Big Montana Brown Trout

A friend of mine lives in Bozeman, Montana. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Doug Daufel and his twin brother, Dan, were tying flies commercially for Cathy and Barry Beck’s fly shop while they were still in high school. I’ve known “the twins” as we always called them for over twenty years. Good guys, excellent fly tiers, both of them. They also worked for Mike Lawson at Blue Ribbon Flies during the summers of their college years. Because of their connection with the Beck’s they met and got to know a number of fly fishing celebrities. We always thought it was funny because when they applied for jobs at Blue Ribbon Flies, their references were Cathy and Barry Beck, Charlie Meck, and I believe Lefty Kreh.

Doug e-mailed me this photo of a big brown he recently caught in a lake in Montana. I don’t know the name of the lake, but he caught the fish on a #8 conehead JJ Special which is basically a brown Wooly Bugger with a brown and yellow tail with yellow rubber legs. I thought a fish like this ought ought to get a little publicity. You too Doug! Doug mentioned it’s the largest brown he’s ever taken. He was fishing with his girlfriend, and reportedly she had a larger brown on but the tippet broke before Doug could net the fish. Thanks, Doug, for your permission to post the photo.

My friend Doug Daufel of Bozeman, Montana, with the biggest brown he's ever caught. The fish was not taped but it's around 28".

My friend Doug Daufel of Bozeman, Montana, with the biggest brown he’s ever caught. The fish was not taped but it’s around 28″.

10 comments on “Big Montana Brown Trout

  1. WOW – that’s a STONKING fish, well done Doug:)

  2. Edward Torchia says:

    Great article Don. I will be leaving for my place on the Big Horn soon . You are always welcomed . Would be great to have Tom there the same time.
    Keep on
    Keepin on!!!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Thanks Ed; glad you enjoyed this photo and brief article. Thanks for the invitation to join you on the Bighorn, I’d love to, but I’m not sure it’s in the cards this summer. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Aaron Marzec says:

    Holy Browntrout, Batman!

  4. Don Bastian says:

    Hi Aaron;
    Thanks for your comment! It is indeed a nice brown!

  5. Steve Nack says:

    That is the fish of a lifetime! Montana has some monster brown trout! Last fall Russ Lambert, member of the Main Line Fly Tyers, caught 2 browns on consecutive days of 27″ and 28″ on the Clark Fork River.
    If I could figure out how to put the picture here you could see the big one!!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Steve;
      It is the fish of a lifetime, at least until Doug catches a bigger brown. 😉
      A fish like this can be relative though. One of several days of my personal fishing experience that to this day remains as being one of my most memorable – I was on Eighteen Mile Creek in New York with a friend during the brown trout run in late October back in 2000. It was very crowded with anglers of all persuasions. Earlier in the afternoon when we arrived there was literally no place to fish. I mean there were about 75 cars in the fishermen’s parking lot. I took a nap for a couple hours, besides that was right before my colo-rectal surgery that took place not long after I got home from that trip. I was on anti-biotics and was a little tired anyway. Anyway, the browns were on the move, and from where we fished, you could see 20 – 40 at any one time, within easy casting distance, in water less than 2-1/2 feet deep. The constant movement of fish lasted the entire time we were there. They were all hefty lake-run fish from Lake Ontario. Even the small trout of 16″ – 18″ had “shoulders” on them. I spent my time selectively casting only to brown trout that were at least twenty-four inches in length and longer. And some of these fish were close to three feet long! Imagine ignoring brown trout of a mere 20″ – 22″, and even pulling your fly away from them so you could concentrate on the big boys! What a time that was! :mrgreen: I landed eleven or twelve from 24″ to 34″. Using an egg and 5 pound Maxima tippet.
      Thanks for your comment!

  6. Doug Daufel says:

    Thanks Donnie for the kind words!!!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Certainly Doug! You are welcome! I just thought a big brown like that ought to be posted here. I’ve caught bigger ones than that, lake run fish from Ontario, but it’s a different scenario when you catch the largest brown trout in your life. Thanks for sharing the pic with me!

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