World Record Brook Trout | Nipigon River Ontario


a long time ago in this very river a
world-record fish was caught it was such an impressive record that it still
stands as one of the longest-serving records to date were in Nipigon Ontario
on the shores of the Nipigon River to celebrate that record all this is coming
up next on the new fly Fisher you the new fly fisher has been made
possible thanks to Ontario sunset country Tourism Association go fishin
Ontario calm Orvis sporting traditions scientific
anglers uncle feather merchants super fly fly fishing made easy just an hour east of Thunder Bay Ontario
on the banks of the largest tributary of Lake Superior is a town called Nipigon
and this little town is steeped in history much of that history stemming
from the Nipigon River the Nipigon River is classified as a big river connecting
like nificant and Lake Superior it’s sheer volume of water is immense
stretching 48 kilometres long and add its most wide 200 metres across in
recent history Nipigon was known as a mill town with the supply of wood
products being the main industry but after a 2007 fire which saw the mill
burned to the ground the main industry was shifted to and today still is
tourism and fishing Brook chowder a part of the identity of this little town and
for a long time we just kind of took it for granted that you can still go out
and realistically catch a trophy fish on a drive to fishery where you can back
your 18-foot boat in there’s not a lot of places you can do that for richer
good fish it’s highly unusual and it’s been a fishing back up 450 years there’s
so much history here right but the river is very different today compared to what
it was back in its glory at the turn of the century 3 hydroelectric dams have
been constructed on the Nipigon River affecting the native brook trout that it
was so famous for today there is one 15 mile stretch of
river from the mouth of lake superior to the Alexander dam that sees returns of
coaster brook trout salmon steelhead amongst others there’s no industry on it
very few humans very few cottages so that’s the headwater so you’re starting
off of this huge ultra cold body water that turns into a river that at one time
was without a doubt the best trout water in the world as far as just rapids and
pools and everything but it was harnessed for electricity where the
world record was caught is now under about 60 feet of water
and that’s I mean that’s just what happened but there’s still brook trout
in the whole system there’s still some Rapids and I think the best place in the
world to get recruited the other two dams block upstream movement you have to
dam locked areas in which to fish today the fishery is very good thanks to the
help in part of now retired biologist Rob Swanson in 1950 when the Pine
Portage dam was built it flooded out all those famous waters all the famous pools
Robinson pool Hamilton pool Victoria Rapids and of course you know the glory
hole at virgin falls rabbit Rapids where the world record was caught they were
all flooded out and that really brought an end to the to the fishery and it
brought an end to people traveling here to go fishing River was reduced to a few
hundred yards of whitewater where there used to be 10 miles away water but you
know it still it still got its spots today and as as population grows it
becomes more and more popular with people it’s interesting because each
section has there’s things that are individual about them now like the one
section from Jessie Lake up to Pine Portage dam the fish do look different
they’re more colorful they’re they tend to be fatter and I don’t know if it’s
the food or if it’s whatever is happening in that environment that’s the
that’s a stretch of river that is unique and then from the Alexander’s Dam to
lake superior while coaster brook trout can still come in there and spawn which
is what’s been happening forever so you can catch a coaster brook trout in the
lower Nipigon River but then you have other species mixed in right you have
the shook salmon steelhead walleye pike you
know it’s a real mixed fishery and then you get up above pine portage dam into
like nip again and then you’re into you’re into a whole different thing a
very very pristine fishery almost no non-native species there Nipigon fishing
history is as storied as the town itself at the turn of the century the fishing
in the Nipigon River was literally world-class and even brought royalty
from overseas well I find it amazing that people like
came from England 100 years ago on a steamship and they would like come up
through the Great Lakes and then get on a train and coil like Nipigon and then
go down a river in a freighter canoe plugs at you I don’t think we can even
comprehend now you know without DEET like without bug mesh and and do it
because they knew it was the best place in the world to catch brick code and and
to potentially you know catch a world record and the size class of the fish
then were incredibly massive they were looking for a big fish there’s no
question about that everybody is but but they didn’t measure it by the individual
fish they measured it more as a weight caught per day so they’d report catching
50 pounds in a day or 75 pounds in a day or in a number of hours they weren’t
really talking about the individuals until a little bit later on like in
those early nineteen hundred’s they actually started describing individual
fish you know six five pounders four three pounders it was all weight no
links it was one day back in 1915 that changed the way anglers measured their
fish dr. JW cook from Thunder Bay Ontario
along with three friends went on a guided trip up the Nipigon and rewrote
the record books they caught a fish that was so big this world record still
stands today more than 100 years later here’s the story July 15th is when they
started to trip up the Nipigon River they paddled up from town here they
arrived at rapid Rapids I think they fished their way up of
course and then rabbit Rapids say they had set up camp and on July 21st 1915
that’s when dr. cook landed the world-record butcher he’s a young man
the picture of him holding the fish is pretty awesome he was a young angler
like probably at his you know at his keenest and and he looked like an act
like he wasn’t wearing a three-piece suit right yeah like look like he had
suspenders on and just holding but but you know he knew he had a good one it
was 14 and a half pounds 31 and a half inches long it had a girth of 23 inches
and he caught it on a live mental he caught it on a fly rod but he hooked him
in or and cast it out the river he described the rivers being covered with
brown flies that morning and I think he switched it up so he wasn’t competing
with the flood with the the big hatch what I find amazing is not only did he
catch the world record which in itself has lost 100 years and was even a
hundred years ago so unusually large that it had to be sent away for
identification but he also caught two fish on one fly line with two flies that
were also considered a world record same trip so I think it was a pretty good
stick that was my sense of things that he knew he knew his way around a fly rod
and you know and he’s a legendary guy now and as with all records that
remarkable there will be questions that accompany the catch any record fish and
I don’t care what it is that I mean you can go over all the muskie records and
everything there’s always controversy with world record fish and there’s all
sorts of stories about you know – dr. cook catch it one of the guides catching
what it was caught on all that but we weren’t there right
Rob Swenson he’s taking it upon himself to do all this incredible historic work
and he’s put the same kind of energy into that that he put into restoring the
fishery I started digging into this and as I dug out all these hundred literally
hundreds of articles I was shocked at that first of all but as I dug through
them I started seeing contradictions all these different articles reported
something different I’d read one place it was 1915 31 and a half inches long
next one I picked up it’s reported as 34 inches long and caught 1916 in fact the
amount that was at the Museum just before it burned in 1990 that mount
add the label on it that said it was 34 inches long by 9 inches deep or 18 inch
girth and caught in 1916 which was totally contrary to what I’d read in
these early early documents from the turn of the century so I wanted to get
to the bottom of that and it’s it’s taken me you know I’m a slow slow guy I
guess 27 years she’s been Columbo on this one it’s been pretty good you know
none of us are ever going to know but he has found stuff that I mean nobody knew
there was a picture of dr. cook or the fish and he found it he’s got all this
other information the log that they you know when they came and left the two
fish on the day all that stuff I’m satisfied that I’ve answered some of
these questions but there’s a lot to go after yep and I’m not giving up on this
it was on Swinton’s investigative journey he came across cooks only living
relative Elizabeth Lydell who fondly remembers her uncle as an honest man I
can smell his pipe I can smell his pipe and I can hear his voice and I always
knew that he caught a big fish but we never really talked about it
I knew the year and I knew the size because we had a photograph of the
poster that they’ve made it was small but you know it gave the details what I
remember really well was the rod it was a bamboo rod and that I remember the
vivid colors in fact I used to charge my friends a nickel to go and look at it in
the woodshed but he never talked about fishing and I remember talking about it
with my dad and after he got that fish he never fished again Elizabeth has made
the journey to Nipigon for a couple of reasons to reconnect with the world
record brook trout and to be part of the inaugural Nipigon brook trout festival
that’s coming up on the new fly Fisher welcome back to the new fly Fisher we’re
a Nipigon Ontario for the inaugural Nipigon brook trout festival celebrating
the 100th anniversary of dr. JW cook’s catch the still standing 14 and a half
pound brook trout world record with things to do for every member of the
family professional angler presentations and interactive information booths the
festival draws people from far and wide we’re celebrating the Nipigon River
brook trout festival and through that festival we’re celebrating a hundred
years of the world record brook trout that was caught here on the Nipigon
River about sixty kilometres up at a place called rabbit Rapids it’s pretty
amazing to have to have a world record here and you know it was a hundred years
ago and there are you know all kinds of stories that float around so nobody
knows for sure exactly how things went but we do know that when fish was caught
it was sent off to Ottawa to be verified and it was verified as a 14 and a half
pound brook trout that’s what we know so that’s what we celebrate the heart of
the festival lies in the nificant Historical Museum itself not only is it
home of the skin mount of the world-record fish but it’s home to
hundreds of pieces from nificant past one of the more famous Nipigon Ian’s is
Dan gapin the son of the creator of the muddler minnow dawn gaben Dan is here in
nificant to sign autographs and to talk about Brook trip fishing in the area and
of course dr. cooks only living relative Elizabeth Lydell Elizabeth has come to
the festival as a representative of the family and as a bonus she gets an
unexpected surprise to see a very special piece of fishing history I
remember you used to look at dads door house
to see them raw no white you’ve been there oh that’s amazing I mean and you
know it is in good shape and and you’ve said he’s he’s initialed it as well
doesn’t show enough look for him yes I could see cook welcome back to this truly historic
episode of the new fly fisher celebrating the 100th anniversary of the
world record brook trout caught by dr. JW cook you know the new fly fisher has
been to the Nipigon River many times and we truly have caught some Giants yes sir
right at that point same spot as last time Randy same spot him in did this one
ever hit hard it was kaboom you can feel going on right on the fly yeah oh man
this is just incredible you have to come up in fish the Nipigon River it’s just
unbelievable you hear stories about it the world-record brook trout was caught
here and you can see why a brook trout when they reach a certain a certain size
switch from invertebrates to actual minnow type patterns or they’ll even
cannibalize themselves he is for not being a very big fish he’s using the
current to his best advantage isn’t he yeah here we come excellent excellent hi actually it’s not
it’s a little fatty indie dynomite this is so exciting measurement actually
no it’s 192 19-inch fish there’s a trough drops off its kind of
like a hump just about the natural lay of that that hill in front of us that
point and then it’ll deep and over there deep in here and then it fades out back
into that shoreline so well this is a decent fish actually yeah now I’m having
a little bit of trouble now seeing him then he’s got to run
so I’ll get him on this side of the boat now I just want to kind of get out of
this boilie current I agree try to land them and I’m gonna swing around and
circle them to get them get them above the boat again okay the biggest thing is when they get below
the boat the flight otero okay you see fish in here that hardware
anglers catch them they force them and risk their mouths and this guy’s just coming up now one
he’s gone back down to the bottom again that is a beautiful fish this this is
actually quite a nice big yeah now would that be above average or average ah
that’s a little above average he tagged he’s been taken by somebody which is
good this goes down to the tag now here I’ll help you out there I’ll hold this
yeah and we got him in there not that fish being 21 and a half I weighed it
the other day when I sampled it and it’s a rough 5.6 pounds now that that to me
is a record for myself biggest brook trout I’ve ever caught is
4 and 3/4 pounds so I’m really excited about this this is just a wonderful area
oh man oh this is it oh fishing just a point to make to this is the third time
this fish has been handled by anglers so it’s not catch and release definitely
works you know it was initially tagged by another angler I captured it I
believe last week on the 12 and I have data written down on it and then bill
captured it again today so this this is just absolutely the best as far as I’m
concerned this is a must a fish taken from here as a fish gun forever so
that’s one thing you got to remember there are other areas here where you can
go and have a meal if you would like if you want to take a fish it must be over
22 inches and it can only be one fish so that I think the rules are really paying
off and I’m all for him okay okay we’re gonna very gentle with him he’s
he’s in good shape the water is very cool you there he ii feel him on my my
hand here he’s he’s gonna take off so Guiding is a thriving business in the
nificant area with anglers fishing the Nipigon River itself as well as the
coast of Lake Superior i hook up with old friend ray Rivard from Quebec
lodging Nipigon and we decide to hit the river to sample some of the brook trip
fishing for ourselves the fishing that Nipigon is famous for hey ray yeah can
you tell me a bit about your business with Nipigon River Adventures started up
Nipigon River adventures about seven years ago now and we do a lot of
different things fishing photography corporate retreats
B&B I fished the Nipigon River proudly for 35 years and the fishery has been
getting stronger and stronger over the last few years that’s a result of
conservation efforts that have been made not just by the fishermen but even with
the government and and their regulations it’s not an easy place to fish and I
encourage people to get guides even if it’s not our place safety is first and
foremost we want people to have a good experience on the river and catch that
once-in-a-lifetime type of fish there’s a good fish keep them tight
keep them tight you know we’re just below the pine portage Dam and this
water is full of oxygen the dam is absolutely hauling right now and I think
we’re dialed in to a late Nipigon Brook trip great way to start the day ray
beautiful good stuff yep all right let me just get this bowl wet
nice fish wait to start the day huh nice colors now what I like about these fish is that
this is not a giant by any means but look at how thick it is I can out deep
the body is of this fish it’s absolutely great I’m gonna get it back in the water
we’re gonna go for a better one equipment used for fishing brook trout
on the Nipigon River is a 9 foot 8 weight fly rod with a full sinking line
and nine foot fluorocarbon leader flies were streamers of various colors but we
had most success with flies that had a bit of chartreuse well I hope you’ve
enjoyed this truly historic episode of the new fly fisher for more on our
series please log on to WWE Fischer comm for all of us here at the new fly
Fischer I’m Marc Melnick thanks for watching and hopefully we’ll see you in
world-record country the new fly Fischer has been made possible thanks to Ontario
sunset country Tourism Association go fish in Ontario comm orvis sporting
traditions scientific anglers umpqua feather
merchants super fly fly fishing made easy

78 thoughts on “World Record Brook Trout | Nipigon River Ontario

  1. Great video lads… good  area information , and great footage ,  , makes you just want to go there ..thank you for sharing.

  2. you havent lived until you fish for speckies on the mighty nipigon river now if i could just catch one haha

  3. W.T.F catch a fish then let it go?? that sucks and you can only take one fish above 22inch I live in scotland and we have have a catch and release over here but nobody ever does if you are paying to fish then your taking whatever you catch home but this video is in canada and lets be honest they have some pretty fucked up laws over there and the fact that they are all inbreeds too would explain alot 🤣

  4. Demolish the dam, let the water flow like nature intend it to flow.
    Replace electricity production with solar roofs and generation three/four reactors.

  5. Great video.. I actually broke this record when I lived in Argentina. The problem was I couldn't get the fish to a scale in time and it dried out a few ounces. I was around 18 years old and the catch is written in Nick Karas' book entitled "Brook Trout"… It was a wonderful memory, and the trout weighed in at just under the record when we finally got it weighed.. After I got it mounted, It resided in the guiness book of world records in Gatlinburg TN for many years. It now is with my Dad in Virginia and I have a copy of it on my living room wall. The fish is a testamony to my dad who has fished almost exclusively for brookies since he was a boy.. perhaps one of the most accomplished fishermen the world has ever known.. Love you Dad! Thanks for the memories!

  6. Buddy lost a 10 lb. + Brookie last week of the season up here, not sayin' exactly where…season opens again in a couple of weeks…a high-school pal's old man used to own a lodge on the Nipigon R. Fishing there has never been better, since they instituted catch-and-release. That poor friend of mine drowned in that very river when he was 17…R.I.P.

  7. I was 8 years old. Was entered in the fishing derby. Caught a catfish one ounce under a lb. Couldnt win a prize. I was with my father and a man offered me a bag of pan fish. My Dad let me make the decision. He explained how it would be lieing and stealing and it would bother me. It did right at that momment in the decision I must make. I went to booth and weighed in. I received a little wee trophy. My total weigh in was 11 ounces. Fishing memeories have life lessons for me. I love the sport and the peace I have out on a small bropokie lake all alone. or with my son. God Bless

  8. I subbed to your channel. Please check my channel and sub me back please. Thanks

  9. i say all the dams should have to come out asap.. if you lose power or a job … who cares.

  10. Arctic char. Kill all Rat fish that destroy rivers! and drive out native fish. I have caught some up to 12lb in the rockys and fed them to the bears! i have a permit to kill this scum. Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

  11. Awesome video and great channel, I liked and subscribe pls subscribe back!

  12. Biggest brown I have ever caught is a 2 1/2 pound convict lake in 2000

  13. I've caught bigger in Maine and new hampshire. Brookes all day long.

  14. 31.5×23 sounds right to me. Incredible to happen still and too bad it won't likely happen again

  15. I live British Columbia not allowed to use live bait barbless hooks and your not allowed to keep fish over 50cm in many lakes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqL6nTvdA5A&t=64s

  16. Another great river destroyed by these imbecile way back then…pathetic!

  17. Beautiful video. I really want to go fish the Nipigon river ASAP now. I love the respect shown to nature in this video. It's just really great.

  18. What a truly wonderful trip back through history. As an Australian, we don't get to fish for many of the North American/ Canadian species obviously and the size of our Rainbows and Brown Trout are nothing by comparison. The biggest Trout probably are to be found in Tasmania, cold oxygen rich waters over there are highly conducive to large fish, but here in my neck of the world. W.A. we just don't get monster Trout, so it was a real pleasure to watch this. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Nice video man and nice char. Hope our channel (Outkast Adventures in Connecticut) can get as popular as yours someday. Keep up the great fishing footage. Never gets old.

  20. The Nipigon Historical Museum is now in possession of the rod that caught the world record brook trout!! I stopped by to see it the other week. Very cool!!!

  21. Great video. I just can't accept the world record. Here in Finland fishermen have caught dozens of brown trouts larger than that on this century only – not mention 90's or 80's. Our current record is 10,15kg (year 2001) and here's an example of 8,7kg trout from couple years ago (in Finnish unfortunatelly): https://www.ess.fi/uutiset/paijathame/art2404001

  22. So all the poor local people that caught bigger fish don’t matter a rich doctor an know it’s a record I think if u can’t produce it it’s not real fuck rich made up records.

  23. This has always been a dream of mine. A whole lake full of monster square tails. ABY

  24. When I was a teenager I was camping with my family at Weber Lake in the California Sierra Mountains. The lake was a private lake at that time. This would be in the late 1960's. I caught a 3 1/2 pound Brook Trout trolling with spinner blades and night crawler. That is still my biggest brook trout. A few days later I caught a 7 1/2 Brown trolling a flat fish in the evening. I miss those days with my family camping.

  25. Fished that river all the time when I was young (early 1970's). Good memories

  26. https://youtu.be/6k-EloCCGp4 LOVE your videos! i subscribed! hope you have a minute to check out n subscribe to my channel!

  27. My father grew up in Nipigon. His 2 brothers still live there. One has a 9lb mounted and the other has a 6lb mounted. They are both very impressive fish.

  28. Good old T-Bay..Boy did I get drunk.The black flies were every where and the mosquito's vicious ,,,It was raining and snowing
    we had waves, whitecaps it was thundering and lighting the sky was on FIRE..We killed the Brook trout one every 4 to 5 minuits.
    We got board..We killed the walleyes Dave brought his smoker..Smoked walleye is great and smoked pike is right up there too.

  29. NEW 2014 WORLD RECORD RAINBOW Hybrid Trout 34 lb. 11.8 oz. Idaho American Falls Reservoir.

  30. My biggest Brookie was just over 7 pounds in Jasper Ab, i wont say the lake.

  31. 2nd trout I ever caught was a 27 inch native brookie out of the saddle river,new jersey. I new nothing of trout and I ate it. That same year I caught an 11 pound largemouth ,a kid from Florida, I saw it was a female with eggs and let her go. Years later I find out both of these fish would have been state records

  32. I know a place in California that kicks out 7 pound football shaped brookies fat off fresh water shrimp. If I get 69 likes I will share the information with everyone that comments. Maybe lol

  33. Wow gotta love those small towns with deep rooted fishing history

  34. Talk about click bait title. I thought I was about to watch a video of a world record brook trout being caught.

  35. I know a small Brooke of four n half pounds ain't no record but the day I caught it was the best time ever fishing for trout and was also the best fish I ever ate, good history and video 👍 👍

  36. Don't wind the line in, bring it in with your with your fingers let the line drop at your feet.

  37. I'm from here 7.5 pound was my biggest caught right under the nipigon river bridge my cousin lost one on shore that I'm sure looked bigger than my 7.5 lb er

  38. I swear environmentalists ruining all the waters. Need those dams demolished

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