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Old 07-25-2013, 09:54 PM
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Default backpacking into the Wind River Range (pics)

Just got home from another killer trip to the Winds. I picked a lovely campsite adjacent to three different lakes that each held different species of trout - Yellowstone cutts, Snake River cutts, and Goldens. Each lake was only a ten minute hike from my basecamp. I specifically targeted this area to pound the golden lake, but I spent a full day at each of the cutthroat lakes, and two days at the golden lake. I caught my first ever Snake River Cutthroat, so I get to mark that species off the bucket list!!! And to celebrate my first Snake River cutty, he went on the campfire grill. Delicious!!

Of all the backpacking trips I've ever done, this trip was possibly my best ever. The weather was absolutely perfect and the fishing was ON FIRE!! I didn't crack the 16" mark, but I bagged my highest fish count ever and 80% of the trout I caught were 12-14". The wind was so calm and the sun so bright, I just stood atop huge boulders and sight casted to cruising fish all day long. Even though the fish were feeding on top quite a bit, I stuck most fish with a size 16 olive Fast Sinking Scud. Just spot a cruiser, drop the scud anywhere in its path, and the trout would slam it!!! In four days of fishing, I only saw a handful of refusals. And then during the evening hatches, I mopped up with a size 18 Griffith's Gnat. All of the goldens were returned to the water unharmed, but I consumed five of my smaller cutthroats for dinner on two nights.

I caught some amazing pictures, but my camera battery died halfway through the trip, and of course I caught my best fish of the trip on the last day - a hefty 14.5" golden that ran all over the lake. It took me ten minutes to bring it in. It was a blood-red male that had the classic trophy golden body build - small head and a huge, humped back. And speaking of goldens, I can't emphasize enough how much fun these freakin' fish are to catch!!! Their fighting ability is unsurpassed. Upon the sting of the hook, they bulldog for the bottom and peel off line like no other trout that I've ever caught at that size. And then there are their aerial antics. Your typical golden will porpoise a half dozen times before you bring it to shore. I had two golden trout leave my leader in shambles after they raked them over the rocks as they ran for the deep water. So I went through $15 worth of leaders on this trip!!!

And on the hike out, I stopped at a stream crossing for lunch and noticed some 10" brookies feeding in the current. I broke out my rod one last time, tied on a black gnat and promptly caught two of the little guys to complete a GRAND SLAM for the trip.

I'm going to Best Buy tonight to buy an additional camera battery and then to the fly shop to buy more 4x leaders

Snake River Cutts
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Golden Trout
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size 16 Fast Sinking Scud
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the Yellowstone Cutthroat lake
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a golden bulldogging for the bottom
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Last edited by countr21; 07-25-2013 at 10:16 PM. Reason: add pic
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