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Trophy Trout Profile: John Krmpotich

Krmp does it again! His fourth brown over 10 turned out to be this monstrous 16 Lb.+ hen. Congrats on your biggest yet!! What a fish!

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As I have stated before, I have been fortunate and blessed to befriend some of the best trophy trout anglers on the West Coast. I have mentioned several of them this year in previous profiles on TTG. This one is another fun one to do as Krmp and I have fished together several times in the last dozen years and have become close friends.

With John growing up in Wyoming and at the doorstep of Flaming Gorge, he witnessed the explosion of one of the most prolific trophy brown trout fisheries in history. During the 70ís, a perfect storm of bait, habitat and top end predators culminated in 20 LB.+ brown trout making regular news in both local and state papers. Soon many big brown trout anglers were making the trek from California to the massive Utah/Wyoming reservoir to tackle these big bruisers. On March 4, 1977, Bob Bringhurst, while fishing with his brother Jim, caught the IGFA World Record brown trout with a 33 LB. 10 oz. monster.

John said his first big brown of 7 LB. came from the Green River while fishing below the famed reservoir mentioned above back in 1966. It was his introduction to chasing after the salmo trutta. During the early 70ís some of his friends started banging some nice browns from 5-9 LB. from the river and amped up Krmpís interest in pursuing them. The education and expansion of his brown trout drill reached another level when he befriended his dear friend, Ron Carey. Ron is one of the ďEliteĒ Brownbaggers ( more than 10 over 10 LB.) and they fished together until Ron moved away around 1980-81.

John then hooked up with another good friend, Dan Michaelis, and fished often at FG in pursuit for the bigger lakers that were now infiltrating the reservoir and eventually replaced the browns as the top predator. As you can see in the photos, they have taken many big lakers over 30 LB. up to the 40 LB. mark. The opportunities for the big browns had waned at FG and soon he was looking at other waters to pursue them. In the early 90ís, Ron moved back into the area and they teamed up again.

Ronís Brownbagger status had always spurred John on and in 2007, John got hot on big browns. His first brown over 10 LB. came when he caught a 10 LB. 14 oz. hen in April of 2007. To top that, he banged a 13 LB. 13 oz. hen about a month later in May. That was his Brownbagger fish and only the beginning. A year later in May of 2008 his third 10 LB.+ brown hit the bottom of the boat. Next April in 2009, he hit his best big brown to date with a huge 16 LB. hen and as you can see, she is a toad. In April of 2010 his 5th brown of 10 LB. 7 oz. was his last brown over the magic number. Remembering I went 18 years before I got my first and then after catching 4 in two years, I went through a 9 year drought before I starting picking up a few more again. As we discussed the issue, we reminded each other that ďyou get what you getĒ and it has been a great journey for us both if we never get another one. It is much harder to do than many anglers might suggest. Too many 8-9 LB. browns are posted as 10 LB. trout!

John had the opportunity to fish with another great trophy trout angler, Rich Reinwald, ( who was at the top of the Brownbagger list with 34 over 10 LB. at the time) when he was guiding at Pend Oreille years ago. On that trip, John got the bug for big rainbows. He and I met up and fished PO back in 2004 for a week. It was tough fishing though I did get a 15 LB. hen and lost another screamer but no other big gerrards for either of us. Last year, Krmp joined John Werwie and I for a few days at Kootenay. Though it was much slower for bigger bows than years past, Krmp did get into 3 nice bows in the 10 LB. range.

One of Johnís hobbies is lure painting and he is really good at it. He recently did several for me and I believe all of his BB browns came on his patterns.

Iíll close by saying even though he has been in a bit of a drought on big browns the past few years, I wonít be surprised at all if he gets back on the scoreboard in 2015. Iím pulling for you buddy!

Screaminí Drags,

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