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Fly Fishing at Anderson's Lodge

Mark Melynk
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Fly Fishing at Anderson's Lodge

A smallmouth bass fly fishing adventure to this famous lodge on Lac Seul

Discover why Anderson's is a favourite destination among anglers to Ontario's northwest.



Rick and I met years ago while I was shooting a TV show called Reel Jobs—a show where I did some of the jobs in the fishing industry. I was a “guide” at Anderson’s Lodge in Northern Ontario. It was a good show, and I quickly came to appreciate the skills Rick had as a long-time guide on the Lac Seul.

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Lac Seul is a big body of water with multi-species available to anglers. We were able to complete a Lac Seul Grand Slam on our previous trip releasing a musky, pike, walleye, lake trout, and smallmouth bass all in a single day! This year, we were back, fishing with Rick on the hunt for pre-spawn smallmouth bass.

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One of the great things about many regions north of Highway 17 in Ontario is that all year long you can target smallmouth bass. Some seasons are strictly catch and release, but you do have the opportunity to fish both pre and post-spawn fish. This provides some great variety for fly anglers looking for unique angling opportunities not available in the rest of the province.

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A great way to expand your angling knowledge fishing during different times of the year. Anyway, we were there in early May (due to an unseasonably warm spring) in search of these big pre-spawn smallmouths. With the warm weather, we would be looking for fish in water less than 60 degrees C.  We were in luck as the surface temps were in the mid to low 50’s and we just happened to be entering a week of seriously warm weather.

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Rick and I hatched a plan. We wanted to see if we could experience an entire season of bass fishing in 5 days on the water. What does that mean? Well, the colder the water, the slower the metabolism of the fish. That means that as the water warms up, the fish should get more and more active. We wanted to see if we could catch bass at their lowest metabolism (crawfish flies slow crawled on the bottom) to their mid-summer warm water patterns (taking smallies with surface poppers.) and everything in between.  We had our work cut out for us however, the next weeks’ weather forecast had us lined up for the challenge with extremely warm temperatures day over day.

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My first cast with a fly called a bronze goddess (crayfish pattern) produces a nice shore lunch-sized walleye. I thought to myself that we were going to struggle to get this challenge done. Well, I didn’t have to worry about that for the rest of the trip as the only fish we caught after that (save for one really nice trophy pike) were smallies. And we caught a tonne of them – all over 2 lbs!  Without letting the cat out of the bag, we were successful in catching fish with 6 different fly setups covering the entire water column. From slow crawling crawfish flies on the bottom to the explosive surface takes on poppers, we did it! To see some of the smallmouth bass madness, check out the show teaser here:

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Anderson’s Lodge just outside of Sioux Lookout Ontario sits on the shores of Abram Lake in Sunset Country. With access to multiple bodies of water, Anderson’s guide program is second to none! The lodge itself is comprised of numerous extremely well-appointed cabins available for any size group of anglers from a couple to larger groups. You can run your own program utilizing their housekeeping services or you can enjoy a full American Plan where you don’t have to cook a thing and have everything looked after for you. Owners Jackie and Jody pride themselves in looking after every minute detail to ensure you have the perfect fishing vacation. Personally, I consider Anderson’s home away from home for us when we are in the north. The fishing? Some of the best freshwater fishing I have ever experienced!

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