Northern Ontario offers anglers a broad choice of species and fishing options, that are sure to meet every skill level, interest, or budget. From drive-to locations to fly-ins, trophy fishing for both warm and cold species has never been more attainable! Let’s have a quick look at some of the great trophy fishing options available to anglers throughout Northern Ontario.
Sunset Country is blessed with incredible Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Musky, and Walleye fishing. For fly anglers who love catching both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass on the fly, there is an incredible range of drive-to locations to choose from, such as Rainy Lake, Eagle Lake, and of course, the vast and wonderous Lake of the Woods watershed. Smallmouth Bass specifically can grow very large in this area and can be caught from spring right through until fall, with both fly and conventional tackle. In my experience, some of the best subsurface flies to use when targeting trophy smallmouth bass include the Scotty McFly, the Murdich Minnow, a White Clouser Minnow, and a Beaver and Tan Woolybugger. In terms of topwater, I’ve always had the most success with poppers. I suggest using brighter colours such as orange, yellow and chartreuse in high sun conditions and darker colours such as dark green or black in low light conditions.
For those that want to catch Northern Pike with the bonus of trophy Northern Brook Trout, Superior Country (also within Northwestern Ontario) offers some great opportunities at both fly-in and drive-to locations. Nipigon River and Lake Nipigon are famed for giant Brook Trout, and there are several incredible outfitters and guides in this region that can take you out to catch these cold-water giants.
If you’re looking for a fly-in experience, there are several lodges that offer fly-in opportunities based out of the town of Nakina. Many of these fly-in lodges allow guests access to lakes that contain great populations of northern pike and walleye. Further, they provide the opportunity to fish the many river systems in this region, that hold wild Brook Trout up to five or six pounds.
The Algoma region, which is located within Central Northern Ontario, is blessed with both warm and cold-water species opportunities. The St. Mary’s River in downtown Sault Ste. Marie offers excellent fishing for trophy Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon throughout much of the year. For both conventional tackle anglers and fly anglers, this river provides incredible fishing with easy access, in addition to some superb local guiding services and affordable accommodation options within driving distance.
Along the Trans-Canada highway, there are a large number of resorts, cottages, and lodges that provide access to fantastic Smallmouth Bass fishing. What’s more, some destinations within this region also have access to the incredible trophy Brook Trout. In fact, the famed Sutton River is renowned for seventy miles of meandering and safe river to fly-fish, often offering anglers the opportunity to land wild Brook Trout up to 28 inches in length. On this river, anglers often only use mice patterns to catch the large Brook Trout; a truly unique angling opportunity within Algoma.
Northeastern Ontario provides a great drive to locations for both Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, and Northern Pike fishing. Destinations along Lake Huron and Lake Nipissing offer great fishing and public access to anglers who love to adventure. If you are looking for a fly-in experience in this area, one of the most famous lodges in Ontario, Kesagami Wilderness Lodge offers incredible trophy fishing for both Northern Pike and Walleye, in clear waters less than ten feet deep.
No matter what region of Northern Ontario you’re exploring, I have no doubt that you’ll discover the incredible trophy fishing that this area of the province has to offer.