Canada Fishing. Is it worth the drive?

For those that come up to Canada year after year, I know your answer is an emphatic yes. However, some anglers haven’t yet taken the plunge and there may be a few of you that just haven’t been up in awhile. So let me explain why it is worth the trip.


Being raised in Northwest Ontario, I had no idea there were lakes elsewhere that had only one or two species of fish in them. We have a huge variety of fish in many of our thousands of lakes. Fish walleye for shore lunch, bass for some scrappy fun, go for a trophy lake trout or northern pike. Catch that once in a lifetime monster musky or fry up some some panfish like crappie or perch. Catch a beautiful brook trout in one of the cold water lakes or rivers. The choice is yours!

The author and Pro Angler Jeff Gustafson went out on a quest to catch as many species in one day and ended up with seven different species!

Uncrowded Lakes

There are literally more lakes than people. There are 70,000 lakes and rivers to fish from and the biggest town in Sunset Country is Kenora which has only 15,000 people. So when you head out on a beautiful, clean Canadian lake, don’t expect to be overrun with other anglers. You can even fly into a remote outpost cabin where they’ll fly you in and drop you off at the cabin – it’s just you, your friends or family and the fish for a week!

Fishing at sunset at one of Nestor Falls Fly-in Outposts’ lakes

Trophy-size Fish

Ontario has been practicing conservation fishing over over 20 years. The result? Anglers have the chance to catch many trophies across a variety of fish species. If you’re looking to catch lots of fish, some trophies and then some smaller, more succulent tasting walleyes for shore lunch, Sunset Country is the place for you.

Giant muskie like this one caught at Andy Myers Lodge on Eagle Lake lurk in our waters

Canadian Shore Lunch

What has got to be the best meal ever is the Canadian shore lunch. Imagine catching some walleye, crappie or perch in the morning and frying it up for lunch on the shores of the lake you are fishing! Talk about fresh. If you have a guide, he’ll fillet the fish and whip up a tasty shore lunch consisting of fish, potatoes, corn and some baked beans. As you sit along the shore listening to the waves lap up against the rocks as you eat your freshly caught meal, you’ll feel so grateful to be in that moment. And full too!

Pulling up for a shore lunch at Delaney Lake Lodge

The Memories

There’s more than just fishing on your trip to Canada. Ask anyone who’s fished in Sunset Country. You’ll cross the border into Canada and your excitement will grow as you drive those final hours to your lodge or landing. I’m guessing within an hour or two of checking in you will be out on the water. Just you and your buddies or perhaps your grandchild fishing for the first time. You arrive at your first fishing hole, let down your line and wait in anticipation. The stresses of your job or your to-do list at home just fades away just like the sun setting at dusk.

Not long after you feel the first tug on your line – it’s game on!! The rest of the day will be filled with camaraderie, a little healthy competition amongst friends and fun reeling in tons of fish in a beautiful wilderness setting. Heading back to the lodge after a day of fishing, you’ll look around in amazement at the surrounding boreal forest, rocky shores, secluded beaches, islands dotting the lake – sheer rugged beauty. A loon calls out, an eagle soars overhead and you may even see a moose, bear or deer along the shore.

After supper you relax around a fire telling the stories of the day. Your family-run lodge hosts will enjoy hearing about your adventure and may give you some more tips for the next day. You then head to bed in your lakeside cabin, tuckered out after a day on the lake in the clean, fresh air of the Ontario wilderness making sleep come easy.

A eagle swooping down to get a fish of his own. Photo by Steve Winker

So is it worth the drive? Ask anyone who heads up to Canada fishing year after year and they will agree that it’s definitely worth it. And if the drive is too long, you can always fly into Thunder Bay, International Falls or Winnipeg to make the commute even shorter. You may even end up doing it for 50 consecutive years!

Not sure where to start planning your next fishing adventure? Visit the Ontario Sunset Country accommodation finder. You can search a lodge by lake, town, amenity or even fish species. With so many lakes to choose from and so many different types of accommodations – drive-in cabins, fly-in outposts, 5-star resorts, budget friendly lodges and many lakeside campgrounds, there is something for every angler on any budget.

To finally do what everyone boasts about, order a free Ontario’s Sunset Country Travel Guide & Fishing Map and start planning your trip to the Canadian wilderness!

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