The unique story of the 1939 world record sea trout

This is one of the best true stories attached to a fish capture I have come across, read on!

The unique 3/4 block carved wood world record sea trout, weight 19lbs 8 oz, was caught on dry fly from the Laerdal River, Norway in 1939, carved and mounted on a 17” x 45” wooden board.

The typed out details tell the full story of all the incidents which arose at the time – briefly covered as follows: “The world’s record sea trout on a dry fly, hooked just below the swing-bridge, lower Laerdal River Norway, on 22ndAugust 1939 and landed far downstream 55 minutes later. Caught by Toby Bromley on a Hardy 9-foot split cane “Tourney” rod, 2x gut cast (breaking strain 2.7lbs), river current 3-4 knots”.

The following incidents occurred immediately afterwards. Even though the fish was exhaustively photographed by F.R Bromley, the angler’s father, the camera was unfortunately empty of film at the time. However by great fortune Toby and Olaf his ghillie took an outline drawing on a large sheet of brown paper and filled in every detail down to the last spot. Then unbeknown to everyone Toby’s mother used the brown paper to wrap up a pair of shoes which she was going to post to Auntie Gladys, but mercifully this was discovered in time and the brown paper was retrieved. From this sketch the model was carved in wood. Comments referred by the family “….It was an excellent job in every way except that the side is rather too flat; the fish was fresh from the sea and in prime condition”. As to the weight, a furious row broke out among the Ghillies; they were a somewhat jealous lot and one faction argued that the fish had not broken the previous record. They therefore all trooped down with the fish to the hotel where the true weight was established on a set of government-certified scales and Olaf was acknowledged to be top ghillie of the river. On that same day, 22ndAugust 1939, Hitler’s armies invaded Poland”.

Since buying this fish we have been contacted by a few Norwegians who know of or are related to the ghillie.

Bang goes my theory of keeping it for my collection. 

My family are from Arendal in the south of Norway and it would have made a good connection.

However it really should go back home where it can be seen and the story retold.

To buy this beauty, click here.

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