Thanks in advance for your patience. I have never visited this part of the country but always wanted to. From NC, but spent 6 years in Alaska and on Nantucket. Since 2003, I have been fishing and doing remote float trips in Alaska each year. Now home in NC, wife and I just had our first child, air travel is getting more costly, I am looking for trips closer to home. We have some nice places in NC, but nothing to fill the void that frequenting Alaska creates.
Heard about the Wind River Range and it peaked my curiosity. What I am looking for is a 5-8 day hiking trip with some pretty mountain scenery, good backcountry camping, and a place to use my Scott 4 wts. My goal is to fly in, rent a car or use a shuttle service if applicable, hike and fish, then head back to the airport. Not sure what options are available.
Green just scrapes the surface. Any one willing to point me in the right direction? Any books to buy? Any particular trailhead to use (or avoid)? What airport to fly into in Wyoming? Any info at all would be most appreciated.
I bought this book after moving to Utah and found it most helpful for not only fishing the high country, but also planning and being safe in the mountains as well. The author spent a lot of his time in the Wind River Range so much of the book references this area.
not only are the Winds an amazing places with hundreds of lakes to fish, but you have the chance at catching golden trout. I have never hiked into the winds, but I lived in Dubois for a few years, and I fishes the Wind River about 3 times a week. Your best bet would be to fly in to Salt Lake or Jackson and head down near the Pinedale area. I think this is where most people hike in.
I'm over on the Bighorn fishing, my Internet connection isn't very good. When I get back home tomorrow I will provide some ideas.
You could fly into eithe Jackson or Salt Lake City, rent a car and drive into Pinedale. You will see a couple different trailheads near by. There is an outdoor shop in town to pick up bear spray, if you have it you will never see one, but if you don't. Coming from sea level plan your trip to get adjusted to 7,000 ft around town for a day or so before heading up into the mtns, I can point out some good fishing. The best months for the Winds are July and Sept. how many will be in your party? Also realize that. Had a low snow pack last year, which means the Forrest service probably has a ban on fires, so plan accordingly.
Thanks guys. Just the wife and I coming. I showed her some random Google images of the Wind River Range at breakfast today. She is totally on board. We are more into canoeing and rafting remote float trips, but have strong bush skills, common sense, and such. What we lack is physical conditioning at the moment and insight into this area.
Looking for an easy 5-6 night trip covering 15-20 miles to get the lay of the land. Dont want to bite off more than we can chew. Perhaps a more ambitious trip for next year. Fly fishing and scenery is more important than putting in a bunch of miles. Aside from a fly fisherman, I am also an avid photographer. Google Danattherock Flickr and you can see the many sets (albums) from our travels, namely Alaska remote float trips, fly in cabins for steelhead (like the 36" in my Avatar) and such.
Long term plan, wife and I do a scouting trip or two, then bring mini me in 2-3 years after we get the lay of the land. He is only 8 months old now. Planned on taking him to Alaska each year, but with the ever increasing cost, and our financial situation at home, my fears are growing that it will be difficult. I just want him to see a bigger world than I did as a country boy growing up in rural NC. Proud of the roots, but want to give him some wings too. Around here it is a lot of farm pond fishing, NASCAR, and beer drinking by the river banks. I suspect he will enjoy it as much as I did, but I don't want him to see the rest of the country on the National Geographic Channel. I want him to see it through some polarized fishing glasses.
When I got to Alaska for the first time I was 30 years old. It opened my eyes to a world I had only known through the eyes of others on TV and in print. Would like to let him see something like that on a regular basis, right from the start. That will mean burning some jet fuel. But the hiking option in this case will forgo the $2500 bush plane fees, among other expenses, associated with trips to arctic Alaska. This has great appeal to me as I know we can afford to do it on a regular basis. Maybe mixing in a trip to Alaska every other year. That is what brings me here begging for info.
Coincidentally, my best buddy of 20 years is in Colorado now driving his kids and Jacks Plastic cataraft from river to river. Seems they are fishing the Roaring Fork, Green River, S fork of Snake, and the Madison. He is going near the Wind River Range based on a text I got late last night. Told him to snap a few extra pics. Wanted to go on this trip with him, but my wife and I had just returned to work from vacation ourself.
We are wide open to suggestion and hoping for a little hand feeding. Don't have time to dally if we are to make a trip this Sept. Arranging vacation time from work is main issue. I think we can put together a nice entry level trip with your guidance. Mainly need intel on logistics, suggested routes/trails/lakes to check out, and such. Thanks for your time and any energy generated on our behalf.
I started my son on a fly rod at the age of eight, and now he is 26 and still is my favorite fishing partner!! We are coming out to West Yellowstone in september, and I found the cheapest airfare that fit our plans was to be flying into Jackson Hole from Charlotte......which is good, because the scenery around the Grand Tetons is unbelievable.......Good luck with your research and hopefully more people with Wind River experience will chime in.........
Coming from sea level plan your trip to get adjusted to 7,000 ft around town for a day or so before heading up into the mtns...
This cannot be stressed enough. Above 8000 feet; dehydration increases, UV rays intensify, and altitude sickness in varying degrees can hit anybody. Pack plenty of water, protection from the sun, and taking it easy are the rules.
Sounds like this dude knows his backcountry skills, but the advice to acclimatize is correct.
Okay.......I can be secretive about the Winds but I'll drop the line on a few areas. Everyone always recommends the Pinedale area (which obviously opens up a huge part of the range), but I always like to recommend the Lander area and the Popo Agie wilderness to first time Winders as it's more lightly visited compared the west side of the range. The Worthern Meadows trailhead is a great entry point. You can't go wrong in the Stough Creek Basin. It's incredibly scenic (thinking of your photog requirements), and only 8 miles from the TH. It has a mix of lakes below and above timberline, and the lakes are absolutely loaded with average brookies and cutthroats. You can base camp in the lower reaches of the basin where there is timber for campfires, and then do daily explorations all around the area.
Another area in the Popo Agie that I love is the Deep Creek Lakes area. A 20-25 mile loop hike can take you to Mountain Sheep, ****, Poison, Hidden, Baer, and the Deep Creek Lakes. And there are some goldens to be had in some of these waters, including a few trophies. And there is glorious camping in this area.
As for the Pinedale area, get out the map, circle a cluster of lakes and just go. Pretty much every lake there has decent fishing. A favorite of mine is the Middle Fork and Halls Lakes area. It's all brook trout, but some of the best brookie fishing in the range.
And if hunting down trophy goldens is your goal, Elbow Lake is no secret. Elbow gets fished heavily but it's a huge backcountry lake and the big goldens are definitely there. I've personally been skunked at Elbow but did not fish the lake thoroughly. Elbow is 16-18 miles from the TH, but the hike there takes you past tons of easily fished lakes. Elbow is above timberline, but has good camping.
And the most photographed area in the range is the Titcomb Basin, but receives tons of traffic. And there are goldens there too, but I've never been because of its popularity. Again, read and re-read Osthoff's chapter on the Wind River Range. It's what got me started on the Winds, and now I have an addiction to the place even though I live a day's drive away.
PS. did my preview post and see a "****".......I can see why the software blurbed it out, but it's C00N Lake. That's the name of it on the maps, I'm not making it up.