The Best Rivers In Ontario

The Best Southern Ontario Rivers For Trout and Steelhead

The Best Rivers In Ontario For Trout and Steelhead

 All Rivers Flow To The Great Lakes and Southern Ontario is surrounded by the great lakes which means we have many of the best rivers in Ontario all around us. With Lake Ontario on the north east side, Lake Erie to the south, Lake Huron to the west and Georgian Bay to the north west just about ever way you go you will hit one of them.  Even the tiniest of creek in Southern Ontario eventually ends up in one of the great lakes at some point. It also means that because the great lakes are full of steelhead and salmon that just about all the rivers in southern Ontario are likely to have trout and salmon in them as well. Some rivers will have small and insignificant runs of stray steelhead and salmon while other rivers will have large runs of possibly over 30,000 steelhead and over 10,000 salmon.

A small trout creek in Ontario


Most rivers are fed by cold clean ground water in the upper sections and that means most of them will have brook trout or brown trout and maybe rainbow trout in them some somewhere.

Since there is hundreds of rivers and creaks in Southern Ontario we are only covering the best of the best rivers and creeks here. The Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources said there are at least 150 brown trout rivers in Ontario and the majority are here in Southern Ontario. Brook trout river might be triple that number. That is why we can’t cover them all but, chances are if a small creek or river around you drains into one of the bigger rivers mentioned here it’s very likely that it will have trout and maybe steelhead and salmon in it. 

It’s the best rivers that we focus on There are hundreds of rivers and streams in Southern Ontario and to list them all would require pages and pages therefore we will list the main rivers and streams suitable for steelhead fishing.


Whether you are interested in fly fishing or not this book has lots of information on the best trout and steelhead rives in Ontario. It’s been out of print once or twice before and is sometimes hard to get so get it while you still can.

Book Description ; This is your guide to fantastic fishing in Ontario. Coastal treasures such as the streams of lakes Superior, Huron, Erie, Ontario, Georgia, Hudson, and James bays. Plus Nipigon the Blue Lake System, the Grand, southern Ontario trout streams, and more. Species include: brook trout, brown trout, bass, arctic char, grayling, Atlantic and Pacific salmon and more…..


Eastern Lake Ontario Rivers and Streams

When I say eastern rivers I’m referring to rivers east of the city of Toronto to about Trenton. There may be some rivers east of Trenton but the best east rivers are from Trenton to Toronto. Just about all the rivers and creeks in this are get runs of steelhead, salmon, migratory brown trout, and will have brook trout and Brown trout in the upper parts of the river. Most steelhead rivers in this area would be considered small to medium sized with many averaging only 10 to 20 wide with an average depth of 2 or 3 feet.

Shelter Valley Creek

A Shelter Valley Creek Brook Trout


Shelter Valley Creek – A nice small creek about 80 minutes drive from Toronto that is about 12 feet wide and is located near the little town of Grafton. For a small creek it has good runs of steelhead, and salmon and some lake run brown trout. There are also brook trout in the upper sections but both anglers and the land owners on this creek tell me that much of these creek is private property and the river bottom is are also private and that the land owner do charge anglers for trespassing. Most anglers fish down at the mouth area below hwy 401. If you plan ahead you may also be able to pay to access this creek at the Shelter Valley Park and Camp Grounds but contact them before you go. We only included this creek on the list because anglers and clients of ours have asked about it but in general, based on the poor access on this river is not great for fishing unless you have permission to access private property.


Cobourg Creek – This is another smaller cold water creek that is about 15 feet wide. It stays cold year round and has good hatches for fly anglers. Anglers will find this river has lots of private property and only a few areas that you can get access to like the Cobourg Conservation Area. There are runs of big steelhead, salmon each season. There are also brown trout and brook trout located in the upper sections.

A Shelter Valley Creek Brook Trout

The Ganaraska River

Fishing the Ganaraska river near Port Hope


Ganaraska River – Also know as the “Ganny” is likely the most popular river of all the eastern tributaries due to it’s large runs of steelhead and salmon. The Ganny also has good brown trout and brook trout fishing but a lot of the upper river is private property and heavily posted. The mouth area of the Ganny in the town of Port Hope can be a hot spot for anglers look to hook into fresh runs of salmon and steelhead. This river is also now being stocked with Atlantic salmon with some decent catches being reported

The crowds on the Ganny can be large at times especially on the weekends and during the salmon runs or on opening day of trout season so be prepared for that. The Ganny is the biggest trout river in this area and is a really nice river to fish with it’s clear water, ripples and runs and pools. I used to fish this river in it’s prime when it would get runs of over 15,000 steelhead annually

It has some decent access at the mouth and in Sylvan Glen Conservation area and at the Port Hope Conservation Area.

This river is heavily enforced by police and OMNR officers and the charge a lot of anglers for fish limits, trespassing and littering. I have heard talks of access being denied in certain areas due to many unethical anglers littering, excess noise, and causing property damage.


Graham Creek – A small creek that gets runs of steelhead and salmon with reports of brown trout which I’m not sure if there are resident brown trout or migratory brown trout. There is also and brook trout in some areas up river.. The mouth of Graham Creek is located in the town of Newcastle where the creek is slow with lots of wood in the water.

The creek goes through a lot of farm lands and access is limited due to private property in the upper reaches. You may fond some cold areas up river with good populations of brook trout.

This video will give you a bit of idea of what lower Graham Creek is like.. YouTube Video


Steelhead from the Wilmot Creek

Wilmot Creek – Another favorite river of many steelhead anglers and although it’s not a big creek this river is known for large runs of steelhead and salmon.

It also has migrator and resident brown trout and brook trout in it. There is also the chance for migratory brown trout and Atlantic salmon in the fall.

There is limited access above hwy 2 because most of it is private property but there is access below hwy 401 and in Thurne Park Conservation Area or more info HERE. The is a very cold clear river with lots of good water for natural reproduction. Some sections are heavily wooded and tough to fish and land fish in. Some of the big log jam pools have big browns and trout all year.

This is another river that has it’s issues with over crowding, littering and poaching.

This Picture is Mike from Metcalfe School of Fly Casting with a Wilmot Creek Steelhead.

FISHING Bowmanville Creek

Fishing Bowmanville Creek

Bowmanville Creek – Bowmanville Creek is known for it’s runs of steelhead and salmon. It also gets good runs of migratory brown trout along with some Atlantic salmon. Check out these link for some good information and pictures.

Bowmanville Creek Fishway Blog – some cool pictures
Bowmanville Creek Anglers
You tube

Fishing Bowmanville Creek

Oshawa Creek

Fishing Oshawa creek


 Oshawa Creek – Oshawa creek flows through the town of Oshawa and is not really the prettiest of rivers in this area but as you get out of town this little creek is a nice little piece of water. Access can be good and the large runs of steelhead and salmon can make the fishing good at times. There’s also brook trout and brown trout in this river and it has some decent access through the town and in the parks areas like Cedar Valley Conservation. Check out this video for an idea on what this creek is like. YouTube Video

FISHING Duffins Creek

FIshing On Duffins Creek

 Duffins Creek – One of the bigger creeks of the area this river has resident brook trout, brown trout and get good runs of steelhead and salmon. This is a pretty river which offers good fishing year round. There’s decent access and an extended season for trout and salmon. The river split in two and has some good access. A good starting point would be Greenwood Conservation Area. There’s a dam in the town of Whitevale that prevents migratory species but there are brook trout above the dam. For Whitevale fishing info check this website. Check out the Toronto Conservation website for more info

FIshing On Duffins Creek


Fishing on the Rouge River

Rouge River – The Rouge River flows at the edge of Toronto and although not as popular as some of the other river it offers good fishing opportunities for trout and salmon with good access.

You’ll find rainbows, salmon and migratory brown trout in the fall and steelhead in the spring.

There are sections of the upper river that have good brook trout fishing to. Access is good in the lower areas especially around the Rouge Park area

South-Western Lake Ontario Rivers

The South-Western rivers are the rivers that are on the west side of the city of Toronto and go all the way south to the the Niagara River. These rivers are more urban and often close to or through larger cities and large populations of people.

Although some of these rivers run through cities, many of them are often set down in a ravine or valley and often still have the look and feel of a wild natural river once you get downtown the river to fish. Some of the western river a much larger in size than the eastern river and access is often better on these rivers.

FISHING THE Humber River

Fishing on the Humber river

Humber River – The Humber River flows right through the Toronto area and most of the lower river is accessible and surrounded by houses, building and traffic and therefore it’s not very scenic and not as popular as some other rivers. It does get good runs of steelhead, salmon and migratory brown trout and that attracts some local anglers. The upper Humber has wild brook trout populations and some nice brown trout mixed in and is much more scenic.

The river is 10 minutes east of Orangeville and has lots of good access points. This upper section is guided by A Perfect Drift Guide Company for those looking for a guide service. Wild and stocked brown trout can be caught between highway 9 and the town of Bolton and some as far down as hwy 407.

Trout may be kept in this river but we strongly urge all anglers to release your trout to help grow this fishery to it’s full potential.

Fishing on the Humber river

FISHING THE Credit River

Credit River – Known as the “Crown Jewel of Southern Ontario” or simply just the Credit, it is one of the largest rivers in the Toronto area. The lower credit river provides anglers with good opportunities for steelhead and large runs of salmon as well as small mouth bass. Migratory species can make it all the way to the Norval Dam just up river from Hwy 7 and can be found in the river from August to June. Peak runs are September to December and then from March to May.  There are a number of parks and access is generally good through the whole lower river. One of the most popular sections is Erindale park which is part of the year round open section and has good runs of migratory trout and salmon. 

The upper Credit River is a very pretty trout river with large brown trout and brook trout and is a very popular section of river for fly anglers. The upper sections have special regulations so be sure to check the regulations before you go.

Thanks to catch and release only and special regulations there’s plenty of fish in the upper sections with good access through the parks in the area. A Perfect Drift Guide Company knows this river very well and guides anglers in the upper and lower sections and they can put you in front of some of the biggest fish in the river. Below is an angler fly fishing the upper credit River and a happy angler with a 23 inch resident brown trout from the upper Credit River.

FISHING Sixteen Mile Creek

Fishing on 16 mile creek in Oakville

 Sixteen Mile Creek – Sixteen mile creek is a lesser know creek that offers some steelhead and salmon fishing. This river is less fished because it sits between the more popular Credit river and Bronte creek and also because it tends to get smaller runs of salmon and steelhead. It is set in a deep scenic valley in the middle of the city of Oakville.

It also has some brook trout and brown trout available near the town of Milton and up near Kelso Park in the upper sections.

The is a little known small mouth bass fishery that can be excellent in the lower river once the season opens. Carp fishing can also be good down near the mouth of the river. Access is good with trails and parks all along the river for those looking to explore this river.

Fishing on 16 mile creek in Oakville

FISHING Bronte Creek

Fishing on Bronte Creek

Bronte Creek – This is one of the more popular rivers due to it’s big runs of salmon, steelhead and migratory brown trout. The mouth of this river is in the town of Bronte which is set between Oakville and Burlington. This river has good access and an extended open season in the fall until December 31st. Set Petro Park near the mouth of the river is a popular spot but there is also good access throughout the Bronte Creek Provincial Park which is where this salmon was caught. Much of the lower 10 kilometers of river is in a deep scenic valley and once down in the river you would never know you are surrounded by cities.  Further up the river is a large 30 foot water falls that prevent the migration of migratory species. There are brook trout and brown trout in the upper sections of this river.

Check the fishing regulations for extended seasons.

Southern Lake Ontario Rivers

There are a few other rivers worth mentioning further south towards the Niagara river and the Ontario USA borders.  We will be covering these rivers and streams at a later date.

Georgian Bay Rivers

Although there us the odd stray salmon or steelhead in some of these northern rivers and if you go far enough up the river you’re likely to find some native brook trout the best trout and steelhead rivers are all on the southern shoreline of Georgian Bay between the little town Cold Water in the east to the little town of Wiarton in the west. Between these two towns there is about 20 rivers and creeks that get runs of steelhead and salmon and that have brook trout and maybe brown trout in the upper sections. I would guess that any creek or river in this stretch that has any significant flow would get some steelhead or salmon entering them. 

Georgian Bay is a massive bay or an extension of Lake Huron. It is so big that it takes a few hours or more to drive from the furthest southern point to the most northern point. Much of northern Georgian Bay and the rivers in the northern part of the bay, north of Port Severn are warm river systems with warm water species like bass, pike, walleye and musky.

THE Nottawasaga River

Fishing the Nottawasaga

Nottawasaga River System – The Notty, as the local anglers call it, is the biggest wild steelhead and salmon river flowing into Georgian Bay and is said to have the largest runs of wild steelhead in all of Ontario.

This river is so big that there are a dozen smaller creeks and rivers that flow into it and just about all of them will have steelhead, salmon and trout in them in some degree.

The mouth of the river is over 100 feet wide on average and can also have good populations of bass, pike, musky, carp and even the odd Sturgeon.

In fact the lower 75 km of this river can have any of those species year round and it’s this lower 75 km where the bulk of the access and fishing takes place.

The majority of this 75 km section from the mouth of the Boyne River in Alliston to Georgian Bay has a year round open section on trout and steelhead but check the official fishing regulations before you go in case that has recently been changed.

The upper stretch, up river of the town of Alliston might be another 40 or 50 km of windy forested and wooded river.

If the river conditions are good, the Notty offers Steelhead fishing from early September to the end of May with peak times being mid October to late November. If you are looking for a fishing guide on this river the top guide for this river is A Perfect Drift Guide Company based in Orangeville.

Many anglers have noticed these wild steelhead fight far better then in other rivers in Ontario making the Nottawasaga which is likely due to the genetic strains and the fact this river has never been stocked with steelhead and all steelhead are wild.

The middle and lower sections of the Nottawasaga from Alliston to Wasaga Beach are mostly slower deeper pools and is mostly flat stained water which makes this area very challenging to fish for many anglers.

It’s also has of trees and wood in the water and can be almost featureless making it even more challenging for new anglers. 

A Perfect Drift Guide Company does a lot of guided trips on this river and can show you how to find fish consistently in this type of water and show you how to fish it effectively.

The slower deeper water of this river is really good water for anglers who like to centerpin float fish and for anglers that like to use lures.

Aside from some faster water near the mouth that is good for fly fishing this is not the best section of river to fish with a fly rod unless you know how to fish flat water.

There are a few faster water sections up the river that are great for fly anglers but they are few and far between and aften very short sections between the slower deeper waters and much of these faster sections are on private property and can’t be accessed by foot.

The majority of the river down stream from the town of Alliston is private property so access is limited but there are some access areas in parks and forest areas. Anglers should be aware that the town of Essa requires all anglers to have a special fishing pass.

Anglers fishing without the pass can be charged with trespassing. Good access for anglers without a pass can be had in the mouth area near Wasaga Beach area.

There is now a special no kill section between Angus and Alliston so all anglers MUST release their steelhead (see MNR regulations). Local anglers have been know to report anglers not abiding by this law.

Salmon from the Nottawasaga river

Salmon can enter this river in small pods after big rains in July and this river has been said to have the earliest salmon runs in the province. The Bulk of the Salmon runs will start in early September and continue through the middle of October. Due to issues with bait fish in Georgian Bay salmon that enter the Nottawasaga and most Georgian Bay rivers are on the small side averaging around 10 pounds.

Clients of A Perfect Drift Guide Company have had multiple big fish days with steelhead mixed in. Anglers can have some pretty good salmon fishing in early October but if you want a guided trip for salmon these dates book up fast so don’t hesitate. A Perfect Drift Guide Company offers boat trips and walk and wade trips for salmon and steelhead through most of the river from Alliston to Wasaga beach.

Salmon from the Nottawasaga river
The Nottawasaga river


The Upper Nottawasaga River – The upper sections of the Nottawasaga start just up river of Alliston and is where the river starts to become a cold water river with clear water and a more gravel type bottom. The river continues all the way to Town  of Orangeville. This upper area has some of the nicest stretches of river in Southern Ontario flowing through the scenic Hockley Valley, but unfortunately there is almost no public access through this entire stretch.

There used to be few sections of river that land owners would let people in to fish but thanks to ignorant anglers littering, camping and abusing their properties they have all been closed down now.

Unless you have permission to enter a property, 95% of the upper river is all posted “No Trespassing” and it is enforced.


There is a section up in the Hockley Valley Nature Reserve that gives anglers a small area to fish. This stretch of river can be very difficult to fish because it is small fast water with lots of trees and logs crossing the river. There may be a few active bed and breakfast places along the river that might be a good way to pay, stay and fish along their private sections of rivers.

The upper river is great spawning grounds for steelhead, salmon and trout with lots of gravel beds and cool summer time water temperatures. There are brook trout and maybe brown trout in the upper reaches and in the small creeks that enter this section. The upper river branches off a few times into smaller forks and fishing can be difficult and again with literally zero access.  The hatches along the whole river can be very good and the fish can become active during these times.

The Upper sections are close to Orangeville for anglers looking for food, gas or accommodations.


The Boyne River

Boyne River – The Boyne River is one of the Nottawasaga’s main tributaries and has steelhead, salmon, resident brown trout, and brook trout in it. It’s a smaller river averaging maybe 15 feet across and can fish well after the trout opener and can be fun with smaller rods and flies. The Boyne can have huge hatches with non-stop action with the smaller resident fish for the dry fly anglers as well. May and June can be good to but if it’s a hot dry summer July and August can be very low water and not worth fishing. This could be considered a technical river with lots of bush and rocks and log jams and can be tough wading for some guys. Access can be good through a couple different park areas. Although there are some bigger resident brown trout and brook trout in the river they are few and far between because of anglers that keep the bigger resident fish. The steelhead and salmon numbers are also way down which is also believed to be from anglers taking fish either before they enter the Boyne river or once they enter the river. I highly recommend and that you please release your fish and help make this a great fishery again. Be careful what you read on the Boyne river because there is another river in Michigan called the Boyne river.

The Boyne River

THE Pine River

The Pine River

Pine River – The Pine river is another tributary of the Nottawasaga that is very much like the Boyne river and has plenty of different types of water from smaller rapid sections to slower riffles and pools. The upper Pine river normally runs very clear but the lower Pine river starts to go sandy and the clarity can change to a more green milky color especially during high water.

The Pine river is likely the best tributary of the Nottawasaga for reproducing steelhead. The Pine also gets a good run of salmon and steelhead in the fall. Because the river is mostly private property and due to the large amount of log jams there some big brown trout and big brook trout but again due to guys keeping fish they are few a far between in the public sections that anglers can legally access. Access on this river is tough due to it being mostly private property. Please practice catch and release to help grow this fishery into a great one.


The Mad River

Mad and Noisy Rivers – The Mad River is another tributary to the Nottawasaga River and the Noisy River is a Branch of the Mad River and both are primarily a brook trout and rainbow trout rivers with some steelhead available in the spring. May and June are the best times to fish this river in the few accessible areas that are available to anglers. These rivers are often fast flowing fun rivers with brook trout and little rainbows available throughout the summer. Please practice catch and release to preserve the good fishing.

The Mad River

FISHING THE Beaver River

Fishing on the Beaver River

Beaver River – This river is host to brown trout, brook trout, a few resident rainbows, salmon, and large runs of steelhead. This river flows into Georgian Bay just east of Owen Sound. All that combined with some awesome scenery can make this river a fly anglers favorite. But it’s not just for the fly guys, it’s a great river with a float rod or to throw lures. Much of the river is private property which allows the fish to do well with little pressure from anglers. This river is best fished from May until the end of June. Some of the brown trout and brook trout sections are very technical with lots of wood and forest cover to contend with and some very finicky browns but for the persistent angler the rewards can be worth it. The biggest brown trout reported from this river in 2011 was 8lbs which was caught on a fly. Steelheading in the lower sections can be some of the best steelhead fishing in the area and this lower section is good to fish with a fly rod, a float rod or spinning reel. Up to 30 steelhead a day on a fly rod is possible when the runs are at their peak but it can also get very busy especially in the lower end below the dams. A Perfect Drift Guide Company offers drift boat trips for steelhead, resident brown trout, and resident rainbow trout in late April, May and June and walk and wade trips are also available in the upper sections.

FISHING THE Bighead River

Fishing the Bighead River

Bighead River – is probably many guys favorite steelhead river to fly fish, there’s just so many great pockets and pools to put a fly and the fish seam to smash a well presented fly. Some sections are also big enough to swing a fly with Spey rod.. Not to mention the great scenery and if you manage to hit the river at the peak of a steelhead run you could be landing over 40 fish a day.

This river is located just east of Owen Sound and flows into Georgian Bay. There are brook trout and brown trout in the upper sections but due to lots of private property and very little accessible water it’s not fished much.

A Perfect Drift Guide Company Guides this river for steelhead from October to December by foot or by boat and then again in late April and May.

Fishing the Bighead River

FISHING THE Sydenham River

Fishing the Sydenham River

Sydenham River – flowing into Georgian Bay in the town of Owen Sound. The lower part of the river has year round open seasons but most of the upper rivers fishing season opens later then many other rivers.

It’s best to check the regulations under exceptions in zone 16 for clarification on the rules of this river. The migrating steelhead and salmon are stopped by a large water falls. Above and below the falls are resident brown trout and brook trout and are good for fishing.

A good starting point on this river would either be right in town below the first dam for steelhead or try below Inglis falls. You can access this area through Inglis Falls Conservation area. 

Lake Huron Rivers

Most lake Lake Huron rivers are cold clean rivers with good runs of steelhead and salmon and most should have brook trout and maybe brown trout. There are dozens small to large rivers along the Lake Huron shoreline which some call Ontario’s West Coast. We are going to cover the primary rivers here and may add more rivers in the future.

FISHING THE Sauble River

Sauble River fishing

Sauble River – Most of the fishing on this river is for steelhead and it takes place around Sauble Falls. For the adventurous anglers area areas can be found. The Sauble River flows into Lake Huron at Sauble Beach.

FISHING THE Saugeen River

Fishing on the Saugeen river

Saugeen River – This is one big river with many tributaries and all are worth exploring. It’s know for it’s steelhead runs but it does get salmon in the fall and has good fishing for small mouth bass, musky and pike. The upper sections of the main Saugeen and most or all of it’s tributaries have resident brook trout, brown trout and even some rainbow trout. Check out the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority for additional information and check their map to see what fish species are in each tributary. Most steelheaders focus on the river below the Walkerton Dam, through Paisley and below Denny’s Dam close to South Hampton. There’s an extended fall season and a year round season below Denny’s dam. Check the regulations for more details. The Saugeen River flows into Lake Huron and is a large size river at the mouth. The Saugeen River is probably the nicest river I’ve seen for brown trout, brook trout and resident rainbows and a favorite for many canoeists. It’s about an hours drive from Orangeville or 2 hours from Toronto but is worth the drive and the extra distance from the city keeps the crowds away.

Fishing on the Saugeen river

The Saugeen river offers fast rapids, long slow meadow sections, deep pools and good hatches. This is a river that will challenge any angler but it’s shear beauty and the potential for huge brown trout is something you don’t want to miss. It’s a big river in comparison to rivers like the Credit, Beaver River or Humber and it’s one of the biggest rivers in Ontario that offers brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout in the same sections. In the lower river you have opportunities to fish for steelhead, salmon bass, pike and musky in pretty good numbers. A great way to see this river is by guided boat trip offered by A Perfect Drift Guide Company/ They fish and drift the limited access water sections of the upper Saugeen in a comfortable stand up pontoon drift boat which gives anglers the opportunity to see some of the nicest and scenic water and a chance at some of the biggest brown trout in the river. Steelhead are in the river in good numbers in late October, November and December and can be caught all winter if the water is open below Denny’s dam and when the spring runs come in it can be good until the end of May.

FISHING THE Maitland River

Fishing the Maitland River

Maitland River – This is another big river know for Steelhead but it also has runs of salmon and has a good smallmouth bass fishery. It’s a favorite river for centerpin anglers of the areas and guys will drive for hours to Spey fish this river.

When there’s lots of flow it’s big and can be intimidating but the steelhead are big and feisty and it’s worth the effort. Some brook trout can be found in the many tributaries as well. This river has extended open sections in the fall and year round open sections. Check the fishing regulations for more details.

Other LAKE Huron Rivers

Nine Mile River – This is a smaller river that gets runs of steelhead and salmon in the fall.

Bayfield River – This is a pretty little river that gets good runs of steelhead and some salmon. It flows into Lake Huron and has an extended fall season worth checking out.

Other Rivers – There are some other smaller rivers and streams flowing into Georgian Bay and lake Huron for the adventurous angler.

Lake Erie Rivers


Big Creek: Know as a wooded and tough river to fish it gets runs of steelhead and has resident brown trout and brook trout. It flows into Lake Erie and has an extended season that allows anglers a large section that is open year round. Check the regulations for detail.


Fishing the Grand River

Grand River – The Grand River is likely the largest of our trout rivers and is often split in two sections by a series of dams.

The lower section has been getting good runs of steelhead and the runs seam to be getting better now that some of the dams have deteriorated enough that the steelhead can access some good spawning grounds.

There is also resident brown trout and rainbow trout in the areas around the town of Paris. Some of the tributaries of the Grand River have brook trout and brown trout and steelhead.

The lower and upper river also offers anglers opportunities for good smallmouth bass and pike fishing. The upper Grand is river is about 15 minutes from Orangeville and flow through the towns of Fergus and Elora. 

The Grand River near Fergus is said to be the best tail-water brown trout fishery in Eastern North America and is arguably the most popular fly fishing destination in Ontario.

Fishing the Grand River

Regardless of the fishing pressure on the Grand river there are always un-crowded sections that have lots of big, scrappy and numerous brown trout over 14″ and browns in the 25″ to 27″ size are caught every season.

10 to 50 trout a day is not uncommon and days of multiple brown trout over 20 inches is very possible. This tail water section has about 30 km of accessible brown trout water to fish and is mainly a walk and wade section. 

Special regulations apply on most of the trout water section. – it’s mostly a No Kill on all trout, single barbless hook only and no organic bait is permitted in many sections here. There is also some very good bass and pike fishing in this section of the river for anglers interested fishing during the hotter summer months.

Some of the upper an middle sections of the grand can produce dozens of bass a day. Pending water levels A Perfect Drift Guide Company can guide you in these sections by foot or by boat.

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