I met Bernie Keefe around Christmas 2012, and talked several hours with him about lake trout and lake trout fishing in Granby Colorado. I signed up to take a guided trip with Brenie, and on the morning of May 15th, 2013 I did just that with a very good friend of mine, Mark Zaharis.
It was cold out that morning, and the fish were up shallow. Ice off was just 3 days earlier this year. We threw jointed Rapala J-13's in rainbow trout patterns. Mark caught and landed 5 or 6 nice lake trout before I set the hook on this one! When she came up to the surface and rolled, my heart almost stopped! It was the biggest fish I had ever seen. I hollered at Bernie to get the net, and he scoffed saying it was a smaller one, but congratulated me nonetheless. The fish came back up to just under the surface and Bernie saw that it was a big one, and after a 4 or 5 minute battle with the fish winning sometimes, and me winning, I finally boated her!
Bernie measured her at 35" long, he took a few photos of me with her, and I put her back in the water, holding her by the tail until she was fully revived.
It was the most incredible experience that I can imagine. Truly a fish of a lifetime!