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Brook Trout: A Natural Work of Art

• Credit: Fish'n Canada
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Brook Trout: A Natural Work of Art

Ontario is known to many anglers as one of the world's best brook trout fishing destinations.

If you were given the ultimate in artistic talent and creativity, along with a paintbrush and a palette of vibrant colours and someone said to you, "HEY, CAN YOU PAINT ME A CRAZY COLORFUL FISH?"

In our opinion, the end result might look like one of the world’s most vibrant, beautiful, and scrappiest fish, the brook trout.

In this article we cover much of Ontario, the world's best brook trout fishing destination, by the way, telling you where to locate and how to catch this colourful and elusive little beast.


Right out of the gate this episode has us recommending areas where brook trout naturally reproduce and live a 100% wild existence.

Algonquin Park is by far the greatest producer of natural brook trout or as they are often called “Specks” in not only the province, or country, but the entire world. Algonquin fish may not be the biggest in Canada, but there are more spring-fed brook trout lakes and more fish in those lakes than anywhere else.

Angelo (having many brook trout trips here) took Pete into the park’s interior, sans canoe, looking for the ultimate Brookie adventure. Well, they certainly did find that adventure. From small lakes to raging rivers and everything in between, our Brookie duo had a great fishing trip and it turned into a fantastic episode.

Angelo Viola, being no stranger to Algonquin Park, knows this beautiful part of the province boasts the best producing natural brook trout waters in the world.


Another fantastic natural brook trout producer and maybe even more famous for its fish is Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River. Although Algonquin will beat this area in numbers, nothing comes close to the size of the trout here. A monster Nipigon Brookie is like no other fish in the nation. They are big, they are bold, and they are beautiful. In fact, the world record brook trout (14.5 pounds and 31.5 inches long) was taken here over one hundred and ten years ago.

In this episode, although he didn’t break the long-standing record, Pete runs the big Princecraft up the rapids and proceeds to have the brook trout fishing day of his life.

Pete Bowman holds up a chunky Nipigon River brook trout.


Since we just talked about the Nipigon area, we should note that the mouth of the Nipigon River spills into the mighty Lake Superior, another fantastic area for natural brook trout. The fish here are called “coasters” since they seem to take on an almost nomadic personality and swim around the lake using the coast or shore as their guide. It’s a natural phenomenon has biologists somewhat baffled but for fishing, it’s a great clue as to how to stalk them.

Casting and reeling as Bass anglers do is a great way to catch coasters. As well, trolling long lines has put many a coaster into the net.

With water so gin clear, you will often never see these little colourful rockets hiding among the boulders but trust us, they’re there!


An often-overlooked area for world-class brook trout fishing is the most northerly portion of Ontario. The Albany & Sutton rivers are perfect examples of the absolute best brook trout fisheries that the nation has to offer; however, they are hard to get to. For instance, once you get to the town of Hearst, Ontario, you then have another 2 and half to 3-hour flight to get to the one-room cabin with no showers, no generators, and no freezer. That’s as hardcore as it gets, but the fishing is outstanding.

Something a bit more attainable would be a place like Esnagami Lodge. This multi-species lodge is a bit closer to civilization and can put you on to walleye, northern pike and of course, lots of brook trout that reside in the Esnagami River.

Here’s Pete Bowman with an Esnagami River Brookie.


This may be the biggest sleeper of the whole province, the Algoma region of Ontario. Most of the trophy brook trout here are stocked…with the best of all genetic gene pools, the Nipigon strain. Although many of these giants can’t spawn (due to no springs in the lakes) in the Algoma waters, however, they still can grow big!

In this show, Ang ties into a “block” of an Algoma Brookie that he caught while trolling, but, it was not any conventional type of presentation. For this show, Ang and his guide were trolling flies on fly gear. Such a clever way to present a lightweight lure around the lake.

Take a look at this fat Algoma Brook Trout Angelo Viola caught while staying at Lodge 88.

northern ontario spots for brook trout

This Fish’n Canada episode should give you great insight into one of the world's most spectacular fish species, the brook trout.

We sum it up with the following words:

If you are looking to capture natural beauty, in a naturally beautiful location, a trip to Algonquin Park for brook trout is a must.

If you are looking for the monster Brookie of a lifetime, there is no better place on this earth than Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River.

If you want to add a “coaster” to your bucket list, then Lake Superior is your only choice.

And lastly, if you don’t mind the idea of fishing for “stocked” Specks, Ontario’s Algoma region will not disappoint!

The province of Ontario has so many areas for Brookies like this one.

And one last thing, please remember to take this pandemic seriously. We as anglers can and should set a precedence that others can look up to and emulate. Let’s set the bar, let’s be proactive, let’s be safe!

plan your northern Ontario fishing trip today

Nipigon Brook Trout

100 Years of Nipigon Brookies

To get to this episode’s unbelievable speckled trout fishing Pete took highway 400 to highway 17. He stayed on 17 westbound past the town of Nipigon and then turned south on 628 towards the town of Red Rock. After a few stops on the way to rest and refresh, he finally reached his destination at the classic Quebec Lodge, which is the home base for Nipigon River Adventures.

This show’s Hotspot is where Pete’s biggest Speck of the day came from. Here is the Waypoint.

This is a classic current seam that Trout will use as a feeding and resting area. Spinners, Minnow Baits, and Live Bait will all work here.

As a word of caution, please be careful here as the water rushing down from the Pine Portage dam is extremely fast.

We here at Fish’n Canada highly recommend a fishing guide on your first trip to the Nipigon not only for the good fishing areas but the safety of you and your boat.

Blue Fox Camp Algoma Brook Trout

Brook Trout Heaven

This episode’s outstanding trophy Brook Trout fishing took place at Blue Fox Camp in the Algoma region of Ontario. To get there, Ang first took Hwy 400 north to Hwy 69. He next turned northwest on Hwy 17 at Sudbury. He finally turned north on Air Service Road in Algoma Mills and ended up at the Lauzon Aviation Air Base. From there, it was a short 15–20-minute flight to Blue Fox Camp.


This show’s Hotspot is on Roothouse Lake, a subtle point jutting from shore and dropping into deep water. This waypoint will get you right there.

The best way of fishing a structure like this is slow trolling, drifting, anchoring, or what Angelo did throughout the day, easing your way using a trolling motor and wind combination to fan-cast the shoreline. For trolling, try spoons, spinners or hard body baits like crankbaits and minnow baits. When casting try spinners, EGB spoons, jigs, and don’t forget to drop-shotting a small plastic bait.

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