Best River Guides In Ontario

Best River Guides In Ontario

Ontario River Guides

Guiding takes a special kind of person and to be one of the best river guides in Ontario you need to have a great knowledge of the sport and you need to be exceptionally skilled while still having the patience and the ability to teach that knowledge to others.

The best river guides in Ontario are from A Perfect Drift Guide Company. Because of their years of experience, their expert training, and their patience with clients they are considered the best river guides in Ontario. They are what you want if you are looking for the best river guides in Ontario.

I’ve always said that “a great angler doesn’t always make a great guide, but a great guide can make someone else a great angler”.

If you are like most anglers that hire a guide, your goal is to learn and to catch more fish. If that is what you want, your next lesson or guide trip should be with one of the best river guides in Ontario, and not the wrong guide.


Why Hire An Ontario River Guide?

Ontario's top river guide
Ontario’s top river guide

Everyone has different reasons for hiring a guide and a great guide will be able to help with all of them.

A really great river guide will provide beginner and advanced anglers with the ability to learn new tips and tricks and will be good at communication and teaching.

A great river guide will also, cut down on your learning curve as well as show you new water. A great river guide will teach anglers to catch more fish so that every day they are on the water after the guided trip will be better, A great guide will improve your skills and help you become the best that you can be.

Sometimes a great river guide will simply put anglers onto lots of fish quickly, or just be a companion for you while you fish.

“Before I went out with Graham I would catch about 6 trout a day and if I was lucky I would catch 1 or 2 large brown trout over 20 inches a year. After one trip with Graham, I now catch about 30 trout a day and I hook or see a big brown trout almost every day”

Best River Guides In Southern Ontario

Best fly fishing guides for Ontario steelhead
Head guide Cody guiding teaching fly fishing methods for steelhead on one of the best steelhead rivers in Ontario.

Southern Ontario has a number of river guide services available to anglers. I recommend getting a full-time guide with a great reputation and avoid any untrained part-time guides. I say untrained because many new guides simply have no actual training on how to be a great guide.

I also advise being careful of the guides that work out of the local fly shops or the local tackle shops.

These guides are often just a customer of the store that has told the store they are a guide and they only guide for some extra money. These part-time shop guides often have little experience in guiding, little experience dealing with clients, and little experience teaching and keeping their clients safe.

If you do decide to hire a guide through a fly shop ask for their head guide and make sure he is a full-time guide.

The best guide services offer full-time guides that are on the water 5 to 7 days a week, every week. These are the guides that have the experience and the knowledge to provide exceptional service. They also rely 100% on the money they make from guiding so they are more likely to work hard for that money.

A Perfect Drift Guide Company – Since 2006

Best Ontario river guide
Best Ontario river guide

A Perfect Drift Guide Company has been the best river guide service in Ontario for the last 10 years.

Owner and top guide Graham is considered to be the #1 river guide in Ontario.

Graham has been known to teach and guide over 250 days a year and still finds the time to go chase trophy brown trout and steelhead.

In the last 20 years as a professional guide, Graham has had the opportunity to guide and teach over 3000 anglers.

Graham has trained with world champion fly anglers, a former head coach of the USA fly fishing team, many competition river anglers, and fishing celebrities, not to mention some exceptionally skilled clients of his.

Graham with the crew from the New Fly Fisher TV show
Graham with the crew from the New Fly Fisher TV show

Graham has been featured on numerous fly fishing shows and he has been featured in many fishing books, fishing magazines, and has been a presenter at many local fishing clubs.

Graham now trains all the guides that work at A Perfect Drift to ensure that they have the same knowledge and skills to maintain the high quality and professional guiding that anglers know and expect from A Perfect Drift Guide Company. This makes his guides some of the best river guides in Ontario.

Best Ontario river guide Graham helping out a young angler
Top Ontario river guide Graham helping out a young angler with a huge steelhead. This was 1 of 15 they landed that day

Living and guiding in what may be considered the best fly fishing area in all of Southern Ontario, Graham offers guided trips for trout, steelhead, salmon, bass, musky, and pike on 13 rivers in his area.

Check out my page The Best Rivers In Ontario For Trout And Steelhead.

Graham is also known as an easy-going, friendly and patient guide that loves working with beginner and advanced anglers. Graham has also trained other full-time guides in Ontario.

Also an accomplished and innovative fly tier, Graham uses mostly custom-tied flies for guiding which catch many trophy fish for his clients. His custom flies are being used with great success by many Ontario anglers.

Due to his wide range of expert skills and professionalism Graham is a recommended guide at numerous fishing stores across Ontario.

Other Great River Guides

Ontario Centerpin guide Cody with a nice silver steelhead.
Ontario Centerpin guide Cody with a nice silver steelhead.

If Graham is not available, then head guide Cody Burden is the guy to go with. Cody is the Junior Head Guide at A Perfect Drift Guide Company.

Cody has exceptional skills and is one of the best river guides in Ontario. Cody is well versed in fly fishing, Centerpin fishing, and spin fishing. Cody guides for trout, steelhead, salmon, bass, and pike.

In the winter Cody offers ice fishing for crappie, lake trout, pike, and whitefish.

Cody offers most of the boat trips at A Perfect Drift and can get his clients into some amazing sections of river with little to no other anglers.

Ontario river guide cody with a beautiful brown trout

Cody gets great reviews from his clients and he works very hard for them all day long.

Cody is a skilled teacher with a great knowledge of the rivers and the fish that he guides for. You can see Cody’s full bio -HERE.

Cody loves to fly fish for huge brown trout and one of his specialties is mousing for big browns after dark on a full moon.

While many anglers struggle to catch 1 or 2 brown trout over 20 inches a year, the stories you have heard about Cody and his brother catching over 15 brown trout over 20 inches in one day are true, which is why getting on the water with Cody to learn his spots and his methods is something every river angler should seriously consider.

Cody and Graham are the only guides in Ontario who are considered an expert at modern fly fishing methods, traditional fly fishing methods, Spey fishing, and are also the top Centerpin fishing guides and instructors in Ontario.

Head Guide Cody In Action

Ontario river guide cody with a beautiful brown trout
Ontario river guide cody with a beautiful Ontario steelhead
Ontario river guide cody with a huge ontario salmon
Ontario river guide cody with a beautiful nighttime Brown trout

Metcalfe School Of Fly Casting

Steelhead from the Wilmot Creek
Steelhead from the Wilmot Creek

Mike Metcalfe is another great guide trained by Graham. Mike is considered one of the best river guides in Ontario for fly fishing.

Mike’s specialty is putting his clients onto big brown trout on dry flies during the spring and summer months on his home waters of the Grand river.

Mike lives only a few minute’s walk from the famous Grand Rivers trout water and he guides there for trout all summer.

During the spring and fall, Mike will be out guiding on the Bighead and Niagara river for big steelhead.

Mike is a full time guide and does guide trips for A Perfect Drift Guide Company.

Thanks for reading our blog post on the best river guides in Ontario, I hope this helps you make a wise choice for your next guide trip.

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