In Search of Brook Trout

Going back to June and July of this year (2023) before I had my fishing documents, I spent a lot of time on the Radbuza riverbank feeding bread to the fish to get an idea of which species were present.

Brook Trout Sighting

Brook Trout
Brook Trout

One of the species I was surprised to see was a Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) rising to and taking some floating bread flake.

This was a fish of around 25cm and unmistakable with it’s vivid orange belly, dark back and light spots on it’s flanks. A beautiful fish.

I would think that this fish had either ventured downstream from a trout fishing section of the river where it had previously been stocked or is a naturalised specimen as found in the mountain streams in the north of the Czech Republic. I am hoping it’s the latter as a naturalised Brook Trout population would be very welcome.

I am hoping that, if there is one Brook Trout here, there are probably more. However, by the time I obtained my fishing documents in August, the river and weather conditions in my stretch had changed and were no longer favourable for Trout or Char.

Declared Brook Trout Catches

I’ve asked the few local anglers in the area if they have seen or caught a Trout, but nobody has admitted to it and these guys have been fishing this stretch of river for 40 to 50 years.

Checking the West Bohemian Angling Union’s records for declared catches of Brook Trout in this fishery turns up a big zero for both 2022 and 2021.

The absence of Brook Trout in the official declarations doesn’t necessarily mean much as these are only for fish caught and killed.

Added to this is that there really aren’t many anglers fishing this section and those that do tend to fish for Carp or Pike and don’t think of this water as a home for Trout or Char so their tackle, rigs and bait are not adapted for them.

The main point I am taking away from what I have learned so far is that they exist in this stretch of river – possibly in small numbers and that nobody else is actively fishing for them. So I feel that the effort will be worthwhile.

The Ideal Swim?

I have in mind a new swim which seems perfect for Trout and Char – it’s faster running over stone and rocks with nice looking, although narrow, channels flowing between the rocks. The speed of the flow through the rocks and stones cause a nice amount of turbulence which in turn will cause more oxygen to be present in the water.

Radbuza Char Swim Downstream
Radbuza Trout Swim – Downstream

Here the banks are more easily accessible and there is a lack of riverside trees on the near-bank which opens up the possibility of fly fishing.

Radbuza Char Swim Upstream
Radbuza Trout Swim – Upstream

The added bonus is that nobody seems interested in this swim as it’s unlikely to contain Carp and would be a tricky place to fish for Pike.

Brook Trout Tackle

So the choice of tackle will be two rods: my ultralight lure setup and my 25 year old fly setup which consists of a Mitchell carbon 255cm #4/5 rod and a Franco Vivarelli semi-automatic reel loaded with a #5 DT floating line.

Ultralight Spinning Setup
Ultralight Spinning Setup
Franco Vivarelli Fly Reel
Franco Vivarelli Fly Reel
Mitchell Rhodanis 255cm #4/5 Fly Rod
Mitchell Rhodanis 255cm #4/5 Fly Rod

I’ll make my own fly leaders from lengths of Fluorocarbon : 14lb, 10lb, 8lb, 6lb and 4lb.

Tackle Update

General Purpose Fly Setup
General Purpose Fly Setup

For an updated tackle description please take a look at 2024 New Year, New Tackle, New Strategy where I have detailed my new tackle for the 2024 season.

Brook Trout Season

The Brook Trout is not a native species to the Czech Republic and therefore the open season for fishing for this species is from 1st January to 31st December – all year!

The only restriction that I am aware of is that we are only allowed to fish with artificial lures (spinning, jigging, etc.) on non-salmonid fisheries from 16th June until 31st December. Fly fishing is permitted all year.

But there is always bread and there are always worms and what about Char on sweetcorn?

If I don’t manage to attract a Brook Trout then I am sure to bump into the odd Chub or two and the whole process is going to be a lot of fun – once I’ve bought some waders…

Brook Trout

Also known as Brook Char, Eastern Brook Trout, Brook Charr.

In Czech: Siven Americký, Siven.

Latin: Salvelinus fontinalis.



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