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The Art of Fly-Fishing Northern Waters

The Art of Fly-Fishing Northern Waters

From the best flies to the best rods, we round up what you need to know to have a successful fly fishing trip in Northeastern Ontario.



If you are looking for a fantastic new destination for your next fly-fishing trip, consider Northeastern Ontario. With thousands of pristine rivers and lakes filled with trophy-sized northern pike, brook trout, smallmouth bass and muskie, this is a fly fisher’s dream location! From top water action for acrobatic smallmouth bass, to arm-wrenching strikes by big northern pike, there are a wide variety of opportunities available. And if you're new to fly fishing, or thinking about giving it a shot (here's 5 reasons why you should), Northeastern Ontario is the easiest, friendliest, and most rewarding place to do it. 

One of the best aspects about the region is that it is so affordable and accessible to anglers. You can fly or drive to many of the best lodges and outfitters in the area and, in many cases, you can even bring you own boat.

What to pack for a fly-fishing trip 

For fly fishers, it is recommended that you bring a variety of fly rods, fly lines, and flies based on the lodge you choose and the sort of waters you'll be fishing in.

fly fishing for Northern Pike

For northern pike, we recommend nine or 10 weight rods coupled to a quality reel with a smooth drag system. For most applications, a floating flyline will work but we strongly recommend you bring a full sinking line to get large streamers down deeper in the water column when conditions necessitate. Large streamers in white, black or perch patterns work best coupled with a wire bite leader.


Bring a selection of flies, or let your guide or outfitter recommend the best ones to try

fly fishing for smallmouth bass

For smallmouth bass, which grow to epic sizes in Northeastern Ontario, we recommend either six or seven weight rods. Again, a floating flyline will work for most conditions. However, we do recommend you bring an intermediate flyline in case you need to get your fly deep when the bass are hugging the bottom on a hot day. Good flies to use are yellow and black poppers, woolly buggers in black, white and purple and muddler minnows.


A weighed rod and a successful catch

fly fishing for brook trout

Brook trout fishing calls for four, five or six weight rods matched to a nice reel with a decent drag system. On average brook trout here will range from one to five pounds, althought some monsters over seven pounds are caught pretty frequently. For brook trout, the top water action can be superb. Dry flies such as black gnats, adams, and even stimulators all work effectively. Make sure you use mice patterns as well on top–the takes can be explosive! For subsurface, the same flies used for smallmouth work for brook trout. Black wooly buggers are probably the number one choice, as they resemble a leech.


One happy fly fisher!

Northeastern Ontario lodges and outfitters throughout this massive expanse of wilderness can help you put together your dream fly-fishing trip. They have access to some of the world’s best trophy waters, and outstanding guides to help you have success. To learn more about our operators, visit www.northeasternontario.com.

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Northeastern Ontario is BIG and easily accessible from major centres

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