The fish raced deep, the reel whizzed as the fish took the line out. My Sage Z-Axis 9 ½-foot, five-weight was bent like I had never seen before. There really is nothing like it: a rod, a reel, a golden trout on the line and the solitude of the Sierra Nevada high-country. The water was turquoise, the sky a brilliant blue and jagged thirteen-thousand-foot peaks lined the landscape.
“It’s on,” Nate said to Jon over the phone the night before.
The ice had melted at upper elevation lakes, and according to Nate, the fishing was on.
The next morning we left the house before the sun rose. Nate Wray, Justin Ferguson, Jon Carlton and I were heading out on an alpine fishing adventure. I didn’t know where, exactly, we were going, but on that late-spring day I followed my friends to a storied lake.
In the pre-dawn hours there were few mosquitoes. The alpen-glow lit the distant peaks a bright magenta-orange. It was going to be a good day. In a few hours we reached an 11,000 ft. pass. We were on a popular hiking trail in the John Muir Wilderness, but quickly headed off trail and hiked cross-country, navigating massive boulders and traversing the side of a mountain. Our destination was an alpine lake rumored to hold record-size golden trout.
Read the full story in the Mammoth Sierra Magazine digital edition.