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New Zealand World Record Puts Spotlight on Big Brown Trout Again


October 27, 2020, New Zealand produced its second consecutive IGFA world document brown trout when a 44-pound, 5-ounce bruiser was caught in one of many nation’s hydro canals. Right here, Sean Colenso of the Razza Bar and Bistro—the place a taxidermy mount of the fish will quickly dangle—exhibits off the 38.5-inch lengthy trout caught by Seumas Petrie. (Photograph courtesy of Sean Colenso)


Media curiosity was piqued when the International Game Fish Association website confirmed an up to date world document mark for brown trout due to the licensed catch of a 44-pound, 5-ounce specimen from the Ohau Canal in Twizel, New Zealand.

The fish was caught by Seumas Petrie final fall when he fished the hydro canal with typical deal with on Oct. 27, 2020. Petrie’s new world document stretched the measuring tape to 38.58 inches in size and 34 inches in girth, thrilling anglers of all types.

The newly minted IGFA all-tackle world document brown trout, which took a jig on 6-pound-test line, changed the earlier world document for the species, a 42-pound, 1-ounce brown trout pulled from the identical Ohau Canal by angler Otwin Kandolf on March 8, 2013.

World Record Brown Trout IGFA Certificate
Whereas the final two world document brown trout have come from hydro canals in New Zealand, the IGFA acknowledges the fish regardless of a weight loss plan influenced by fish farming within the area. The newest such world document was caught by Seumas Petrie final October. (Photograph courtesy of Sean Colenso)

With a stream of media studies reporting on the large fish over the past a number of days—together with some inside the fly fishing business—clearly, the angling world’s fascination with monumental fish continues.

And with that fascination comes the query of how a hydro canal in New Zealand has produced the final two world document brown trout, each with unheard-of proportions?



The Central South Island Fish & Game website solutions that query partly, noting that the hydro canals in New Zealand give trout a singular alternative to develop fairly giant.

“In addition to giant trout, the canals additionally supply the chance to catch sizeable salmon that have been launched or escaped from the assorted salmon farms,” the web site signifies.

“These fish are good for the desk and make up the vast majority of the anglers catch and harvest. The canals and energy stations they provide supply their water from the pristine headwater Lakes: Tekapo, Pukaki and Ohau and take their title from them. The salmon farms current in every part of canals present a singular fishery dynamic whereby the trout and salmon within the canals profit vastly from the extra meals sources they supply. Because of this, the scale and situation of the canal fish is unmatched by every other New Zealand freshwater sports activities fishery.”

What does all of that imply? Merely this, that the trout there are consuming leftover fish meals from the realm’s salmon farming operations, which explains why they’re so monumental in measurement. To place it mildly, it’s controversial for a lot of fly anglers that such fish are even thought-about for record-book standing.



Whereas the large trout caught by Petrie was on an Okuma rod and Shimano reel, fly fishers even have the chance to hook into these outsized trout in the event that they select to fish the hydro canals.

Brown Trout Mount
Anglers visiting New Zealand consuming institutions just like the Razza Bar and Bistro—the place this 38-plus-pound taxidermy mount of an area brown trout hangs—have undoubtedly been discussing the nation’s newest world document brown trout specimen. Hailed by some, controversial to others due to the way in which the benchmark fish achieved its enormous measurement, the 44-pound, 5-ounce specimen has been accepted by the IGFA after an area angler landed it from a hydro canal in October 2020. (Photograph courtesy of Sean Colenso)

The Central South Island Fish & Recreation web site notes that: “Fly anglers are catered for as properly with sight fishing alongside the canal edges away from the salmon farms. Trout might be noticed on station or cruising across the weed beds and spring creek type fishing might be had albeit on a big scale! Night time fishing with a lumo doll fly or giant Woolley bugger might be worthwhile too as giant fish come into the banks to feed at night time.” 

Whereas it appears true that the New Zealand hydro canal brown trout develop to their enormous proportions because of the fish farming actions within the area, do not essentially suppose that the entire trout eat solely a man-made weight loss plan.

In reality, Sean Colenso, the Razza Bar and Bistro barman who’s seen within the {photograph} accompanying this story (and equipped the pictures to FlyFisherman.com), notes that the large world document brown and different trout approaching 40 kilos subsist on the distinctive meals base within the space in addition to different types of prey.

Wait a minute, prey? Yup, as within the bunny hatch.

“As a focal point, the picture taken under was taken by a survey diver,” Colenso mentioned in a Fb message. “The picture is of a trout which took a rabbit. The fish bit off greater than it may chew & acquired lockjaw. It died with the bunny in its mouth.”

Photo Alt Text Goes Here
As huge because the current IGFA licensed world document brown trout was — it weighed 44 kilos, 5 ounces — there may very well be even greater trout looming sooner or later. Along with the fish farming affect of New Zealand’s hydro canals, trout within the space additionally make the most of different types of meals. In response to Sean Colenso, who equipped this picture taken by a survey diver, this massive trout died after making an attempt to eat a rabbit that one way or the other made it into the canal. (Photograph courtesy of Sean Colenso)

Which means that tying up just a few Double Bunny Streamers—with the most important sized magnum rabbit strips yow will discover—is likely to be so as in the event you occur to have a fly rod useful close to New Zealand’s hydro canals.

However since most fly anglers need a much more wild and scenic expertise in the event that they’re going to climb aboard a jetliner, fly throughout the Pacific, and drop some critical cash on a bucket-list journey to New Zealand, the nation’s different well-known trout catching choices stay. In spite of everything, it’s the nation’s famend backcountry streams that gas most fly anglers’ goals, not the curious hydro canals, that are controversial sufficient that some anglers suppose the IGFA shouldn’t rely fish from such spots of their world document listings.

The photogenic trout water of New Zealand has lured Fly Fisherman contributor and famend photographer Barry Beck to make the lengthy trek throughout the ocean to a spot so wild and magical for fly anglers that he describes the nation because the “…Mount Everest of trout fishing.”

Fly Fisherman editor emeritus John Randolph understands the sturdy pull of the large browns and rainbows down underneath, taking his personal description of New Zealand’s wild trout riches a step additional. He’s definitely entitled to take action after an epic journey a number of years in the past when Randolph sampled the nation’s finest gin-clear streams and landed a number of trout approaching double-digit weights, all in pristine waters straight out of a film scene:

“Amidst all its pastoral magnificence, New Zealand has extra unspoiled trout streams per space than every other nation on earth, with European brown and North American rainbow trout launched within the late nineteenth century,” Randolph wrote. “Trout now occupy nearly all New Zealand waters.

“This piece seems to be at among the most consultant streams on the South Island and divulges New Zealand’s least-known secret: It is the very best place on this planet to benefit from the widest providing of out of doors sports activities amid probably the most dramatic land- and seascapes.”

Whereas it’s uncertain that the nation’s hydro canals will ever win over the hearts and souls of many American fly fishers anytime quickly, there might be little doubt that New Zealand has wrestled the large brown trout highlight away from Ozark rivers in Arkansas and the waters of Argentina and Europe.

That pattern might be seen within the development of the world document brown trout benchmark through the years, a run that began with the primary IGFA document for the species, a 35-pound, 15-ounce specimen caught by Eugenio Cavaglia on Dec. 16, 1952, as he fished close to Nahuel Huapi, Argentina. 

Practically 40 years later, Sweden took its flip as holder of the brown trout world document after Kurt Stenlund pulled a 37-pound, 7-ounce. trout from Lake Storsion. The U.S. acquired into the act in Might 1992 when Howard “Rip” Collins took maintain of the world document mark after pulling his famous 40-pound, 4-ounce world record brown trout from Arkansas’ Little Pink River.

This century, Michigan has occupied the brown trout throne within the IGFA document e-book with Tom Healy’s 41-pound, 7-ounce big from the Manistee River in September 2009. Wisconsin ascended to the highest spot in July 2010 with Roger Hellen’s 41-pound, 8-ounce brown trout pulled from the Badger State’s aspect of Lake Michigan. 

Now, the final two world document brownies have come from down underneath because the hydro canals of New Zealand have taken over the IGFA document e-book for now.

How do fly fishers fare in relation to the most important brown trout swimming in appropriate waters throughout the globe? Higher than you may suppose. In reality, Hans-Peter Schaar landed a 36-pound, 6-ounce brown trout on July 2, 2007, when he fly fished with a 20-pound tippet on Austria’s Moll River, a fish that’s the heaviest fly-rod caught brown trout ever acknowledged by the IGFA.

A number of different notable tippet-class fly-rod world data within the IGFA document e-book have come from the fabled Rio Grande River at Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, a location chronicled by Fly Fisherman editor Ross Purnell in a narrative about one of many best fishing spots discovered wherever on this planet. 

Epic-size sea-run browns landed from the Rio Grande embrace Mark Gates, Jr.’s 12-pound-tippet class world document brown that weighed 35 kilos, 2 ounces when it was caught on March 1, 1998; J. Gal Allee’s 30-pound brown trout caught on March 3, 2019; Christine Ren Fielding’s 30-pound fish caught on March 29, 2017; and Charlie Blaquier’s 28-pound specimen caught on March 9, 1996.

What’s the most important brown trout ever caught on fly deal with right here within the U.S.? Properly, as astute huge brown trout observers may guess, it’s an Ozark area water, however not the well-known White River, the Little Pink, or the Norfork in northern Arkansas. As an alternative, it’s Rick Osborn’s 27-pound, 10-ounce brown trout pulled from Lake Taneycomo close to Branson, Mo., on Oct. 3, 2005. 

Whereas the brown trout may not get as huge in different components of the U.S. the place their weight loss plan isn’t shad- and scud-based like it’s within the Ozarks area, there are definitely different nice alternatives to catch huge brownies on the fly this summer time together with many tailwaters throughout the nation. For useful resource on discovering and fishing such streams, try Blaine Chocklett’s nice educational piece entitled Fishing Tailwater Brown Trout.

And eventually, in case your fly-fishing travels take you to non-tailwater streams throughout the nation, merely go to our FlyFisherman.com web site and sort “brown trout” into the search bar. Like the large browns themselves, you’ll discover no scarcity of useful data about the place to fish, what flies to make use of, and methods to land on the fly one of many world’s hottest sport fish species.



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