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Idaho Fish and Game

Alpine Lakes: Where to Fish

Anglers willing to hit the trail into the backcountry have a chance to experience some incredible fishing in some of Idaho’s most pristine and beautiful scenery. Put an alpine lake on the list and plan your next adventure. 


Choose a Lake

The Fish Planner shows you lake access, stocking history, fish species observed during surveys, and more. 

Look for lakes that are consistently stocked and where fish are frequently observed during surveys – these will be your best options for high catch rates.

If you’re looking for big fish, get off the beaten path – the big ones are typically found relatively farther from trailheads.

Fish Planner

Fish Stocking


Prepare For Your Trip

Late summer and early fall are some of the best times to fish mountain lakes.

Consider how many days do you want to spend in the backcountry. How far are you willing to hike?

Know your abilities when planning your trip. Keep elevation gain in mind, as altitude can make a big difference on the trail.

Plan Your Trip Length

Gear Considerations


Get to Your Destination

Some lakes are accessible via motorized vehicle or by a non-motorized trail, and some lakes do not have trail or road access to them.

Check with land management agencies, such as Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management, to see what type of trails access certain lakes and for closure and restriction information.