Rare protein enrichment and sensitive detection hold great potential in biomedical studies and clinical practice. This work describes the use of aptamer-conjugated gold nanorods for the efficient enrichment of rare proteins from buffer solutions and human plasma. Gold nanorod (AuNR) surfaces were modified with a long PEG chain and a 15-mer thrombin aptamer for protein enrichment and detection. Studies of the effect of surface modification on enrichment efficiency of thrombin showed that a change of only one EG(6) linker unit, i.e, from 2EG(6) to 3EG(6), could increase thrombin protein capture efficiency by up to 47%. Furthermore, a 1 ppm sample of thrombin in buffer could be enriched with around 90% efficiency using a low concentration (0.19 nM) of gold nanorod probe modified with 3EG(6) spacer, and with the same probe, effective capture was achieved down to 10 ppb (1 ng) thrombin in plasma samples. In addition to alpha-thrombin enrichment, prothrombin was also efficiently captured from plasma samples via gold nanorods conjugated with 15-mer thrombin aptamer. Our work demonstrates efficient enrichment of rare proteins using aptamer-modified nanomaterials, which can be used in biomarker discovery studies.