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Brook Trout on the Fly

A gorgeous Ontario brook trout caught out of Esnagami Wilderness Lodge. • Credit: Colin McKeown
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Brook Trout on the Fly

Fly-in fishing trips to catch big brookies on a fly at Esnagami Wilderness Lodge



For fly fishers who love to catch wild brook trout on a fly, it can be very expensive to travel to many locations in Canada. However, in Northern Ontario, there are lots of very affordable and accessible locations to fly fish for big brook trout.

One of those locations is Esnagami Lake Wilderness Lodge. This fly-in lodge is only a short 12-minute flight from Nakina. The lake is renowned for big northern pike and walleye but what I found really exciting are the wild brook trout in the rivers running into the lake. Owner Eric Lund is a fly fisher and loves to catch these wild trout on dry flies and small streamers. He has set up a small camp on the river so anglers can spend numerous days there fishing without the need to come back to the main lodge.

This river is not that big, except during spring runoff. Wading is easy and the fish will come readily to a dry fly. Sometimes you need to cast streamers or nymphs. Favourite patterns include Goddard caddis, Adams, black gnats, woolly buggers, muddlers and stoneflies. Generic patterns used in a place like Pennsylvania will work well here. It is recommended you use 4- to 6-weight rods. Most anglers find a 5-weight is perfect in an 8 1/2 to 9-foot length. Use of a floating line will do most of your fishing but it would be wise to bring a sink tip in type 3 or 4 to cast streamers.

Most fish caught are in the 2- to 3-pound range but trout up to 5 pounds or more are frequently caught and released. These fish are very colourful with bright sides and distinct spots on their sides. Esnagami also has some lake fishing for brook trout in a special area known as the “wonderland”. This is a spring-fed section of small lakes that feature exceptionally clear water. Brook trout here are usually caught using intermediate lines. If you want to combine brook trout fishing with some pike and walleye angling, I strongly recommend Esnagami Lake Wilderness Lodge.

Visit www.esnagami.com for more information on the wilderness lodge and Northern Ontario brook trout fishing.

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