I bet you'd never think someone could spot the lake in that second picture....but I can!!! I was there this summer myself.....and it is FAR away from any trailhead. I hiked out of Elkhart Park and I put the mileage to that lake at about 22-23 miles. And the name of it is......well I gotta PM you on that one since you did not pinpoint the lake I won't either. I know you said you were C&R only on this lake but I did harvest five nice little cuttys between the lower and upper lakes. When remote lakes are loaded to the brim with 10-14" trout, a little harvest helps out IMO. Expect a PM about that lake, goldens, and some other stuff. It's always a pleasure to speak directly to a Warthog driver
During that same trip I camped and fished Elbow for one night and one full day (the evening caddis hatch and then all day the next). I too was skunked. I usually keep the good golden trout lakes under wraps but I myself mentioned Elbow Lake in an earlier post on the forum this summer. It's well known as a trophy golden lake and it's fished daily during the summer, so the cat is definitely out of the bag on Elbow. When I was there in July, there was a party of 3 guys who had been dropped by an outfitter. They all had luxurious float tubes. One dude had a fish finder on his boat and said the goldens were there but all huddled down together in the middle of the lake 20-40 feet deep. I did see a few rises out in the middle of the lake but that was about it. I've hiked to hundreds of high lakes, and for beauty and scenery I would place Elbow right at the top. 360 degrees of pure mountain grandeur!!
I was just in Pinedale about a week ago. I made a dash up to Clear Lake above the Green River Lakes TH. Clear Lake has amazing goldens but do not even attempt to get to this lake unless you are a tried and true off trail hiker (this goes out to all). There was a forest fire in the Clear Lake drainage in 1988 and the trail is now nonexistent and littered with a downfall nightmare. It took me five hours to go the 1.5 mile from the Natural Bridge to the lake. Sorry, no pics as I did not bring my camera. What a shame too......great goldens at Clear. The reason why the goldens are so big is because no one fishes it any more. The hike is just too difficult.......I cannot stress enough to everyone how difficult the hike is to get in. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS HIKE UNLESS YOU ENJOY TORTURE!!!! I would never do that hike again knowing what I know now. Hiking in a Lodgepole Pine downfall jungle is hazardous!!! Knowing what I know now I would never make that journey...just too dangerous. The reason why I actually made it was I got close enough to the lake that turning around seemed stupid..........what was stupid was continuing on to the lake. So by all means, if you want to fish for 14-18" goldens, here it is on a silver platter. CLEAR LAKE in the Winds.......but you've been warned!
By the way the meadows below the Natural Bridge look spectacular to fish. I did not wet a line because I was so pressed to get to and from Clear Lake.....but when I passed by the meadows there were a handful of fly fishers with their waders on the creek cleaning up. During the mile long hike past the meadows I witnessed 4-5 people hooking into some nice little brookies. Very scenic, great camping, and only about a 3 mile hike from the Green River Lakes TH.
I also car camped at the GRL campground and had a riot fishing the headwaters of the famous Green River. Beautiful river and a blast to fish. And for only the second time ever I saw a family of river otters on the far shore.......quite possibly one of my favorite mammals. It's a shame there are no trout in the Green River Lakes (at least I didn't see any). I scouted the big lake closest to the campground all evening and saw zero evidence of trout. Too bad, this big lake looks like it would be a haven for stocker browns and 'bows.
Sorry to ramble on and on, but I get giddy when I talk about the Winds. They are a special place to the backcountry angler.