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Sutton River Brook Trout

Brook Trout caught from world famous Sutton River in Northern Ontario. • Credit: Colin McKeown
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Sutton River Brook Trout

fly-in fishing on the Sutton River with Hearst Air Service

In hosting The New Fly Fisher Television Show I have had the pleasure of fishing in some incredible places for brook trout. There is nothing better than catching big and aggressive brookies with dry flies. This past August I had the pleasure of fishing the Sutton River in Northern Ontario for the first time.

It is truly difficult to describe how really good this fishery is. The Sutton runs into Hudson Bay and is a three-hour floatplane trip from Hearst. For thirty years, the family that owns Hearst Air Service has been flying people to the Sutton for the trip of a lifetime.

The Sutton is the only world-class brook trout fishery I know of that features over 70 miles of a serene and peaceful river. There is no fast water, no rapids -- just a slowly meandering river with lots of great wading locations.

Now a bit about the fish: the brook trout here are incredibly aggressive -- and big! My fish average 18 - 23 inches and we were catching 100 of them each every day. Most anglers that visit the Sutton practice catch and release which has helped protect and preserve this great fishery. Ninety-nine percent of my fish were taken on dry flies and mice patterns.

That’s right, mice! In this region, there are lots of mice in the undergrowth and they frequently fall into the Sutton. The big brookies are keyed in on them and savagely strike a small mouse pattern that is wiggled across the surface. I used a 6-weight rod with a floating line for all of my fishing, never needing to use a sinking line at all.

The water here is exceptionally clear and the trout come readily to the fly. There are numerous float and guided trips available. I strongly recommend you call the folks at Hearst Air Service and hear what options you have. No matter which one you choose, once you visit this magical trout fishery, you will want to come back again and again!

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