The lakes promised gold, all I found was fishermen's fools gold-- all snow and sapphire water and not a trout to be had. It was July 20th and I found the lakes lying in a cleft in the mountains at 11,000 feet still mostly covered with ice.
Not one to be deterred by adverse conditions I immediately set about to rigging-up while eyeing the open water on the first two lakes, if only patchy and along the south and western edges. The third lake was hidden beyond a ridge covered in rotten snow that only a true fool would walk across.
With ice still covering the majority of the waters I decided to entice any waiting trout with a Big-Mac version of a fly-- a bushy size 10 elk hair caddis. Unhesitatingly I cast to the edge of the ice with the fly often crashing onto the snowy sheet. Quickly I stripped it back toward me disturbing the crystal clear water with a plunk followed by ever expanding concentric circles that I hoped would alert any lethargic trout to the potential meal.
An hour of casting and perching on large boulders to gaze into the open water revealed to my polarized lens covered eyes what I had assumed from the beginning-- the Golden Lakes were fishless. After breaking down my rig for the scramble to Florence Lake and the Solitude Trail a few hundred feet below, I got my first chance to appreciate how high I had climbed just for the chance to discover the nature of the lakes.
Ice on one of the Golden Lakes- Cloud Peak Wilderness
Open water on a Golden Lake- Cloud Peak Wilderness
While that particular adventure came up empty handed it was well worth the effort because just below me were a multitude of lakes filled with different species of trout just waiting to see a fly. And it's those waters and trout that I look forward to sharing with you in my upcoming book Fly Fishing Wyoming's Cloud Peak Wilderness.
Over the next few months I will provide updates and content found in, and related to, Fly Fishing Wyoming's Cloud Peak Wilderness. If you or a loved one ever set their sights on fishing trout filled waters in the wilds of Wyoming this is the book for you. Stay tuned for more information.
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Fly Fishing Wyoming's Cloud Peak Wilderness is the second book I've written on Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains. Interested in learning more? Check out Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters: family, fly fishing, and conservation.
Cheers & tight lines,