Backpack Fishing Trips


new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it
So as I spend this week getting ready for finals, and look ahead towards my spring break, which I'll be spending tying flies and enjoying Microbrews. It got me thinking about this summer and my desire to get up to the alpine lakes and get some fishing/backpacking in. So my question to you (without giving away your secrets, which I understand) is what advice do you have for someone when fishing alpine lakes? Anything in particular about fly selection or best time of day to fish?

Thanks in advance, can't wait to hear the stories.

Jason Wood

I'll second that request, I sit at work drafting on the 'puter and thinking often that someone, somewhere, is headed to a lake to fish. Stories and advice please...Jason
I always like to fish right after ice out in mid June most years around some lakes in Snoqualmie/Stevens Pass area. The fish are hungry after a long cold winter. For flies, usually general attractor patterns will do. Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, EH caddis,' and my favorite the Parachute Adams.

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
I second chadk's suggestion once again. It is a great book. Anyways, fish-hiking is one of my areas of intense study. I've found a few patterns that work great. I mostly fish high in the upper reaches of the Olympic rivers, home to resident Coastal Cutts and stocked brookies in some cases. One fly I'll suggest is a half-yellow half-black wooly bugger in size 10 or 12. It works.

Luke Ramirez

Still DoubleUgly
I fished a few alpine lakes last summer. The one thing I would suggest even more than fly pattern or line type, etc is to get away from the populated areas. if there is a lake that is within 6 miles of the trailhead, make that your base from where further lakes may be explored. Same kind of idea as the rivers around here.

- Luke


tryin' not to get too comfortable
So as I spend this week getting ready for finals, and look ahead towards my spring break, which I'll be spending tying flies and enjoying Microbrews.
My advice would be tie some flies and drink some brews before/during your finals week, and then spend your spring break fishing some hike-in lakes, dirt-camping and generally living like a hippy. You'll learn a lot from the experience.

The only way to learn, is to do.

Life is short. Don't wait for it to happen. Get on it.


new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it
Thanks guys for the advice. I'm definitely going to look into that book and try and tie some of the flies suggested. Parachute Adams is a bit intimidating still, just in trying to get the wings right. I can't wait though, I've been chomping at the bit. Want to try and get my first golden trout this year too. Should be a good year, if we can get rid of this darn snow enough though.

Hefeweizen for all!:beer1:


B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again
As far as best time of day to fish I would have to say when your there it's the best time for you to fish. It's like everybody asking about which tide is best to fish in the salt, any tide you can get on the water is the best.
As far as good fly patterns remember that the high elevation fish have a shorter growing season so are generally going to be more opportunistic feeders and generally less selective (I think anyways). That could be one reason ice off is a good time. Also late in the season when the fish are looking to fatten up.

David Loy

Senior Moment
Nows the time to put together:
Day pack
10 essentials
quick dry pants (zip off legs)
small chest pack w/minimal accouterments (can be worn with or without day pack)
wade wet or flyweights
tie some EHCs, Adams, PTs, Humpys, EHCs, GRHEs, small buggers, EHCs
multi-piece 4wt
lt wt hammock (4 relaxing, beats a rock)

random thoughts (J.Handy)
Keep in mind that nearly every lake up there with any size has fish in it, even a lot of the ones with no regular trail to it. Generally, the further away from the trailhead(s) and roads, the better. There are some really good alpine lakes (some with large, plentiful fish) and many with just dinks, but it is all fun when you are in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Get some hiking books for each section of the Cascades/Olympics (or borrow from the library). The books by Ira Spring are a great place to start.
All good suggestions, this is a favorite question to answer as I'm always looking forward to the High Country. In your arsenal of flies consider taking bugs with lots of good movement (life) in the water. Small skinny leeches and buggers with a little flash in the body sz 12, glass bead head flies that catch the sunlight such as bead thorax soft hackles, also don't forget your scuds with flashback. Many alpine lakes have scud populations and fishing a scud under an indicator during your lunch break can keep both hands busy. You know what happens when you put your rod under your arm to take a bite of sandwich!


new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it
Right on guys! I'm really excited about the melt. Plan on heading to a fly shop and picking up more supplies (ugh, never ending) and soon enough will be whipping up some beauties. I'll try and post my creations when there all said and done.

I've also looked into buying the little 2 man backpacking raft at REI and packing that up to the lakes. As I've heard that most of the lakes have very little shoreline and with the amount of snow we've had it stands to reason there will be even less. What are your opinions on this? Not needed? Bad idea?

Thanks for the advice from everyone, it's greatly appreciated.

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