However, though golden trout are not native to Montana, the crimson-red lateral band, grease-black parr splotches, buttery gold belly, white-tipped fins, and the mud brown back that renders even their vibrancy next to invisible in gin-clear water, paints a wildness into the wild populations in the Beartooths that draws anglers to the mountains like 49’ers to gold. In the early or late season, you could easily have the lake to yourself. Tallying a respectable pace of two miles per hour, and stopping only to look out across the gorge, over East Rosebud Lake and the surrounding peaks of granite, and to watch pikas and ground squirrels scamper about the boulder-strewn mountainside, we hit the five-mile mark as spruce and fir thinned and gave way to meadow. This is one of our … ... Montana Stock Photo by nyfelidae 0 / 0 Fly fisherman holding California Golden Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss aguabonita) in Beartooth Mountains, Montana Stock Photography by nyfelidae 0 / 0 Rough-Fruited Fairybells (Disporum trachycarpum) in Beartooth Mountains, Montana Stock Photo by … We wondered when, not if, the grizzly mauling would occur. Historically, the Snake River basin was the largest salmon producer in the Columbia River system, once home to salmon runs numbering in the millions. a yellowstone cutthroat trout in a high mountain river. Nearby Eaglehead Mountain and the crest of the Gallatin Range make for nice jaunts … by Gary Rafferty. Nestled near a lake full of trout at the edge of a large meadow, is your home for the next few days. I was in high school or college, had been fly-fishing for a number of years, and was quite familiar with rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout (the “big four,” if you will). Ken Keffer, children’s book author and Wyoming native fresh from a month of hiking the Bighorn Mountains, tossed a respectful gaze up a steep pitch into a crease where our absaroka-beartooth mountains, montana. - cutthroat trout stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. Fishing pressure is moderate to heavy. The mountain lake fishing in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area is some of the finest to be found in Montana. Trek to a high mountain lake; fish a pristine stream; cast into a deep pool, or practice fly-casting while surrounded by granite peaks reaching up to 13,000 feet high. If you seek the purest golden trout in the Beartooths, you should look no further than Sylvan Lake. The Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri) is a subspecies of the cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii).It is a freshwater fish in the salmon family (family Salmonidae).Native only to a few U.S. states, their original range was upstream of Shoshone Falls on the Snake River and tributaries in Wyoming, also across the Continental Divide in Yellowstone Lake and in the Yellowstone River as well … When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. Generally you can’t just do a quick day trip for these ornate fish. The path my group took started from the Initial Creek trailhead on the West Fork of the Stillwater River above the Stillwater Mine near Nye, Montana. Rather, you need to strap on a backpack and hiking boots and hit the trails for a few days at a time. They do best when water temperatures stay in the 50 to 60 degree range. The spectacle of Rock Creek Canyon unfolds as you … The grayling average 13 inches, the rainbow and cutthroat average 12 inches, and the brook trout average 11 inches. At about 9,400 feet, there is no easy way to Lightning Lake. The Absaroka … Get ready for a challenging hike if you are not used to high elevations! Boasting thousands of high mountain lakes and hundreds of miles of crystal clear streams, the headwaters of the only wild and scenic river in Wyoming, doesn’t get any wilder than on U.S. Hwy 212, also known as the “Beartooth … Little Lightning is where the juvenile Trout stay until they are big enough to swim up the 100 yard creek to the big lake. We resorted to slowly stripping weighted nymphs, and we caught a few nice goldens. Beartooth Mountains Montana-Jenny Lessley Campbell Founder / CEO / Mountain Guide “There May Come A Day When You Will Want To Give Up. One area of the the state where you are likely to find them is in the beartooth mountains south of Livingston and … The mountain lake fishing in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area is some of the finest to be found in Montana. Since there are literally Through its rills and creeks swim two native … Read More. The trip to Lightning Lake is a difficult off-trail backpacking adventure to a high mountain lake in the Beartooth Mountains and one of the only lakes in Montana hosting beautiful golden trout. (We also left the Winds engaged. The particulars of the final day are still a little hazy for me, as I’ve attempted to flush them from my memory for the past few weeks. https://abatlas.org/from-nutcrackers-to-cutthroat/story-stocking-trout-high-lakes The Montana Golden Trout at 10,000 feet above sea level in Sylvan Lake showed a marked preference for dry flies while we were there, while those Brook Trout in nearby Crow Lake at an even higher elevation preferred cone-headed wooly buggers. Princess Lake is a beautiful mountain lake located in the West Rosebud section of the Beartooth Mountains, and it’s just two miles from Mystic Lake– arguably one of the most popular day hike destinations in the Beartooth Mountains. It is a western species of salmonid that resembles, in many ways, a juvenile rainbow trout. The Rocky Mountains are the major mountain range in western North America, running from the far north of British Columbia in Canada to New Mexico in the southwestern United States, climbing from the Great Plains at or below 1,800 feet (550 m) to peaks of over 14,000 feet (4,300 m). Discovering that I shared this continent with such a romantically named salmonid captivated me. Since Pat Marcuson began surveying these lakes in 1967, many individuals have hefted a heavy pack and worked the high country for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Golden trout are most often found in remote, alpine drainages over 9,000 feet in elevation. Vaughn, who worked with the mountain lake program in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, said stocking cycles in mountain lakes vary. The mountains provide a stunning backdrop to any fishing or float trip. Another backpack deep into the Winds, another gold strike. I began researching golden trout, and I learned it was native to the Sierras in California. There are Rocky Mountain adventures awaiting every fisherman who visits the Beartooth Wilderness area. They do best when water temperatures stay in the 50 to 60 degree range. Sculpted by glacial activity, the Beartooth Mountain Range is one of the most scenic areas in the Rockies. On your hike, you may get a glimpse of wildlife including deer, elk, mountain goats, moose, bear and others. … Trout are plentiful as rainbows and browns populate the river. The picture with all five of us must have been taken fairly early in that trip into the Beartooth Mountains because one or two of us is still smiling. We arrived at the remote trailhead in the Beartooths on a Friday night, grilled some sausages over a fire, freaked each other out about grizzlies, and enjoyed some Moose Drool beer. I got the perfect opportunity earlier this summer when a friend invited me on a backpack trip to catch golden trout in the Beartooth Mountains of southwestern Montana. Stock Image by eskymaks 1 / 4 Red caviar on a fork Stock Photographs by Timolina 1 / 1 Selection of hand tied fishing flies on white Stock Photos by scphoto 4 / 25 Grilled char fillet with mixed salad and sauce on a plate close-up. Find a Local Store; Products Products search. © Natural Resources Defense Council 2021 Privacy Policy “Top of the world” seemed a fitting toponym, at least to my eastern sensibilities. Roughly 350 of the 944 lakes in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness are stocked with brook trout, cutthroats, golden trout, rainbows or grayling. Goldens had also, however, been stocked in certain alpine lakes in the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming and the Beartooth Mountains in Montana. trout silhouette - … After a series of “last crests,” the horizon finally broke to reveal the rippling surface of Sylvan Lake, pooled at the foot of a rugged, snow-capped granite cliff. A fit hiker can probably make it to either destination in an hour or so. State Disclosures. They, of course, speak of palomino trout, which are a color phase of a hatchery strain rainbow, which holds no candle to the brilliant garb of a golden trout. Fish species present in the Absaroka-Beartooth lakes include Yellowstone cutthroat trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, golden trout, arctic grayling, and variations of cutthroat/rainbow/golden trout hybrids. Our hike on Day One was pretty mellow. There are not too many lakes in Montana that have these fish. A local marine biologist who has “fished the world” claims ounce for ounce the Rock Creek trout pack as much, if not more, fight than their much larger ocean cousins. We climbed through new snow to Chalice Peak – the fresh flakes made boulder-hopping with heavy packs slightly terrifying – and then we descended to the lake. One accesses Windy Pass (a nice hike in it's own right), the other heads off to the Golden Trout Lakes. Don’t, Because The Best Is Yet To Come.” Meet Your Guide • 25+ Years of backcountry backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing and ice climbing experience in Montana, California, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada • AIARE Certified (Avalanche / SAR) • Wilderness … It is estimated that there are nearly 3,000 trout per mile. Problem solving, Taylor struck off down the trail, over the pass, and into the treeline, trusting instincts, with an eye on the terrain. Golden trout are like other trout, and need cold water to survive and grow. The … That you can’t find goldens in roadside rivers also titillated me. Lots of pretty little golden trout to be caught in Golden Trout Creek. The Absaroka-Beartooth mountains offers a plethora of alpine lakes chuck full of healthy trout, including the beautiful Golden Trout and the Arctic Grayling. Lakes Along The Beartooth All-American Road . The golden trout is a colorful salmonid native to the High Sierras of California, transplanted into high mountain lakes all across the west. horizontal top view Stock Images by FomaA 2 / 33 carp Stock Photos by Dar1930 1 / 19 fish background Stock Photos by grekoff 2 / 66 Red salted caviar, for backgrounds or … “Nobody knew much about the goldens until I started studying them,” he said. Cooney State Park, affectionally known as Cancooney to the locals, is excellent for swimming, water skiing, and fishing. Bent rod or not, we struck gold in the Beartooths. Fishing for golden trout, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. Fellow Angler: This booklet is intended to pass on information collected over many years about the fishery of the Absaroka-Beartooth high country lakes. Many of these crystal clear lakes have excellent fishing for cutthroat trout, brook trout, rainbow trout as well as occasionally golden trout. They have brought back the raw data and … The streams running from the mountains are typically infertile, cold, and of a very steep … After seeing a nice fish rise in skinny water, I put on an ant I’d tied (which, to be truthful, artfully imitated a one-legged mouse), made a clumsy cast, and a large golden devoured it. Their click-and-pawl reels are among the most sought-after collectibles in the sport, and it’s... I’m going to make a statement that may surprise you, but that I’m convinced is absolutely true. Of the four of us tackling the trek, Keffer and Matt Miller, of the Nature Conservancy, were westerners acclimated to elevation, but nevertheless confident in my ability to set the pace. A few seconds later, the largest golden of my life was at my feet. Given the distance and relative ease of hiking, this makes for a nice day or morning hike (for those wanting to beat the heat). Golden Lake is one of those lakes with incredible views and world class Cutthroat Trout. Big, gorgeous, tucked up against a wall of rock, and with a little outlet stream to a smaller lake below it. I began my angling efforts casting a parachute adams on 12 feet of 6x tippet to the edge of a shoreline shelf. No one had a map. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports. For the first time in more than two decades, I planned not to attend this … Products search. Sylvan Lake’s golden population is so pure that the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks regularly uses the eggs laid by goldens at Sylvan Lake for stocking other lakes in Montana. The largest, most diverse fishery in the Beartooth Mountains, Beartooth Lake offers a good fishery. The last five years of drought has not caused adverse effects to our streams and rivers or their wild trout populations. My younger brother, Dan, a teacher in Massachusetts, had endured my tales of golden conquests and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. 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