Best Places to Fly Fish In Ontario


Northern and Southern Ontario Locations for Fly Fishing

Whether it’s because of the spectacular setting or the abundance of fish, there are a number of places that should be on any fisherman’s list of best fly fishing locations in Ontario.

And if this were a successful animated movie it wouldn’t be called “Wall-E”, it would be titled “Wall-Eye”.  But this is no movie… The Walleye is the real thing for sports fishermen, and it’s just one of a number of fish species that fly fishermen get excited about in Ontario.

This province is known for its diversity of fish. Most sought after species include northern pike, brook and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, muskie and steelhead. Some are known for their physical traits like the walleye named for its unique bulging eyes which point outward and the special layer behind their retina that allows them to see well in low light conditions. Others are renowned for their fighting ability like the muskie, commonly referred to as “fish of a thousand casts”. Some species are best caught earlier in the day like lake trout or bass; others at a particular time of year like the northern pike which are more likely to tug on your line in the spring.

Fly Fishing in Northwestern Ontario

Northwestern Ontario offers up the region of Hawk Lake which includes a number of various sized lakes to cast your line. Hawk Lake itself is a top spot for bass but is also home to northern pike, perch and lake trout. This area offers not only tranquility and a stunning natural setting, but also superb fishing. You can wade, boat or even canoe in some areas.

Colin McKeown, avid fisherman and co-host of television series The New Fly Fisher has posted a testimonial that describes the Hawk Lake area as “Some of the best smallmouth fishing I have ever experienced.”

Southern Ontario Fly Fishing Spots

Sault Ste Marie

Southern Ontario also boasts a diversity of fly fishing spots but a couple of them certainly vie for best fly fishing locations in Ontario.

St. Mary’s River situated near Sault Ste Marie is definitely a fish rich area. It is home to lake trout, brook trout, steelhead, and Atlantic and Pacific salmon. When you fish St. Mary’s, you never really know what be on the end of your line.

“The rapids of the St Mary’s River are truly a fly fisher’s mecca,” says Bill Spicer at the 1.48 minute mark in the New Fly Fisher – Sault Ste. Marie – Pink Salmon Fishing video below. Bill is an angler and the co-host of “The New Fly Fisher” television series.

May and June are prime time months for fishing St. Mary’s, and accommodation is readily available and affordable. It’s about an hour drive south of Sault Ste. Marie.


Another southern spot not to be missed is Credit River situated above the Niagara escarpment.

The upper section of the river is catch and release only and thrives with fish; the lower section is known for healthy hearty steelhead and salmon.

The river offers truly stunning scenery and was described in a recent video by Heritage Mississauga, as an “ecological wonderland”.

This unique place features clear water, an amazing diversity of wildlife and unparalleled fishing. The Credit River about a half hour drive from Toronto if you take the Gardiner Expressway West and Queen Elizabeth Way.

Ontario Fly Fishing Guides

Now you might say, it all sounds wonderful, but you don’t know how to fly fish. There are experts available to you in Ontario that can assist.

The very capable instructors at Perfect Drift Guide Company offer various fly fishing lessons. The Crash Course for Beginners is a four hour introductory session where you learn the various fly line tapers, the types of rods and reels, and how to load a rod. All gear and equipment is provided, and you’ll also receive a video of techniques so you can continue to learn long after the course is over. Contact Graham at 416-937-4911 or email

Another group based out of Fergus is Grand River Troutfitters which offers excellent guides and one-on-one instruction with the river as your outdoor classroom. Sessions include information on equipment, safety and technique such as how to cast, fly tying, line control and reading the water. Lessons are offered for one or two people, and you book easily online at

A gorgeous day out on the water, an amazing outdoor adventure, a phenomenal fight with a feisty fish; it’s all waiting for you at some of the best fly fishing locations in Ontario.

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