Photographer recalls documenting record trout


All anglers have seen the famous photo of the late Howard “Lip” Collins, who has a 40-pound, 4-ounce brown trout caught on the Little Red River in 1992.

The fish held the brown trout world record for 17 years until 2009, when the 41-pound, 7-ounce fish from the Manisty River in Michigan received the highest honor.

The photo shows Collins, dressed in a wader, standing deep in the Little Red River, holding a trout in the water. This image clearly conveys the vastness of the fish and encouraged thousands of anglers around the world to travel to the Little Red River for glory. The brown trout’s current world record is now New Zealand’s, at £ 44.3, which continues to inspire imagination to this day.

There is a lot of speculation about choline fish, but many are ridiculous. Little Rock’s Greg Patterson, who took the famous photo, broke the record on Wednesday.

Patterson, a board member of Wildlife Forever, is one of the best outdoor journalists in the United States. He worked for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1992 and had a close relationship with the state’s fly fishing community. Collins called Patterson on Sunday telling him that he had caught a very large brown trout.

“Lip said he thought he had set a line-class record, and he asked me to come and check it for him,” Patterson said.

It was Mother’s Day, and Patterson told Collins that he would come after the church. He arrived that night.

The line-class world record is the largest fish species recognized by the International Game Fish Association captured on a particular pound test line. The all-tackle world record is one of the largest fish of its kind.

Collins continued to keep the trout alive at the Dock’s Box Live Well. While waiting for Patterson to arrive, he circulated cold oxygenated water through the box to keep the fish healthy. When Patterson arrived, it was too dark to see the fish, so Collins showed it to him on VHS tape. Do you remember them? VHS cassettes are about 25 times the size of SD cards.

“At first glance, he said,’Rip, sorry, this is not a line-class record.'” Https:// “Patterson” Everything seemed disappointing. I said, “Wait a minute, Lip. This is a world record. Challenge the world record!”

There is a process for certifying record fish, including weighing on a certified scale. Patterson called an employee of the Greer’s Ferry National Fish Hatchery, which raises trout. The hatchery sent a vehicle with a special tank to transport the fish to the Heber Springs Post Office, which has a certified scale.

“There were seven or eight people lined up at the post office, waiting for the post office to work,” Patterson said. “We wrapped this big big fish in a sheet and came into the door. The big trout is a big deal in Heber Springs. They are a big part of their economy. What is the guy working at the counter? He knew exactly what was happening. He brought us to the forefront and put the fish on the scale. It shook a bit and eventually 40 pounds 4 ounces. I came to rest at.

“Of course, game and fish employees had to approve it,” continued Patterson. “It was me. Bingo! A new world record.”

Collins desperately wanted to release the fish alive, Patterson said. The burden of handling, long-term out of water, weighing, and repeated transportation have put excessive stress on older fish. Collins even persuaded the vet to give steroid shots to help the fish recover. It was all in vain. The fish did not survive.

“Lip was a moody and tough old man,” Patterson said. “He cried when the fish died. He really did. He cried.”

Patterson said Collins expressed regret for not releasing the fish shortly after catching it for the rest of his life. He said the record was not worth killing such a magnificent old fish.

We have a deep respect for Collins’ sorrow, but believe that Collins was too strict with himself. Recall that 1992 was in front of mobile phones and built-in cameras. If Collins went his way, the only record of fish might have been a polaroid photo of a crude, out-of-focus photo that did not do fish justice, perhaps at a crazy diagonal angle. ..

Instead, he shared the moment with a close friend who happened to be a professional photographer. Together, they made the fish immortal.


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