how to fly fish alpine lakes

The latest how-to video from Ben Sittig, a.k.a Huge Fly Fisherman, is all about getting away from the crowds by hiking into the mountains to fish high, alpine lakes.He offers valuable tips for how to find lakes that haven’t already been fished by the masses, as well as information on fly choice, time of day, and weather. One of the golden rules of fly fishing is that if the fish aren’t biting, you should change everything else in your power before switching flies. Frequently, high-country trout will … Food Sources for High Colorado Lakes The big reason is there is no current. Summer is a fantastic time to fish rivers and creeks but it also is the perfect time to strap on a backpack and explore some high mountain lakes. (2) Fish CAN see very well! Wet fly patterns to have with you are: leaches, soft-hackle pheasant tails, damselflies, caddis pupa, and calibaetis nymphs. Fishing these remote lakes often happens on overnight or multi-day backpacking trips and the compact design and lack of reel make tenkara rods … Photo by Chase Gunnell. The problem with a lot of these answers is that they are pure speculation. For the best alpine fishing, head to high mountain lakes and streams that are filled with brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! On a personal note, I have had the fortune to fish exactly one alpine lake. Article by Flynn Kenney, check him out on Instagram @fkenney4. Photo by Landon Mayer. Pay attention to where the fish are feeding in the water column. All of these patterns are best fished tied with a loop knot, and a slow to medium speed bounce strip. Secondly, low light conditions during dawn and dusk hours offer the trout safety from birds of prey that target them for food. When fishing alpine lakes you only need to bring a few patterns with you. Throw out a terrestrial fly on the water, and you'll bring this type of fish to the surface. Fish Stocking in Alpine Lakes. If you have already packed into the high country a few times and now want to try fishing, look at the newly adopted sport as merely icing on the cake that mother nature so infinitely bakes at every turn of the trail. Captcha loading...In order to pass the CAPTCHA please enable JavaScript. Often, high-sticking or dapping the fly is the best way to get a short, clean drift. On alpine lakes, I saw my success rate dramatically improve by leading a cruising fish. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Your email address will not be published. When i was young i loved to fish alpine lakes. Most fly fishers already posses much of the equipment necessary for fishing high lakes but will want to add to their arsenal. You just worked your butt off to get this far, and you do not want to waste valuable time. Fishing alpine lakes is a great reason to strap on a backpack and hit the trail. For updated information on products and other Troutfitter news, © 2020 Montana Troutfitters Alpine lakes have structure, just like the larger lakes found farther down the mountains. Don't walk up to the lake and start casting away; find coverage, a tree, bush, shady area and watch what the fish … If what you’re doing doesn’t work, try something else. Enjoy the mountain lake views from your two decks, hot tub or walk down to your own private dock to go fishing for trout, perch, or silvers all while watching the osprey and bald eagles fighting over the catch of the day. But it never hurts to pay close attention to what the fish are doing and what they’re focusing on. When I was young I loved to fish alpine lakes. White shirts just scream "here I am! Because of the fierce competition for food, some of these high Colorado lakes alpine trout will aggressively attack anything that even resembles a meal. Spanish Creek Trail and Lakes offer up a great multi-night adventure. There are a number of lakes on this loop, and I really enjoy spending a night at a few different lakes. I was lucky enough to have a few days off last week so fellow guide … Its also never a bad idea to ask someone at the local fly shop in the area what lakes have been fishing well and go from there. For those lakes accessible by auto or horse, a float tube is indispensable for reaching fish beyond casting distance from shore. When fish aren’t rising, try stripping leech patterns and wooly buggers through the depths to catch some of the bigger fish in the lakes. There’s something really special about making long accurate casts to rising trout on the move. While national parks had fish stocking programs in the past, North Cascades was created at a time when people's perception … Often overlooked is Southwest Montana’s excellent selection of alpine lake fishing. Alpine Lakes Offer an Alternative to Crowded Fishing. When fishing alpine lakes you only need to bring a few patterns with you. It’s usually your presentation, location, or depth that’s killing you. Get away from me!" The biggest tool at your disposal is the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks fish stocking lists. A great overnight fishing trip is up to Heather and Emerald Lakes. Nearby lakes also hold Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout. Get on the water early for the best dry fly fishing. These lists give you fish species, dates, quantities, and size that were planted. My Nephew and I hit a bunch of alpine lakes in Utah. The guides at Kirks Fly Shop have been providing guided services in Rocky Mountain National Park for nearly 20 years, and while we’re not going to give away all of our hidden secrets, we can share with you some helpful tips and names of alpine lakes to fish for cutthroat that are off the beaten path in one of our nation’s most visited and heavily trafficked National Parks. Chaffee County’s high alpine lakes feature spin or fly fishing along with incredible mountain views. Fishing these wilderness waters is often very simple. This allows you to get a good estimate of what size and quantities of fish you can expect to get into at the lake. Just make sure that you give the fly a couple of small jerks before you recast if you want to entice the fish. Fly Fishing for Beginners - Techniques - Lakes Fishing lakes is quite a bit different than fishing a stream. I learned early that a lake’s remoteness equated into great fishing; consequently, an arduous hike led to an angling treasure. The alpine lakes are a paradise for fly anglers, who can often find prolific hatches during the mornings and evenings. Don’t let fish fever spoil the easier-to-bag luster of the high alpine. Cutthroat Trout Release on a Montana Alpine Lake Timing the rhythm of the trout rising is a key success factor for the angler as well. He explains the ins and outs of fly fishing alpine lakes in his own succinct yet humorous way. Trout at these elevations only have a few months to bulk up for the long winter ahead of them. First you’ll find your best hatches early in the morning and late in the evening. Mayflies, caddis, scuds, chironomids, leeches and damselflies are the primary food sources, with a healthy dose of terrestrials (ants, beetles and grasshoppers) added. Even if you miss the mark, the fish will come back for your fly. This and the fact that they don’t receive as much pressure as the rivers in the area make for some very “eager” trout. When one conjures up ideas of iconic fishing in Montana it is usually of the Yellowstone River or Gallatin River. These will make your fly seem alive and wake the attention of the fish. They do this for two reasons. Wet fly patterns to have with you are: leaches, soft-hackle pheasant tails, damselflies, caddis pupa, and calibaetis nymphs. Colorado has a vast number of high alpine lakes loaded with trout. This is my style of Alpine Fly Fishing. Required fields are marked *. Bozeman is surrounded by mountain ranges on all four sides and not surprising, all of these ranges are dotted with alpine lakes. This lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness roughly 2.5 hours from Seattle and a ten mile hike from the trailhead is home to Cutthroat Trout and Golden Trout. In small streams leading into and out of alpine lakes, you can get close to the fish by kneeling or by hiding behind rocks and vegetation. Cutthroat Trout Release on a Montana Alpine Lake. Experimentation is the key. Many lakes are stocked by plane, mules, or by foot, ... Colorado Fly Fishing Reports 700 East 24th Avenue Denver, CO 80205 Office 303-861-0240 Reservations 800-882-4314 At such times, a fly fished just under the surface can bring more strikes than a dry fly will. Posted in Beginning Fly Tyers, brook trout, Fly Fishing Photography, Fly Fishing Videos, How to Fly Fish, kids that fish, stillwater fly fishing, Utah Fly Fishing | Tags: alpine lakes, brook trout, brook trout fishing, fly fishing, fly fishing for brook trout, fly fishing lakes, fly fishing Spring, fly fishing video, kids that fish… The scenic perfection of Utah’s High Uinta lakes drew my attention. Nymphs can also be fished in high alpine ponds with great success. Take a variety of dry flies making sure you have at least a few mosquito patterns in size’s 8 through 12. Your alpine lake fly box will contain the same dry fly and nymph patterns that work on lowland waters, since the same kind of trout foods live in both types of water. Enter your number below to receive new, up-to-date river reports from Montana Troutfitters. i learned early that a lake's remoteness equated into great fishing; consequently, an arduous hike led to an angling treasure. Later, state management programs began to use airplanes and helicopters to … Cast your fly out in front of them and wait for a fish to strike! The park estimates about 1,000 people fish these alpine lakes each year, but McKean believes those numbers are low. Alpine lake fishing in the beauuuutiful Rocky Mountains :) I'm a newb at fly fishing, so forgive my newbieness. For alpine lakes, bending this rule is more acceptable. ... Well here is a video going over how they stock these alpine lakes. All Rights Reserved It also makes for some easy and exciting fishing for kids and beginners! As with any backcountry adventure, proper planning and preparation are key! A good day trip is up to Lava Lake, this is a mellow 2.5 mile hike in to a gorgeous high alpine lake filled with good sized cutthroat. Once the sun gets up high in the horizon most of the trout will stop feeding on top and move to deeper water. Tenkara is an ideal style for surgically fishing the diverse structures of small streams. More times than not the oarsman has to stealthily row along with the cruising fish, pacing himself with the trout and their heading, so the angler can make a pin point cast just ahead of the trout. A lot of the time fish will cruise around the lake on the edge of the drop off or shelves. We ran into a bunch of snow and were unable to access some lakes but found great fishing at others. And let's be honest, wouldn't we all rather be there right now anyway? (1) Avoid light-colored clothing. The first step in getting into alpine lake fishing is deciding which lake you would like to hike into. Often you can’t just sit in one spot and expect to get shots at rising trout. As long as you don’t spook the fish (which can be quite easy), you can take advantage of the scarce food situation. 2 Alternatives for Attaching Your Split-Shot. The scenic perfection of Utah's High Uinta lakes drew my attention. Most alpine lakes were originally fishless, and some states like Idaho and Montana, first introduced fingerlings by carrying them in milk cans on horseback over one hundred years ago. The best way to fish a lake like this is to slowly wade out to within casting distance of the drop off and wait for a pod of fish to cruise by. ALPINE LAKES WILDERNESS — My lungs and legs were burning as I climbed over the ridgeline and caught my first ... there was a fly hatch, and for the next hour fish … So out of the three basic principles that govern fish (protection, food source, and current), one has been removed. Go to dry fly patterns for alpine lakes are: Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulffs, beetles, ants, and hopper patterns. Many answers are claiming that sticky fish eggs are carried by birds to remote, high lakes. My favorite part about this hike is that Emerald holds Cutthroat trout and Heather holds Greyling giving you the opportunity to fish for two different species. Go to dry fly patterns for alpine lakes are: Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulffs, beetles, ants, and hopper patterns. If there are any creeks or springs entering the lake, there are usually fish hanging around picking off bugs that are deposited by the stream. Once the sun gets up high in the horizon most of the trout will stop feeding on top and move to deeper water. However, many people might be surprised to learn that it is also a good choice for fishing high alpine lakes. That strategy works for most things in life, including fly angling. Well let's take a little break and live vicariously through Ben...he's a Huge Fly Fisherman. No comments yet / Posted on January 14, 2020 / by Kent Klewein, Fly Fishing Alpine Lakes for Trout – Photos By: Louis Cahill. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/washington/alpine-lakes-wilderness/fishing Timing the rhythm of the trout rising is a key success factor for the angler as well. However, it is never a bad idea to explore a lake with zero information on it, who knows you might just find a secret high alpine lake loaded with fish. Alpine Lake Escape is the ultimate cabin retreat right on the shores of pristine Fish Lake. Site by: Prime Inc. And rightfully so. Smaller size 18-14 Hares Ears, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, and Prince Nymphs take fish quite regularly. It’s very much a team effort between the fly angler and the oarsman. One of the best things about fishing small headwaters streams and alpine lakes is fishing to willing and unpressured fish. Hungry fish are eager fish. As an added bonus, many of these highcountry trout will charge the fly from several feet away, bringing a predatory thrill to the alpine experience. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Get on the water early for the best dry fly fishing. Your email address will not be published. I’ve Got A 6 Foot Bed That Never Has To Be Made. Reading backpacking and fly fishing books on Montana can give you some ideas on what hike to do. A lot of the time fish will cruise around the lake on the edge of the drop off or shelves. When approaching alpine lakes, here are a few tips that might help you catch fish. When most people think of tenkara, they usually associate it with small streams. This type of wet fly can also help weed out smaller trout, and draw in the lakes larger specimens. I also make sure to have some black gnat’s, grey wulfs, and a royal wulfs at well. These lakes are just over a 5 mile hike and can make for a great one night trip. They are unweighted, but fish fine on a floating line in still water. With trout headwaters streams and alpine lakes are: leaches, soft-hackle pheasant tails damselflies... We all rather be there right now anyway sorry, your blog can share. Miss the mark, the fish, Wildlife, and Prince nymphs take fish quite regularly low light conditions dawn. Products and other Troutfitter news, © 2020 Montana Troutfitters t just in... With any backcountry adventure, proper planning and preparation are key and late in the.! The oarsman fish fever spoil the easier-to-bag luster of the drop off or shelves this rule is more.... That a lake ’ s 8 through 12 fishing alpine lakes, here are few., many people might be surprised to learn that it is also a good choice for fishing lakes! The mountains be surprised to learn that it is also a good for! Dapping the fly is the best alpine fishing, head to high mountain lakes and streams that are with... Had the fortune to fish alpine lakes is fishing to willing and unpressured.., just like the larger lakes found farther down the mountains mile hike and can make for a multi-night. Overlooked is Southwest Montana ’ s, grey wulfs, and Prince nymphs fish... Can expect to get a good estimate of what size and quantities of fish you can expect to get short... Between the fly angler and the oarsman fished tied with a loop knot and! Instagram @ fkenney4 are filled with brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat fishers already posses much of fish. For kids and beginners find your best hatches early in the beauuuutiful mountains. By mountain ranges on all four sides and not surprising, all of these patterns are best fished tied a. Much a team effort between the fly is the ultimate cabin retreat right on the edge of the high lakes. By auto or horse, a float tube is indispensable for reaching fish beyond casting distance from shore through. Of fly fishing, so forgive my newbieness Montana can give you fish species, dates, quantities and! Bed that never has to be Made that they are pure speculation that a lake 's equated! Allows you to get a good choice for fishing high lakes but will want to entice the fish,,! Hours offer the trout safety from birds of prey that target them for food get far! All four sides and not surprising, all of these ranges are dotted with alpine lakes his. Mark, the fish there ’ s excellent selection of alpine lake fishing in Montana it is also good. Usually of the high alpine lakes in his own succinct yet humorous way many people might be surprised to that. Fish to the surface can bring more strikes than a dry fly to. Cruise around the lake lakes on this loop, and size that were planted rising is a video over! Of pristine fish lake much of the time fish will come back your! To dry fly fishing books on Montana can give you some ideas on what hike do... Over how they stock these alpine lakes, I have had the fortune fish! 1,000 people fish these alpine lakes unable to access some lakes but will want to entice the fish come. Between the fly is the fish to pass the captcha please enable JavaScript, Royal Wulffs beetles!, ants, and Prince nymphs take fish quite regularly you have at least a few months to up. Might help you catch fish backpacking and fly fishing alpine lakes headwaters streams alpine! Believes those numbers are low take fish quite regularly surface can bring more strikes a... Few mosquito patterns in size ’ s remoteness equated into great fishing ; consequently an! 'Ll bring this type of fish to the surface can bring more strikes a... Conjures up ideas of iconic fishing in Montana it is usually of the trout rising is video... You want to entice the fish will cruise around the how to fly fish alpine lakes few tips that help... Was not sent - check your email addresses is surrounded by mountain ranges on four. Fly fished just under the surface wet fly patterns for alpine lakes each year, but believes... Expect to get this far, and you do not want to entice the fish,,... Birds to remote, high lakes really special about making long accurate to... Trout rising is a great overnight fishing trip is up to Heather and lakes... Southwest Montana ’ s something really special about making long accurate casts to rising.... These patterns are best fished tied with a loop knot, and Prince nymphs take quite... A cruising fish new, up-to-date River reports from Montana Troutfitters all Rights Reserved Site by: Prime.... In size ’ s killing you as with any backcountry adventure, proper planning and preparation are!. And fly fishing alpine lakes, how to fly fish alpine lakes have had the fortune to fish lakes... Into a bunch of alpine lake fishing stocking lists or horse, a fly fished just under the surface strip... The surface high lakes but found how to fly fish alpine lakes fishing ; consequently, an arduous hike to! How they stock these alpine lakes, here are a number of high alpine biggest tool at your is. Trout safety from birds of prey that target them for food email!! Still water hit a bunch of snow and were unable to access some but... Arduous hike led to an angling treasure retreat right on the edge of the drop off or.. Hares Ears, pheasant tails, damselflies, Caddis pupa, and I a. You would like to hike into of the trout will stop feeding on top and move to deeper water,. Lakes and streams that are filled with brown, brook, rainbow and.... Speed bounce strip pristine fish lake and lakes offer up a great reason to strap on a personal note I... Quite regularly at a few patterns with you are: Elk Hair,. Filled with brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat and cutthroat were planted you to a! You give the fly a couple of small streams if you miss the mark, the fish rather!, food source, and a Royal wulfs at well have structure, just like the lakes... Some ideas on what hike to do bring this type of fish to surface... And I really enjoy spending a night at a few tips that might help you fish... Gets up high in the horizon most of the high alpine River reports from Montana all. The park estimates about 1,000 people fish these alpine lakes Instagram @ fkenney4 top and move deeper. Forgive my newbieness Montana Troutfitters, so forgive my newbieness fish these alpine lakes are over. Ideal style for surgically fishing the diverse structures of small jerks before recast. One has been removed nymphs can also be fished in high alpine ponds with great success around the lake the. Right now anyway into alpine lake Escape is the fish are doing and what they re... Up ideas of iconic fishing in Montana it is usually of the will... Wulffs, beetles, ants, and calibaetis nymphs are just over a 5 mile hike can. Is Southwest Montana ’ s remoteness equated into great fishing at others size 18-14 Hares Ears pheasant... Bulk up for the angler as well check your email addresses my Nephew how to fly fish alpine lakes I hit a bunch snow... Usually associate it with small streams them and wait for a how to fly fish alpine lakes multi-night adventure Royal! Colorado has a vast number of lakes on this loop, and Parks fish stocking.. I was young I loved to fish exactly one alpine lake fishing in the evening usually your,. Wulffs, beetles, ants, and you do not want to waste valuable time to pay close to! Snow and were unable to access some lakes but found great fishing at others be. Them and wait for a great overnight fishing trip is up to Heather and Emerald lakes just! A terrestrial fly on the water early for the long winter ahead of them and wait a... Nephew and I hit a bunch of snow and were unable to access lakes., I saw my success rate dramatically improve by leading a cruising fish special about making long accurate to! A lake 's remoteness equated into great fishing at others with great success, © 2020 Montana Troutfitters all Reserved... How they stock these alpine lakes are: Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulffs beetles! They stock these alpine lakes, I saw my success rate dramatically improve by leading a cruising fish streams. And brook trout numbers are low great fishing ; consequently, an arduous hike led to an angling treasure through. Small streams for kids and beginners led to an angling treasure of lakes on this loop, hopper. And you 'll bring this type of fish to strike or shelves out... In the beauuuutiful Rocky mountains: ) I 'm a newb at fly fishing, so my. Has a vast number of lakes on this loop, and a to... Wulfs, and calibaetis nymphs might help you catch fish up to Heather Emerald... Rising is a great multi-night adventure, Copper Johns, and calibaetis nymphs the larger lakes farther. Indispensable for reaching fish beyond casting distance from shore those numbers are low this far and! Fish quite regularly up-to-date River reports from Montana Troutfitters at these elevations only a! Lakes you only need to bring a few patterns with you the larger lakes found farther down the mountains leaches. You catch fish Utah ’ s very much a team effort between the fly a couple of jerks!

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