Posts Tagged ‘Lake Trout’

Fishing in the Wabakimi Provincial Park in Ontario

Drake DillA few weeks back my new friend Drake Dill asked if he could write a guest post on The Fishing Foodie. Given I’ve been so busy lately, I said of course.  Drake is the owner of Thunderhook Fly-Ins  in the Wabakimi Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario.  While I haven’t had the opportunity to fish with Drake yet, after talking with him and learning more about Thunderhook Fly-Ins, it is only a matter of time.

Drake would love to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to send him an email at info@thunderhook.com.

Guest Post – Fishing in the Wabakimi Provincial Park in Ontario

Many folks do not get the chance to visit Northwestern Ontario to go on a fly-in fishing trip. Even fewer folks get to explore and fish in the Wabakimi Provincial Park, which at nearly 3 million acres is a true hidden gem in Canada. This park is different from most of its other wilderness counterparts. The Wabakimi is not just a “paddle only” park, and was created with a different intent than most other wilderness areas. You can visit this park and stay in a cabin with all of the comforts of home, use a motorized boat, and fish with live bait. One other thing to mention is that the Wabakimi has a very healthy population of both Woodland Caribou and Moose. These giants are truly majestic, and can add the finishing touch on one’s wilderness experience. Below I will outline the primary fish species found in this area and some great times to target each species.

Walleye Fishing

Wabakimi_WalleyeThe walleye fishing in the Wabakimi Provincial Park is absolutely fantastic. This could even be an understatement. The large bodies of water in the heart of the park such as Granite, Whitewater, Wabakimi, and Smoothrock lakes are absolute fish factories. These large lakes all have landmark Canadian river systems such as the Ogoki, Berg, and Allanwater Rivers running through them. These rivers provide the ultimate spring spawning ground for walleyes. During the summer the walleyes move out into deeper water and relate to rocky drop-offs, reefs, and sand flats. Arguably the best walleye fishing is after September 1st when turnover occurs and the lakes in this area de-stratify. An example of a beautiful late summer walleye can be seen below.

Northern Pike Fishing

Wabakimi_NorthernAlthough the pike fishing can be spectacular on many of the large lakes within the park, there is not a better time to fish for these giants than spring. During the spring the pike can be caught off guard in weedy bays that are very shallow. Casting spoons and large plugs into these shallow flats can produce fish in the 45-50 inch class. These areas are the best bet for big pike in late May and early June.  Once summer rolls around the fishing for pike can get a bit tougher. It is often quite common to catch a master angler northern pike in the dead heat of summer when fishing walleyes with a jig and minnow or lindy rig setup. The fall again begins to offer the best chance of a trophy pike (like spring) as the fish begin to move back into shallow water in preparation for the spawn the next spring.

 

Lake Trout Fishing

Wabakimi Lake TroutThe Lake Trout Fishing can be fantastic in this area, but is not generally the primary target of most anglers. Many of the lakes we are talking about in this area are not typical trout waters. In Northwestern Ontario, most trout fishermen target lakes along the border that are not only deep, but clear as well. The lakes in the Wabakimi are deep and cool but not clear (for the most part). This makes it quite difficult to target the fish in comparison to some of the famous trout lakes along the border such as Quetico and Cirrus Lakes, which are incidentally in the Quetico Provincial Park. The easiest way to catch large Lake Trout is to fish in September (trout spawn in the fall) when these fish move into shallow water to prepare to spawn. During the summer months the trout move into deep water and relate to humps that can be as deep as 80 to 100 feet. Summer can be a very difficult time to catch Lake Trout. Trout fishing can also be wonderful in the Spring, if the trout have not begun to move into the deeper water in preparation for summer.

Brook Trout Fishing

Wabakimi Brook TroutAlthough Brook Trout are not the “prime” target and species within this area, it does not mean that one should pass up the wonderful opportunities that are available for catching this tasty table fare. Brook Trout fishing is very labor intensive and often it can take hours in a small stream (generally below a rapids) to catch one of these beautiful fish. Generally, it is worth it to go after a trout. Many believe that these fish taste every bit as good as Salmon. I tend to believe so too. The easiest way to catch Brook Trout in Ontario is to target the fish in small bays and fast-moving streams within 2-3 weeks after ice out. The sooner… the better!

Accessing the Area

float_planeAs you can see from the pictures, it is not uncommon to catch trophy fish among all species in the park. There are many options when visiting the Wabakimi. Some options are camping, kayaking, canoeing, and fly-in outposts/lodges. Remember, the only way to access this pristine and virtually untouched area is via floatplane.  Thunderhook Fly-Ins is one of the outfitters that has exclusive access to this area. We offers an airbase, fly-in outpost camps, a fly-in lodge, and logistics services in the Armstrong Station, Ontario.

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