A chance to be in the history books? IGFA Trout Royal Slam Club
So I admit that my goals are weird. I have a tendency to set my mind to things that are a little random. This past fall my buddy invited me to go fishing for brown trout. Long story short I caught one. That single fish has been swimming around in my mind ever since. At the time I thought it was just a trout, people catch them all the time. It wasn't till I showed some people the picture that I found out it would be considered a trophy to many fisherman. That fish was 31 inches long and weighed in at 16 pounds. When I posted the picture online I got lots of comments ranging from "how lucky I was", "to how many years did it take to get one that size"? I realized at that point that for many anglers, large trout were the pinnacle of fishing success.
Around that same time I joined the International Game Fish Association or the IGFA. I was interested in the history of angling on a global scale and these were the guys that kept those records. I researched everything from sharks, to bass, to muskies, to marlin, to snakeheads. The stories of the anglers, the rod, the locations. I loved the idea of belonging to an organization that had such a rich history. The question was outside of catching a world record, how could one get their name into that big book of accomplishment?
The Trout Royal Slam Club became the answer I was looking for. To join the ranks of a club you need to catch all the species recognized by the IGFA for a certain species. The Trout Royal Slam Club consists of 7 trout species-Brown, Brooke, Lake, Rainbow, Cutthroat, Bull, and Golden trout. You have to follow the IGFA angling rules and you have a lifetime to catch them all. Currently only 38 anglers world wide have accomplished this feat. This club appealed to me because 4 of the 7 species can be caught in Wisconsin, and since currently I can't stop thinking about trout.
So expect to see some posts as I work towards this goal in the upcoming years. I believe that I will be able to register the 4 local species in the next 2 years. The other 3 will take a bit of work, considering that 2 of them I hadn't even heard of until I read the rules of the slam. Some traveling will definitely be in order. Colorado looks promising for Cutthroat and Golden trout. As for the Bull trout I believe Washington or California will be on the family vacation list in the next few years. As a bonus I want to catch the Lake trout through the ice and the Golden trout on a tenkara rod. I also need to work on my ultralight fishing and probably learn to use a fly rod. Will see how it goes, I already have one fish caught, and I am not known for giving up easily.