The East Kootenay watershed is home to numerous species of trout that one can target. One of my most preferred trout to target is the Brooke Trout; in my opinion they are a kind of a triple threat! They offer everything I look in a fish and can be sought after in all 4 seasons!
Fisheries stock these trout even though not native to the area but they do well in lakes that other trout species do not.
If you want beauty they sure do not lack in that department, most fishermen can appreciate them on this aspect alone. A member of the char family and easily identified with worm/marbling like patterns across the back, leading white edges on their fins accompanied with red spots surrounded by blue halos. These fish are indeed a very attractive fish worthy of few pictures! The males become even more so attractive in the spawning season with bright red to orange on their bellies.
I consider Brook Trout to be fairly aggressive and the smaller size fish tend to eat anything you throw in the water. If you are a gear angler throwing spinners you stand a good chance of catching them with basically any colors with silver blades. From personal experience orange/silver, red/silver and yellow with red spots are my go to colours for spinners.
As for the fly fisherman, the usual dry flies work well, small mice flies, shrimp, baitfish, bead head patterns and chironomids are all proven flies.
I believe the best time to target these fish is in winter. My personal best Brook Trout was caught through the ice, as they tend to stay aggressive during the winter season. Now if numbers count I have had days ice fishing where every time I put my line through the hole I would catch fish after fish! When ice fishing for Brookies I prefer to use orange or yellow glo hooks tipped with cooked shrimp. Also small gold spoons with shrimp can provide excellent results, especially in stained water! Don’t be afraid to go shallow with Brook Trout, as they will feed in less than 2 feet of water under the ice!
Brooke Trout provides an excellent fight for their size! They’ll pull drag dog down to the bottom, go side to side and in a last attempt for escape they’ll roll. They also make excellent table fare.
Some Brook Trout lakes in BC do have larger Brook Trout that can reach over 5 pounds! But like other trout species the bigger fish tend to be smarter and a challenge to catch, but figuring them out is part of the fun!