Alpine Lake Fishing Basics

There is a variety of cutthroat, rainbow, or brook trout willing to take a fly or lure at an alpine lake. Alpine lakes can even offer the chance at a rare golden trout or arctic grayling. Know what fishing gear and tackle to bring to have the best success.


Fly Fishing

For fly anglers, woolly buggers, small nymphs and attractor flies are usually sufficient.

A spinning rod is propped up on a clear tackle box with three fishing lures sitting on top.

Spinning Tackle

With most alpine lakes surrounded by trees, a spinning outfit is sometimes easier to use. Bring a rod that breaks down into sections, a small assortment of spoons and spinners, and maybe a few different types of baits (or catch grasshoppers if available)

angler fishing on a float tube on Satan Lake near Rankin Mill outside McCall August 2006 medium shot

Other Gear

If you're planning a short trip and not carrying a lot of gear or food,  bring along a float tube or pack raft. Taking a float tube to any backcountry lake can increase your chances of catching fish when they move away from shore.