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Pine Cliff Lodge

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Pine Cliff Lodge

Beautiful bass caught at Pine Cliff Lodge in Northwest Ontario. • Credit: Colin McKeown

The New Fly Fisher host caught big bass on a fly at this lodge in Northwest Ontario

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Those have fly fished for smallmouth bass know what great fighters they are on a light rod. They are strong, aggressive and acrobatic. They only thing better is to catch them with poppers on top. At Pine Cliff Lodge, the lake and inflowing river is full of big fat smallmouth. How big? Up to 8 pounds!

These smallmouth love to eat crayfish, leeches and baitfish. But they also love to dragonflies, frogs and small mice that fall in the water. Their takes are explosive and quite a thrill on a 6weight rod. Pine Cliff is the best of affordable and accessible fishing. This drive to lodge is set up to allow anglers to bring their own food and drink, they supply the boats, accommodations and great fishing. This is the best of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) fly fishing.

The main lake has walleye and northern pike but we really like are the bass. The structure they like to hold near are sunken humps, submerged islands, drop-offs, fallen trees and beaver lodges. Boulders are a not favourite haven of smallies and if you cast your poppers near the shadows, don’t be surprised if you see a big bass come up and inhale your offering.

Six or even 7 weight rods are the order of the day with floating lines. Ensure you also bring an intermediate or sink-tip line to present streamers or crayfish patterns if necessary. Top producing colours include yellow, green/white, orange and black. Smaller sizes work as well as large ones. I like leaders of 8 to 10 feet long with a 10 pound tippet. Just cast them out and twitch the poppers slowly back. The strikes are impressive as are the average size of fish.

Visit pineclifflodge.com to learn more about the lodge.

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