Photos of the Day: Colorado’s Collegiate Peaks Cutts

Written by: Jon Hill


The author shows off a gorgeous high-country cutthroat.
All photos by Jon Hill

At least once a year, I get away for a long backpacking trip, and this year Tom, Shawn, and I took five days off and headed into the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness in Colorado. The hike was a total of 30 miles with over 5,700 feet in elevation gain. Add to that roughly 15 miles of fishing around lakes and creeks, and it was an amazing week of fly fishing.


It took 30 miles of hoofing it to reach the lakes and streams in the Collegiate Peaks.

I brought along my 6-weight Recon and my 3-weight Superfine Glass and was glad I had both. The lakes we fished were above 12,000 feet, and it was extremely windy every day. Using the Recon was perfect for those conditions, throwing streamers and dry flies and everything else out of the fly box: the cutthroat trout were hungry and eager to take anything we threw at them.


The fish were eager to eat nymphs, such as this Higa’s S.O.S.

When we headed down into the valley to fish the different sections of the creek, the 3-weight Superfine was so much fun to throw dry flies to eager brook and cutthroat trout. Even though they were small in the creek, it’s always a blast to be wet-wading up a creek and catching trout with every cast!


You don’t run into any crowds this far out in the wilderness.

Jon Hill lives in Littleton, Colorado and works in the digital-graphics field. But he spends almost all his spare time chasing trout in the high country, and his photos have been featured many times on the Orvis News. (See herehere, and here, for just a taste, or visit his blog, Ramblings.) He’s also a former Trout Bum of the Week.


Shawn proudly displays another trophy fish.

It’s tough to beat five days away from it all. . .

These wild fish are incredibly healthy and colorful.

Brookies in the streams at lower elevations eagerly ate dry flies.

When you’re over 12,000 feet in elevation, you might need to bundle up, even in summer.

Another stream beauty, released to grow bigger.

2 thoughts on “Photos of the Day: Colorado’s Collegiate Peaks Cutts”

  1. This looks absolutely incredible. I just moved to colorado and have been looking for some hiking/trout fishing opportunities. Do you have any more details on the trip you can share: trailhead location, trails taken, lakes fished, campsites, peak fishing seasons? anything you can provide would be appreciated!

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