Mills Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

MillsKimLongssmallcopyAt 2.5 miles one way, Mills Lake is not too difficult considering the population of rainbow trout and brook trout that can be found there. We usually sleep too late to find a spot at the Glacier Gorge parking lot so we park up at the Bear Lake lot. There is a horse trail cut-off at the far end of the parking lot from Bear Lake. This only adds about .4 miles to the trip each way.

The inlet of Mills Lake provides several rock peninsulas to cast from. Crossing a log jam [carefully] at the inlet gives access to the western shore and less pressured fish. Brook trout seem to be expanding their range from the inlet [Glacier Creek] into the southern end of the lake. We caught mostly brook trout near the inlet. Rainbows always cruise along the eastern shoreline just off the trail. At sunset, which comes early in this valley, rainbows were aggressively feeding at the outlet. The flies for the day were a foam wing caddis and a tiny parachute ant. Larger ants went untouched. A lot of the surface feeding in this lake happens at the edge of the shoreline shelf a long cast from shore. Spinning tackle with a “fly and bubble” rigging is perfect for putting a fly in front of these “far out” fish.

Wish we could guide everyone to these lakes and help them catch and release a few of these beautiful trout while soaking up the scenery. Since we can’t, we share all the things you need to know to successfully and safely go it alone in our waterproof pocket sized guide: Angler’s Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park available at most fly shops in the area, Macdonald Book Shop, all Rocky Mountain Nature Association stores inside the park and on Amazon as either hard copy or an e-book. Of course you can always get a signed copy direct from us at: Our next trip takes us to Lake Haiyaha in search of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout found there. Maybe we’ll see you along the trail. Remember to limit your kill don’t kill your limit.

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