Southern Ontario Steelhead
Spring and Fall Steelhead fishing on the Great Lakes can be fantastic. When the conditions line up perfect, it is hard to beat! Drifting down the river in a drift boat offers a relaxing day, covering water and finding aggressive fish. We do the rowing, you catch the fish! Chasing Steelhead with two handed rods is our method of choice, but have single hand rods as well. For those who are new to the game, or looking for an introduction, you have come to the right place.
Neil has many years of guiding experience, both on the Great Lakes rivers and the Mecca of Steelhead; the Skeena river in B.C.
If warmer weather is appealing to you, a spring trip would be fitting. The spring season starts on the 4th Saturday in April, and finishes before June.
We try to book people in for the first few weeks to avoid the warmer water temperatures that will follow.
At some point in May, we head North to start the Nipigon program. Later in the fall, back to Southern Ontario for the fall season in October until January.
The fall Steelhead window is much larger than the spring. We wait for temperatures to fall and rivers to rise with late September and October rains. Once the river sets up nicely for fishing it generally produces fish for the rest of the fall season.
We start to guide sometime in early October, and the season closes on December 31st.
The fishing generally stays good until the rivers freeze over. Christmas time in late December can provide exceptional days for those who brave the cold
(and a little bit of luck from Mother Nature).
For more information, or to book a drift boat trip please contact us!
* If Neil isn't available, try Mike Verhoef of Fly Fitters on the Maitland River. Mike is a long time friend, and pro.
* For those closer to the Grand River looking for Steelhead and Summer Trout options, look no further than Fly Water Guiding owned by Tyler Dunsmore.
Tyler and Adam Pett provide a top-notch service.
The Maitland River along Ontario's West Coast is where we do most of our guiding in Southern Ontario. Neil has spent the last decade mastering the river and the tendencies of the fish within it. Fly anglers make up the vast majority of the bookings, but with growing interest, first timers and brand new anglers are quite common and welcomed. It is very satisfying to watch someone fight their first ever Steelhead!
2 handed rods in 6-8 weight is a common tool for this area. With so many applications today, rods can be anywhere from 9 to 15 feet long and still applicable. A lot of it comes down to personal preference and comfort level.
If using our supplied gear, a typical setup might be an 11 or 12' 7 weight rod, or a 13' 7 wt. Both are great all around rods for the Maitland river. A 'switch rod' is generally going to cover it all unless the water levels are unfavourable. We have water levels that allow a 6 weight two handed rod, but find most single hand 6 weight rods a little 'under-gunned'
If preferred, a Single hand 10' 7 or 8 weight fly rod is a great choice also!
AND if all of this makes no sense to you, just give us a call!
The early stages of fly fishing can be overwhelming, we are here to help!