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"Graham is one of only a handful of independent fly fishing guides in Ontario who we recommend at our store. "

Jim Wilson, Wilsons Fly Shop

  



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Southern Ontario's premier trout and steelhead rivers

   A Perfect River

We don’t call this southern Ontario's premier fly fishing destination for nothing. We are located in the middle of many great trout rivers and we can drive to 5 of them in less then 15 minutes.

A Perfect Drift Guide Company offers guided trips to over 10 of Southern Ontario's best wild Trout and Steelhead rivers 12 months a year.

Best Times: Not every river fishes well 12 months of the year so we've provided a basic guideline so you know when to take advantage of the best fishing times and best times to book your trip. Also check out the river descriptions for more details.

Resident Trout:

Brown trout, Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout - Resident trout are trout that don't migrate to and from a lake or ocean, they are trout that will live in the river all year long. Our resident trout fishing season is from the 4th Saturday in April to September 30th. The best times for resident trout on most rivers is May and June with sporadic to good fishing from July until the end of September depending on the water temps.

Prime time - May and early June

Some good trout fishing is available July through September.

Migratory Trout and Salmon:

In Ontario we have special extended and year round open seasons for Steelhead, Trout and Salmon allowing anglers to fish 12 months of the year. Migratory trout and salmon enter and leave the rivers throughout certain times in their lives and have peak times when they'll enter rivers in large numbers to spawn. Some years adult steelhead can even be found in the rivers 12 months of the year for those that know where to find them, and we do!.

Steelhead - Prime times Steelhead start entering some rivers in September but peak times are October 15th to December 1st and the 4th Saturday in April until about May 15th. Some other great fishing can occur during non-peak times like from December to the end of April. We've even had 30 fish days during January, February and March if the conditions are right. Our guides may even be able to put you in front of adult steelhead throughout the summer months and in September.

Brown Trout - Migratory brown trout tend to be between 3 to 8lbs but some over 20lbs can be caught in some of our rivers at certain times of the year. Prime time for migratory brown trout is October and November.

Pacific Salmon - Pacific Salmon up to 40lbs enter the rivers in late summer and early fall. Prime time is September and early October but we have great days in august to. We offer boat trips to untouched salmon or walk and wade trips to both large and small rivers. Days of 20+ salmon are very possible.

Atlantic Salmon - Atlantic Salmon are not yet legal to fish in the rivers but accidental hook ups can occur between August and December.

Bass, Pike and Musky - We recommend booking trips for these warm water species in July and august which seam to be the most productive times in the rivers. Late June can also be productive once the season opens up.

Southern Ontario's Best Trout Rivers

Credit River: Known as the "Crown Jewel of Southern Ontario". The upper Credit River is our specialty. In fact, our very first cast with a fly rod over 30 years ago was made in this section of the Credit River. Although there are good numbers of wild brook trout, brown trout and resident rainbows, this is a very technical river with weary wild trout that spook at the slightest sound. Predictable hatches, great scenery and easy to read water make this section a must try for any trout angler. The Credit River has many different types of water from fast rapid sections to meandering meadows. Check out our pictures from the Credit river below. Thanks to catch and release only and special regulations there's plenty of fish in the upper sections and we can put you in front of some of the biggest fish in the river. The lower sections offer some of the best steelhead and salmon fishing in Ontario and most of our guiding in this sections is done in December, March, April and early May. As well as walk and wade trips we offer drift boat trips on the upper and lower river for anglers that prefer to see large sections of this great river with out the hike. Our boat trips are popular but we book up fast so don't miss out.

    The Credit River Steelhead Section    Fast head waters of the Credit River    Brook Trout Water.

    Tim with a nice brown trout from the Credit river    Upper Credit River   Big Credit River Brown Trout

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Grand River: This river is about 15 minutes from Orangeville. Of the 5 rivers I guide, this is the most popular river for fly anglers and probably the most productive for resident brown trout. The Grand River near Fergus is said to be the best tail-water brown trout fishery in Eastern North America and is arguably the most popular fly fishing destination in Ontario. Regardless of the fishing pressure we know how to find uncrowded sections that have lots of big, scrappy and numerous brown trout over 14" and browns in the 25" to 27" size are caught every season. 10 to 50 trout a day is not uncommon and days of multiple brown trout over 20 inches is very possible. This tail water section has about 30 km of accessible brown trout water to fish and is mainly a walk and wade section but we can drift it in the pontoon boat for those anglers that would like to do a boat trip instead. Special regulations apply on most of the trout water section. - it's mostly a No Kill on all trout, Single Barbless Hook only and no organic bait is permitted.

There is also some very good bass and pike fishing through out the river for anglers interested fishing during the hotter summer months. Some of the upper an middle sections of the grand can produce dozens of bass a day. Pending water levels we can guide you in these sections by foot or by boat. Because its so far for us and because we are so busy on other rivers we do not guide the lower Grand river.

   Mike with his first one over 20"    Middle Grand River    Average brown trout from the Grand river

   Big Brown trout from the Grand River    The Grand River    Grand River Brown Trout

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Humber River:  The upper Humber has wild brook trout populations and some nice brown trout mixed in. The river is 10 minutes east of us and has lots of good access points. Wild and stocked brown trout can be caught between highway 9 and the town of Bolton. Trout may be kept in this river but we strongly urge all anglers to release your trout to help grow this fishery to it's full potential.

    Humber River Trout section     The Humber River     The riffles on the Humber River.

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Nottawasaga River: The Notty, as the locals call it is the biggest wild Steelhead river flowing into Georgian Bay and is said to have the largest runs of wild steelhead in all of Ontario. If the river conditions are good the Notty offers Steelhead fishing from September to the end of May with peak times being mid October to late November. Every fall since 2008 I have personally netted over 300 steelhead for my customers on this river. Some of our lucky customers have even had days of over 40 steelhead landed and some personal bests in size to. Many anglers including myself have noticed these wild fish fight far better then in other rivers making the Nottawasaga our most requested river to guide steelhead on. In the middle and lower sections of the Nottawasaga the slower deeper pools make this area very challenging to fish for many anglers but with over 25 years experience on this river we can show you how to find fish consistently and how to fish it effectively. The slower deeper water of this river is really good water for anglers who like to centerpin float fish and for anglers that like to use lures. There are also a few faster water sections that are great for fly anglers. The majority of the river down stream from the town of Alliston is private property but some access can be had in the mouth area near Wasaga Beach and at a few municipal park areas near Angus. We use our boats to take our customers through nearly un-fished sections of river during prime runs of Steelhead but we do have sections we can do walk trips on as well. There is now a special no kill section between Angus and Alliston so all anglers must release their steelhead (see MNR regulations). Salmon start running the Nottawasaga in August and peak in September. Some of our customers have had multiple big fish days with steelhead mixed in. Anglers can have some pretty good days in late September and early October but these dates book up fast so don't hesitate. We offer boat trips and walk and wade trips for salmon and steelhead through most of the river. There is also some big Bass, pike and Musky in the lower sections and we guide for them from Late June to early September with peak times being July and August. Bass, Pike and Musky trips are by boat only.

The Upper Nottawasaga River: The upper sections are some of the nicest stretches of river in Southern Ontario and we are lucky enough to be located about 8 minutes from some of the best trout fishing this river has to offer. This section has brown trout, book trout, steelhead and salmon but unfortunately due to a-holes that litter and are rude to land owners this upper section is now almost 100 percent private property with strict No Trespassing enforcement. For anglers looking for new water or that want to fish this section of river we guide our customers on some private land areas with permission from the owners and we have access to nearly un-touched trout waters.

 Nottawasaga steelhead section     Mike and Chris on the Nottawasaga River    Andrew with a nice Nottawasaga River Steelhead

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Saugeen and Tributaries: The Saugeen River is probably the nicest river I've seen for brown trout, brook trout and resident rainbows and one of my favourites for drifting down in the boat. It's about an hours drive from Orangeville or 2 hours from Toronto but is worth the drive and the extra distance from the city keeps the crowds away. It offers fast rapids, long slow meadow sections, deep pools and good hatches. This is a river that will challenge any angler but it's shear beauty and the potential for huge brown trout is something you don't want to miss. It's a big river in comparison to rivers like the Credit, Beaver River or Humber and it's one of the biggest rivers in Ontario that offers brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout in the same sections. In the lower river you have opportunities to fish for steelhead, salmon bass, pike and musky in pretty good numbers. We guide the Saugeen between May 1st and the middle of June for Trout and July and August for bass, Musky and pike. We only guide this river by boat but drifting the limited access water sections of the upper Saugeen in a comfortable stand up pontoon drift boat gives you the opportunity to see some of the nicest and scenic water and a chance at some of the biggest brown trout in the river. Steelhead are in the river in good numbers in late October, November and December so we're on the river again chasing big hard fighting steelhead at that time.

   Chris fishing for Brown Trout on the Saugeen River     The rapids on the Saugeen River     Saugeen River trout section

   Landing a brown trout on the Saugeen River     The Saugeen River     The Saugeen River

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Beaver River: This is one awesome river! Big brown trout, lots of brook trout, a few resident rainbows, Salmon, large runs of steelhead and awesome scenery make this river a fly anglers favourite. But it's not just for the fly guys, it's a great river with a float rod or to throw lures. Much of the river is private property which allows the fish to do well with little pressure from anglers. This river is best fished from May until the end of June. Some of the brown trout and brook trout sections are very technical with lots of wood and forest cover to contend with and some very finicky browns but for the persistent angler the rewards can be worth it. The biggest brown trout reported from this river in 2011 was 8lbs which was caught on a fly. Steelheading in the lower sections can be some of the best steelhead fishing in the area and this lower sections good to fish with a fly rod, a float rod or spinning reel. Up to 30 Steelhead a day on a fly rod is possible when the runs are at their peak. We offer drift boat trips for steelhead, resident brown trout, and resident rainbow trout in late April, May and June and walk and wade trips are also available in the upper sections.

    The Beaver River     Drifting down the Beaver River     Steelheading on the Beaver River

    Fighting a steelhead on the Beaver River     The Beaver River     The headwaters of the Beaver River

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The Bighead River is probably my favourite steelhead river to fly fish, there's just so many great pockets and pools to put a fly and the fish seam to smash a well presented fly. Some sections are also big enough to swing a fly with and Spey fish on.. Not to mention the great scenery and if you manage to hit the river at the peak of a steelhead run you could be landing over 40 fish a day. There are brook trout and brown trout in the upper sections but we don't guide for them due to lots of private property and very little accessible water. We guide this river for steelhead from October to December by foot or by boat and then again in late April and May.

   The Bighead River low water fall steelhead.    Fly fishing the Bighead River.    A Bighead river steelhead

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Boyne River: The Boyne River is one of the Nottawassaga's main tributaries and has steelhead, salmon, resident brown trout, and brook trout in it. It's a smaller river averaging maybe 15 feet across and can fish well after the trout opener and can be fun with smaller rods and flies. The Boyne can have huge hatches with non-stop action with the smaller resident fish for the dry fly anglers as well. May and June can be good to but if it's a hot dry summer July and August can be very low water and not worth fishing. This could be considered a technical river with lots of bush and rocks and log jams and can be tough wading for some guys. Although there are some bigger resident fish in the river they are few a far between because of anglers that harvest fish. The steelhead and salmon numbers are also way down also due to anglers taking fish. I highly recommend and that you please release your fish and help make this a great fishery again.

The Pine River: The Pine river is another tributary of the Nottawasaga that is very much like the Boyne river and has plenty of different types of water from smaller rapid sections to slower riffles and pools. The Pine is likely the best tributary of the Nottawasaga for reproducing steelhead. The Pine also gets a good run of salmon and steelhead in the fall. This is a walk and wade river with limited access due to private property but we guide 3 or 4 sections of the river during the spring and in September. Because the river is mostly private property and due to the large amount of log jams there are plenty of big brown trout and big brook trout but again due to guys keeping fish they are few a far between in the public sections that anglers can legally access. Please practice catch and release to help grow this fishery into a great one.

The Beatty Saugeen: This is a really nice smaller tributary of the Saugeen River that has steelhead, browns, rainbows and brookies all mixed in. It has good hatches but can be tough to wade and fish with all the wood and log jams. It's also mostly private property but we have a few good spots that we guide our customers.. Also this river has special regulations and does not normally open until June 1st so check the MNR regulations first before you go.

Mad River and Noisy River: The Mad River is another tributary to the Nottawasaga River and the Noisy River is a Branch of the Mad River and both are primarily a brook trout and rainbow trout river with some steelhead available in the spring. May and June are the best times to fish this river in the few accessible areas. These Rivers are fast flowing fun rivers with often many brook trout and little rainbows available. Please practice catch and release to preserve the good fishing.

Other Rivers:  We also fish and guide on other rivers like the Ganaraska, Wilmot Creek, Duffins Creek, and Bowmanville River to name a few. If these eastern Lake Ontario tributaries are of interest to you let one of our guides take you to some of the private water sections or to some of the better public access sections..We also guide a few others creeks that shall remain un-named. So if you're looking for small creek style fishing let us know and we will put you on one of the small hidden gems that we know.

  Mad River    The sweet spot.    At the headwaters

  At the big falls.    A nice brown trout from a great section of river.   The Falls.

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Contact Graham at 416-937-4911 or ontarioguide@gmail.com

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Kyle with big brown trout

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  Check out our Photo Gallery and Testimonials pages  
       Tony with a fresh run steelhead     Brian with a big Steelhead     A really big Brown Trout from the Credit river
            Tony with 1 of over 12 Landed                  Bryan with 1 of 10 Landed                Huge Resident Brown Trout
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