Big Smallmouth Bass

Fly Fishing at Branch’s Seine River Lodge in Ontario's Sunset Country

In Northwest Ontario, there are some great fly fishing opportunities for numerous warm water species.

For those that love to catch big smallmouth bass on topwater flies, you should consider Branch’s Seine River Lodge near the town of Atikokan. Located just a few hours from the Canada-US border, this drive-in lodge has exceptional access to walleye and pike fishing. But what people from all over come for are the smallmouth bass.

The smallmouth here are large and aggressive, with 15- to 18-inch specimens being the average. The bass hold tight to the banks and near structures such as beaver lodges, fallen trees, and rocky points.

2 anglers with smallmouth bass

(Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher)

The lodge has great boats for fly fishers with wide bottoms and good casting decks. Additionally, the lodge has guides available who can be hired for a day or two to show you the best hot spots and techniques for catching smallmouth. Branch’s Seine River Lodge has both housekeeping and full American Plans to meet your needs. The lodge also has brand new cabins that are large and spacious with plenty of room for your equipment.

Casting medium-sized poppers in various colours close to bank edges can produce some spectacular results. Based on the mood of the fish, we recommend you experiment with retrieve speeds and styles to find what works. If bass are not taking on top, then cast to the drop-offs with sink-tips or weighted flies.

We recommend you bring six or seven weight rods in 9-foot lengths with fast-actions to cast to the bass. Leaders should be 8 to 9 feet in length, tapered down to 3x or 8-pound test tippets.

fly reel

(Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher TV Show)

For flies, we found yellow, orange, green, and black poppers worked exceptionally well. The black poppers were best on overcast days or near dark. Size 6 or 8 poppers were the best. If you need to use streamers on the edges, then try woolly buggers in tan, black, or medium brown. White Zonkers or Murdich Minnows worked well on sink-tip lines.

fly reel

(Photo credit: The New Fly Fisher TV Show)

Branch’s Seine River Lodge is a fantastic drive-to fishing destination that offers great fishing for topwater bass at very affordable pricing. We strongly recommend you give them a call!


Branch's Seine River Lodge
Toll Free: 1-866-443-4414

About Jenna McKeown

Jenna McKeown has loved fishing since she was a young girl. Now as a young adult attending university, she has learned the basics of fly fishing. Like all good anglers, she welcomes instruction and education on all aspects of fly fishing and fish. She hopes to inspire other young girls and women to learn more about fly fishing and the great outdoors. Currently Jenna is attending university to become a teacher focused on one day instructing primary grade students in French. Jenna is a passionate singer, songwriter and guitarist. She produces much of the music used in The New Fly Fisher.

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