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dpnoll 02-15-2013 02:02 PM

Wind River Range in August
 
This August my wife, our grandson, a friend and myself are headed in out of the Meadow Lake TH. The 1st night we will be staying in the Jaquline/Barnes area. The next 2 nights we will be in the Upper Golden Lake area. Next we are heading onto the reservation and fishing the Alpine and Deadman areas and then headed off the reservation along Bull Creek. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to camp while on the reservation?

mcnerney 02-15-2013 03:45 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
I'd call the Wind River Indian Reservation Fish and Game Office 307-332-7207 in Fort Washakie, WY. You will need a fishing license and a recreational stamp which you can get in the recreational stores in Lander, Dubois or Pinedale. If you plan to build a campfire you also need a free fire permit.

countr21 02-15-2013 05:57 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
I concure with everything Larry said.

Wow! That is quite the ambitious trip. There is great camping all over the reservation, because so much of the area you'll be in is thick with timber and lightly visited (which is a good thing IMO). But have you ever hiked on the Res? It sucks! Trails are few and rugged. Allot yourself double the time you think it will take you. Just skirting around hoping to find the "trail" is a challenge upon itself. Hiking off trail in deep timber is something I never look forward to. GPS helps you know where you are, but it can't help you find the constantly moving trails of the Wind River Res.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but when I first read you post my jaw hit the ground :surprise:
Your hiking schedule is not going to leave you with much fishing time unless you beeline it through the Barnes area, past Lake Victor, over Hay Pass down into the Golden Lakes. I've done this exact hike (about 21-22 miles by my est) and it took me 1.5 days. But I put the hammer down hard on the trail and I needed a full day at camp at the Goldens to re-charge my legs. And I departed out of the Boulder Lake TH which which makes the hike a mile or two shorter than your route from Meadow Lake.

Then you're only about half way there. Then the real fun starts. When you drop out of the Golden Lakes drainage, all real trails disappear and you'll be on your own navigating sometimes off trail in thick timber. BTW, once you make it to the Golden Lakes, just camp at the lower lake and day hike up to Lake Louise and Upper Golden. If you camp at the upper lake you're just going to have to double back to fall off the drainage below the lower lake anyway.

Once you make it to the Marked Tree Lake area, the trail(s) become a little easier to pick up. Amazing fishing in this area BTW. Marked Tree Lake was my greatest penetration on my 2010 trip. My initial plans were to make it to Alpine and possibly Deadman, but by the time I had made it to Marked Tree and fished a few days I had had enough and turned around. This truly is an area "off the beaten path." AGAIN....hiking on the Wind River Res is NOT for the faint of heart.

And I had a question about your exit strategy. Just curious I guess....hope you'll tell me because I feel like I'm giving you some good stuff here. Are you going to exit at the St. Lawrence trailhead? And if so, are you arranging a shuttle service or are you doing a car drop with friends? I've recently heard horror stories of cars being heavily vandilized at the public trailheads (St Lawrence and Washakie Park) on the Reservation. I am personally headed back onto the Reservation myself this August. Haven't decided if I'm going to the Alpine/Deadman area or the Lake Sonnicant area. I've heard and seen online reports of MONSTER fish in the Alpine/Deadman Lake area, but the Sonnicant area has about twenty different promising lakes to explore. So for me it's a quanitity vs. quality issue :o

And one more quiestion from my curious side. If I was to plan such a trip I would allot about 10-11 nights in order to save a little fishing time in the Bridger and Fitzpatrick Wilderness' and for navigating and hiking down in the Reservation. How long is yourself and your party scheduled to be in there?

dpnoll 02-15-2013 08:14 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
We are allowing 10 days. Our exit will be the way we came in. We are allowing 2 nights in the Golden Lake area to fish and then get our legs back under us. My friend is really, really good at off trail travel. We are planning on 2 or 3 nights on the reservation which gets us to possibly 6 nights out. That would leave 4 days and 3 nights to get back to Meadow Lake TH. Thanks for the information.

countr21 02-15-2013 09:30 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
That sounds just about perfect. Even if weather slows you up, getting back to the Meadow Lake TH in four days will leave you plenty of time. Also, as I mentioned before there is great camping in the Golden Lakes region, but I recommend you come over the pass and drop your packs at the lower lake and day hike up to Lake Louise and Upper Golden.

And for what it's worth here is some fishing information for ya (dated summer 2010): Lake Victor was a grand spot for me. Endless camping oppurtunities and the big lake is loaded with pan sized cutts. I caught 7-8 fish in my brief evening visit and enjoyed three of them for dinner. The foot long cutts shredded every dry fly I presented to them. I had good weather on my hike from Victor over Hay Pass and then down to the Golden Lakes. So I actually stopped at two unnamed lakes below the pass (still on the west side of the Divide) and stuck two nice cruisers at each lake. One cutt was a respectable 14" and looked to be eating well. I caught four fish on Fast Sinking Scuds in orange. The lakes have wide open shorelines, easily approached from the Hay Pass trail, and are very easily fished if the wind isn't screaming. The Golden Lakes were bitter sweet for me. I caught beautiful golden trout there, but they were small. The stream interconnecting the lakes are loaded with easily caught goldens.

Once you drop off the golden drainage, you're on your own. The fishing is so good, you don't need my help. Just make sure someone brings a net because you are going to be landing cutts all day long that are over 16".

Enjoy

dpnoll 02-16-2013 07:41 AM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
Thanks for your help:thumbsup:. I will post a trip report with pictures.

dpnoll 02-18-2013 09:07 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August-Plan B?
 
Looks like I might have to come up with a plan B.
Reservation fire at 23,473 acres; burnouts conducted Saturday to slow fire's advance - County 10 :confused:

mcnerney 02-18-2013 09:12 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
Yes, that was a pretty big fire last fall, we could see it from the west side of the Wind Mtns, it was pretty awesome looking, is that the area you were looking at hiking and camping in?

dpnoll 02-19-2013 08:14 AM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
Larry,
We were looking at about 3-4 days in that area of the reservation.

Dave

countr21 02-21-2013 04:39 PM

Re: Wind River Range in August
 
A similar trip that you should consider is the Lake Sonnicant area. I am headed there this summer and am planning to make it my feature trip of the summer. There are many good lakes within a 2 mile radius of Sonnicant and it is easily reached from the Scab Creek Trailhead. My plan is to beeline out of Scab Creek to the Halls/Middle Fork Lake area. Both lakes are reputed to hold decent brook trout. Two nights at Middle Fork and then hike over the divide at Kagevah Pass. Drop into Sonnicant and make basecamp. Explore and fish many small lakes around Sonnicant for 4-5 nights. Then take a day and a half to hike the 21-22 miles back to the car.

I look forward to this trip, but there is some bad news. It's the most popular area on the Reservation. The fishing is good, but there are no exceptionally large fish..........and it's all cutthroats and brookies......no goldens. But if you're looking for an area loaded with fish for the frying pan, you'd be hard pressed to find something better.


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