Ontario Fly Fishing: 15 Best Places And Methods To Try
Get Expert Advice About Ontario Fly Fishing
As the top river fishing guide in Ontario, I know all about Ontario fly fishing. I will share expert advice along with many of the best places to fly fish and I will share my best methods for Ontario fly fishing.
Ontario fly fishing could mean fishing a southern Ontario trout river or fly fishing at a northern lake for bass, pike, and musky. Ontario fly fishing can also mean fishing for huge salmon and big steelhead on a local river. There are many fly fishing opportunities in Ontario.
In this article, I will cover options for fishing the many great rivers of southern Ontario as well as options for Northern Ontario. You’ll know how to get started in fly fishing or if you already know how to fly fishing you will get some tips and advice on how to catch more fish or where to try on your next Ontario fly fishing trip.
Getting Started Fly Fishing In Ontario
Some anglers that are interested in fly fishing in Ontario might think that fly fishing is too confusing, too difficult, or too expensive, but it’s not.
In fact, once you understand the basics of fly fishing it’s actually pretty easy, it’s also very fun, and it’s affordable.
Not only that, but there are tons of places that you can go fly fishing in Ontario.
The nice thing about fly fishing is that it doesn’t require a lot of money. You can get set up from head to toe with all the fly fishing gear you would need for fly fishing in Ontario with only about $350.00 dollars.
Fly fishing can also be learned easily by using the tips and advice I provide on this website and on my blog website. You can also learn fly fishing from a friend, through a guide service or through books and magazines, and even on YouTube.
Sure, there’s a ton of information on-line that might confuse a newbie. and there is a bunch of books and videos to choose from, but I will help you narrow that down and show you what’s best for fly fishing in Ontario. This way you can skip all the not-so-good and non-relevant stuff.
I have taught thousands of beginner to advanced anglers on the water so let me teach you the right way.
Getting Started and Gearing Up For Ontario Fly Fishing
I practically live in river fishing gear and I owned a tackle store so I know a lot about river fishing and fly fishing gear.
If you are new to fly fishing or you have been fly fishing for a while and want to make sure that you have all the necessary fly fishing gear that you need, check out my list.
This is the same list I give to all my clients and friends.
This is just a simple list of all the things that should have for fly fishing Ontario, but you can get much more detailed information on everything that I use, the brands I recommend, how to get set up, and exactly what you need and where to get it for Ontario fly fishing all on my blog page Fly Fishing Gear: Everything You Need To Fly Fish
- Fly rod and fly reel
- Fly line
- Wading jacket
- Vest or gear pack
- Fly box
- Fly line cleaner
- Fly floatant
Ontario Fly Fishing For Trout
When you mention Ontario fly fishing the first species to come to mind is the trout. There are brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout in Ontario rivers and in some Ontario lakes. You can learn more about each species by clicking on the link.
Fly fishing Ontario trout requires lightweight fly rods and reels and smaller flies. I recommend fly rods in the 3 weight to 5 weight range and a fly reel to match. You want to use a floating fly line which will enable you to use many fly fishing methods.
Many anglers like to dry fly fish for Ontario trout. Some of the best dry flies are the Royal Coachman, The Humpy, The Adams, The Elk Hair Caddis, as well as beetle patterns.
Nymphing is also a great way to fly fishing Ontario trout.
Some of the best nymphs are the Pheasant tail nymph, the Prince Nymph, the Hares Ear Nymph, and the Stonefly nymph.
You can also fly fish for trout with 1 to 4 inch streamer flies and with we flies.
Ontario fly fishing for trout requires cold clean water and Ontario has many great trout rivers to choose from.
In northern Ontario many cold rivers will have brook trout in them but in southern Ontario many cold water rivers will have brook trout, brown trout and some will even have rainbow trout in them. I will discuss rivers below.
There are two many trout rivers to list so for a detailed list check out The Best Trout And Steelhead Rivers. See other river options below.
Most trout fishing in Ontario occurs during the normal trout season which is from The 4th Saturday in April until the last day in September.
If you want to really learn to fly fish for trout in Ontario you should consider a lesson or guide trip with Ontario top river guide service A Perfect Drift Guide Company since they are experts at fly fishing in Ontario.
Ontario Fly Fishing For Steelhead
Steelhead is another species you might think of when someone mentions fly fishing in Ontario because there are lots of steelhead rivers in Ontario and steelhead is a very popular fish.
Because many steelhead rivers will get fall, winter and spring runs of over 10,000 steelhead, this can provide a unique opportunity for anglers to catch a lot of large steelhead in one day.
Some of the best fly fishing rivers for steelhead in southern Ontario are the Credit River, the Humber River, the Ganaraska River, Wilmot Creek, Bronte Creek and the Niagara river. These are all rivers that flow into Lake Ontario.
Lake Huron and Georgian Bay rivers can also be excellent choices for fly fishing for steelhead. Some really good rivers include the Maitland River, the Bighead River, the Saugeen River, the Beaver River, and the Nottawasaga River. Check here to see a listing of The Best Trout And Steelhead Rivers. See other river options below.
Steelhead can be very aggressive once they enter the river and can be caught on all kinds of flies.
Some of the best flies for steelhead are the Egg Fly, The Worm Fly, The Pheasant Tail Nymph, the Stonefly, The Woolly bugger and the egg sucking leach.
For my favorite steelhead flies check out my blog post 5 Best Flies For Steelhead – An Expert Guides Advice
For more detailed information and tactics for fly fishing Ontario steelhead, check out my page on Fly Fishing Steelhead
The guides at A Perfect Drift Guide Company will sometime net over 400 steelhead in the fall for their clients and are experts at fly fishing for steelhead.
Ontario Fly Fishing For Salmon
Fly fishing Ontario can also include fishing for giant salmon once they enter the rivers of Southern Ontario.
Ontario has Chinook salmon which are the most common salmon species but we also have some rivers that have Coho Salmon, and the rare Atlantic salmon. There is even the rare pink salmon in some Ontario rivers.
There is a lot of rivers that anglers can go to if they want to fly fish for salmon. Salmon will eat flies that are presented using nymphing methods and with streamer fishing methods. The picture below is a salmon my client caught on a pink worm fly which is one of my favorite salmon fly patterns.
Ontario Chinook salmon can reach sizes of up to 40 pounds and can enter many rivers by the thousands which provides anglers an opportunity to catch dozens of massive salmon in a day of fly fishing.
For good fly fishing rivers with salmon in Southern Ontario, you could try the Credit River, the Humber River, the Ganaraska River, Bronte Creek, and the Niagara River.
The salmon should enter these rivers in September and October after significant rains raise the water levels.
The St.Mary’s river in Northern Ontario can be good for Chinook and Atlantic salmon and possibly Pink salmon. See other river options below.
Most rivers and creeks flowing into Lake Ontario and Lake Huron will have some salmon run up them and can be worth exploring.
With any fishing method it requires skill and salmon can be tough to catch but if you know how to predict the runs of salmon and what rivers are best you can really improve your chances. For more detailed information go to my page on Fly Fishing For Ontario Salmon.
Ontario Fly fishing For Bass And Other Warm Water Species
Fly fishing for bass, pike and musky can be a lot of fun and there are opportunities all over Ontario.
Southern Ontario has lots of rivers with small mouth bass and a few good lakes and ponds for large mouth bass.
There are also some good rivers with pike and musky in them which are easy to fish with a fly rod.
For musky and pike in southern Ontario I would try the Lower Grand river, the Saugeen river, the Nottawasaga river, the Thames river and the St. Clair rivers. The Niagara river also has huge musky and pike.
Many of the lower sections of rivers that flow into lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian bay will have small mouth bass fishing opportunities.
The Saugeen river down river of Walkerton to the lake is an excellent bass fishery and so is the grand river throughout the entire river.
In Northern Ontario the entire eastern shoreline and most of the rivers entering it will have opportunities for musky, pike and bass.
Lake Simcoe is another good option for bass, pike, and musky. Most of the Kawartha lakes are also great for musky and bass.
The Best Places To Fly Fish In Southern Ontario
There are hundreds or thousands of places for southern Ontario fly fishing and these are your best options.
Best Rivers For Fly Fishing For Ontario Trout And Steelhead
- Ganaraska River
- Wilmot River
- Duffins Creek
- Humber River and the East Humber River
- Credit River and its tributaries
- Bronte Creek
- Niagara River
- Maitland river
- Suageen River
- Beaver River
- Nottawasaga River
- Big Creek
For more detailed information on the best trout and steelhead rivers for fly fishing check out our page The Best Rivers In Ontario
Places For Fly Fishing For Ontario Salmon
Most rivers that flow into Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Georgian By get runs of salmon but these are some of the best places to try.
- Ganaraska River
- Wilmot Creek
- Humber River
- Credit River
- Bronte Creek
- Niagara River
- Maitland River
- Saugeen River
- Beaver River
- Nottwasaga River
Fly Fishing Near Toronto
There are many places near Toronto to fly fish. Anglers have the option to fly fish lakes, ponds, and rivers in the Toronto area.
Fly fishing near Toronto for Bass, Pike, Steelhead, and Trout is an option and all can be caught within a 10 to 30 minutes drive.
Some great rivers around Toronto include the Humber River, the east and west Humber River, Cold Creek, Credit River, Duffins Creek, Rouge River, Bronte Creek, Silver Creek, and the Don River. For more information on trout fishing on these rivers check out my page Trout Fishing Near Toronto: Tips From A Top River Guide and Fishing Near Toronto – 15 Best Places To Fish
Fly fishing near Toronto may require specialized methods and gear for each species. For tips on fly fishing methods, best flies, best fly fishing gear, or for the best fly fishing guides in the area, go to our Fly Fishing Page.
Bass, Pike and Musky Fly Fishing Waters
These are some good spots to try fly fishing for pike, bass and musky and even carp in Southern Ontario.
- Toronto Harbor and Toronto Island – Bass, carp and pike
- Lower Humber River – Bass, carp and pike
- Lower Credit River – Bass, carp and pike
- Sixteen Mile Creek – Bass
- Niagara River – Bass, pike and musky
- Lower Grand River – Bass, pike, carp and musky
- Middle and upper Grand River – Bass, carp and pike
- Maitland river – Bass
- Saugeen River – Bass, pike, carp and musky
- Thames River – Bass, pike, carp and musky
- Nottawasaga – Bass, carp and Pike
- Port Servern – Bass, pike, carp, gar pike, and musky.
- Lake Simcoe – Bass,carp pike and musky
- Kawartha lakes – Bass and musky
The Best Places To Fish In Northern Ontario
There are lots of places to fly fish in Northern Ontario. Many are accessed by boat or through a lodge or cottage.
These are some places that you can access by foot.
- Key River – Bass and Pike
- French River – Bass, pike and Musky
- St.Marys River – Steelhead, salmon, pike, bass and musky
- Jackpine River – Trout and Steelhead
- Nipigon River – Brook trout
- Cypress River – Steelhead and trout
- Gravel River – Steelhead
- Steel River – Steelhead
- Michipicoten River – Steelhead
Summary: Ontario Fly Fishing
Thank you for reading our article about Ontario Fly Fishing. I hope this gives you some good ideas and helps you catch some more fish.
Ontario river fishing is good, but it’s not great yet! Every fish taken from our rivers contributes to a worse fishery for everyone. Our OMNR is limited and stuck in the dark ages when it comes to modern practices for managing our rivers which is why I highly recommend that everyone practice catch and release to help make Ontario river fishing great again.