A Life of Finding Fish
I grew up with a fishing rod in my hands, and have been a fishing guide since high school in 2007.
My family got me into fishing as early as possible, and I was extremely fortunate to have family cottages to grow up at and learn to fish. My work and play go hand in hand, and I am extremely blessed in that regard. The early start and natural boat experience led to some desirable jobs at an early age. It has been a blast meeting other masters of the craft along the way.
Early spring and fall, you will find me guiding on the Maitland river close to home. The summer months were always spent guiding at lodges in Northern Ontario since I can remember. One of the highlights of my life and guiding career was spending four summers in Northern B.C on the famous Skeena River. Chasing summer Steelhead became a way of life, and I learned a lot.
Now, Nipigon is my permanent summer residence and where I spend all of my time.
I have guided on lakes, rivers, boat-in lodges, Fly-in lodges and solo in different areas.
My passion has always been exploration and pushing the limits of what can be done on the water.
Lake Nipigon & surrounding area is so expansive, it will provide a lifetime of exploration. You can catch fish all summer long on a fly rod, making this destination my summer paradise.
The cold water source that exists in the summer makes this an exceptional fishery, and one that matches my style of guiding.
- Neil Leduc
Brook trout hold a special place here. Nipigon is famous for the world record being caught for starters. Cold water in Lake Superior and Lake Nipigon make this an exceptional fishery during the summer months. When most Southern Ontario trout waters start to hit the danger zone for temperatures, we are just entering the primetime. We have fishing options from the start of the season right until September 15th in the region.
Neil is a Brook Trout fanatic. It all started in Algonquin Park as a kid. His uncle had one of few cottages in the park and let family use it generously. Portaging and exploring with maps at a young age in the park led to an obsession with the species. Nipigon eventually became a regular destination, and where the focus shifted. Now, it is where you will find Neil all summer long.
Nipigon area is loaded with Lake Trout. We are blessed to have such a diverse fishery between Lake Nipigon, Superior and the Nipigon River. Lake Trout grow massive on the big lakes, topping 40 inches long and 30+LB is a true possibility. There are windows on the fly rod for most of the open water season. Primetime for Lakers is generally in June and early July and then again in September, but we get them all summer long without going too deep. With conventional rods, the numbers can be fast and furious. Lake Trout can stack up on reefs in big numbers. Dropping on to the right spot can provide steady action for hours. Even if you don't spend the whole day chasing them, it may be rewarding to try a spot or two in between your target species.
The Nipigon River gets a healthy run of Chinook Salmon in August and September most years.
They are also caught out on Lake Superior prior to entering the river mouths later in the year.
Most Great Lakes rivers in Ontario don't have the flow or capacity to hold Salmon that stay silver in the river. Nipigon River is an exceptional place to try and target a Silver Chinook on the fly. We generally catch them in between Brook Trout but setting up a Chinook rod, and fishing key spots proves to be most effective. They hit with reckless abandon, and fighting a Chinook on the big river is something you won't forget anytime soon. There is a Salmon culture in the Nipigon area, and although the river may get a little busier in September, the camaraderie is second to none.
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Monster Pike are a lot of fun to catch, and equally as fun to guide for. A large portion of Neil's guiding career has been constantly mapping Northern Pike habitat and training other guides in Ontario. There is an in-depth cycle that happens over the course of the year to consistently find trophies. Nipigon is certainly one of Ontario's top places to target giants, and we are always on the hunt here. Sometimes a Brook Trout spot might be within sight, so a shot at a 40+ inch Pike along the way never hurt anyone! This is a venue that gets people hooked!
Steelhead are a magnificent specimen.
They fight hard, travel far and jump high.
Steelhead anglers are some of the most passionate and determined anglers on the planet.
In Nipigon area, we encounter Steelhead in the spring & fall like traditional Great Lakes rivers,
BUT.. A run of line-stealing summer Steelhead show up every year on their own schedule. When a Steelhead attacks a skating fly on the surface, it is as close to B.C as you will find in Ontario. Although few and far between, the dry fly steelhead is always a cherished moment here.
Even the most experienced anglers can get their butt kicked by these fish in seconds! It's what makes them so special. They are a real treat to have in the mix while brook trout fishing on a summer day.
Neil worked on the Skeena river in B.C running a tent camp for 4 summers. The Steelhead culture runs deep on the Skeena and now in his blood. After 3 months of guiding each summer, Neil would spend an extra month primarily chasing Steelhead on the dry fly. He still visits as often as possible.
It was a life changing experience that has proven to be invaluable for his guiding career and understanding of the beloved species.
( Check out our Southern Ontario page for early spring and late fall Steelhead trips)
Nipigon Dry Fly Steelhead
Walleye,Bass & more
Nipigon & Superior has many other species not listed above. Many back lakes and rivers. There are bass lakes, stocked trout lakes & many other options. You may even latch into a Sturgeon!
Our Fishing Destinations
We like to shoot for the moon here. The plan is always to exceed expectations. A good guide has plans that can outlast any daylight hours. We designed this program to maximize options for any weather. Especially on a short trip, it is nice to have shelter when need be, and still able to fish. Having different lakes and rivers provides endless opportunity. A backup plan can often turn into the best plan. Nothing worse than sitting on the shores of a windy lake wishing for tomorrow. We are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us!
We have a great two boat option for fishing groups of 4 ( up to 6 max ) .
Paired with guide Ayden Ricker-Held.
Neil and Ayden have worked and fished together for years. Same boats, same plan, same water. You can stick together at times, or split up and cover water. It is a lot of fun with the tandem boats!
Lake Nipigon & Nipigon River System
Lake Superior & Tributaries
Smaller remote lakes & rivers
Maitland River, Southern Ontario