Over the years I've been very fortunate to have headed north of the border on many fishing trips into Ontario, Canada. These trips have been a nice mix between family vacations and fishing trips with good friends, taking me to different areas of central Ontario and up to Northwestern Ontario - from the Georgian Bay to the French River.
The following are my personal top five fishing lakes in Ontario and are based on the following criteria
- A Good Mlti-Species Fishery with Opportunities for Trophy Fish
- Within a Day or Two Drive of Eastern Ohio
- Clean Cabins and Affordable Costs
- The Opportunity to Tow in My Own Fishing Boat
- Semi-Remote Water and Location
The Bow River is an Eastern Rocky Mountain River that begins at Bow Lake near Banff. The Lake is fed by Bow Glacier and the runoff from the snowpack is rich in nutrients. All that food supports an amazing range of sports fish and a long list of Trout - Rainbows, Bulls, and Browns being the bigger of the lot. The Bow River is dynamic and runs through Banff National Park, past Banff and down the slow of the Rockies through Calgary. The Bow River is divided into the Upper and Lower Bow Rivers and the fishing changes based on where you go as do the species of fish available. In this blog, we explore the best of the Bow River and the world class fishing it offers.
When my friend asked me early this year if I was interested in joining his group heading up to Ontario's Fushimi Cabins in mid-June, I made sure my calendar was clear and quickly said yes! This would be a first time trip to Fushimi Lake for the four of us and it turned out to be a great week of fun learning this new lake - and catching a lot of nice fish. This camp came highly recommended by Scottie Martin (of the Canadian Fishing Network) after he had filmed a show on this lake and this cabin. We were excited to fish a new lake, and visit a new area of Ontario. Driving up to the Soo, we then went north through Wawa, White River, Hornepayne, and arrived at Fushimi lake.
Saskatchewan is a dynamic adventure for anglers where you can target trophy fish across a wide range of species on remote and wild lakes that few fishermen ever see. Thankfully, there are many fishing lodges scattered around this beautiful landscape. Almost all the fishing lodges in Saskatchewan are in the northern half of the province…any are listed as fly-in fishing lodges but a few are set up for drivers too.
We have all "been there" as we looked over different brochures or reviewed websites of fishing camps and lodges for a Canadian fishing trip. Whether it's a family vacation to head north of the border with our children or other family members; or it's going north with a group of fishing buddies; the same discussions arise...."where to go and how long will the drive take" ?
This past summer, I guided my wife, youngest daughter and her husband for a week at a unique fishing lodge just outside Chapleau, Ontario.
Over the '16 winter my wife and I along with our youngest daughter and her husband planned a fishing trip for the four of us in Northern Ontario. We looked for a nice Lodge that would offer updated cabins, quality trophy fishing potential with a one day drive from Eastern Ohio.
One of the decisions you'll want to make early on in planning a Canadian fishing trip is how you'll be getting to your lodge. While there are a couple other methods (boat-in and train-in), the two most common ways to get to lodges are flying in (fly-ins) and driving your car right up to the front door (drive-in) - you will really trim down the lodges to consider once you know what's best for your fishing crew.
So, you may ask yourself, what are the pro's and con's of these trip options?
It's easy to say that the quality of fishing is all that matters…but a lot more is at play. We've asked a seasoned angler to break down the options and provide some thoughts from his experience that may help you decide the best approach for your fishing crew.
Drive-in fishing camps & lodges are the most common lodge type in Canada. They are easy to prepare for and give more flexibility - plus, these lodges typically accommodate more guests on a week to week basis. If you've never been on one, below is a breakdown of some aspects to consider when comparing drive-in to fly-in trips. Be sure to check out our introduction to the fly-in fishing experience and the Canada Trip Finder when it's time to narrow down your lodge options.
For many anglers, once they do a fly-in trip they will never go back to a drive-in camp. For others, they can't wait to go back. It all depends on what is important to you and your fishing friends. No matter what trip you are planning, be sure to do your homework - check out our introduction to drive-in fishing camps, narrow down your list of options (try the Canada Fishing Trip Finder), and contact the potential lodges with questions, for referrals, and anything else you need to feel comfortable before booking your trip.
The internet is full of guides about how to do things, and cleaning your fishing tackle is no exception. Not only is cleaning your rod and reel essential to ensure the best performance, but keeping all of those components clean and properly lubricated can help save you from a disappointing day on the water should your reel jam up, or even worse if a very expensive, catastrophic failure occurs.
To help save you from making those disastrous mistakes we're going to focus in this article on what you should never do when cleaning your reel. Tight lines!
They call it the main lake because it's the main body of water that every angler, from every camp on it, has access to. The main lake for any fishing lodge in Canada should offer good, consistent, fishing. However, it's often worth taking a day to get away from the crowd of other anglers and to the bodies of water that aren't fished as often. Getting to these 'back lakes' will often require portaging from one body of water to another …these 'portage days' should offer some excellent fishing and will certainly result in some stories between you and your fishing friends.
When it's time for a portage day, being prepared as a group will make your day efficient and hopefully worry free. For over fifteen years, our regular fishing group would build in at least one portage day per trip and we learned a few lessons that may help with your next one.
While walleye fishermen truly enjoy a tasty shore lunch or end of the day fish fry back at the cabin with plenty of eating size walleye fillets cooking up golden brown; a lot of their time fishing is spent out on the water in search of the bigger Trophy Walleyes.
Frequently when plans are being made for trips up north of the Canadian border with family and friends, often the first question voiced is "where are we going this year"? Then you will hear comments like "is that a good lake for trophy walleyes" or is it "just a numbers lake for smaller walleyes"?
For those of us that love fishing in Canada (as well as the northern U.S. border states), there are a number of great sport fish to catch. Most of my friends and family love to catch Walleye and (of course) enjoy tasty fish fry's as well as catching nice sized Smallmouth Bass, Muskie, and Northern Pike.
While species of fish available vary on different lakes, it is rare to be fishing a lake in these areas that doesn't have a Northern Pike population. Some fishermen will complain about catching snakes (small Pike) that annoy them when fishing for Walleye or Pan Fish. It is true these small Pike can be a nuisance in these instances but it's worth it, because once you hook a big, heavy Northern Pike and all the fight it gives you, it may be all you'll seek in terms of a great fresh water sport fish. However, if it's the mighty Northern Pike you now seek, here's the rub; these upper 30-40+ inch Pike require a whole different strategy to fish than when they're tugging on your hook in those cold waters as small predators in their younger years.
Manitoba is a fishing haven with a vast network of deep clear rivers, lakes that are huge, and a home to big trophy fish, beautiful outdoor areas, and robust fishing seasons. In terms of names - Lake of the woods, the Saskatchewan River and its tributaries, Lake Winnipeg, and countless other places that offer remote fishing that's close (enough) to home.
Perhaps every group of friends that goes on an annual Canadian fishing trip has one or two guys that are anglers for that one week of the year. They know enough to tie a knot and work the net but aren't the go to guy for fishing strategy. In our core group of four guys, that one-week-a-year guy was me.
For over three decades my family and friends have headed north with me to enjoy the quality fishing of Canada, particularly in the province of Ontario. We have crossed at many points along the border, including the Peace Bridge (Buffalo), International Falls (Minnesota) and Windsor (Detroit); For the most part we have encountered very few problems over the years.
That said, if you travel over the border and back enough times you will inevitably (at some point) have a more involved experience with a border-crossing agent. This can range from a few extra questions to a full inspection of your vehicle and its contents. For example, during one crossing my brother's SUV and boat were searched; and on another trip my group was asked to pull over and remove our boat tarp, even though it was an 11 pm crossing and there were no other vehicles present. You just never know when an inspection may occur. If you are asked to pull into an inspection area, remain calm and proceed as you are directed. You should be on your way following completion of the vehicle and/or boat inspection.
Here's a list of "DO" and "DO NOT" suggestions that, it you follow, should make your border crossing smooth and uneventful even in the event of additional questioning and/or a vehicle search.
Like a lot of you, our content team has decided that the next best thing to casting a line is watching other anglers fishing on YouTube. At the end of each year, we ask them to send over what they think are the best Canada fishing videos of the year - so, here is our list of the top videos of 2016. Point out any of your 2017 videos to us and maybe you'll make the list next year! Happy New Year...happy fishing.
Every tackle box has its essential items...hemostats, extra line, your favorite lures...but what about the "essential non-essentials"? Over several years of going on an annual Canadian fishing trip, our group of fishing buddies have added a few items that we now consider must haves for any Canadian fishing trip. Below are a few items that you may not have thought of yet but can make your next trip on the water more efficient and comfortable.
You were in a deep sleep. You were sleeping so well because the past two days have been great fishing days out on the lake, comprised of nice strikes, catches, and full stringers of fish. Now you're awake and wondering "What is making all the racket?" That's when you see flashes of lightning through the cabin windows. What was a quiet summer's night sleep has now been interrupted by a full-blown thunderstorm with lightning strikes, loud claps of thunder and strong bursts of wind buffeting the cabin. You turn over and try and go back to sleep, though knowing that the great days of fishing that you've had may be the best fishing of the week. If you've encountered a storm like this before, you also know there is likely no rush to get out on the boat early as the thunder and lightning have probably shut down the bite.
A primary reason that the My Canada Fishing Trip website came to be was because friends were trying to plan a fishing trip but having a difficult time narrowing down the lodges to consider. Too many lodge websites were reviewed and phone calls made only to find out that the lodge didn't fit what was important to the guys going fishing. The Canadian fishing Trip Finder was born from that experience as a way for you to quickly filter lodge options by what is important to you and your fishing buddies. This post introduces the Trip Finder and should help to answer any questions you have about it. If you have more questions or need help, then please contact us directly and we'll help however needed.
This goal of this site is to help provide you with the information you need to find you the perfect Canadian fishing trip for you. The goal is to have a complete directory of fishing camps in Canada that you can search and filter based on price, length of trip, distance and more. With Ratings & Reviews powered by Tripadvisor, this site offers up to date reviews and information on each lodge which makes it a perfect resource for planning a Canadian fishing trip.
How to Use the Site
On this site you can search by price range and length of stay, as well as by province and species of fish. Also available are driving distances from major cities to each and every camp or lodge listed on the site. Just find the city closest to you and estimate your travel time based on that. So if the closest city to you is Detroit which is 4 hours away and you are looking to drive 12 hours max then look for camps within 8 hours of Detroit.
If you're like me, you've been waiting through the long cold winter months. You've been waiting and checking the weather at the lodge where you're booked. It's a long way from where you live, but you're anxious to see how it's going up there. The waiting is over; the dog days of winter have finally passed and now you are just a few weeks away from your Northwestern Ontario Spring fishing trip. Last year the ice cleared only a few days before the Saturday morning opening day. You were concerned whether or not you and your friends would be able to get in a full week's fishing and, even more so; how good the fishing would be that week at camp following the ice-out. That was last year. This year the ice is already off the lakes and you are checking with your buddies on the final arrangements before the day you leave for your camp.
No matter what lake you're driving to it will most likely have Walleye, Northern Pike, and Smallmouth Bass. Some lakes also have Lake Trout, Muskie, Perch and maybe even Crappie. There truly is no other place to fish multi-species waters like Northwestern Ontario.
Here in the Heartland of the Mid-west, there are many traditions. Some well-known involve Big-10 Football, or "all things" Notre Dame, or pack up the family "truckster" and head east or south to the beach. Yet, for some fortune ones it is to take a family fishing trip north of the US Canadian border and seek out trophy Walleyes, Pike and Musky. This last tradition involves some groups of families, often with grandparents, sons and daughters with their children; though mostly it brings groups of good friends that love to fish and enjoy high quality fishing northbound.