It was a wet, cold miserable November morning when Guide John McCloskey of Ackworth Ga released a 34&7/8″length and 22″ girth monster brown trout back into the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam. He did not have a scale to weigh the fish just a measuring tape and camera. John makes his living guiding clients for trout 8 months out of the year on the Chattahoochee Tailwater then heads to Alaska the other 4 months for salmon. John was torn whether to keep&kill this specimen of salmotrutta or let him go to catch another day. As a guide we walk a fine line between exploiting and conserving our natural resources. The choice was tough but it was more important to this conscientious guide to be a steward of the River then to be listed in the record books. Just two years previous in the summer of 2013 Doughtie caught and kept a 21lbs Ga state record brown that measured 31″length. We did the math and McCloskey’s fish was most likely heavier! GA DNR Wildlife Resources Division has documented natural reproduction of brown trout in the Chattahoochee River below Buford Dam downstream for 29 river miles to Island Ford Roswell shoals. “No matter what man does to exploit the River the trout not only survive but thrive in its waters” a quote from John McCloskey.