaks far more about Lake Athabasca as an incredible lake trout fishery than it does my abilities as a fly fisherman. Over the course of our seven days of fishing, John and I enticed hundreds of fish to bite our flies, so it was just a matter of time before the record for one tippet class or another would fall. The fishing’s just that good.
At any rate, I will proudly hang these plaques on the wall of my home office, even though I know it’s simply matter of time before another Athabasca angler will take things up yet another notch.