Brown (Trout) Town, USA

Brown (Trout) Town, USA

Brown trout time in brown trout town. To be fair and honest, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is Brown Town, USA. More and bigger brown trout than Tierra del Fuego.  Milwaukee is where it's at for a brown the size of a hybrid auto and a baggage-car load of 5- to 17-pounders.

But for browns that look like manatees, you have to cross the lake. To the Big Mansitee River, in Michigan. The day the current all-tackle world record brown trout (well, I'm told it's been tied or almost tied since by a fish from Racine, Wisconsin, which illustrates how much I pay attention to records) was caught, famous steelhead guide Mark Chmura called me on the phone. "Matt, it's bigger than a manatee," he said. "It's a world record. What do we do?"

The 41-pound, 7-ounce behemoth was caught by Tom Healy on guide Tim Roller's boat. With a Rapala Shad Rap. Roller called Chmura. "I think it's a world record."


Chmura asked, "How long is it?"


Roller measured.  "Over 43 inches." Chmura told him not to move, pointed his river jet in Roller's direction, and the circus was on. I told them to call the DNR and they came and it was a world record and "what do we do now?" I gave them numbers for the IGFA and the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and everybody lived happily ever after. Especially Mr. Healy of Rockford, Michigan, who reeled the thing in and remains the only real hero of the story.

But here's the rest... of the story: Five days before that fish was caught, I was on Chmura's boat filming a television segment for In-Fisherman. While enjoying the jet ride upriver, I noticed many a Storm Deep Thunderstick Jr. dangling from various rod tips on other boats. I decided to fish a Shad Rap just to be different. It paid off. By 10 am we were working on a second segment, drifting Gulp! Gobies under Thill Floats (grist for another tale). Roller came by. "What are you guys throwing?" I pitched him a Shad Rap.

And that...is the rest... of the story. Closest I'll ever come to an all-tackle world record. As for the journalist becoming the story? The greatest sin in all the realm of professional communications? Hey. This is a blog. What standards?

The brown in the picture? It wasn't taken in Milwaukee. Or from the Big Manistee. But it was late fall. Maybe early winter. When wallowing, barnyard browns from the Great Lakes come barging upriver to post up on gravel. They stage up in pools, first. Suckers for a TC Tackle jig adorned with a plastic worm or a fresh satchel of king-salmon eggs. Light leaders (4- to 5-pound fluorocarbon), long rods, and Thill River Master floats.


Brown town? Call Eric Haataja. Step off the lake and grab a cappuccino. It's a trip. Great trip, in fact.

Hard to beat a lonely pool in a forest glade, though. Foot patrol. (The brown police never sleep.)


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

Selective Harvest Yellow Bass

Selective Harvest Yellow Bass

In order to sustain good fishing, it's important to understand which to release and fish you should for a fine meal.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Frigid Water Smallmouths

Frigid Water Smallmouths

Doug Stange swims jigs with precision for frigid-water smallmouths.

Trending Articles

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven riggings. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Everything you need to know about popular catfish species and how to catch them on proven...

See More Trending Articles

More Trout & Salmon

The In-Fisherman staff takes you on a mission for monsters, as they cast for shallow late-season Trout & Salmon

Hawg Nation Lake Trout

Jeff Simpson - August 09, 2016

The In-Fisherman staff takes you on a mission for monsters, as they cast for shallow...

Float rigs for steel during fluctuating water levels. Trout & Salmon

Float Fishing Steelhead

Matt Straw

Float rigs for steel during fluctuating water levels.

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth Trout & Salmon

Lake Trout Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2016

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

The In-Fisherman staff uses proven trout strategies to catch fish in deep river pools. Trout & Salmon

Rock Solid Trout Strategies

In-Fisherman - May 19, 2015

The In-Fisherman staff uses proven trout strategies to catch fish in deep river pools.

See More Trout & Salmon

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.