Fishing for gold
After a year of planning it was time to venture deep into Wyoming’s Wind River Range for a week long backpacking trip with hopes of landing a few golden trout. These beauties are often considered the most elusive, challenging, and rewarding fish to catch in the trout world, and we were more than ready for the challenge!
We hiked forty miles, yes 40 miles, both on and off the trail with fifty-pound packs. We knew the end game was worth it, so we kept pushing deeper into the wilderness. Hiking through some of the most scenic country I had ever seen, several high mountain peaks and pristine lakes lay between the trailhead and our destination.
After a long first day of hiking we found a campsite fitting for an overnight stay, set up the tents and then…boom! Lightning and thunder announced a three-hour hailstorm that pinned us down in our moderate camp for the evening. Crammed into my ultra-light solo tent, I felt like a human burrito; not accustomed to being so confined, this was something I had to get used to daily.
A couple days and a few small fish later, we had reached our last evening to fish before the arduous multiple day hike back to the trailhead. Thinking the trip was already a success, I then spotted the largest golden trout tail I had seen yet swaying back and forth behind a rock. Immediately I crouched down, slowly peeled some line off the reel, and prepared for the most important cast of my life. I dropped the fly a few feet in front of that rock, let it sink and then I felt the bite. Setting the hook brought this fish rocketing out of the water, diving back down and running full steam away from me. With the reel singing, this beast golden took me in and out of boulders, playing havoc on my line before finally giving up and letting us land the fish. The most beautiful and colorful 21-inch Golden was in my net… the trophy fish of my life! We set her free after snapping a few photos, I cant wait to visit her again next year…
I felt like a human burrito; not accustomed to being so confined, this was something I had to get used to daily.