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Fly Fishing the Far North

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Fly Fishing the Far North

Sutton River Brook Trout

Guest cabins on Hawley Lake. Guided fishing on the Sutton River and lake for monster brookies and lake trout. Package includes flights, one room cabin with propane stove/oven, pots and pans, beds, table and chairs, freighter canoes. You bring fishing gear, food, personal items.
Deposit of $500 per person
Happy anglers hoisting a Sutton River sea run brook trout. • Credit: James Smedley

Fly-in to a remote fishing adventure on the Sutton River with Hearst Air Service

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I've always wondered if it would be possible to tire of catching brook trout on a fly. It's never happened and I strongly suspect it never will but, as an insatiable trout angler, it's fun trying. And if there's any place to overdose on big brookies it's the far north's Sutton River: fabled trout waters flowing 100 km from Hawley Lake north to Hudson Bay.

After flying hundreds of miles north to the headwaters of the Sutton, I board a freighter canoe with Cree guide Xavier Chookomoolin and a trio of anglers from Maine for a four-hour downstream run to a shoreline base camp central to the Sutton's best water. We remain at the pine-shrouded tent camp long enough to stash our gear and rig rods before climbing back into the big wood and canvas canoe.

Sutton River can be found in Ontario's Far North

Chookomoolin lands along a grassy bank, points to a series of gravel riffles emptying into darkening pools and says, "fish here". I tie on a Joe's Hopper and let it dead drift with the current. Just as it enters the darkening water at the head of a shallow pool a three-pound brook trout is airborne. I let out an involuntary yelp as it crashes down on my fly. It's several minutes before I tail the bespeckled creature and pop out the barbless hook.

It's the first in a procession of brazen trout that club my fly with reckless abandon and indicative of the next four days fishing this definitive trout stream. Shores of grass, sand, rock and pine funnel clear water through shallow riffles, swift runs and deep swirling pools. Legions of two to 5-pound brook trout are everywhere they should be, displaying an aggression and naivety that transforms the novice fly angler to expert.

brook trout fishing Two- to 5-pound brook trout are common for fly anglers in the far north’s Sutton River. (Photo credit: James Smedley)
freighter canoe Travel along the Sutton River is by freighter canoe. (Photo credit: James Smedley)
evening campfire Vvening around the fire at the base camp along the far north’s Sutton River. (Photo credit: James Smedley)

As expected I never tire of catching brook trout on a fly but I do reach a level of contentment that allows me to put down my rod and relax along the riverbank without worrying about catching another fish. This is indeed a rare occurrence, a sign of true angling satisfaction, as rare and precious as the Sutton River.

For information on visiting Sutton River, please contact Hearst Air Service Limited.

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