Fly Fishing the Parkland Region of Manitoba
The Parkland Region of Manitoba is a great swath of the province stretching from the Porcupine Mountains to The Canada/U.S. border. The ‘real’ AKA most talked about Parkland is the smaller area just below Riding Mountain National Park.
These lakes produce large trout. Locals are calling it “World Class”. Now you can catch big fish in private compounds all over the world but the parkland trout are not ‘pellet pigs’ these fish go in as fingerlings then eat and compete their way to being 20+ inch fish.
Unlike our eastern lakes you need to leave the 4wt at home. I use a 6wt and some use an 8wt this is not to throw the flies but to land the fish.
If I was to sum up this area with one word it would be “LONG”. Long drive to get there, long fish to catch, long drive home and a long day in general.
- If the fishing is world class the scenery certainly is not. These are pothole lakes in the middle of the prairies.
- If there is a little wind there is nothing to stop it. If there is a lot of wind fishing becomes unpleasant to impossible to fish.
- The drive is long and the same through miles of flat land.
- The best times to fish are the ‘off season’ from most vacations…May-June & Sept-Mid November. There are many photos on the internet with parkland fish and almost to every picture the fisher is wearing cold weather garb.For this trip you need supply the water craft and accessories.
The flies needed are your standard trout selection plus streamers. I like Muddlers, Zuddlers and Bow River Buggers.
The Following are the lakes and estimated drive times:
Anton’s Lake: 2½ hours from the eastern edge of Winnipeg, good parking, rest stop & picnic tables. Right by the major highway and almost ALWAYS windy. Rainbows and Browns.
William Lake: 3½ hours from the western edge of Winnipeg, decent parking, has a good launch, picnic areas, wade-able beache area and is probably the prettiest of the Parkland Lakes. Fish species are Brown Trout and Small Mouth Bass. The bass provide a bit of shunk protection when the browns are fussy.
Tokaryk and Patterson Lakes: 3½ hours west of Winnipeg Parking, launch. The Species are Rainbow and Brown Trout. A little more protection from the wind but can still get kicked up. Of all the parkland lakes these two are the most reliable and thus are also the busier for it.
There are other lakes in the area that are around the 3½ hour mark in drive time but we have not fished them nor have there been any consistency from them!
The rest of the lakes in this Parkland set are 4+ hours away and I have yet to meet a client who wanted to fly to Winnipeg AND THEN drive 4+ hours