Essential Gear to have for Backcountry Fly Fishing - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Friday, June 16, 2023

Essential Gear to have for Backcountry Fly Fishing

Essential Gear to have for backcountry fly fishing

Summer brings the chance to catch wild trout in high alpine lakes that have been snowed over for months. Because food is sparse in these waterways, the trout found there are usually looking for an easy meal.

In addition to several lakes, pocket water fishing on mountain streams should not be missed. Pocket water is often plentiful in streams running into and out of alpine lakes and may give numerous hours of entertainment with many fish in crystal-clear water.

With that said, here are some essential things you need before going out.


Clothing is a must for high alpine and backcountry fly fishing. Temperatures at high elevations may vary dramatically during the day.

Even in the summer, morning temperatures may be below freezing, with highs in the 70s and 80s by mid-afternoon. This becomes a difficulty when attempting to reduce the amount of gear you carry while still being prepared for anything mother nature throws at you.

Insulated Jacket

Hiking to a backcountry stream or alpine lake sometimes necessitates an early start to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms plaguing the high country throughout the summer.

This often implies cold mornings that need the use of clothing. Get a puff jacket that’s light and packs virtually nothing, making room for additional items needed for a day in the bush.

A raincoat

As previously said, afternoon thunderstorms are common at high altitudes, and there is no better way to prepare than with a comfortable rain jacket. Selecting a jacket that can be worn in various conditions is essential, and allowing space for layering is a good idea.

Pants and Shoes

A good pair of hiking shoes or boots can help you navigate the varied terrain on your trip to these isolated fish. When the temperatures really start to soar, you can throw on a pair of sandals for stream crossings and wet wading.

Fly Fishing Equipment

Fly Rod

Backcountry fly fishing allows you to use almost any fishing rod, depending on the terrain. Smaller fish inhabit smaller mountain streams, enabling lightweight rods to be used for fishing with dry flies all day. Many wilderness fishermen will use fiberglass rods to make capturing these little but stunningly attractive wild fish more enjoyable.

That being said, a quiet day on a high alpine lake is uncommon, necessitating a rod with a greater backbone to punch throws against a strong wind. A 3-5wt fly rod with a floating line from Melton Tackle would suffice in most wilderness situations.

Fly Selection

Because backcountry trout are generally opportunistic eaters, you may keep your fly choices basic. You just need a few impressionistic flies to trick these eager fish. Dry fly fishing chances are many throughout the summer, so being ready for topwater activity is critical.

There may be moments when going underwater is required. Therefore, an array of medium to tiny nymphs (16-22) will usually be enough. Dry droppers (especially for mountain streams), beneath an indicator, and even stripping a single nymph on a slow retrieve might generate a strike in alpine lakes.


Backcountry and high mountain fly fishing during the summer allow one to avoid congested tailwaters and freestones. Take time to appreciate the numerous marvels that the outdoors has to offer. When you arrive at an alpine lake, take some time to set up your gear and examine the water.

Alpine lake trout often patrol the shorelines in a pattern. By observing the trout's eating patterns, the astute fisherman may determine when and where to lay the ideal dry fly. Once you've worked out the pattern, lead the fish several feet with a dry fly on a long leader (a 5x mono leader about 9-12 feet is a good option), and be ready!

Because of the steepness of the terrain, pocket water is plentiful in high mountain streams and alpine lakes. Dapping your fly near a plunge pool may attract an opportunistic small-stream trout. You may need a foot or two of fly lines from your guides. Watch for shadows, and try not to scare these fish with your rod.

Miscellaneous Equipment

The following are excellent basic backcountry supplies that guarantee an enjoyable and safe day. Maintaining a light pack is a fantastic objective, but don't forego the basics.

Back Pack

A waterproof pack or backpack is an excellent choice for backcountry excursions. Keeping extra layers of clothing and supplies dry in case the temperature drops is vital.

Buy a backpack with enough storage for a day's worth of water or drinks, food, drink, layers, and the option to carry a fly rod tube in some fashion. Hiking for kilometres with a constructed rod might be difficult, and you risk damaging it, so we suggest packing it in.


National Geographic compiled every USGS topographic map into a single, user-friendly web-based platform.

It's good to over-prepare before venturing into the outdoors. We suggest getting a topographical map, downloading the area you want to visit on Google Maps (for offline use), or utilizing the fantastic digital topographical maps made available by National Geographic. These are also excellent tools for finding wilderness lakes and streams in the first place! In the case of an accident, letting someone know your intentions (someone you trust with the location of your favourite blue lines, of course) is always a good idea.


Finally, in the bush, you should have a lighter, flint, TP, a pocket knife, and all standard first aid items. A GPS device is a wise investment if you want to carve your own tracks.

If your favourite rivers and lakes are jam-packed with recreational boaters and floaters this time of year, we recommend researching and organizing a high-alpine trip! Getting your hands on a wild, magnificent trout is just half the enjoyment of wilderness fly fishing. The journey, the wilderness, and the time away from congested rivers should be considered. We assure you will be satisfied if you take the time to check out nearby sites.

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