The Jizera is a sizeable river that is home to a number of brown trout, rainbow trout, grayling and European chub. The river rises on Smrk Mountain near the border with Poland and flows 104 miles (167 kilometers) before emptying into the Elbe at the town of Karanay.
A source of freshwater for the city of Prague, the Jizera flows past and through several towns and villages yet remains quite clean. The section of the river that flows through the Giant Mountains is popular with fly fisherman. This area is within driving distance of major cities like Berlin, Prague and Vienna.
The Horska Kamenice flows into the Jizera around the small town of Spalov. That river holds a good number of native brown trout too. It is quite possible to fly fish the Jizera and Kamenice on the same day.
Fish Species in the Jizera
Native grayling can be found in the Jizera downstream of the town of Ponikla. Grayling are active feeders that readily take a fly. But the grayling in the Jizera have a reputation for being educated and tough to catch. Some even refer to the area as a university of grayling.
This average Jizera brown trout took a bead head nymph
So-called coarse fish like the European chub can be found in the reaches of the Jizera below Semily. The water there is usually clear and the surroundings can be beautiful but the area is more hospitable to “rough fish.” The further down you go the better chance you have at finding chub.
Native brown trout and introduced rainbow trout also swim much of the Jizera. They can be readily caught with traditional fly fishing methods. Don’t expect any huge fish here though. An average Jizera trout is around eight or nine inches (20-23 cm). A 14 inch (35 cm) trout would be considered large in the Jizera though of course some fish can get larger than that.
Fishing in the Jizera
Fishing for trout and grayling in the Jizera is normally done with fly tackle. A 2 to 5 weight rod of nine to ten foot in length is best. Floating fly line will cover most situations on the river. You will want clear leaders to fish flies in the size 10 to 16 range. Use larger flies when the water is high or off color. Use small flies when the water is low and clear.
Much of the Jizera is easy to access and wade
Czech nymphing is the most common method of fly fishing on the Jizera. Some anglers do this with tenkara rods and level line, but long fly rods are still more common. The most popular and effective patterns on the Jizera are the Czech Nymph, French Nymph, Olive Scud and Pheasant Tail Nymph. Dry fly fishing has its place on the Jizera too. If you see fish rising try to identify the hatch or fish a small Olive CDC Dun.
Fishing for coarse fish like European chubs can be done with fly rods and general attractor patterns in sizes 10 to 16. But they are more commonly targeted with other gear such as fishing poles and floats. Chubs are not the most difficult species of fish to catch in any case. That doesn’t make them any less fun to catch.
Jizera fishing regulations
Fishing in the Czech Republic requires at least two types of permits. There is a yearly ticket and a permit. You can get fishing licenses at places like the Hobby G fishing stores but it can be a process. Especially if you are not a citizen of the Czech Republic. Otherwise it is wise to arrange a license in advance of the day or days you want to fish.
On top of this certain waters or sections of water can be controlled by private groups or individuals. So you may need a permit or day ticket to fish a certain stretch of water. This sort of arrangement is common across much of Europe.
Many anglers visiting from other countries simply hire a guide and let them handle the bureaucracy. I have fished the Jizera with Oleg Jeremin. He speaks English fluently and is a good and knowledgeable guide. He has the proper gear to fish the river and knows what permits are required.
For anglers with the proper permits trout fishing is open from April 16 to November 30 each year. Fly fishing is permitted with traditional gear as well as tenkara rods. You must carry a net when trout fishing. Regulations around fishing for species like European chub are much loser.
This is all accurate as of the time of writing to the best of my knowledge. Regulations are subject to change at any time however. For current regulations be sure to check with the relevant authorities of the Czech Republic and whoever controls the stretch of water you want to fish.
Jizera fishing at a glance
|Fish species present:||Grayling, rainbow trout, brown trout, European chub|
|Closest tackle shops:||Hobby G|
|Recommend line:||4-6 lb monofilament / 2x-5x leader|
|Recommend bait / lures:||Boilies, maggots, Panther Martin Spinners|
|Recommended flies:||Czech Nymph, French Nymph, olive scud, pheasant tail nymph, Olive CDC Dun|
|Nearby hotels:||Hotel Grunt|
|Recommended guides:||Oleg Jeremin|