Fly Fishing Colorado’s Backcountry

Fly Fishing Colorado’s Backcountry - strategies for high lakes and small streams, by Ron Belak. Is a book given to me by my wife’s brother and his wife, who live in Denver Colorado, are geologists, as is Ron, and worked with and had bin friends with him for many years, so this gem of mountain angling lore fell into my hands by luck rather than through my own knowledge or efforts.

Published by High Lakes Press, P. O. Box 823, Kittredge, CO 80457 @ $35.00 U.S. It is a collection of essays of individual articles that appeared in Colorado Outdoors Magazine, the official publication of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Although aimed at backcountry anglers in Colorado, over half of the essays are relevant to fly fishing for trout anywhere. And the essays on light-weight backpacking, terrestrials, brown trout and Tenkara won awards from the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers.

“For any mountain angler, this is a must-have book overflowing with practical experience only available from someone who has traversed the trails and worn out boot leather to get it. This book is the new standard for understanding how to plan, prepare for and fish the high country, no matter where you choose to fish.” Steve Schweitzer, author of A Fly Fishing Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park and A Fly Fishing Guide to Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.

“ Ron Belak is one of the top authorities on Colorado’s backcountry. This book is jam-packed with strategies and fly patterns to take your high-mountain lake and small stream game to the next level. Belak’s wealth of knowledge is accompanied by stunning photography, which makes it hard to put down”. Pat Dorsey, fly fishing guide and author of books on the South Platte, tail waters and effective fly patterns.

“Ron’s beautiful book will take you to some new places, not all of them in Colorado, and will show you some new things to do - new ways to catch trout! - in places you already enjoy.” Dave Hughes, author of Trout from Small streams and Handbook of Hatches.

Ron does not feel that Tenkara tackle adequately lives up to all the challenges the high lakes have to offer but Tenkara is his preferred method for fishing small streams. As is the custom in modern fly fishing works, matching the hatch theory is well covered and quoted. But paying attention to the photos of the successful patterns being fished, and the size of the fish they catch, you will see how he mostly succeeds with a reasonable number of non-specific general patterns. This is a highly valuable and desirable book to have even if you do not fish the backcountry…Karl.


I had the pleasure of fishing in the mountains of Colorado with a bunch of Tenkara Knuckleheads.

Probably the most beautiful fishing I have ever done and permanently ruined my view of my local fishing. It is like fishing in a sewer in comparison.

Great share Karl, if I ever get back to any mountains in the west, I will definitely buy that book.


Copies of the book are available through BookBaby’s BookShop at:


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