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In Search of Solitude and Wild Brook Trout

Finding Solitude while fly fishing is a truly calming and rewarding experience. • Credit: Mark Melnyk
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In Search of Solitude and Wild Brook Trout

A canoe is ideal when you’re in search of wild Ontario brook trout in an area where few get to experience.

The Temagami Outfitting Company, located in Northeastern Ontario, offers fly fishing adventures to remote rivers where you can fish for eastern wild brook trout.

For those of us who may live in an urban center, many times, it can be difficult to “get away from it all.” Work, family, home responsibilities, and the simple act of keeping the wolves away from the door is an all-consuming reality of life. It seems that long gone are the times when one could jump in the vehicle drive a bit out of the rat race and find themselves smack dab in the middle of nowhere, away from the hustle and bustle, noise, light pollution, and the general rat race of city living. It may be even more impossible if you’re younger trying to make your way in the world. 


BUT… There are still places where this can happen—nearby, near pristine, and very affordable. You just need to know where to look. I looked to Northeastern Ontario— the Temagami region to be exact.


After a short five-and-a-half-hour drive, I arrived at The Temagami Outfitting Company, I walked into the shop, not knowing what to expect. It looked like a thousand campers had decided to dump all their camping gear inside these four walls—sorry, a thousand five-year-old campers. There was a short but stalky goateed man standing with straps of leather in his hand, including a variety of knives. He had an accent; meanwhile, a guy with a shorter goatee and a bandana over his head worked away, all the while clutching a beer.

I walked in and made their acquaintance: Max, from Austria, a wood carver, and Erik, our host and tripping expert. The plan was to load up, drive a bit more and hit a rarely ever seen part of Temagami in search of wild brook trout on fly.


You forget how a canoe makes you drop your shoulders and forget about “stuff.” Silently slipping through the water, casually conversing with another human being for hours—or maybe paddling in silence. A canoe has the power to relax, rejuvenate and get you places not many others can go. That is why this method of transportation is ideal when you’re in search of wild Ontario brook trout in an area that few get to experience. 

We paddled for about six hours, found a fantastic campsite at the top of a cascading rapid, and decided we make that our home base for the week and heading on day-trips in search of fish. This proved an excellent plan as we had access to seemingly countless runs, rapids, riffle,s and waterfalls throughout the Temagami system. We didn’t have to worry about taking down and putting back up, but simply managing our time for return to cook dinner before it gets too dark. 


The fishing out of The Temagami Outfitting Company was great. We were fortunate to catch a fantastic number of quality brook trout in a variety of ways, including on dry flies. They were colored up wonderfully for the forthcoming spawn and were voracious eaters. We caught most of our fish on size 10 woolley buggers in natural organic colours and Chernobyl ants. Five weight rods did the trick with floating lines.  The scenery was perfect and to top off the week-long trip, we literally didn’t see another human being. The portages are well defined, the campsites are pristine, and the stars were magnificent. 


The Temagami Outfitting company has a unique way of doing business. They encourage play. They encourage outdoor time. They encourage tradition. Erik and his team will ensure your trip is planned to the hilt if you want, or will simply give you the advice you need to have a safe DIY adventure. It’s refreshing in the rat-race of today’s society that there are still some out there looking to find the simple pleasures in quiet, serenity, and introspective activities such as canoe tripping. Throw in the excitement of virgin catch-and-release brook trout, and I know exactly where I’m heading next summer for this unique adventure with new pals.

It’s not difficult to find those get away from it all adventures in today’s world—you just need to know where to look, and what better way than to do it with a fly rod in your hand? Fly fishing is the canvas for fantastic comradery and is one heck of an excuse to get out and search for the adventure you just may be looking for.

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