Alpine Lake Fishing

Alpine lakes provide a unique fishing experience in Idaho's scenic backcountry

Idaho has over 3,700 alpine lakes, ranging in size from small temporary ponds to large lakes over a mile long. Not all lakes have fish, Idaho Fish and Game stocks hundreds of trout in alpine lakes every year.

These lakes are primarily in remote mountainous backcountry areas and often within wilderness areas that are typically only accessible by foot or horseback. However, a small number of high mountain lakes are accessible using vehicles like motorcycles, ATVs, or even automobiles in some cases.


Remember these fish have a very short growing season, so they tend to be pretty aggressive and active feeders. The fishing pressure at mountain lakes also tends to be light, so the fish aren’t real cagey, and basic trout fishing tackle and tactics are usually all you need to catch them. 

Published : 6/9/2021
High Mountain Lake

High Mountain Lake fishing ranked as Idaho’s second most-favorite fishing activity in a randomized angler opinion survey conducted in 2017 (river/stream fishing was #1).

Published : 11/3/2020
alpine lake

When summer crowds descend on our more popular river fisheries, solitude during your fishing excursions can be increasingly hard to find. Fortunately, for those willing to put in a little effort, there are still plenty of destinations available in Idaho that not only often offer solitude, but exceptional fishing, gorgeous scenery, and diverse target species which may not be found at lower elevations.

Published : 9/8/2020
High Mountain Lake

Fishing alpine lakes is a great reason to strap on a backpack and hit the trail. Deciding on a destination and logistics may seem daunting, so before you lace up your hiking boots, a little pre-trip planning is in order.

Published : 8/1/2019
Alpine lake fishing, Idaho

Idaho has many mountain ranges, nearly all of which have lakes that contain fish. Idaho Fish and Game has long been committed to keeping those lakes stocked with fish for anglers. 

Published : 7/17/2019
mountain lake fishingq[345.jpeg

Idaho is home to over 3,000 backcountry alpine lakes. Each summer, fish biologists and technicians lace up their boots and hike deep into Idaho’s mountainous backcountry to learn about how to improve backcountry fishing. 

Published : 6/25/2018
Alpine lake fishing, Idaho

Biologists completed a three-year study of mountain lakes to compare two kinds of trout used for stocking. 

Published : 8/14/2017
A Westslope Cutthroat from an Idaho alpine lake




Fishing Planner

The Fishing Planner is an advanced tool to explore fishing opportunities in Idaho

Related Documents

Salmon Region High Mountain Lake Angling Guide


This guide will help you plan your next alpine lake fishing adventure in our Salmon Region.