Canada is the gold medal destination for fly fishing, no other country even comes close. Sure, there are States that have beautiful mountain streams just full of trout, ravaging rivers chock full of sport fish. However, as a country, Canada has more fish-able waters than any other country on the planet. From the Western limits of Victoria Island, or Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, to the rugged and uninhabited terrain of Labrador, there are rivers in Canada that have not had more than 100 people fish their waters in the past 100 years.
The best fly fishing destinations in Canada depend upon the fish that you prefer to fish for, but with fly fishing, let’s assume trout (preferrably speckled or Arctic Char) and Salmon (Atlantic over Pacific any day, for the fight and the taste!). There are thosands of pristine rivers and lakes that can only be accessed by plane (or helicopter), or by boat along one of the three Oceans surrounding Canada, then a canoe trip up one river, and through long, hard paddles and portages, you can fly fish where nobody ever has, and never see another person while doing so.
There really is nothing in the world like casting your fly line out into pristine, unfished, cold and clear waters that are chock full of speckled trout in the 3 to 8 pound weight range. Sure, there are limitless speckles in the under 3 pound weight range, but those barely ever make it past a shore lunch, let alone all the way home. In Labrador, there are too many rivers that flow into the “Labrador Sea”, known by mainlanders as the Atlantic Ocean, to be able to pick one out as you motor, or sail along the coast, looking for a river to go up to fish and camp. The river you choose in Labrador will not matter, there are fish in them thar waters!
Moving slightly West, New Brunswick is home to one of the most infamous Atlantic Salmon and speckled trout fisheries in the world, let alone Canada, in the Miramichi River and it’s many tributaries. Fly fishing is the only type of fishing allowed here, and only with barbless hooks. Bring your A-game! From here, Northern Quebec, along the James Bay and Hudson Bay shores, is infested with amazing rivers, with cascading rapids, waterfalls and high canyon walls. Most of the rivers in this area, mainly the Rupert and Broadback rivers, are way too fast to fish them in canoes or small motor boats, as they get to over 200 feet deep in places, and g through narrowing canyons. Therefore, fly fishing from shore is always best, and do not wade out into the current, as it is much faster than it appears, in a type of a visual trick.
Moving West, from Churchill, Ontario, we meet God’s river, and aptly named at that! Mostly accessible only by float planes, God’s river will enthrall all fly fisher-people. Anywhere along God’s river is absolute Heaven for fly fishing. As we continue moving West, and skipping over hundreds and hundreds of fantastic fly fishing sites, from creeks to rivers to lakes and Oceans, we come to the Rocky Mountains, and British Columbia. However, since we are up North anyways, why not stop at Great Slave and Great Bear lakes, homes to more world-weight class records for trout than any other lakes in the world. 150 pound lakers can be caught from the shoreline, however, landing these behemoths with a fly rod and reel could be both herculean and miraculous. There is also speckles, brown trout and rainbow trout in these deep, Ice Age relic lakes.
In British Columbia, probably the most heard-of river awaits you, the Fraser river, and it’s stocks of Pacific Salmon, Arctic Char and Grayling. But beware of the bears, if they see you snagging their meals out of their waters, they may want them back! Pick any river in the mountains, or along the Pacific coast, and you will not have to wait very long for that first bite. Landing the fish, however, depends on you.