When Bryan Smith of Athens isn’t helping visitors to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) catch fish, he does some fishing on his own.
On Friday, May 24, the TFFC volunteer took advantage of some free time to do a little fly-fishing.
“Fly-fishing is my passion, and nothing could have been greater than what happened that day,” Smith said. What happened was a new state record for heaviest channel catfish caught on a fly rod. The fish weighed 20.8 pounds and was 35.5 inches long.
After being photographed, the fish was released back into the TFFC casting pond, qualifying it for both state and TFFC catch-and-release records. The fish is also the new TFFC casting pond water body record. Plus it was Smith’s fourth Big Fish Award of the five needed to earn him Elite Angler status.