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Old 03-06-2014, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

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Caught my first golden at Mistake Lake in the Titcomb Basin -- over the hill from Elbow Lake and the Jean Lakes.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

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Originally Posted by rocketbomb View Post
What we do know is that the Goldens in the winds are pretty darn picky when it comes to flies. Deep is where they always seem to be, save for one spot where we did find some in a stream. Jake's Money Clips, spoons, or spinners seem to usually be the ticket, though it was only last summer when I first tried flies for them. One morning I saw Goldens surfacing like crazy, but never could find a fly they liked. That might haunt me for years. The best thing about finding Goldens is the fact that the lakes many live in tend to be far off the beaten path, and relatively unknown. The scenery getting them is often more spectacular than the scenery at the lakes. I still don't think Goldens are all *that* special, but they sure are a challenge that bugs a guy, and they happen to live in the kind of territory I like to hike. Honestly, nice cutthroats are more fun to fish for to me. Or brookies. I'm not picky!



Again, sorry for hijacking your thread, but the Winds get me all kinds of worked up! Go back again sometime, and don't tell everybody about all the best spots
No, you're not hijacking......keep it coming! I could prattle on and on about the Winds for hours (and I usually do!).

For me personally, it just doesn't get any better than goldens, and not just because they're the most brilliantly colored trout - they are superb game fish. "Pound for pound, they match up with any trout that swims at any elevation" -Osthoff. They fight like no other, and they make runs for the deep like foul hooked freight trains. Then there is their cartwheeling aerial acrobatics - when you see a big golden repeatedly go airborne, it knocks your socks off. Their stubbornness to the hook can be frustrating, but that also makes them so special to conquer.

The most effective fly I've had luck with is the scud. I fish a weighted version in olive green and bright orange. Goldens make you work to get at them, which I find appealing. Spending long hours on the water in the matchless beauty of high altitude glacial cirques with the sun on my shoulders........it just don't get no better I reckon!!!

---------- Post added at 09:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:25 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by sparkle pupa View Post
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Caught my first golden at Mistake Lake in the Titcomb Basin -- over the hill from Elbow Lake and the Jean Lakes.
I've heard there are some monsters in Mistake Lake.........looks like you got a nice one!! Yeah, I remember where the trail forks off to the right and heads up into the Titcomb Basin. My trail to Elbow and the Sauerkrauts went left. I gambled on Elbow and W-3 and lost. Wish I would've gone to Mistake Lake! The lake has a fitting name for my trip.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

This thread needs more Winds!

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This thread inspired me to get Joe Kelsey's guide to hiking and climbing in the Winds to get some new route ideas. Seems well worth the money so far.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

A couple years ago I started to learn to ride horses and at the end of the summer (late August) the guy that was teaching me offered to take me up into the Wind River Range with his grandson and the grandson's best friend. This was the year we had all the smoke in the air from all the fires in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. We left Spring Creek Park trail head a little after noon and didn't get to Sauerkraut lakes until a little after 7 pm, needless to say the kids and I were pretty tired, but what a wonderful experience.
Packing into camp on the first day:
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Sauerkraut lake, I believe this is the lower lake where we setup camp, lots of grass for the horses to graze on:
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The outflow at the upper lake:
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A beautiful back country Cutthroat:
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Upper Sauerkraut lake and one of the kids with a fly rod:
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Another nice Cuttie. I think we must have caught around 50 fish between us and it was all on small dry flies as the wx was absolutely perfect with very little wind which made for some pretty exciting fishing to see those cutties come up out of the depths and crush those flies on the surface:
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And another one:
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Heading over to Elbow lake to try for the elusive Golden trout:
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I believe this is one of the little bays at Elbow lake:
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Dexter, the guy that owned the horses watched after them while the kids and I tried fishing for Goldens:
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The three of us fished for over three hours, mostly throwing wooly buggers and never saw a single fish rise or a fish cruise by and we were on the high rocks along the shore over looking some really nice drop offs.

Larry
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

Love it. Thanks for sharing yall
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:16 AM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

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Originally Posted by Poke 'Em View Post
Those are sort of Colorado-ey looking cutthroats from Sauerkraut. I don't know if WGFD has stocked Yellowstones there in the past (very, very possible). I also don't know if Sauerkraut has native fish. Based on the elevation and connectivity to the Green River draining, it's possible, but certainly not guaranteed.

Just interesting that they look more like CRCTs than YCTs. If anything, it proves that it can be hard to tell them apart by looks alone.
You know, I just looked at those pictures again.....I think you're right. They do look like CRCT's. Those big spots are even consistent with the greenbacks of RMNP, let alone regular CRCT's.

Whatever they are, I would bet a hundred bucks that Finis Mitchell's team put them in there during the mid-1900's. He stocked for a few decades and I think he received fingerling trout from different hatcheries. He supposedly received all of the different species found planted in the Rockies, including brookies, goldens, rainbows, browns and mackinaw. Finis was happy to receive free fingerlings and the state hatcheries were happy to have someone doing the stocking at no expense. It was win-win for everybody.

I haven't caught truck loads of cuttys during my time in the Wind River Range, but I found a drainage in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness last summer stuffed with what I thought were Colorado River Cutts but not sure. I've heard the majority of the cutthroat lakes in the Winds were historically stocked with YCT's, which just makes sense. Afterall, the great Yellowstone plateau, the finest cutthroat mecca on Earth, is in the shadow of the range. The fishery personnel no doubt utilized this most incredible resource and the YCT to proliferate sport fishing to neighboring areas. But the fact that they also employed out of state trout species as well no doubt means there could be all kinds of mixed up cuttys, cutbows, and cutgolds secreted away up there.

Pic from Finis Mitchell's book, Wind River Trails. Finis and his crew packed millions of fingerlings into the mountains.
They were hauled in 5 gallon milk cans.

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Finis Mitchell and wife started a fishing camp in the Big Sandy Openings during the Great Depression
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Last edited by countr21; 03-10-2014 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

Thanks for sharing some of the history of how those lakes were stocked, very interesting.

Larry
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

Great pics!
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: more pics of the Winds - going bust for goldens at Elbow

Video: "Liquid Gold," a Journey into the High Sierra | Orvis News

Awesome video of hiking and fishing for gold
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