Catching brook trout in the northern reaches of it’s range is as simple as casting a line to any water body within your vicinity, and in Canada there are literally millions of lakes or river to choose from. When you’re living in southern Ontario or central, and eastern US states, Brookie waters are akin to finding paradise. Brook trout love cold, clear, pristine waters so in a climate where summer temps average in the 70s, finding a fish which calls it’s goldilock zone in the 50s may seem impossible, at least within the brief 5 or 6 month of trout season (depending on the regulations of your area)
This is where it’s time to get your cardio and stamina up while gearing up in some good waders and head to brush! The headwaters of most rivers will actually hold decent populations of Brookies, but when finding the best streams there are a few factors to consider.
First thing, with the introduction of foreign trout species from the western part of the country and overseas (Rainbow and Brown trout), these two fish although highly prized by fishermen alike, offer direct competition for food and territory. Since these two species get considerably larger than Brookies, in order to thrive and grow to decent sizes the native Brook trout seeks waters devoid of the foreign invaders. What the Brook trout has going for it though is it’s preference for colder waters, especially more so than the Brown Trout which can withstand waters into the low 70s.
With that love for colder water, if the stream is wide and easy to cast your fly in without snagging a branch or two or more, then most likely you’re not catching a Brookie. Headwaters, the source of larger rivers, generate from up-welling high country springs, rainwater and brooks, earning the Brook trout it’s name, So grab yourself a good topographic map or “Google Maps” seems more fitting nowadays, and map out your adventure into the bush !
Remember, when catching such a delicate and prized species especially from such sensitive and vital ecosystems ALWAYS practice catch and release, and use single BARBLESS hooks!