BC's southern interior is known for it's great rainbow trout fishery, however, the opportunity to angle for angling eastern brook trout (ie: brookies /brook trout) is outstanding, both in the quantity of available lakes and the quality/size of the fish.
Eastern brook trout are a member of the char family (related to lake trout, dolly varden and arctic char. These beautifully coloured, scale free sport fish are terrific fighters (although less spectacular than rainbow trout) and rank high on the list of table fare with their bright coho-like orange/red flesh. They are also excellent for smoking.
Brookies are available year round, both in open water and/or under the ice in the winter. There are a number of lakes in the Thompson-Nicola region (Kamloops/Merritt) that offer brook trout for sport fishing. Brook trout may exist exclusively in a lake but are frequently paired with rainbow trout in many lakes for a mixed fishery. Two pound brook trout are abundant at most of these lakes however some lakes are known to produce these beauties to 6 lbs+.
Brook trout feed on basically the same food as their rainbow trout cousins which means fly fishing for brook trout in open water can be very rewarding. Of course, most brook trout lakes are less restrictive than many trophy rainbow trout lakes and allow for traditional spinning gear, trolling set-ups and even bait. In addition, many of the brook trout lakes have shore access to fishing without a boat.
Ice fishing for brook trout is also a great past time and is very popular here in the Thompson-Nicola region, perhaps even more popular than fishing for them in open water. The nature of the brook trout has them schooling in the fall and they tend to continue schooling under the ice. When the bite is on and a school comes by, the action is fast and furious.
According to the stocking reports generated on the Go Fish BC website, there were at least 15 lakes in the Kamloops-Merritt area that were stocked with brook trout this year.
Here is a partial list of the most popular brook trout destinations in the Thompson-Nicola.
- Edith lake - just outside of Kamloops, this lake is popular all year long and supports both rainbows and brookies - complete with a dock to cast/shore fish
- Black lake - Roche lake area - brookies and rainbows
- Bog lake - Roche lake area
- Tulip lake - Roche lake area - complete with a dock to cast/shore fish
- Horseshoe lake - Roche lake area - mostly known for its winter fishery but some spring and fall open water action; brookies and rainbows
- McGlashan lake - SE of Kamloops - mostly known for it's ice fishing and fall fishery
- Red Lake - NW of Kamloops - excellent ice fishing and very good open water fishery; both brookies and rainbows
- Edna Lake - south of Merritt - Iron mountain road
- Chicken Ranch - south of Merritt, Kane Valley
- Upper and Lower 2nd Lakes - south of Merritt, Kane Valley
- Marquart lake - south of Merritt
The Kamloops-Merritt area isn't the only part of the province that sports good brook trout fishing. Again, visit the Go Fish BC website to generate a report for brook trout lakes stocked in your area or region. Tight lines and have fun.
Click here for more information about fishing in the BC interior / Kamloops area.
For "fishing-on-the-go"... download the BigFishSmallHook Mobile app (available on iPhone and Android).