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Clear Springs Trout Club

Bob McGary and Wayne Carr holding a 4-pound brook trout caught from Clear Springs Trout Club in the town of Grafton, Ontario.

After a stealthy approach, I see two big browns cruising the shoreline less than 40 feet from me. The smaller of the two weighs about 6 pounds and the larger about 8. As I tie a black woolly bugger to my sink tip fly line I realize I’ll have only one cast before spooking my quarry.

The fly is airborne and lands about three feet in front of the smaller fish. It turns to inspect my offering. Suddenly, a smaller fish darts from beneath the watercress and inhales the woolly bugger. "This fish just cost me a big brown," I say to my host Wayne Carr. "That speck you’ve got on is a lot bigger than you think it is," he replies.

Sure enough, as I eventually lead the brook trout into shallow water, my guess is four pounds. "How many people fly to Labrador and never catch a speck like this?" I ask Carr. "Is it going to get better?"

"Absolutely!" Carr states emphatically.

Grafton, Ontario located east of Toronto on Lake Ontario.

I’m fishing for the day at Clear Springs Trout Club near Grafton Ontario. Carr has been the owner/operator of the public club for over 30 years. This trout Valhalla is a ten-minute drive north of the 401 at Colborne on 80 acres of rolling hills and forest. The three spring-fed ponds are unique in that constant water flow ranges from 48°- to 55°F throughout the year and are normally ice-free from March to December. The Ministry of Natural Resources issues trout clubs a year-round licence.

After one trophy it's time to walk a few hundred feet to the rainbow pond. As I make my first cast I can’t help but think of the huge trout I’ve left behind. When I see two big rainbows at my new location, both about eight pounds, I realize the decision is correct. The first cast produces a vicious strike as an acrobatic five-pound rainbow makes a leap for freedom.

Both fly rods and spinning equipment are popular at Clear Springs. Carr acts as a personal guide for all clients and even on a weekend, you will likely be the only people fishing. Browns over 10 pounds, rainbows averaging well over 5 pounds and specks pushing four pounds make me think this is as good as my trips to Northern Canada.

As with most public trout clubs the general rule is to catch and keep for a per fish cost. At Clear Springs there is no admission fee. Amenities include a picnic area, barbecue and fish-cleaning station. Carr will clean and bag all trout for transportation home. For a family outing or for individuals new to angling, Clear Springs is a prime destination.

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