Fly anglers will testify, for the most part, it’s all about the take. Watching a fish eat a fly! Many (though not all) fly fishers will spend hours, days, and even longer amounts of time tying flies, creating works of art. Flies designed to entice that take. To see a fish attack a creation you hand-tied yourself—to commit, and expose its vulnerability to eating, at all costs—is an adrenaline rush few can turn away from. The take is addictive, all-encompassing, and an image many of us see when we close our eyes.
In freshwater, there are few apex predators that rival that of the Northern Pike. Fly anglers who make the conscious choice to target northern pike exclusively understand the value of the take. Value of time invested in travel, resources spent, finances invested, and time logged to release a trophy northern pike. When it comes to northern pike, it’s the take that makes it all worthwhile.
A northern pike’s behavior is something to behold. They openly lay in wait, anticipating the moment where they can eat. They are consistently hungry and always wary. Always ready to attack.
Algoma Country, in the heart of Northern Ontario, can be considered one of the epicenters for trophy northern pike angling worldwide. Seemingly countless lakes, rivers, and bays play canvas to the ongoing hunt of northern pike.
Algoma plays host to many different styles of pike destinations, and will cater to 1) your pike fishing needs and 2) your budget. There are three styles of experiences you can access for pike in Algoma. Let’s begin with the most economical, a do-it-yourself drive to a location, or fly in or drive to an outfitter set up for the day. DIY camps such as those provided by Hearst Air Service and Lauzon Aviation cater to those who (like most of us) are looking for a trophy experience on a budget. Contacting go-getter guides such as Tyler Dunn and Adam Vallee will satisfy that day trip or weekend outing you’re looking for while keeping your costs way down.
The next level of pike adventure is housekeeping lodges. These are outfits that cater to those who want to fish, eat, and function on their own schedule. There are managers on-site who make sure all flows well, but you cook your own food and come and go as you please. Housekeeping lodges are slightly more costly than DIY camps, however, you do get the comfort of being able to come and go as you please. A big pike drive to housekeeping lodge to consider may be Waterfalls Lodge, and by train (which is a fantastic way to access unseen areas) Lodge 88. There are many across Algoma Country.
Full-service lodges are just that. Lodges that look after your every need and want. Scheduled meals, staff, daily service, with many including guide services as well. These experiences are more predictable but have fewer worries. Fantastic pike-focused full-service lodges include Esnagmi Lodge and Brace Lake Outfitters. Algoma offers many drive-to full-service lodges, however, you can also access many lodges by iconic float plane and rail. Fly-in lodges offer some of the more adventurous angling opportunities for trophy northern pike.
With a conservation minded philosophy that guarantees legitimate shots at trophy pike, Algoma lodges are keen to educate about catch and release of big fish as well as proper handling methods should you encounter a giant. Many lodges encourage catch and release, which in turn has, over the years, seen northern pike fisheries flourish with many 40-plus inch fish returned to the deep.
Fly fishing for northern pike is an exciting way to target these fish with attacks often within eyesight of the boat with some happening boat side. This video is an example of what a fly-in pike adventure might look like.
Conversely, you will find The New Fly Fisher’s top five northern pike streamer flies. Consider 8 and 10 weight fly rods with floating, intermediate and full sinking lines. For leader material, titanium bite-wire is a must!
Trophy pike fishing in Algoma Country is fantastic and with so many different experiences available, you can literally design your own adventure. From the budget-conscious adventure seeker to the ultimate in rustic luxury, Algoma pike fishing has it all!
It really is That Good!