Over Labor Day I finally made it into the Alpine lakes Wilderness coming from the Eastside. The initial hike in was right around 10 miles with about 5500 feet of elevation gain. We got a late start on day one so we had to camp in a ghost forest at about 6000'. That was truly an epic camping spot. The next day we started the hike into the lake. A faulty GPS unit led us the wrong way. Fortunately we only went the wrong way for a mile or two. Unfortunately we descended 1000' in that time. After we figured out that we were going into the wrong valley we finally climbed back up to 7100' and made our way up to the lake. We were rewarded with picturesque alpine meadows and some of the best fishing I have ever had. The lake was full of fat bright Westslope Cutthroat. The average size was about 12" which surprised me a bit since the lake was so high. The biggest was around 16", enough to a serious bend in a three weight. I also was able to land what to the best of my ability (judging by the marked color difference from the cutts and the white tipped fins) were several golden trout. All in all we did about 22 miles with 7000 feet of elevation gain. Next time I'll pack lighter than 65lbs.
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