Brown trout were first brought to Colorado in 1890 and are now abundant in the state. Their large dark spotting pattern and reddish dots help distinguish them from rainbow and cutthroat trout. In early August 1949, John Fetta caught a brown trout that was considered a record holder in Fremont County at that time.
He caught the fish in the Arkansas River, near Wellsville. It was 14 pounds, 10 ounces in weight and measured 33 ½ inches long. He used a regulation six-pound leader line and a spinner, a type of metal lure that attracts fish through flashes and vibrations made when it spins. The fish was displayed at James Mercantile Agency at 311 Main Street, owned by Jim Rossi. The Fish and Game Society of Fremont County provided $38.75 for the cost of mounting the fish, done by Jonas Brothers, Inc. of Denver. After it was mounted, the fish was donated to the museum in November 1949.
Happy National Go Fishing Day!
The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.