What Is The World Record Golden Trout?

world record golden trout

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The world record golden trout is an impressive 11 lb 0 oz, and it holds the title as the heavyweight champion of this species. The fisherman who made history? Chas Reed. The location of this notable catch? Cooks Lake, Wyoming, USA.

Cooks Lake, nestled in the northern Wyoming mountains, is a secluded fishing haven. Its claim to fame? The world record golden trout, reeled in by Reed in August 1948. While the lake hasn’t yielded any other record-breaking catches, it remains a popular spot for anglers hoping to make their mark or simply enjoy the tranquillity of the great outdoors.

Alluring Golden Trout: What’s In a Name?

Golden trout, sometimes known as Kern River trout, are native exclusively to the Upper Kern River basin in Kern and Tulare Counties, California. Also referred to as California golden trout, they’ve earned the honor of being named California’s state fish.

If you’re planning a fly fishing expedition in California for golden trout, you’ll need to venture into the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Golden trout are high-altitude dwellers, favoring the cold, clear water found at elevations of 2,100 meters (6,890 feet) or higher.

Despite their limited native range, two subspecies of golden trout exist. One subspecies resides in the South Fork Kern River and Golden Trout Creek, while the other calls the Main Kern and Little Kern Rivers home. A barrier of warmer water where the South Fork Kern River merges with the Main Kern River prevents these subspecies from intermixing.

Over time, golden trout have been introduced to non-native habitats such as Wyoming, Washington, and Idaho, leading to the development of self-sustaining populations. It’s believed that these golden trout have bred with cutthroat trout.

Small But Mighty: A Closer Look at Golden Trout

Golden trout may not typically be the largest fish in the lake, with an average size around 1 pound, but their beauty and elusive nature make them a prized catch for anglers. Considering the world record golden trout weighed in at 11 pounds, it’s clear that landing such a fish is a significant achievement for any fisherman.

For an unforgettable angling experience, consider trout fishing in Washington, a destination teeming with opportunities for anglers.

Where Else Have Record-Breaking Golden Trout Been Caught?

Wind River Mountains, Wyoming, USA

On July 8, 2021, a young girl named Caroline May Evans made headlines, setting the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) female smallfry record. The rule for this category? The angler must be 10 years or younger.

While fishing in an unnamed Wyoming lake, Caroline hooked a two-pound golden trout. After a brief struggle and weigh-in, she safely released the fish back into the wild, setting a new record in the process.

Golden Lake, Wyoming, USA

Golden Lake, Wyoming

Golden Lake in Wyoming holds the honor of producing more world-record golden trout than any other location. Home to 8 of the 13 standing world records for golden trout, Golden Lake is a must-visit for ambitious anglers.

Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA

Among the IGFA’s records, one stands out: the one caught in the golden trout’s native range, the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Brandon Parker landed a 6-pound golden trout using conventional tackle and 8 lb line, setting the new 8lb line class world record.


How Do I Catch Golden Trout?

Golden trout behave similarly to other trout species, such as brown and brook trout. They feed on aquatic insects, flying insects, worms, leeches, and other small animals.

How Do I Catch Golden Trout

You can fly fish for golden trout using a variety of techniques, including drifting nymphs, dry flies, wet flies, and streamers. If you’re fishing in the California mountains, small flies are your best bet, as the insects at this elevation are typically small.

In Conclusion…

Golden trout are a stunning addition to any angler’s catch list. Whether you’re aiming to break records or simply appreciate their beauty, fly fishing for golden trout is an experience like no other.

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