Trophy Trout Hunter was founded circa 2000 by Jimmy Lewis. He was and still is one of the most hardcore fishermen you will ever meet. Jimmy has been pursuing trophy trout for over 30 years with numerous huge browns, bulls, rainbows, and lakers on his catch record. His largest brown was a Hookjaw he landed on May 22, 2003 from Paulina Lake weighing 10lbs. 6 oz. His favorite motto is “First one on and last one off” when it comes to fishing his favorite High Cascade mountain lakes in Oregon. Over the years, he acquired the nickname “The Godfather”, for obvious reasons. Jimmy is still passionate about his quarry, so if you happen to see him at the lake, stop by and say hello!
Early on in his young trophy trout hunting career, Jimmy worked at a car dealership with Bret Martin. One day Jimmy asked Bret if he wanted to join him on an upcoming fishing trip. Bret had seen the pictures, so he anxiously agreed to go. At that instant, a long term friendship and fishing partner was born! That first trip happened to be at Crescent Lake and was a huge success. Bret was stung by the trophy trout hunter “bug” after being exposed to some serious nice brown and lake trout. Bret too is very dedicated to this sport and has numerous huge mackinaw and brown trout under his belt. Bret’s largest brown to date is a 10lb. 2 oz. Hookjaw he landed out of Crescent Lake on April 23, 2009. When Bret’s not fishing, he dedicates a lot of his time to the sport of wrestling where he runs the clock at the OSAA state tournament.
Around the same time that Trophy Trout Hunter was born by Jimmy Lewis, a hard working and passionate young fisherman named Dan McAllister was thirsting for knowledge on how to catch the big ones. As a youth, his Dad Jerry, took both Dan and brother Dave, fishing often. Dan’s love of the sport grew, but he always longed for more. A fire burned within for catching brown trout over the 5 pound mark on a regular basis and to leave the stocker 10″ to 14″ rainbows for others to pursue. Dan began surfing the internet and reading books on how to catch big brown trout. He soon found Jimmy and reached out to him. Instantly, their passion for the sport fell on common ground, and a friendship was born. Dan soon joined Jimmy on a fishing trip to East Lake where he landed his biggest brown trout ever (at that point in time) at 8-1/2 pounds! This beautiful male buck brown bite Dan so hard that he hasn’t been able to shake that Trophy Trout Hunter “bug” ever since. Soon brother Dave wanted in on the action, and together the McAllister brothers were making waves in the trophy trout world. Big lakers, browns, and bull trout were coming up from the depths and being scooped into their net.
Jimmy had the foresight to create a website for local fishermen so they could post reports, share pictures, tactics, and information on how to catch trophy trout. That was when the brilliant idea of TrophyTroutHunter.com was born! Jimmy quickly secured the domain name and developed the website. For many years, this early website exposed other passionate fishermen to the incredible potential that our Central Oregon lakes have in them. This early network quickly spread and others were contributing and friendships were being created. Enter Ryan Daniels (R.D.) and his hunger for wanting to learn how to catch the big ones.
After graduating from college in 1998, his parents rewarded him with a 15′ Alaskan Smokercraft with a 15Hp Mercury boat and trailer package. Little did he know at that point in time, how much of an impact on his life this gift would be! From a very young age, his Dad would take him steelhead fishing on the Coquille River where he grew up. The “bug” for catching big steelhead was born from a young age and soon would carry over into the trophy trout world. Fishing trips to Crane Prairie in the late 90’s and early 2000’s resulted in learning the ropes but eventually resulted in landing Cranebows to 8 pounds. Once he had a taste of trout this size, his interests really turned to brown trout and wanting to catch a male Hookjaw over the 10 pound mark. Around late 2004, his hunger grew and soon he was researching the internet and gathering as much as he could in hopes of being able to catch a big brown. This was when he came across trophytrouthunter.com and Jimmy Lewis. R.D. soon reached out to Jimmy and their common interest in trophy trout sparked an instant friendship. Jimmy soon invited R.D. to join him and Bret Martin at Crescent Lake on March 12-13, 2005. R.D. quickly agreed and asked his good college buddy, Brian Wildish, if he wanted to come along and give this trophy trout hunting sport a try. Brian immediately accepted the offer and the fishing trip was set!
That Crescent Lake trip would be one for the ages for the future of Trophy Trout Hunter. This was the first time that Ryan Daniels and Brian Wildish met Jimmy Lewis and Bret Martin. The trip was an epic success with multiple big fish caught. Brian ended up catching a 5 pound brown right off the bat and also caught a 9 pound Hookjaw that bite him so hard he hasn’t looked back since. Not long after this trip, Brian bought himself his first boat and was soon in the game! As the years have piled up, so have the monster browns and lake trout for Brian. He has since became known as “BWild”. His largest brown trout to date is a 12-1/2 pound hen that was 30-1/4″ long with an impressive 18-1/2″ girth out of East Lake on September 2, 2007.
One rainy Saturday in January of 2005 while leaving a Sportsman’s Warehouse in NE Portland, R.D. saw a picture on the big fish wall that definitely looked out of place. This pic stood out from the others as the background was of white sands behind the forked tail of a very impressive mackinaw. Most photos are of steelhead or salmon, but to see a Laker really caught his attention. He quickly recognized the white sands as Simax Beach at Crescent Lake. And soon the guy holding the mack would trigger his memory of being Dan McAllister, who he had seen multiple pictures of on Jimmy’s trophy trout website. As fate would have it, Dan left his phone number contact information on the back of the photo so that Sportsman’s Warehouse could get it back to him. R.D. memorized the number and wrote it down once he had a pen and paper in hand. The next day he called Dan out of the blue and a friendship blossomed that still lasts to this day!
In less than a month’s time, Ryan joined Bret, Jimmy, and Dan at Lake Billy Chinook for his first bull trout fishing experience. This was the first time R.D. met Dan face to face and much to his surprise was the long red ponytail under Dan’s hat! HAHA!!! The two hit it off well and had an epic fishing trip together out of R.D.’s Smokercraft. Before the trip was over, R.D. had landed his first bull trout over 10 pounds with a beautiful hen 11 pounder that was only 26-1/2″ long! To say that Dan and R.D.’s young friendship was magical, would be an understatement.
After years of running the website, and with his young daughters quickly growing up and making it harder on the family to get away for fishing trips, Jimmy handed over the reigns of the website to Dan. Dan was beyond gracious and stoked and promised Jimmy he would make the site honorable and something to be proud of! Dan would soon collaborate his vision, thoughts, and ideas with both R.D. and BWild. Together, this young enthusiastic team of Trophy Trout Hunters, would do a complete makeover of the website by creating a Brand that is still as bold and sharp as the day they created it. The following logo was designed with a motto and creed, so to speak:
Trophytrouthunter.com was soon transformed into an eye-popping, colorful, new format that Dan put many hours into. Dan was at a stage in his life that allowed for this time and all his hard work sure paid off. The background consisted of the skin of one of the most colorful and beautiful brown trout you will ever see that Dan had caught out of East Lake on July 21, 2007. To this date, this fish holds the record for most views on YouTube of any fish that has been filmed by our crew at a little over 73,000 views! Here is the video
Over the years, the website grew and many readers came to expect our fishing reports and photos. Many contributed along the way and new friends were met and made. Guys like Mike Scott (Klamanite), Jeb Burton, Eric Cole, Niko Manos, Felix Arami, Rick Palo (OregonBiteFinder), Jake Bunio (TrophySticks), Chuck Jones, Joe Moritz (FishOnBend), Mike Ryan (FishManMike), Rick Arnold (TrophyTroutGuide), Dan Stewart, Josh Wedding, Jordan Whitton (JDubbya), Max Maurer, Mike Beer, Allen & Andy Dahlberg, Brian Sanchez, Jeremy Evers, Vincent Bicocca, Phil Brelje, Ted Neal, Ron & Brandon Lane, John Hofferd, Pops & Gordon Hahn, Todd Brown, Brad Stout (EpicTrout), Allan Cole (AC Plugs), and John Werwie all took notice and in one way shape or form have contributed to TrophyTroutHunter. Some are Legends, while others are just ordinary guys who share the same passion of hunting for trophy trout.
One guy that really stood out and shared the same hunger that we all had in the early onset of our trophy trout hunting careers was Danny Lippis (Crazy D). Danny first met BWild via the Ifish community. He was eager to learn the tricks of the trade but was very smooth and not pushy in his approach. Danny too was a skilled fishermen with already many big mackinaw under his belt. His passion soon shifted to brown trout and he was just a natural addition to Team TTH! Danny gets the nickname “Crazy D” from his other passion of racing motorcycles competitively. Since 2007, Danny has been a key member of Trophy Trout Hunter contributing numerous reports along the way and stoking the fire of his new found passion of catching his first brown trout over the 10 pound mark. On August 14, 2015 while at East Lake he came damn close with a 28-1/2″ long 9-1/2 pound Hookjaw brown trout. It is just a matter of time before Danny cracks the ultimate and elusive 10lb. mark!
Fast forward to the present, with many years and hours of relentless pursuit of these amazing trophy trout behind us, here lies the core team members of TrophyTroutHunter.com. Along the way, R.D. got the nickname “Coyote” from his quote at the end of each fishing report “Browns – Coyotes of the Fishing World!”. This is simply due to the fact that brown trout are exactly like coyotes in that they share the same secretive and elusive traits of their landlocked cousins. Being nocturnal yet aggressive predators who attack their prey with a vengeance. R.D. caught his largest brown to date from Paulina Lake on May 15, 2015. The beautiful hen weighed 13 pounds and was 32 inches long with a massive 18 inch girth!
Dan earned the nickname “Hookjaw” solely based on his instincts and hardcore work ethic when it comes to chasing trophy brown trout. Anyone that has ever met or has known “Hookjaw” will agree there is no one that stays on the water longer or works harder while hunting these massive salmo trutta! Dan’s largest brown to date was caught and released on August 18, 2006 from a Central Oregon lake that will remain unnamed. This impressive Hookjaw brown weighed in at 11-1/4 pounds and taped out at 29-1/2 inches long!
Thank you for taking the time to read this introduction about TTH! Hopefully you have a better feel for who we are and what we represent. All of us at Team TTH encourage catch and release and proper fish handling techniques with these incredible specimens. Together through proper education and sportsmanship, we can keep these amazing fisheries going for generations to come!
As always, please feel free to share your reports or photos with any of us here at TTH! Just shoot us an email on the Contact us! page
Tight Lines & Screamin’ Drags,
Team TTH (BWild, Hookjaw, Crazy D, & Coyote)