Otava | Fly Fishing in the Czech Republic | CzechNymph.com


Country: Czech Republic
District: Western Bohemia
Type: River

Location size
River: 30 km

Distance from
Prague: 133 km
Munich: 250 km

Czech Anglers Union

Otava is one of the main fly fishing rivers in the Czech Republic. Otava starts its way in Šumava national park at confluence of two streams - Vydra and Křemelná and it takes about 113 km before it joins Vltava river.

Otava is one of the cleanests rivers in the country and is well know for a good population of brown trout and grayling (upper Otava). Lower stretch (below the town of Horažďovice) is good coarse river that offers a bit different challenge of catching chub, dice or pearch on the fly.

One of the most beautiful rivers in Southern Bohemia (Czech Republic).


The Otava river is the third biggest South Bohemian river (after the Vltava and Lužnice rivers). It is the left tributary of the Vltava river.

The Otava river originates in the confluence of the Křemelná and Vydra rivers near the small village Čeňkova Pila. The headstream is the Vydra river, which springs as the Modravský Potok (Modrava Stream) about 1,200 m a.s.l.

The Otava river runs from the beginning in the stony bed with rapids through the narrow valley. The first bigger tributary is the Losenice stream, which empties into the Otava river from the left side near the small village Rejštejn. Then Otava flows to the town Sušice. Ahead of the town the river slows the stream down in the wide and open valley. Then it runs around the large ruins of the Rabí castle and it heads to the towns Horažďovice and Strakonice. In Strakonice there is a confluence with the Volyňka river (from the left side) below the Strakonice castle. The Blanice river flows into Otava from the right side ahead of the town Písek. The stone bridge from the 13th century, one of the oldest bridges in Central Europe, spans the river in Písek. Then the Otava river runs through the deep and narrow valley to the confluence with the Vltava river. Ahead of the mouth the Lomnice river joins the Otava near the Zvíkov castle, at the beginning of the Orlík Dam.

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Upper Otava

Upper Otava is the "salmonid fishery" on the Otava river (Czechs differentiate between salmonid and non-salmonid fisheries). The begining of this part of Otava is the confluence of Vydra and Křemelná and for first couple of miles this is a fast flowing mountain river with many rappids (Otava 8 A and Otava 8). This is the place for catching wild brownies in unspoilt and wild countryside.

Near Sušice town (Otava 7) you can find more deeper pools and slower moving water that holds both brown trouts and graylings.

The last two salmonid sections (Otava 6 and Otava 7) have predominantly grayling and some brown trout. The end of the salmonid part of Otava is in town Horažďovice.

Otava below Horazdovice

Otava between Horažďovice and Písek is a non-salmonid fishery that offers interesting opportunities to catch coarse fish on fly. Some places migth still hold some trout or grayling as well.


Wild brownies from the Upper Otava are usually smaller and fish around 30 cm is already considered to be a nice catch. There is higher chance to catch bigger fish on lower stretches of the river.

Grayling population suffered from cormorant's invasion and some recent floodings but still Otava holds good number of lady of the stream. In some sections you might be occupied with stocked rainbows trouts but usually local fishermen make sure that the stocked fish does not stay long in the river and sooner or later will end up on the frying pan.

The non-salmonid part of Otava holds a lot of coarse fish species: carps, barbel, chubs, dice, pearch, pikes etc.

How To Fish

Otava is one of the rivers where Czech nymphing was born. Nymphing is definitely very productive in Upper Otava. When hatching insects, don't forget to fish with dry flies and use all methods of fly fishing (nymphing, dry and wet flies and streamer fishing for predatory fish) on non-salmonids stretches of the river.

The Otava is a river that along its entire length offers a wide range of possibilities for the fly fisherman who masters a variety of fly fishing techniques and tactics, and therefore it is necessary to adapt the method of fishing and equipment to the given section of the river!

Don't forget the fishing opportunities on the Otava tributaries (Volyňka, Blanice, Lomnice), which bring fly fishing opportunities on trout and non-trout small streams to the whole area.

Practical Info

The ideal starting point for the upper Otava is the town of Sušice, if you want to combine fishing on trout and non-trout grounds, then set up a base camp in Horažďovice and the surrounding area. In case of fishing on the non-trout stretches Otava there are plenty of accommodation options in Strakonice and Písek. There are also many campsites around the Otava, which can be used especially during the summer tourist season.

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