Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wyoming's Wind River Range Golden Trout Epic Adventure Part 3.

Monday July, 28th, 2014


    I awoke a little later than I usually do when sleeping in a tent, the sun was just coming up and I wandered around our camp and stared at the dead lake we were just up the hill from. What a beautiful morning! The view was spectacular as the sun started climbing and illuminating the surrounding hills.

    We had a quick breakfast and hit the trail on our way to a lake that has been and continues to haunt me! The trail seemed short on the map but as we ascended to the pass we would see what looked like the summit and just before you made reached it, we would see another one twenty yards or more farther away. There ended up being five total, so since the map and evidently the Forest service neglected to name the pass, we all agreed to refer to it as False summit pass.

    A look back.

    The unnamed lake at the top, hence forth referred to False summit lake.

    The same mountain flowers from near Angel pass except for the purple accents!

    False Summit lake as we were leaving.

    The Boulders never end!

    The next lake and basin after False summit.

    Below is the inlet to the next lake and this one appeared to be dead also. There was a stonefly hatch going on when we arrived! If you aren't familiar with fly fishing, the stonefly is a major source of food for trout and they were every where; not one fish rise was seen! It was absolutely surreal seeing all those bugs and no fish. I was beginning to sweat! We had already traveled over twenty miles and I spent three years poring over maps and reading everything I could regarding Golden trout.

    The first look at the lake we traveled twenty plus miles to fish!

    It was quite with very little activity; man was I bummed! Even the beautiful waterfall across the lake didn't interest me!

    We fished for about an hour and the clouds were starting to gather, we had already set a time to head back to camp to prevent having to negotiate the boulders in the dark. With no fish caught and time running out we decided to check out the lake above this one before we had to leave. At least we were seeing fish rise here so it seemed this lake held fish. We followed the steam up to the next lake and I captured a few awesome pictures along the way.

    We made it to the next lake and the fish were boiling, we took off our packs and began fishing. My buddy's son struck gold first at around 5:30 pm. I rushed over and wasn't able to take the picture because the fish made it back into the water before I was able to get there. This happened to us last year at Pole creek and that was the only one we caught. However, soon after my Buddy hooked a small Golden and I resigned myself to take at least one picture; even if it was tiny. Luckily for me, Coltin caught one so I rushed right over. Finally, I had a picture and my son was just as excited as I was! Three years in the making! Between last year and this one, we had traveled close to fifty miles chasing these fish!

    Coltin ended up catching three Glodens and I finally had to try. After ten of so casts I struck gold myself! What a beautiful fish! I took a few shots and returned it back to the depths. I sat down and let it sink in! Wow, I have been dreaming of catching this fish for three years! So I started thinking of a name for this lake; since it's now my favorite lake. After rejecting almost everything that popped into my mine I finally thought of Dream's end! Perfect, the perfect name! I asked the others and they all agreed that it was a great name, I now have a name for my favorite lake. Strange that there are so many unnamed lakes in the Winds!

    I fished a little longer and at about 6pm we decided we better get moving! We were already supposed to be on our way back. We circled the lake and I grabbed a few more shots of Dream's end and the waterfall near where I was fishing.

    On the way out we ran into a group of guys, one was from Montana and the others were from Salt lake. They too were chasing Goldens and according to them they had been catching larger ones at the big lake just as I suspected. It appears that the Goldens act just as everyone claims, they are only active in the mornings and evenings. It seems we hit the big lake at the wrong time and Dreams end just at the right time. Oh well, guess I'll just have to come back! We stopped and had dinner in the same place we had lunch, right next to the dead lake with the stoneflies. After dinner we began ascending the other side of False summit and began descending the other side just before complete darkness. There was no moon or stars just the clouds and fading light. We just barely made it through the large boulder field before being forced to put on our head lamps to help navigate back to camp. It was just after ten when we arrived, it was a very tough eight mile trip to and from Dream's end. I was tired and couldn't wait to go to sleep!

    Stay tuned!


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