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Big Golden Trout

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Big Golden Trout

Postby surfish » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:28 pm

Went on a 7 day backpacking trip to the Wind River Range in early September looking for some larger trout than what I have been catching in the Sierra's over the past 20 years. Caught this beauty and several more at a lake 25+ miles from the trailhead. Well worth the hike. Recommend checking out the Winds if you are looking for some big golden trout. Oh, caught this one with a blue Z-RAY lure.

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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:38 pm

nice fish.. someone should move this to "beyond the sierra" section.. and then delete my post.

Welcome to the board, Surfish..
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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby gary c. » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:46 pm

A very nice golden for sure! thanks for posting the pic.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby DriveFly44 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:57 pm

That's a beauty. Way to go!!!!

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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby windknot » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:30 pm

That's a serious fish, thanks for sharing and welcome to the board! Hope you stick around and post some trip reports.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:50 pm

Wow, that is a great fish! Thank for sharing.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby HikenFish » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:27 am

A well deserved fish after a hike that distance! I believe the Winds also have grizzly bears, so another thing to think about (although driving there was probably a hundred times more dangerous). That part of the country has always been on my wish list. Congrats.
How did the crowds compare to the Sierras?
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Re: Big Golden Trout

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:23 pm

Not sure I am supposed to say much about it, but I have written an off-trail guide to the Wind Rivers, selling on the internet and local Wyo stores. The Wind Rivers and the Sierra are my two "stomping grounds".

The Wind Rivers has great fishing. And you do not have to go 25 miles to get to good fishing either. Good looking fish you caught! And there are over 700 lakes in the Wind Rivers. Historically there has been a very active fish stocking program. Golden trout are more rare in the Wind Rivers than the Sierra. More commonly you will catch cutthroat, rainbow or brookies. A few large lakes have makinaw. There also hybrids like goldbows. The fish are generally larger and easier to catch than in the Sierra.

As for crowds, compared to the Sierra, it varies. There is no permit system in the Wind Rivers so it is hit and miss with crowds. There are two to three very popular places that can be exceedingly crowded if you hit it the same time everyone goes in. Also lakes within day-hikes from major trailheads get heavily used. Or if lucky, there could be nobody. But just like the Sierra, get off the trail into the more remote lakes and you will not likely see anyone. Off-trail I have gone 5 days in the Sierra without seeing anyone, 8 days for the Wind Rivers. The east side of the Wind Rivers is less crowded and more difficult to get into than the west side. It is pretty empty over on the Wind River Indian Reservation (fairly expensive special permit required and trails are NOT maintained).

I did a 39-day trip in the Winds this summer and have posted the trip reports. Read the report and you can get an idea of what it is like.

Grizzlies began to migrate into the Wind Rivers after the Yellowstone fire of the early 1990's. They have been spotted as far south as Dickinson Park (mid-southern), but mostly stay in the north. You need to check with the Game and Fish people to find out where there has been recent grizzly activity (Federal Fish and Wildlife manage the game on the Indian Reservation). Last year, one trail I was going to use was closed due to grizzly problems. I see lots more bears (black bears) in the Sierra than the Wind Rivers. On a whole, there is a lot more wildlife in the Wind Rivers. Tons of elk. I see mountain sheep every time I go. Lots of deer. More pika than marmots.

The Wind Rivers, like much of the Rockies, is in the midst of the bark beetle infestation so there are a lot of dead trees, particulary in the 8,000 - 9,000 elevation range. The Alpine Lake Fire this year burned over 60,000 acres on the Wind River Indian Reservation. However neither the bark beetle or fires have impacted the high alpine terrain.
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