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Upper Vltava

Country: Czech Republic
District: South Bohemia
Type: River

Location size
River: 30 km

Distance from
Prague: 159 km
Munich: 240 km
Linz: 106 km

South Bohemia Fishing Association

Considering the hydrology, the landscape, and the fishing, the upper stretch of the Vltava River is one of the most remarkable rivers in the Czech Republic. Arising in the Sumava Mountains in a highland bog region (which turns the water slightly brownish), the Vltava flows for about 350 km before joining the Labe River below Prague.

Little gem in the Czech National Park Sumava.

How to get there

The fishery can be found about 160 km from Prague and about 70 km from Česke Budějovice. Use the town Lenora as a central point to the fishery.

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Location Details

For about a 30 km long section from the source to below the village of Lenora, it is a mountain torrent and genuine trout water with a rocky bottom, about 10 meters wide and up to a meter deep. Further downstream, the river channel flattens and the current quickly slows, and trout are joined by increasing numbers of grayling and whitefish.

In the stretch from Lenora upstream to Horní Vltavice, the river is well accessible; from Lenora downstream fishermen must carefully follow the regulations of the Sumava National Park through which the Vltava flows. Below the Soumarsky Bridge, the Vltava becomes calmer and starts to meander. Trout become less common, while a classic grayling zone is formed. The current is often lined with deep pools which alternate with drawn-out slower sections.

The river surroundings are natural and beautiful in this upper stretch, with the river valley cutting through evergreen mountain forests mixed with highland meadows that are protected by law.

Tributaries: In the upper section, the Vltava River has two main tributaries – the Cold Vltava and the Grassy Vltava (Řásnici). Both tributaries fall under special permits given only by the Sumava National Park in very limited quantities.


The Upper Vltava holds brown trout, grayling, rainbow trout, whitefish and pike.

How To Fish

During spring months with high water levels, it is preferable to fish with a heavy nymph – imitations of gammarus, caddis larvae, jigs and gold-head type flies. The most beautiful dry fly season starts with the onset of autumn, when especially in the afternoon grayling actively take insects such as mayflies from the surface.

Dry flies such as the olive dun, red and blue quill and orange tag are effective at this time, usually in sizes from 20 to 14. A local specialty is a small bug with pale orange tip and brown hackles along the whole body, sized 16.


We recommend a fine rod AFTMA 3-5 up to 275 cm long and an inconspicuous floating fly line.

Because of the high-elevation character, warm clothing and rain/wind gear is recommended year-round. The river is fairly easy and safe to wade, but high chest waders are a must.

Practical Info

The fishing season lasts from the 16th of April to the end of November. In the summer months it’s better to concentrate on the upper section from Lenora upstream because of the constant interruptions to fishing from sometimes loud and rambunctious canoeists and rafters.

The best time for fishing begins with the onset of autumn and lasts till the end of the season. In November the banks are often snow-covered.

Accommodation can be found in the villages of Horní Vltavice, Zátoň, Lenora and Volary.

Official site of the South Bohemia Fishing Union - info about rules, licences, fishery details etc

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