THE GREAT OUTDOORS — As the old saying goes, "Records are made to be broken." That's certainly the case at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, where the resident lake trout grow to world-class size.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources recently reported that Matt Smiley, a Colorado resident, caught a 48-inch lake trout last month at Flaming Gorge. Better yet, Smiley released the trophy fish, meaning it's still lurking in the depths of the reservoir.
After reviewing the photographic evidence and details provided in Smiley's application, the DWR announced the fish as the new state catch-and-release record. You can view the complete list of Utah's catch-and-release records here.
Flaming Gorge has long been famous for its big fish. Covering more than 40,000 acres, it holds lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, smallmouth bass and more. No fewer than nine current angling and catch-and-release records have been set at the reservoir.
Interestingly enough, lake trout originally entered Flaming Gorge the old fashioned way — by swimming into it. Having been stocked in lakes and reservoirs upstream in Wyoming, they worked their way down the Green River system and found a welcome home in the reservoir. Although they were initially unexpected guests, they are now managed as a trophy fishery and have become a crown jewel of Utah angling.
And with Smiley's big laker still swimming around in the depths of the Gorge, it's only a matter of time before the lake trout record is broken yet again.