Golden Tips

Trxstle Team Member Anthony Jenca shares some of his tips and photos from chasing Golden Trout. If this doesn’t get you off the internet and headed to your nearest river we don’t know what will.

First and foremost, when I approach a gem of a small stream in Golden Trout Wilderness, stealth is key. A low profile and soft walk keeps these beautiful little fish from spooking, never to be seen again. These fish are best approached from behind, in the water, facing upstream. (I chose back and off to the side due to this being such a small stream). 

Sneaking up on Golden Trout

 These fish are voracious, wild, and always willing to take a buggy dry fly! Long, light tippet is key. You’ll be rewarded after every cast.

Hungry little golden trout

 Conservation is really important to me, these fish are never out of the water for more than a few seconds. My hands are always wet before handling fish and I always throw barbless hooks. Losing a fish is always a little frustrating but we all want these fish to survive to fight another day and for another angler to enjoy. 

the smaller the trout the hungrier it is

Another beauty on a Hi-vis Elk Hair Caddis from Eddy Outfitters. 

Golden trout caught on elk hair caddis

 Lake fishing for Golden’s requires different tactics altogether.

alpine lake in the Golden Trout Wilderness

 Photo by Nathan Sidoti @nathansidoti – High Alpine Lake in the Golden Trout Wilderness. 
 What’s really cool about high alpine lakes is there are so many different ways to fish them. Some have inlets and outlets that are a blast because fish tend to stack up in them, especially on warm days. Use the same tactics you would for a small stream!   

small water in the Golden Trout Wilderness

 You can put on intermediate sinking line or a sink tip and cast/roll cast into deeper sections of the lake. Usually a slow retrieve (long strip, pause, long strip, pause) is my go to. Bigger fish tend to hangout in these deeper sections especially in the middle of the day.

Finding some larger Golden Trout

    Last, my favorite method is sight fishing. Fish in lakes tend to cruise the shorelines looking for food. Especially in calmer lakes. As you’re walking the shoreline, keep an eye out for rising fish, or fish eating off the bottom just below the surface. They’re everywhere! 
This one was happy to take a white Elk Hair Caddis.

Taking a Golden Trout to the net with a white Elk Hair Caddis

This one was a sucker for the leech on the cruise, he absolutely smashed it! 

Partially submerged Golden Trout

 It really comes down to being able to adapt to the changing conditions. Weather, cloud cover, and available food all play a factor in being a successful fly fisherman. (Don’t be lazy like we all are, change flies, colors and don’t be afraid to lift a rock and see what’s in the water).

current running over a landed Golden Trout on a leech pattern

  Golden trout should be on your bucket list, the beauty that surrounds them is well worth the trip alone. Not to mention every one is just as beautiful as the last, it’s like catching a wild painting over and over again. Hope you find success in your next adventure chasing down the rare California Golden Trout! 

Golden Trout on caddis
Some different patterning on this long Golden Trout