Backpacking the Sierra Nevadas for High Alpine Brook Trout

The next morning, we made our way back to yesterday’s fruitful lake, walking its shores for more vantage points that would allow us to cast 30-plus feet out to the transitional zones where the brook trout were regularly rising. The name of the game was long casts and longer drifts–sometimes up to a minute long and requiring us to feed out extra slack line so that our hoppers could slowly drift naturally with subtle surface currents.

After a handful of fish were hooked, the code was broken. Time flew right by as we brought in one brookie after another, some as dark as the depths they call home, while other brightly colored-up males fed on our flies in their fall-spawn liveries. The sun was still high but beginning to drop, so we descended back to the truck that would take us to one final feast of cold beer and hot, fresh food.

Coming back home to low and clear water brought on by a very dry fall season, I had few days with optimum conditions to get back out there and re-familiarize myself with the awe-inspiring markings on these pan-sized beauties. It could be a while before I hop in a plane to chase after brook trout again, but when I do, I won’t mind putting in the kind of work it took in Tahoe.

After all, if it was easy fishing I was after, I’d go out and throw worms at stockies.