Canada is full of phenomenal fishing destinations, from the famous steelhead rivers of the BC coast to the ocean bays and inlets of the Maritimes, where sea-run trout, salmon and bass swim in abundance. In fact, it’s hard to summarize all of the incredible angling available across the country. But there are a few fishing destinations that stand out among the rest, and this year the BRMB team is hoping to cross a few of them off our bucket lists. We’ve put together a list of our ultimate fishing spots below, and we’re sure that it will inspire you to grab your rod and head out on the water.

 

Skeena River, British Columbia

This Northern BC river and its many tributaries are world famous for their winter steelhead run. Set among towering snow-capped mountains and sprawling old-growth forests, the Skeena feeds the Bulkley, Kispiox and Copper Rivers, making your opportunities for winter steelhead fishing virtually endless along this massive river system. While all of the Skeena’s branches offer excellent fishing opportunities, the Kispiox, in particular, is known for its large fish. During inclement weather, however, the Bulkley is your best bet, as it is least affected by rainfall – keeping an eye on the weather is a must in this temperamental northern climate. The cities of Hazelton, Terrace and Smithers offer all required amenities within a few hours’ drive of these rivers.

 

Image via / skeenaflyfishing.com

 

Bow Lake and River, Alberta

Nestled next to the Icefields Parkway, which is an attraction in itself just for the scenic drive, Bow Lake is home to bull trout, lake trout and whitefish that are found in good numbers despite its proximity to the highway. Fly-fishing is the preferred method here, with the outflow of the Bow River at the lake’s south end being particularly productive. Anglers can also explore downstream along the Bow River, which is renowned as one of the province’s best places to fish for trout. Like Bow Lake, fly-fishers will find some excellent spots to cast a line, with good road access found at multiple points along the river’s length - though exploring the river on a boat may yield the best results.

 

Image via / banff-fishing.com

 

Kananaskis Lakes, Alberta

Found in the heart of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, these lakes offer some of Alberta's most exciting trout fishing amid one of the province's most beautiful settings. Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes both hold bull trout, cutthroat and rainbows, with Lower Kananaskis lake usually holding the larger fish. Alberta's provincial record bull trout was even taken from Lower Kananaskis Lake, weighing in at a whopping 8.14 kg (17 lb, 15 oz). With easy-access camping found all along the lakes' shores, there is no reason not to stay for a night or two beneath the towering Rocky Mountain peaks and get the most out of some of Alberta's best fishing lakes.

 

Image via / Pinterest

 

Reindeer Lake, Saskatchewan

This is the second largest lake in Saskatchewan and the ninth largest in Canada, and with 5,000 islands and 92 river inlets there is plenty of structure to work. The lake is known for its trophy-sized pike and lake trout, with Arctic grayling, walleye and whitefish also found in good numbers. One hot spot on the lake worth targeting is Deep Bay, a 13 km wide depression that was created by a meteorite impact some 140 million years ago. For its sheer size, structure and number of fish, Reindeer Lake is one to cross off your bucket list.

 

Image via / reindeerlakelodge.ca

 

Athapapuskow Lake, Manitoba

This big, deep lake (up to 62 metres/205 ft) is found in between The Pas and Flin Flon and is known for its incredible lake trout fishing. In fact, a world record lake trout was once pulled from its waters, weighing a very impressive 28.8 kg (63.5 lb). The lake has also produced a world-record burbot, weighing over 10 kg (22.8 lb). While you are more likely to catch lake trout in the 2-4 kg (3-7 lb) range and burbot in the 4 kg (8 lb) range, this still makes for some fine fishing. Northern pike, perch, tullibee and whitefish round out the fishery here.

 

Image via / Western Canada GPS Maps

 

Lake Nipissing, Ontario

Ontario’s second largest freshwater lake is relatively shallow, with lots of islands and shoals providing structure for the big walleye, northern pike and muskellunge that swim its waters. There are also some smallmouth bass, whitefish and perch to be found, and anglers can also explore the French River where it flows into the lake for even more fishing hotspots. In fact, adventurous anglers can paddle along the French River to Lake Nipissing all the way from Georgian Bay for a serious bucket list fishing trip.

 

Image via / Cottage Country Ontario Mapbook

 

Réserve Faunique Papineau Labelle, Quebec

For intrepid anglers armed with a boat, compass, maps and a GPS, the Papineau Labelle wildlife reserve offers over 600 lakes and ponds to explore. There is little information available for the individual lakes, making this a real fishing adventure. Those who have fished here tell of speckled trout (brook trout), lake trout, splake, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, bass, walleye and pike, so you can be sure that there is some excellent fishing to be found.

 

Image via / sepaq.com

 

Miramichi River, New Brunswick

Stretching for 250 km (155 mi) across New Brunswick, the Miramichi River is world-famous for its Atlantic salmon, offering some of the best fly-fishing in the country. In fact, the Miramichi is home to more Atlantic salmon than any other river in North America. In Doaktown, you will even find an Atlantic salmon museum. These fish are best targeted in July, when they are aggressively feeding in preparation for spawning season. Heading out in a small boat or canoe is a good way to find the deep pools where your chances of success are highest.

 

Image via / ottsworld.com

 

Minas Basin, Nova Scotia

Well-known as the home of the world's highest tides, the eastern part of the Bay of Fundy also supports a remarkable striped bass fishery, particularly on its northern shore. Shore fishing for bass between 2.5 and 18 kg (5-40 lb) is possible around the mouths of the Economy River and the Portapique River, as well as the Five Islands. On the incoming tide, you can drop a line into 6-9 metres (20-30 ft) of water, and then walk over the same area six hours later. Flounder, American shad and sea-run trout can also be caught here, making this one of Nova Scotia's premiere ocean fishing hotspots.

 

Image via / Eastern Canada GPS Maps

 

Conception Bay, Newfoundland

Found on Newfoundland’s southeast coast, Conception Bay has some of Newfoundland’s best ocean fishing, with the provincial sea-run brown trout record being set here in 2004 with a very impressive 14.8 kg (32.6 lb). More recently, a father and son team pulled a 322 kg (710 lb) bluefin tuna out of the bay, although getting a license to fish for that species is next to impossible. Atlantic salmon and the aforementioned trout are better bets, and there are plenty of places to cast right from shore at this bucket-list Maritime fishing destination.

 

Image via / Newfoundland & Labrador Mapbook

 

Yukon River, Yukon

The Yukon is one of the most important salmon-breeding rivers in the world, with the longest freshwater migration route of any salmon – over 3,000 km from its mouth in the Bering Sea. Chinook generally average in the 7-10 kg (15-22 lb) range, but big boys over 25-30 kg (55-65 lb) have been reported. Coho can reach 9-10 kg (20-22 lb) and chum salmon average 3-7 kg (6-15 lb), making for lots of healthy-sized fish to catch. And with so much river to explore, you will have no trouble finding a hidden hotspot all to yourself.

 

Image via / Northern GPS Maps

 

Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

Great Slave Lake is the deepest lake on the continent, sinking down to an impressive 613 metres (2,014 ft). It is also the tenth largest lake in the world, bigger than both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The lake is frozen eight months of the year so you don’t have to cast deep to catch the arctic grayling, cisco, lake trout, lake whitefish and northern pike that are found here. The lake trout and pike are known to grow to especially big sizes, with fish up to 18 kg (40 lb) being caught in the past – the shallow bays in the lake’s north arm can be especially productive.

 

Image via / nationalprostaff.com

 

Sanikiluaq, Nunavut

This is Nunavut’s southernmost community and the only permanent settlement on the Belcher Islands, a group of about 1,500 islands spread out over 3,000 square km (1,150 square mi). Fishing from kayak is popular but local guides can take you inland over untouched terrain to crystal clear lakes and rivers, some that have never fished before. There’s plenty of fish species found here including arctic char, capelin, cod, lumpfish, trout and whitefish. While it is not the easiest fishing destination to access, the community’s remoteness just adds to the adventure – the arctic wilderness and plentiful fish make this a truly bucket list destination.

 

Image via / Nunavut Teacher Induction Program

 


 


Did we miss your favourite destination? Be sure to share your fishing adventures with us on Instagram using #brmblife for a chance to be featured on our feed and win prizes!

 

 

Navigate your way through these and many more bucket-list fishing adventures with the help of our Backroad Mapbooks and GPS Maps! We show you the angling edge! Everything from hotspots, stocking, tips and techniques, regulations and more! From all of us here at BRMB, Good Luck!