Whenever I have been up wilderness creeks or alpine lakes, all I've ever needed was a Royal Wulff. Keep it simple and use dry flies. After tearing up 3 or 4 flies, you will almost be tired of catching fish! Rick
small Olive Thinmint (woolly bugger tied with flash)
Iron Blue Dun (can be a great mosquito imitation)
Beadhead Pheasant Tails for days
As mentioned above, soft hackles can be great too. But if I'm fishing wet flies I usually just throw shiny stuff, these alpine lake or small stream trout see so few flies they will go nuts for a flash.
Also Teenage Entomologist if you're interested in the subject I wrote up some tips on fishing alpine lakes in the Northwest for a guide buddies website awhile back. Not that it's a difficult game to figure out:
I haven't been high lake fishing for a while but sure hope to this year. I've got a new ultra-light float tube to try out. For dries I'm partial to Elk Hair Caddis and Parachute Adams, tho I could substitute a Stimulator for either of those. Seems like my number one, all around exploratory wet fly is a woolly bugger, followed by a small partridge and orange - or green, then a damsel nymph.
I do, big meals get their attention, especially when the food supply in the water is scarce. If the creek or river is small enough to where you can cast to the other bank it doesn't hurt to bounce one of the bank into the water. And since the bug would be struggling a perfect drift is not mission critical.
OK I have two more subsurface favorites, old school soft hackle patterns (for the action the hackles provide) and a basic Hare's Ear Nymph, sometimes tied with partridge hackle.
Look at that poor little Trout caught in the winter on a hopper... I did kind of feel bad for it since the fish's mouth was rather stuffed.
Yeah, no force feeding there. . It did come out of the water when it assaulted that hopper.
True story, was at a lake near Estes park CO (I forget the name) but as I was standing foot deep in the water my fly was dangling right over the water over a weed bed as I was doing something else (I forgot what - getting a stogie or something) and out comes a frigging green back cutty and takes my bug and it's hooked. I was startled because I wasn't paying any attention and certainly wasn't expecting action since my rod was in my armpit As I was grabbing something. I hadn't made a cast or anything my line was barely out. Crazy little fish. It seems the little ones are the most daring.