If you spend much time in the backcountry you'll appreciate the value of versatility in fly selection. When I am fishing in high country lakes it seems I go back to the same patterns over and over again. Here is a list of my top five flies for fishing the high mountain lakes of the Uintas here in Utah but the list will prove worthy anywhere in the high country.
#1 - Renegade
The renegade can be fished dry or wet. Is it a beetle, an ant, a caddis, a nymph??? Who cares, the fish don't so neither do I.
#2 - Flying Ant
This is one of the staples of dry fly action in the mountains. Hoppers and not present in the numbers when you get up around 10,000 feet but ants are everywhere. When a hatch of flying ants is happening expect some of the best fishing of the season. I don't know why the fish love ants so much but they do, trust me on this one.
#3 - Simi Seal Leech
This is my number one prospecting fly when I first come to a lake. Fish it deep during the middle of the day and you may be surprised by the results. It is a simple tie, very effective, and could potentially produce the biggest fish of a trip.
#4 - Chromie
Midges are probably one of the most important food sources for high mountain trout. This pattern was designed by Phil Rowley who has done a lot of research in designing his flies. It can be fish on a slow retrieve or under an indicator.
#5 - Fast Sinking Scud
Not all mountain lakes have scuds but the ones that do often have the biggest fish. I tie this one with those tungsten bodies which cause the fly to sink rapidly and to flip over which can often trigger a strike.
Honorable Mentions - Parachute Adams, Fullback, and Hare's Ear