In July of 2009 my friend Earl and I took a camping trip to a place that I've been planning to go to for a good two years now, but for whatever reason I hadn't got to until now. We planned to hike to a lake called Airplane Lake first then head back down to a different one called Golden Lake. But we happened to stop and talk to a Fish & Game guy who was stocking some rainbows into a creek and he advised us against hiking to Airplane Lake because it was an all day trip, not a couple hours like we were hoping. So we decided just to stop and fish a creek called Wildhorse because it was so pretty. We caught some pretty little Brooke trout and hatchery rainbows.
After we had our fill of Wildhorse Creek we packed up and headed to Golden lake - which is home to golden trout (a fish very high on my bucket list). We made it to the trail head and got the 4 wheeler all loaded up and started out. We were a little nervous about the signs there that said that the trail was really bad and not recommended for motorized travel. But being the stubborn hillbillies that we are we pushed on. The first 5 or so miles weren't too bad but the last mile was a doosie. There were giant rocks that Earl had to maneuver over and it was super steep (it was a good thing Earl was driving because I would have crashed). But when we finally saw the lake, which by the way, was clear up at the top of the world at just shy of 10,000 feet, it made it all worth it. I was worried that there weren't going to be many fish in it because they stocked it in 2004 so the fish were either going to be pretty old or not there anymore. But as soon as I walked down to the lake, the water was so clear that not only could I see decent size fish swimming around, I could see their vivid colors!
|Wildhorse Creek, complete with a rainbow in the clouds and all.
|Golden Lake, Pretty awesome right?
They seemed to be eating mosquitoes so I tied on the smallest dry fly that I had with me (a #18 BWO parachute) and started casting. I got rejected the first couple of times, but then a "big" male came up and ate my fly! I just about had a bird the first time he came to the surface and I saw all the colors (bear in mind how long I've been dreaming of catching a golden trout). After a quick but feisty fight I had another bird when I landed him and got an up close look at him. I took some pictures but somehow they just don't do justice to all of the bright colors. Ironically enough, my camera died just after this picture, I'm sure glad it lasted long enough to document this beautiful little critter.
|First Golden Trout!