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  • 9 Post By countr21
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:24 AM
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Default Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Hello all,

Just got back from another epic adventure into the Winds. I explored the incredible Deep Creek Lakes area in the Popo Agie Wilderness of the Wind River Range. I hiked out the Worthern Meadows TH and beelined straight for the Deep Creek Lakes about 13-14 miles from the trailhead. The Deep Crk Lakes area holds an amazing mix of rainbow-cutthroat-golden hybrid lakes as well as a few golden trout lakes.

Long story short, I did not catch any of the trophy goldens that this area is reputed to hold. The top two Deep Creek Lakes hold the nice goldens, but there were murderous winds on the lakes the first few days after I arrived. Strong winds are a common occurrence at altitude, so I just resolved to wait out the wind and fish other waters in the area. I fished two lakes in the lower part of the drainage and caught some beauty cutt-gold hybrids to 15". They ravaged the scud pattern that so often does me justice in the high country. Upon growing tired of the wind on the third day, I hiked down into the Echo Lakes drainage about 500' below the Deep Creek Lakes. I had an absolute blast catching 7-10" brookies on literally every other cast. The action was so hot, that I almost got tired of switching from fly to fly to see if the little brookies would refuse something..........NOPE. Scud? Adams? Pheasant tail? Copper John? Griffith's? Humpy? The brookies inhaled all of em. I caught 18-20 in the short afternoon without trying very hard. Three of the smallest brookies were invited back to camp for dinner (note the campfire grilled pictures)

After fishing a morning midge hatch close to camp, I fell while stepping out of the lake onto the shore. It was a routine spill, but in the process of it all, I bent my reel.

I always carry a backup rod, but I've failed to carry a backup reel. I felt like such a dope. The entire trip suddenly came to a halt only because I was so careless about stepping out of the water onto dry land. I've done enuf sight-seeing in the mountains to last five lifetimes..........so I just resolved to leave right then and there. If I can't fish, I have no reason to be in the high country. Total disappointment!!!!! I had budgeted enough food and time to explore and fish the upper lakes with the golden trout, but now I was useless as an angler. Upon the bad news, the weather turned ideal for fishing.......lots of sun and calm winds.

I tucked my tail and made the hard, forced march back to my little Civic. If I would not have broken my reel, I am very confident I would've returned with glorious pictures of 16"+ goldens.....but it was not to be I guess. This is exactly the prospect that makes fly fishing in the backcountry so wonderful. In the backcountry, nature + destiny can be so sublime yet cruel at the same time.

An amazing, yet humbling trip to say the least.

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Last edited by countr21; 08-07-2013 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Awesome fish and beautiful location...so sorry about the reel cutting the trip short!
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Love that place! Spent some time at Windy and Atlantic. Sorry to hear about your fall. To look on the bright side it could have been worse. Nobody wants to be 13-14 miles in the backcountry with a twisted knee or worse.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Great trip report and gorgeous fish/scenery, sorry about the bent reel. Going that far and not getting a chance to really fish the upper lakes sure hurts, but as Kelly said, it could have been worse with a twisted ankle or knee.

Larry
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Great report and awesome photo's... but my heart aches over that broken reel. I would have been absolutely devastated given where you were at the time.

If you don't mind me asking, those scud patterns... would they be the Osthoff patterns the he recommends in his book (Fast Sinking Scud and Mega Scud)? It looks like his Mega Scud pattern in those first two pic's. I've done well with the Fast Sinking Scud (olive, size 14) but I haven't tried the Mega Scud yet.

If anything, you have inspired me to carry a spare reel during my mountain forays.

Tight lines.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Great pics! Tough break on the reel.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Its hard on you to break gear when fishing is so good . i was crawling over a log jam one time and lost my backup reel out of the back pocket of my vest,hit in the swift water and was swept up under the logs .Nice trip report and very nice fish.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
Great report and awesome photo's... but my heart aches over that broken reel. I would have been absolutely devastated given where you were at the time.

If you don't mind me asking, those scud patterns... would they be the Osthoff patterns the he recommends in his book (Fast Sinking Scud and Mega Scud)? It looks like his Mega Scud pattern in those first two pic's. I've done well with the Fast Sinking Scud (olive, size 14) but I haven't tried the Mega Scud yet.

If anything, you have inspired me to carry a spare reel during my mountain forays.

Tight lines.
Yup, those are Osthoff's scud patterns. His Fast-Sinking Scuds and Soft-Hackle Wooly Worms are absolute money on high lakes. I don't know what I'd do without them. Both patterns do really well either sight-fishing or prospecting blind. His other flies are great too. I especially like the Upland Caddis. I have incredible luck with it skating it on the surface, both in the windy chop or on a calm surface. Goldens are especially fond of it......they'll rocket off the bottom out of nowhere to slam it on the surface.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

What a fantastic time you must have had and nice work on the photos that included the shots of the fish and surroundings . Bummer about the reel but just imagine if you had broken an arm or leg during the exit. Glad it was only the reel. Is the reel junk? If so, I would make a shadow box (military thing I think) and place it over a collage of the photos of your trip and save it. By the way, I love the photo of the dinner shots..........best eating trout if you ask me.
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Last edited by dharkin; 08-12-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Heartache at Deep Creek Lakes in the Winds (report with pics)

Note to self: "Get and carry a spare reel, immediately."
Sorry about the trip getting messed up, but nice fish.
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