Louis Cahill of Gink & Gasoline teams up with Matthew Copeland and Steve Brutger to chase down El Dorado on the Wind Range.
For as long as I have been aware of their existence, the golden trout of the Wind Range have loomed large in my imagination. For years, hell decades, I’ve dreamed of hiking into those mountains to catch one of the worlds rarest trout.
I had honestly given up. I learned that no one is going to tell the guy from Georgia where the golden lakes are and it seemed impossible for me to do the leg work to find them. I thought that holding a golden trout in my hand would remain a dream, until I mentioned it to my buddy Steven Brutger, of Stalking The Seam.
“Really?” He said. “I do it every year. I’d be happy to take you up there.”
Steven and his partner, Matt Copeland, made all of the arrangements. The plan was to arrive as close as possible to ice-out. Golden trout are notoriously difficult to catch. It’s entirely possible to hike ten or twenty miles in and get skunked. Being there as soon as the ice melts is your best shot.
In June we hiked in, with llamas carrying our gear, to a base camp at 10,000 feet. We then went on our own to a lake I will call El Dorado at 11,500 feet. The environment was beyond harsh. High winds and an icey precipitation called gropple stung every inch of exposed skin. We arrived with half of the lake still covered in ice. What followed was pure magic.
Working with videographer Murphy Kane, the newest member of the G&G team, we it together this video. I’m very proud to share it with you and very thankful to Steven, Matt and Murphy for making it happen.
Editor’s note: This video is pretty trippy. We at Gink and Gasoline would never suggest any illegal behavior on the part of our readers. Residents of CO and WA, however, should consider exercising their rights before viewing! Enjoy.