Fly Fishing Manitoba

Fly Fishing – Fly Tying – Lessons – Guiding – Winnipeg MB. Canada

May 27, 2017

A Day Guiding

On May 26th I took a Father Son duo fishing. They were both from Brasil. The elder was  very experienced with the fly rod but spoke little English and the son spoke excellent English but knew little about fly fishing.

Worked out fine. Dad needed no monitoring, could cast and fish. Could read water and choose flies. This allowed me to help the son.

Over all they were looking to catch some fish and take in some wilderness scenery. The weather and the scenery cooperated, the fish, not so much.

First stop was a hydro dam along the Winnipeg river. Except for the dam, the scenery is great. This place is usually good for a few fish, but on this day, after a couple of hours, we got none.



































Down the road to the next stop. Where we did get some action in the form of hits and a couple of fish.

One small rainbow trout and one medium tiger trout.













































Off again to get some pike and maybe a walleye or bass.

First stop was a launching area where we got some hits and landed on small pike.

Next (and last) was a favorite area of mine. Rare for Manitoba, in that that is more than a few feet of wade-able river.

The elder got 6-7 pike. I even took off my guiding hat and caught a couple as well.



















As we had been at it for 10 hours we headed home. On the way we saw a bear in the ditch.

Here is the (short ) film of our day.


May 11, 2017

Fishing News

Changes At the Hatchery

So we are down to one hatchery location. This isn’t news but it is relevant. In reaction to, or in anticipation of actions of the newly elected government, the hatcheries has started on some austerity methods.

Those of you who are in the know who might think they are cutting back on

  • Stocking back country lakes most can’t access
  • Stocking ‘put and boil in the summer heat’ ponds
  • Making hybrids that use the same amount of resources but produce less fish

Well you’d be wrong.

Other than a hiring freeze, that seems to date back to well before the election, they are cutting out the rainbow trout (and possibly brown trout) brood stock program. Instead having fish on hand to harvest eggs and milt, they are buying pre-fertilized eggs. The reasons are sound for going in this direction. Apparently hatchery fish take longer to spawn than in the wild. But gone are the days when you could accidentally catch a 24″ trout in an unlikely location. And gone is the security of making your own fish reared in your own water.

Another strange development is the addition of Albino Trout???
I guess they where giving away these fish from the “Trout Lodge” to their new best customers here in Manitoba so all tax payers  were paying for was the rearing of eyed eggs to swim and the truck to the stocking locations around the province.

I am not sure the value of these fish beyond that. As one person put it “They look like someone threw a light bulb in the water”. Glow in the dark pink-eyed hatchery fish should prove no match for the loons, mergansers, and other piscivorous species out there let alone the trout that have been in these waters for a few years.

Better to save these fish for the ornamental ponds the were probably designed for.

Your Tax Money.

That stamp on your fishing licence, that became a permanent print on the licence, that was supposed to be only for fish enhancement, is now for fish AND wildlife enhancement. That means the fisher (who out number the hunters) will be footing the bill for all things outdoors and not just fish as intended.

Illegal Stocking

Many years ago and many times since, it has been suggested that some of these aerated lakes with tax payer fish in them, should maybe have a ice fishing ban placed on them. Not all but maybe the ones that had special fish in them that don’t take well in other stocking locations. Two reasons have been given against any such change.

  1. That banning a form of fishing is seen as a form of favoritism to fly fishing. This is bunk, we have bait bans and motor boat bans all over the place based on biological reasons. (Even though keeping the gut hooking, grip and grin, photo op, eyeball freezing ice holes off a couple of sensitive lakes can easily been seen as biological. So we could have ice fishing bans on lakes LIKE EVERY OTHER PROVINCE IN CANADA AND EVERY NATIONAL PARK IN CANADA.
  2. That, if we did ban ice fishing on any lake whatsoever, that some locals would ruin them by illegally stocking them.

Well guess what. Pike, perch and even catfish have been introduce to many of the aerated stocked trout lakes. Some can be blamed on overland flooding but most are a direct result of the so-called “White Pail Biologists”

The worst of both worlds. We could enact a law for fear of someone breaking a different law and sat back while they broke that law anyways.

So we still  have no 20th century regulations in place outside of barb-less hooks. and the can and cannot fish regs, designed to be simple. are a joke.

in summary

  • Complete closure on all fishing except on stocked trout lakes (that now have closed season fish in them) April to mid May.
  • We can net for suckers during that time but not angle for them
  • We can angle on lake trout water in the presence of pike, bass and walleye
  • We can’t angle for pike (like we can across the Ontario border) anywhere
  • As fly fishers we can only use 2 hooks as each fly counts as 1 lure but we can throw a 3 treble (9 hook) plug.
  • We have no C&R season for any fish
  • We have almost no C&R water

Afraid of change much?

October 25, 2016

Fall Time On Lyon’s Lake Manitoba

Again and again I return.

October 02, 2016

Anton’s Lake Manitoba Parkland’s Still Water Trout

Sure the lakes can be considered spring and fall fisheries. Sure you can call them glorified aquariums with the aerators and all but damn the finishing can be fun when it is hot!

and the pictures

October 18, 2015

Fall on the Whiteshell RIver

I have a bit of a tradition that I keep. The last day trout season in Manitoba (at least for rivers) is the last day of October. The closest trout stream is the Whiteshell river. Sometimes I go before that. Fall is great ther because the fish have been stocked and acclimated and start acting like trout before they move to the lake or get predated upon or killed over winter or whatever happens to them so as there are no fish in the river in spring

June 03, 2014

Still Water Trout Fly Fishing Report

Ok Finally did some Fishing worthy of posting about

Hit my favorite drive to lake and got some fish. Now it is obvious to me I need help with the camera work need to see the scenery along with the fish jumps and splashes.

Anywhoooo 6 fish in 3 hours the biggest a 17″ brown. The air got to +27C and I was catching fish shallow in the mid day that won’t happen again!

No Woolly Buggers were used 😉

July 18, 2012

Back From New Brunswick, Part 1 The Miramichi!

A few years back I went to Newfoundland. I was psyched and geared up to fish for the ‘King of Game Fish’!!  When I got there the weather was hot, the streams low and most closed to fishing.

I did manage to raise a few in Grosse Morne (in national parks you can fish w/o a guide) but not a hit sniff or bother.

This year I figured against salmon fishing (though I did bring appropriate gear in my 8 and 10 wts). I checked out the local Fredericton fly shop, Fredericton Outfitters, where I found very friendly helpful owners and staff. They proceeded to tell me that we were in the area at one of the best times, that the river had fish, the levels were dropping and that people were getting salmon.

So we asked about guides and such, when they mentioned Wilson’s Sporting Camps who had access to the best pools on the river.

Turns out they had an opening and we could come up and fish  the afternoon and evening for a discount rate.

It wasn’t a long drive, 1½ hours,by fly fishing in Manitoba’s standards, but by the time we got there we considered staying the night.

They offered us ½ of a duplex and almost apologized about it, but the rooms where awe some, clean and classic in design. Came with everything you needed to make food etc.

Our Cabin

And our cabin looked out onto the Miramichi.

Now the term ‘world class’ is bandied around a lot. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate the term in most of its uses. Particularly when used to describe something similar you can get elsewhere in the world and is therefore considered ‘world class’. By those standards I am typing on a world class laptop….

But despite the very unassuming nature of Keith Wilson (to whom the camp has been in his family for 150 years) Wilson’s is considered world class. If I was in doubt; I found a European salmon fishing magazine in our cabin that wrote about fishing in Russia, Norway and yes Wilson’s.
So 1½ hours from an international airport and you are on a legendary river, fishing for a reasonably unique and potentially large fish in a pristine environment…ya that pretty well sums up world class fishing.

So here I am with my wife at a  world class lodge (normally $700 per person, per day and not including tip or licenses) getting ready to fish a river that is on most fly rodders life list.

So into one to the jet outboard powered 26′ canoes for one of the smoothest and scenic boat rides you’ll ever have.

My wife, Adelle, Henry our Guide and yours truly.

Yours truly looking kinda happy
My wife thinking that holding the hat that way makes it look better and our guide Henry

Our guide, Henry has been fishing/guiding the Miramichi for 57 years.

The method for hooking salmon is quite simple and either works or doesn’t or in the words of our guide, “if they’re there they’ll bite if they’re not they won’t”.

So you tie on w/e fly you heard works, the afternoon it was the Undertaker, then ¼ cast and drift through the run till the line straightens. Then step up or down the run, strip, t-snap or snake roll your cast and repeat.

It was nice and overcast, raining off and on and a bit cool so perfect for fishing. We didn’t feel a single bump but some fish did pop up. One made a big splash upstream and Henry said ‘that one got past you’.

We went in for dinner and back out at 6. This time we fish a run/pool just in front of the lodge.

The lodge from the river

We changed our flies to Green Machines and finally started getting some hits. My wife was killing it with salmon parr and 1 nice brookie. I was getting hits but no hook ups. The light was fading, it was 8:30 and we are supposed to be off the water at 9, I had made 1,000’s of casts.

At 8:45 I could finally yell ‘fish on’. Put a good bend in the rod, got a coupla jumps and, just before the net and the perfunctory ‘grip and grin’, the hook popped! Now It didn’t matter because my wife was taking lots of video. We have video of the trip up river, down river, our room, me casting, etc. But in the excitement of someone actually hooking a salmon she forgot to hit record.

I won’t guesstimate the fish length because as Henry says ” that fish’ll be 40 inches by the time you get home” but fair to say it was a grilse (1 year in salt and between 5 & 7 lbs July weight)

So a few more casts in the fading light, then the trip back to our cabin, where we had a cup of tea and watched the sun set on the river and then the bats and fire flies come out.

October 04, 2011

Fall Fly Fishing in Manitoba

Many of us outdoor types pine away for spring during winter. As fishers we pine through early spring till things warm up and ‘get good’ later spring and early summer. Then we all lament when it is too hot to fish or morally drag fish up from the deep and wait for fall.

Fall is a magical time for no other reason than we know know most fish get more active. Sunday the 2nd of October was such a day for me.

Hunt Lake is one of many Manitoba lakes that are

a.stocked with trout and

b. an easy launch.

It is also one of the few trout lakes under 2 hours from the city. Like Lyons Lake from my last report, it is a beautiful shield lake with rocks and tree and trees and rocks (as well as cliffs and creeks and wildlife coming to the shore). Unlike Lyons, Hunt has a few small cottages on it (Lucky Ducks!) but it seems none of them fish. It is one of many lakes that does not allow power boats which is nice for those of us seeking quiet fishing without unscheduled surfing trips in our floats tubes and pontoons.

The water was 14-12° C and the air got to 20° I’d say perfect. The fish seemed to be in one small area of a predictable part of the lake. The predictable part was the western end of the lake (due to the easterly wind) but it was only one bay and only the shady part that seem to hold active fish. The winning setup was an un-named panfish fly (pictured) that, because of the foam always floats, on a medium length leader with a sink tip. the fly stays suspended above the sink tip and ‘swims’ down on retrieves. Very similar to a common water boatman setup.

July 19, 2010

Slightly Busy Guiding Month

I had a couple of Fly Fishing clients this month. One was a Dell computers employee from Texas. His thing was to fly fish where ever his company sent him.

I’m going to fish THAT!

Another one to hand

Oh there’s fish able water below that

Oh yeah the bugs

But there are fish too



























































































































The next Clients where two teachers from Sudbury. Not a lot of fish caught but one of them got a personal best.

It’s not Fly Fishing unless the fly gets in the tree

I dunked my camera after this

July 08, 2010

Fly Fishing A Manitoba River

Don’t Ask Because I won’t tell. Here is a day fishing one of the few Manitoba trout Streams

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