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Old 07-25-2013, 09:23 PM
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Default the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (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, there was a super bright full moon, 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 took 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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a golden bulldogging for the bottom
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the Yellowstone Cutthroat lake
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Last edited by countr21; 07-26-2013 at 02:10 AM. Reason: add pic
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (pics)

Great report, I am super jealous. Sounds like a great time, congrats on your first snake cutthroat and the grand slam!

B
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (pics)

Great reportyou were in paradise for sure....
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (pics)

Great trip report, loved your photos of all those gorgeous goldens and cutties! Those scenery shots of the lake were awesome! Thanks for sharing.

I can certainly understand how much you love the Winds! We had some friends up from Somona, AZ this week and did a few rides into the mtns on their Paso Finos. The last ride was into a beautiful lake north of town, we saw a grizzly cross our path maybe 300 yards in front of us, he went down a gully and then up a steep enbankment, we were all amazed at how much territory he could cover in just a few seconds. Everything happened so fast no one got any photos.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (pics)

AMAZING TRIP! I have been wanting to do a backpacking trip for a long time now!!
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by streamborn_jr77 View Post
AMAZING TRIP! I have been wanting to do a backpacking trip for a long time now!!
Well the Winds are only a short drive away from Hill AFB. I know where Hill is because my father was a commercial airline pilot (and USAF), and was climbing out after takeoff from SLC in a B-767, and a F-16 out of Hill AFB turned directly into their path. Seconds before the 767 started taking emergency maneuvers, the F-16 realized his mistake and banked sharply away. My pops said they were so close, he could read the markings on the F-16. When this happens, the airline pilots are supposed to report the offending aircraft, but after discussing it with the co-pilot, my father said, "Nah!! No report!! It's probably just some young kid right out of the academy. He's all by himself up there close to the airport. He probably just got a little too busy and forgot to keep looking around for traffic. Honest mistake!!!!......there's no reason to have him busted!!!" This was 15 years ago. My father is long retired and that young hot-shot out of Hill is probably got his butt in a commercial airliner by now.

And that's my Hill story
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: the Wind River Range is paradise on Earth (pics)

Terrific report and fantastic photo's! Thank you for sharing, and also adding to my Wind River fantasy bucket list.
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