These four trout species are the most common sought after game fish that inhabit our mountain waters:
Cutthroat Trout – these beautiful fish are native to the area. The East Kootenays free stone rivers and tributaries boast one of the best natural Cutthroat trout fisheries in North America. This makes catching these fish that much more meaningful to the fly fisherman. Peak season for the Westslope Cutthroat trout is during the warm summer months which aids in a more pleasurable fishing experience. Early summer dry fly patterns consist of mainly caddis, stoneflies, and mayfly. Mid to late summer these trout will gorge themselves on large terrestrials such as grasshoppers and flying ants. These trout will also take a wet fly nymph pattern. It is not unusual to catch 20 – 50 fish a day when the hatch is on. Sizes average 8 – 14 inches with trophy sizes reaching 20 inches.
Rainbow Trout – this species of trout is well known amongst sport fisherman for their ability to fight and the famous tail walk. The East Kootenay Trout Hatchery has one of the best fishery programs in place to support the game fishing in our lakes and rivers. Fly fisherman come from all over North America to try their hand at landing these spectacular trout. Spring and early summer is prime time fishing in the lakes using our secret chironomid and leech patterns and promises to fill your day with action. Average size depending on the lake ranges from 10 – 18 inches with trophy sizes reaching up to 30 inches.
Bull Trout – are among the world’s most endangered species of trout but in the East Kootenays they are abundant and a sport fisherman’s dream. These fish are part of the char family and can exceed sizes of 20lbs, imagine that 20lbs of fighting fury at the end of your rod. Bull trout have been protected in many river systems as a result of over fishing and environmental malpractices. These carnivorous trout can and will eat almost anything which contributes to their large size and are making a significant comeback in B.C. waters. Here in the East Kootenays we not only enjoy the right to fish and catch these monsters but we are allowed to keep them in certain waters at different times of the year. Bull trout are very aggressive in the spring and fall and are caught mainly using large streamer fly patterns; the bucktail being the most productive. Sizes average 14 – 30 inches with trophy sizes reaching 50 inches.
Brook Trout – these trout are not as common as the other species of trout in the East Kootenays, but are plentiful in certain lakes, rivers and streams. Also part of the char family the brook trout is one of the most uniquely colored fish in North America. This makes them worthy of being on your list of sport fish. Fly patterns most often used to entice a brook trout to bite are shrimp and leech patterns. Average size for these fish ranges from 8 – 12 inches, with trophy sizes reaching 18 inches.