We have fielded quite a few questions at the shop when it comes to what gear to bring when going up to the high country. Conditions 9,000 feet and above can produce their own set of unique challenges. Making sure you're prepped and ready for your journey to and the fishing at that unnamed creek or high alpine lake is of utmost importance.
For this reason, we decided to put together a list of our favorite pieces of gear for heading to the high alpine to pick off a rising trout or two. Enjoy.
Most trips to the high country start with "What rod should I take"? In our opinion, a Scott G-Series checks all the boxes. The engineers at Scott were able to design a medium-action fly rod that bends deeply and remains stable when casting. The G-Series by Scott also touts a completely redesigned hollow internal ferrule. This redesign of the internal ferrule allowed Scott to produce a rod that is stronger, more flexible, and 20% lighter. When pack weight is of the utmost importance in the high country, this rod should be your go-to.
If you are a Click-and-Pawl fan like myself, the Ross Colorado Reel is for you. For those that may know the Colorado LT set the standard for Click-and-Pawl reels. The Ross Colorado elevates the standard. The Ross Colorado offers the historical sound of a clicking fly reel while meeting the modern strength needed for dedicated anglers. The Ross Colorado is a true work of art and deserves time in the high country.
When your average fly line does not make the cut, Scientific Anglers Creek Trout is there for you. This fly line is the opposite of what you would expect from a classic trout fly line. This fly line boasts a 22-foot-head for their 3wt. That is pretty short. However, when you are in the high county, your cast is rarely longer than 30'. This line is called upon when casting real estate is limited and quick shots are the name of the game.
Designed to scoop just about anything that swims, the Nomad Hand net should be the only net you carry on your back. The size is perfect for sling packs and fits well in hand when the moment arises. Nomad Nets are constructed with carbon fiber/fiberglass composite material. The result is a very lightweight and durable net. Nomad Nets are built for the conditions that prevail where great fishing exists; they are waterproof, UV protected, and float like a cork.
If you are going anywhere in the backcountry having a water purifier that works EVERY time is an absolute necessity. The Grayl GEOPRESS is a must-have for those headed into the backcountry and beyond. Where you are fishing the alpine in Colorado or needing a quick drink after catching Grayling in Noway the GEOPRESS will keep you safe and hydrated. There is no other purifier that can rival the speed and convenience of the Grayl GEOPRESS. This filter works across every continent to protect you from global-waterborne pathogens. The next time you head out, do not be caught without one.
Designed to go where ever the fish take you. The Simms Flyweight Hybrid System is the perfect option for those looking to truly streamline their day on the water. The water bottle holster accommodates a bottle of up to 40oz and offers personalized hip positioning making this pack truly yours. The innovative Hex-Grid system allows for the interchanging or removal of items as the angler see's fit throughout their day on the water. An upgrade we all recommend here at the shop is the Flyweight Net Holster. The Simms Flyweight Hybrid System is your next favorite partner for those missions to the alpine.
Complete with Simms GORE-TEX PACLITE® PLUS and two fully taped seams the Simms Flyweight Shell Jacket will be the last rain layer you will ever need. This jacket also includes a three-point hood adjustment to shed the rain in harsh conditions, a zippered chest pocket that allows quick stowing with quick clips to attach to the Flyweight Waders. This jacket gives you the protection you need in case you missed the weather forecast.
If the cowboy hat is a symbol of the American West, the Fishpond Eddy River Hat is a symbol of a fly angler of the American West. Boasting a wide brim and Fishpond’s signature Brown Trout jacquard webbing hatband, this sunny day staple will keep you protected from the sun and looking stylish for your next trip to the high country or at the patio bar when the day is done.
When the inevitable summer rain shower rolls in, it is always good to have a book with you. Flyfisher's Guide to Colorado's Lost Lakes and Secret Places is a fantastic option and provides the reader with an in-depth review of numerous Colorado lakes and streams. The book also offers specific GPS coordinates that are easy to read and place into On-X maps or Garmin Inreach.
The Day Pack 2X is truly a fast-packers dream setup. Gone are the days when you were forced to decide between bringing enough flies to cover the hatch or traveling light. With Tacky’s original, patented silicone anchoring technology and bi-directional slits lining both sides of the box, up to 360 flies fit right in the pocket of your wet wading shorts. Isn’t compromise overrated? We think so.
Now more than ever anglers are discussing water temperature. So no matter if you are in the high country or fishing your favorite tailwater The Fishpond Swift Current Thermometer will keep you accurately informed when it's time to call a beer break and give the fish some rest. This thermometer will measure the water temperature in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. So whether you prefer one or the other this will do both. This redesigned thermometer measures water temperature from 20 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or from 10 to 50 degrees Celsius. It has a rugged aluminum case that helps protect the thermometer from breakage.
Well folks, that about does it. Those are our eleven favorite pieces of gear for the Colorado high country. Need some flies for your trip or want to see some of the gear mentioned in person? Feel free to swing by the shop and let us assist you with your next trip on the water. If you looking for some motivation to explore the high country check out our Primer For The High Country or if are a seasoned alpine veteran looking to extend your stay in the high country head over to the blog and read High-Country Exploration 201.