View Full Version : Golden Trout???

04-09-2009, 01:28 PM
I have casted a fly rod all around the country for trout but i still haven't had the chance at a Golden Trout yet. Any recommendations on were to go????

04-09-2009, 01:44 PM
They are there to be caught, but you have to hike for them. Others may have much better info, but for a start...Google "Golden Trout Wilderness" and you'll get a ton of info...both sides of the southern Sierra high country hold goldens.

(866) 347-4876 is the ph number of the fly shop in Kernville and they probably know more about golden trout territory than most anyone else...

To me they are like Grayling...catch one and that'll probably be enough to satisfy you. Good luck.


04-09-2009, 02:34 PM
Asking for a trout angler's golden spot! The most helpful fisherman will have trouble declassifying those locations. top secret. said before, you will have to hike to them. goodluck finding them!
pm me if you want my rcommendation.

04-09-2009, 02:59 PM
You'll have to venture out of state, say Montana! Long way to go to get them but well worth it.

Captain Compassion
04-09-2009, 03:21 PM
Why Montana? :o Most of the back country Sierra waters south of Bishop and above 9,500 feet have Golden populations. Try the upper Kern, Little Kern, S. Kern , Cottonwood Creek and others. You are going to have to walk or take a horse.


04-09-2009, 03:26 PM
There are Goldens in SW Montana...BUT...they were planted there from the Kern drainage years ago. If your aim is wild and NATIVE fish, then the S Sierra is the place...-m

04-09-2009, 03:45 PM
You need to hike into at least 9.500 foot elevation for
Golden in Calif, so you will need good hiking gear,water
a first aid kit just in case for the one day trip.

If you stay over night you MUST let the USFS know about it and fill out
paper work......otherwise they can fine you or worse if they see you and ask for the paper work and you don't have it on you.

Don't forget the camera. ;)

04-09-2009, 04:21 PM
Whenever my dad and I would go back backing up to the cottonwood lakes when I was just a kid, I would have fun catching them on my small telescopic rod I packed up with me. Barb-less hooks only when I was there, not sure of the regs now. But like everybody said...you have to hike to get there! 8-)


04-09-2009, 07:13 PM
Sky Blue Lake, south of Mt. Whitney.


Captain Compassion
04-09-2009, 07:55 PM
Golden. Nine Mile Creek. Golden Trout Wilderness

04-09-2009, 08:01 PM
Sky Blue Lake, south of Mt. Whitney.

Is that a golden. Man they do have many looks from where you catch-em. Seen some on other posts and dang I cant tell them apart except i've never caught one.


04-09-2009, 08:56 PM
Depends on if they are native or have been cross bred, say with

Hopefully they will have blue to purple thumb prints (dots) down their sides along with a very orang belly and fins like a brook trout.

There are many different "Styles" of Golden trout from Calif ,Oregon
and Washington, that I have been lucky enough to catch.

Here is hoping you are lucky enough to get a real full blooded Golden
for your picture album.

04-10-2009, 07:36 AM
The photo shown above is of a golden. *Some have a silvery cast. *Depends on the lake they come from. *I did make a mistake on where that photo is from. *That fish is from Cirque Lake. I would not recommend going there to fish, as the stream that connects to it only flows in high snow years. *Hence there are just a few, if any fish in that lake.

Here's a few more:

Sky Blue Lake:
Sky Blue Lake
Soldier Lake

Lake South America Golden Rainbow Hybrid (near Mt. Whitney)

Raymond Lake (between Ebbets Pass and Blue Lakes) Golden

Little 5 Lakes Golden (Near Sawtooth Pass)

If you want to catch Goldens, you will need to be in shape, as most of these required at least 8-10 miles of hiking, sometimes more. *You're also going where altitude sickness is a persistant threat. *I'm sure that someplace you can drag *your lawn chair and cooler to the lake and catch goldens, but not anywhere here in California. :D

Tui Chub
04-10-2009, 08:39 AM
Ikan_Mas, those are beauties. Now I want to catch one.

04-10-2009, 11:15 AM

If you're serious about catching a golden in California I would do some homework. *There are quite a few articles and books that tell you what areas of the Sierra's goldens can be found. There are many high elevation lakes and streams in the Sierra's with goldens. *Talk to Fish & Game HQ or wardens in those areas that can help direct you to those areas with the best chance of catching goldens.*Some areas are easier to get to than others, it depends upon how motivated you are.

Besides catching one of these beautiful fish the scenery getting to them is usually spectacular as well.

To get you further motivated here are a couple of pictures of goldens I have caught in the past. * *If these pictures don't get you motivated to go catch one of these awesome trout nothing will! *;)



Good luck in your quest! :)


04-10-2009, 11:55 AM
As you can tell, its all about backpacking. *See my post at

for the things I like to do.

Best reference book you can get for golden and other Sierra trout is Ralph Cutter's "Sierra Trout Guide." You can buy it at Amazon for $13.57 or for $20 at your local fly shop. *You'll also have to get wilderness maps. *I recommend Tom Harrison maps, the best available. *REI sells those.

Best sort of Golden Lake I have fished is Wallace, just north of Mt. Whitney. I say sort of because the fish are hybrids. *The rainbows swam up and mixed in the gene pool there. *There they have a big lake, good spawning habitat, and lots of scuds to eat. *The flesh of the hybrids is sockeye salmon red and tastes awesome. We caught a 19" hybrid there. *The trail to Wallace is fading quickly, but its easy to get up there as you just follow the creek. *Based on some of the trash we found there, I suspect it was a horse packer fish camp up until the 70s. *Now, you're lucky if you see anyone there. *Its not hard to get to once you're on the John Muir trail, but its guarded by Forester Pass to the north and Mt. Whitney pass to the east, Forester being a bigger bear than Whitney. *Keeps the rifraf out. ;) *Nearby Wales lake is now fish free. *I guess there used to be fish there, but none in 2003.

Next year's big hike (hopefully) will be the Kern River below Rattlesnake Creek. *We would have gone this year, but one of the team had a small life change (transferred to CA) and we are waiting for things to shake out. *I'll be doing Marble Mountains in early August, and maybe Goat Rocks in WA later. *

04-10-2009, 12:03 PM
I caught my one and only at Saddlebag lake (Tioga Pass) about 15yrs ago, No pics...