by Jack Wolbach
Long before highways and tourists, the Sheepeater Indians called this home. It is high country, full of lakes and streams teaming with fish, blue skies, and some of the most beautiful views in the Rockies.I camped at Pinnacles Campground, one of three Shoshone National Forest Campgrounds in the area, overlooking Brooks Lake (below). Joe and Debbie Burns are campground hosts and run an immaculate campground.Brooks Lake has good morning and prolific evening rising trout.I fished the lake in late afternoon and evening, wading near the boat launch where the bottom is fairly firm and the drop-off is gradual.I think most of the risers were chasing Callibaetis flies and I fished dark black and gray flies as well as beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymphs to try and imitate the hatch. The lake is very cold so neoprene waders are advisable.
Just up the road is the equally beautiful Wind River Lake, with picnicking and handicapped access. Often you will have this lake all to yourself. Jig the bottom with beadhead Woolly Buggers for large rainbows. In addition there are day hikes to many wilderness lakes, my favorite being the trophy trout Pelham Lake.
The mountain stream outlet of Brooks Lake is fishable for miles down to the beautiful Falls cascade. The stream is accessible along the gravel road leading into Brooks Lake. It is lightly fished, and every holding area has fish. Yellow Humpies, Royal Wulffs, Elk Hair Caddis, and Hare's Ear Nymphs work well throughout the day. White wings in a blue sky, an adult and young osprey circle high over Brooks Lake. Constant chirping is interrupted by the adult's false dives to the lake below... Come and make your own memories in the high country of Togwotee Pass.