Drive-To Fly Fishing in Algoma

5 scenic drive-to fishing lodges to add to your Northern Ontario bucket list this season.

As passionate anglers, we all love new fly fishing destinations, especially locations throughout North America and possibly internationally. But it is often difficult to find those locations that offer excellent fishing combined with affordability and accessibility (aka as drive-to destinations). This is why my family and friends have come to enjoy exploring Algoma Country in Northern Ontario. There are so many outstanding lodges, resorts, and cottages available which are close to good fishing, even close to the Trans-Canada Highway!  

anglers fly fishing in stream
Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher

We’re going to explore some of the options available to anglers who want the names and locations of these amazing drive-to spots so you can start planning your next trip.

First off, it is important to know that some of the best months to visit Algoma are the shoulder periods of May/June and September/October for several good reasons. During these months, the fishing can be quite excellent as species such as bass, pike and trout, will come into shallow waters to feed during the transition periods. These transition times are also great because there are few visitors to the region, abundantly available accommodations, and multiple bonus angling opportunities for secondary species, such as salmon and steelhead, that are migrating into rivers and streams. That is not to say the fishing is not good in the summer months of July and August, but you can count on more families, fewer available accommodations and more anglers on local waters who are visiting drive-to locations during this period. 

mukwa adventures
Some destinations can be reached by ATV. Mukwa Adventures. Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher

A secondary consideration is that the region bordering Lake Huron and Lake Superior in Algoma offers mostly boat fishing opportunities with some good destinations that offer walk & wade fishing on rivers and streams too. If you book a lodge or resort, they will have boats available to rent on the waters they are located on. However, if you can bring your boat, then you open a broad range of additional fishing opportunities on a wide range of lakes and some rivers, that have public access. Algoma is truly blessed to have hundreds of lakes that you can easily drive to with your boat. From small to large, there are lots of choice lakes that have quality angling for smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, brook trout and even lake trout! Some fly fishers like to bring a boat and their waders so they can experience all types of river and lake fishing opportunities. 

female angler fishing ontario bass
Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher

Based on our ten-plus years of fishing a wide range of drive-to locations, here are some of our recommendations:

Como Lake Resort

Located 30 minutes outside the small town of Chapleau, Como Lake is famed for the huge numbers of smallmouth bass and walleye the lake possesses plus giant northern pike can be caught in the shallows and around weed beds. This lake is over 4000 acres in size and has numerous bays, river inlets, rocky islands and much more structure that is perfect for fly fishers. They offer clean and comfortable cabins, rental boats and much more. For groups of anglers or even for couples who want to hike and also fish, this is a great drive-to choice.
Contact: 705-864-1476 

anglers fishing ontario bass
Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher

Brennan Harbour

One of our favourite locations with access to Lake Huron is Brennan Harbour Resort near Spanish (just off Highway 17). The islands and bays throughout northern Lake Huron and close to the resort offers great fishing for BIG smallmouth bass and northern pike. They have good boats to rent which are ideal for fly fishers, and if you want a guide to show you “hot spots”, they have those available as well. Easy to get to, incredible view of Lake Huron, great accommodations plans for every budget, plus wonderful fishing options, Brennan Harbour is an excellent choice for anglers. 
Contact: 1-888-231-1199

Birchland Cottages

If you enjoy the comfort of medium to large-sized cottages that are beautifully appointed and have access to good smallmouth bass fishing, then Birchland Cottages is a good option. Located just off the Trans-Canada Highway (17) and built on the shores of Clear Lake, this small body of water boasts exceptional smallmouth bass fly fishing with some good pike fishing as well. You need to bring your boat and they have an excellent launch and docking system. Birchland Cottages is also well-located for visiting numerous other public lakes in the area plus offering close access to great tourism sites.
Contact: 705-842-3356

algoma cottage resort
Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher

Bruce Bay Cottages & Lighthouse

A destination that is perfect for fishing friends and especially couples is Bruce Bay Cottages & Lighthouse which is located just off the Trans-Canada Highway (17). With breathtaking views of Lake Huron and Bruce Bay, its small but quaint cottages are located close to great fishing for smallmouth bass and northern pike. The island itself has some good fishing but the bays and inlets nearby are even better. Bring your boat and go inland to fish many closeby lakes that offer excellent fishing. You can even rent the room below the lighthouse for a one-of-a-kind experience! 
Contact: 705-785-3473

algoma aerial lake
Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher

Algoma Country has even more great drive-to options for anglers, these are just a few we have had the pleasure of visiting on our fishing trips. For more options, go to the Algoma website to learn more:

About Mark Melnyk

Currently, Mark is the host and producer of The New Fly Show. With a passion of fly fishing, the shows 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. 

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