Native only to the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Southern Sierra Nevada, a handful of small streams hold California Golden Trout.
One of these streams - Golden Trout Creek meanders through several stunning meadows. The above photograph was taken at the upper end of Little Whitney Meadow.
True native golden trout rarely display spotting below their lateral line or forward of their dorsal fin. Goldens which have shared habitat with rainbow trout typically become hybridized and display increased spotting forward of their dorsal and above their head.
When talking about small stream fishing in headwaters of Golden Trout Creek, the emphasis is on small. I find a short, 2 weight rod matches up well for short casts into small slots.
Given the small size of the creek, and a short time to feed, I marvel at the large numbers of goldens in the high country. These native fish have perfectly tuned their genetics to survive in what appears to be the smallest of waters in the largest of landscapes.