Best Flies & Patterns for Bass, Pike and Brook Trout

What you should pack in your tackle box

What makes Algoma a true paradise for fly fishers is the abundance of pristine lakes, crystal-clear rivers, a variety of species and opportunities that are both easy to access and affordable. Below are some recommended flies and patterns for smallmouth bass, northern pike, brook trout, and suggested fly lines that should be part of your tackle box.


Algoma bass are big and aggressive which is why this is a great place to use Topwater flies. Poppers in black, yellow and orange are very effective. Make sure you let the flies sit on the water for a short count to let the bass see it before beginning your retrieve. As the summer progresses and the water gets warmer, Algoma bass-like black Woolly Buggers slowly stripped in. Large white Zonkers in sizes 8 thru 1/0 work well with a fast retrieve to incite explosive takes.

blackwoolybugger smallmouthbass
Black woolly buggers are one of the top flies to have in your tackle box.


Catching pike on a fly is an incredible thrill, especially on the surface. The pike in Algoma Country are big and very, very aggressive! The favourite Topwater patterns to use are Dahlberg Diver in yellow, white and black (sizes 1/0 – 4/0) and also large tarpon poppers in the same colours. For subsurface presentations, we like to use big Deceiver patterns on a full sinking line. All colours seem to work but especially green/white or red/white. Make sure you use bitewire to help prevent bite-offs from these leviathans!

northernpike colin
Northern pike love eating perch, walleye, and whitefish.


There are a lot of places in Algoma to fly fish for big brookies and we do mean BIG. Dry flies during a hatch work well with our favourite all-around patterns being the Stimulator or the Adams. For streamers, we like to use white or black Zonkers and our favourite is the Zoo Cougar in yellow or white. Cast these streamers around boulders and strip them back fast...hold on as the strikes will be violent and aggressive.


When coming to Algoma, no matter what species you're angling for with a fly rod, it is a good idea to bring a wide range of differing fly lines. Floating, intermediate and at least one full sinking line is ideal to allow you to put your fly in various parts of the water column. This versatility will give you a better opportunity to connect with Algoma trophy fish, no more what time of year.

streamers flyline
(Photo credits: The New Fly Fisher)
About Colin McKeown

Colin McKeown is the producer of The New Fly Fisher Television Series, and several documentary series for the Outdoor Life Network, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. With a passion of fly fishing, Colin's goal is to help both novice and veteran fly fishers everywhere by giving them a top-quality fly fishing series that will make them better anglers. Known for his keen sense of humour, Colin has two wonderful children and is married to the most understanding and patient woman in the world. 

Recommended Articles

Lake Superior

10 Facts You Might Not Have Known About Lake Superior

Facts About Lake Huron

10 Things We Bet You Didn't Know

Eye Opener

Best Bait, Lures and Scents to Catch Walleye

The Wawa Goose

Welcoming Visitors For Over 50 Years

Northern Superior Brewing and Tap Room

“It’s a Northern Thing!”

Early Season Pike

Learn How to Target These Big Fish

The Butter Tart

Oh, Butter Tart, We Stand on Guard for Thee

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The Best Song About Lake Superior

10 Secluded Beaches

These Beautiful Sandy Beaches are a Must This Summer

Old Woman Bay

A Must Stop on Lake Superior

Drop Shot Walleye

Learn This Effective Fishing Technique

You Gotta Eat Here: 5 Must Try Restaurants in Sault Ste. Marie

These restaurants are a must when visiting the Soo.


A Connection to Canada's Group of Seven

Winnie-the-Pooh's Ontario origins

Learn the History of World's Most Beloved Bear

Group of Seven Touring Route

21 Panels, Mobile App to Experience the Landscape

Moto Touring Algoma

A rider's guide to Lake Superior's North Shore

The Ultimate Group of Seven Road Trip

See the inspirations for their greatest works.

The Lost Harbour

Exploring Lake Superior's Coast

Why Algoma?

The Mystery of the Name is Solved

Pearce Farm

Offing Liquid Honey, Bees Wax & In-Season Veggies