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Beautiful Alpine Trout

3 Flies for the Week: June 18

Written by: Xavier Puls



Time to read 3 min

Welp, runoff sure does want to stay around but we aren’t complaining. It looks like we’re in store for a great summer fishing season with all this water around. In years past we’ve had many river closures mid to late summer due to thin runoff seasons, but it looks like (knock on wood) that we’ll avoid that this year! That being said, the rivers really aren’t fishable except for tailwaters right now so this week I want to talk about some flies for alpine lake fishing. Many lakes still aren’t open as of yet, but there are plenty to go around. Aside from these three flies, if you are interested in more alpine lake fishing information, take a look at Harper’s recent blog here: Tackling Alpine Lake Fishing This Summer

#1: Balanced Squirrel Leech - Olive sz12

Much like the standard marabou balanced leeches, this fly is incredibly enticing for alpine fish in the early season. The one thing that really sets this fly apart though from the marabou leeches is the squirrel tends to “dance” and wiggle under the water just a little more. This offers a very realistic presentation that the fish just cannot resist. It’s been a long winter without much food to go around, so once the ice comes off these fish are on the look for big meals! Olive tends to be my favorite color when clear water conditions are available, but if clarity is a little lower we tend to fish black. I prefer to fish the balanced flies under an indicator, particularly this time of the year since the fish are still a little lethargic. But, this fly can still be fished on the strip, it can just be difficult to cast due to its weight distribution.

#2: Griffith’s Gnat - sz20

The all time classic Griffith’s Gnat is by far the best midge dry fly pattern that’s ever been made. It’s incredibly simplistic which doesn’t give the fish a chance to overthink about what they’re eating. This fly can resemble both a single adult, as well as a cluster of adults. The most prolific aquatic insects in the entire world are midges (chironomids) and always on the plate for trout, in both lakes and rivers alike. That said, due to the extreme environment of alpine lakes that have a very short window of open water, which is typically very cold, there aren’t many insects that can live in an alpine lake environment. Due to these circumstances, midges are the most important food item for alpine fish, and most of the time are the only thing they have available to them. So if you have to make a tiny box for your alpine adventures, I’d highly suggest going heavy on midges, and the Griffith’s Gnat better be in that box!

#3: Gulp Beetle - Black sz16

Although midges are an incredibly important food source for alpine fish, terrestrials are readily available to these fish. High alpine environments are crawling with terrestrial bug life, grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies, bees, and many more are just about everywhere, and just because they don’t hatch from the lake it doesn’t mean the fish won’t eat them. A lot of the time I’ll first put on some type of terrestrial in hopes that fish will rise to a bigger offering before switching to a midge. Although this isn’t a very big fly, it’s much bigger than the midges hatching. With the size in mind, this fly has a very low profile which can make other beetle imitations difficult to see. Luckily this fly has a built in orange sighter on its top which makes it very easy to identify on the water.

Best of luck on the water this week and we hope these 3 Flies for the Week: June 18 catch a fish or two for ya. All three flies are available on our website and in the shop.

Xavier Puls holding a large Cut Bow Trout

Xavier Puls

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Xavier on email at, or call the shop at 303-330-1292. Thank you!

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