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Trout Fishing in Canada

With so many species, trout fishing in Canada is a popular recreational activity. Whether you enjoy fly fishing for Rainbow Trout and Arctic Char or enjoy battling a magnificent Lake Trout, Canadian trout fishing destinations deliver the goods. Across the country trout fishing guides and outfitters will take you to the hotspots and make your trip a success.

Trout Species in Canada

Trout are a fish species in Canada that is related to the salmon family. They behave in much the same way as salmon including their spawning habits. The biggest difference is that salmon live most of their lives in the saltwater of the oceans while trout species mostly stay in freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. Canadian salmon fishing and trout fishing in Canada are intrinsically linked due to their shared spawning habitats.

Fish generally regarded as trout species include:
  • Rainbow trout
  • Arctic char
  • Lake trout
  • Bull trout or Dolly Varden trout
  • Brook trout and Aurora trout
Trout are a remarkable fish as they have the ability to adapt to their environment. The same species of trout will have different coloured markings based on the habitat they reside in. The markings act as camouflage and will change as the habitat changes.

Canadian Trout Fishing Habitats

When rainbow trout fishing in Canada, you'll want to work the tributaries of the Pacific Ocean. Steelhead fishing as it is sometimes called is a popular recreation sport in British Columbia. Rainbow trout are most similar to salmon in that they spend most of their lives in the ocean and travel back to their ancestral spawning grounds for reproduction. Unlike salmon, they do not die after spawning but are reinvigorated and return to the ocean to begin the cycle all over again.

Due to a varied diet, there are a few different methods for Canadian trout fishing. Insects are a major source of food for rainbow trout which makes it ideal for fly fishing in Canada. Crayfish and other crustaceans are also on the rainbow's menu as well as worms and smaller fish.

Arctic char reside in both fresh and saltwater locales. It is native to Arctic and sub-Arctic Canada as well as coastal waters and alpine lakes. Its habitat stretches farther north than any other freshwater fish even being the only species inhabiting Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island. Arctic Char can weigh up to 20 lbs; however, they are typically in the 3 to 5 lb range.

Lake trout are a relation to the Arctic Char. Lake trout are mainly found in the larger lakes of Canada including the Great Lakes, Lake of the Woods, as well as other bodies of water. They can weigh up to 100 lbs and may live for several decades. Lake trout require cold, oxygen waters and live in depths of 50 to 150 ft.

Bull Trout or Dolly Varden is native to water in the western mountain ranges. British Columbia and Yukon Territory are popular bull trout fishing destinations. In Alberta, the bull trout is the provincial fish and a large population is located here. They prefer large, cold lakes and streams but will also thrive in smaller bodies of water. The Dolly Varden is a near identical species and shares the same habitat as the bull trout so we have included it here.

Brook trout resides in small rivers, streams, and creeks through out Canada. It is also known as speckled trout. Brook trout require oxygen rich water and its diet consists of insects, crustaceans, amphibians, other fish, and small rodents. Brook trout spawn in August and September and move upstream at this time. The Aurora trout is a subspecies of the brook trout and occupy the same habitat. Fly fishing for brook trout is common although spin reel fishing is effective as well.

Canadian Trout Fishing Destinations

British Columbia is known for its salmon fishing and deep sea fishing; however, it is sometimes overlooked as a rainbow trout fishing destination. The lakes and rivers of B.C. are teeming with rainbow trout, Pacific salmon, and Arctic char during the spring spawn. The Quesnel Lake Watershed in Quesnel, B.C. offers fantastic steelhead fishing from May to December.

Arctic Char thrive in the frigid waters of northern Canada in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions Yukon and Northwest Territories, Labrador, and Nunavut. Their wide ranging tastes in food allow this fish to tip the scales at 20 lbs and are ferocious fighters.

Lake Trout fishing destinations can be found throughout Canada in cold, dark and deep lakes of the north. Sunset Country in northwestern Ontario offers year round Lake Trout fishing. Downriggers are commonly used to reach the depths these fish habituate. Trolling the lake to locate the fish is another common technique. Once you find them, heavy jigs can be used in a vertical jigging technique. Canadian ice fishing for Lake Trout is a favourite winter activity in Canada.

Five Mile Lake Lodge in Chapleau, Ontario is an outdoorsman's favourite Canadian trout fishing destination. Not only will you fill your stringer with tasty Brook trout, you’ll be able to go after monster Lake Trout as well. The main lodge is available in addition to outpost camps where fishing, camping, and hunting in Canada can be enjoyed.
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