Trouts Journal

GEAR GUIDE || Nine Picks for the High Country

Ivan Orsic / Jun 14, 2020

As summer arrives, our favorite high country haunts unlock from their winter slumber. The trout that call the countless high country lakes, streams and creeks are memorable to say the least and the places they call home are wildly picturesque.

The high country offers a near limitless amount of fishing options. From smaller creeks, to meandering mountain meadow streams, to high elevation lakes, there are a lot of options for those willing to search them out. Summer is a great time to put on your hiking boots and explore the nooks and crannies of the Colorado High Country.

With that in mind, we've put together a collection of gear that will help you get on-the-water ready for the high country season.

Redington Butter Stick II Fly Rod

Fiberglass fly rods have a penchant for making smaller fish feel a little bit bigger. Every head shake is amplified and even those diminutive high country gems can feel like a Front Range trophy. It doesn't hurt that the slower pace of casting a fiberglass rod is downright fun. Built with T-Glass construction on Redington’s Heritage Taper, the new Butter Stick II is the perfect slow action glass rod that presents a fly smoothly even in the smallest, tightest places. The new retro look and slower action makes everyday feel like throwback Thursday.

Orvis Battenkill Disc Fly Reel

We felt like pairing another reimagined classic was appropriate when putting together this list. The Battenkill is an Orvis classic. Add in a smooth disc drag and the Battenkill Disc is a great option for wrangling those alpine trout.

Simms Flyweight Wet Wading Shoes

For most day trips into the high country, it's hard to beat the form and function that the new SIMMS Flyweight Wet Wading Shoes bring to the table. Available in Vibram and Felt, the Flyweight Wading Shoes are lightweight and comfortable wet wading shoes that take many design cues from the world of light hiking boots/shoes. Perfect for your next trip to the high country.

Fishpond Tacky Daypack 2X Fly Box

Fact is, there are a lot of non-fishing essentials you should bring into the high country when you put a couple of miles between you and your vehicle. With that in mind, keeping your fishing gear SIMPLE and minimal is key. If you're looking for a fly box that has a small footprint, but can carry all your flies (dries, nymphs and streamers) for the day, your search ends with the Fishpond Tacky Daypack 2X Fly Box. 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.

Orvis Dri Release Pullover Hoody

The sun gets awful hot at 12,000 feet. Protect yourself from the sun and blend into the high country backdrop with the Orvis Dri Release Pullover Hoody. Soft, super-lightweight, breathable dri release dries four times faster than cotton and wicks moisture. No other fabric keeps you drier or more comfortable. Easy stretch allows for mounting and swinging with maximum freedom of movement. Its soft, natural feel and active fit mean clothing will be the last thing on your mind when you're flushing pheasant. Built-in odor protection helps eliminate odors.

Staff Picked High Country Trout Flies

Our staff at Trouts has spent thousands of hours on our Colorado High Alpine Lakes. It's safe to say we know what's working and what's not at any time of the year. Let us dial in your bug selection for you with our staff picked flies.

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

Weather in the high country can be touch and go sometimes. Protect all of your high country essentials with the now iconic, super durable, comfortable, fully submersible backpack from Fishpond. This fully submersible backpack is one of Fishpond's toughest bags ever, constructed with our bombproof 1680d TPU coated recycled Cyclepond nylon, a waterproof TIZIP closure, and a sturdy harness system for a more comfortable carry.


Dry flies and dry-dropper rigs are both mainstays in the high country and you need them to float. A classic gel floatant, we love applying GINK on a fresh dry fly as part of a two part (floatant - dessicant) system.

Shimazaki Dry Shake

After your dry fly gel floatant wears off and your favorite high country dry fly starts to sink, Shimazaki Dry Shake is your answer. It's a dessicant. Pop your flies in the container of shake, give it a couple of shakes and your fly will be riding high again.

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