Dreams of Smallmouth Bass at Waterfalls Lodge

Big bass and warm hospitality await anglers at Waterfall Lodge in Northern Ontario

As fall slowly rolls into winter, I often find myself daydreaming about warmer days and all the fishing trips I took throughout the past year. With visions of smallmouth bass dancing in my head, I can’t help but be reminded of the wonderful time I spent at Waterfalls Lodge. Located ten minutes outside the town of Spanish River, in the Algoma region of Northern Ontario, this drive-to lodge is the perfect location for anyone looking to experience a little RR&R—rest, relaxation, and reeling in big fish.


Waterfalls Lodge boasts a variety of comfortable waterfront cottages, a full-service dining room and lounge, numerous recreation amenities, guide services, nearby hiking trails, and of course, some truly incredible fishing opportunities. With a variety of different packages, there truly is an option for almost any budget.



True to its name, Waterfalls Lodge sits on the edge of a set of falls belonging to a large chain of seven beautiful inland lakes—all of which are accessible to guests. While I focused on smallmouth bass during my trip, the lakes in this area provide a plethora of other species as well, including northern pike, lake trout, whitefish, perch and walleye.


One of the unique opportunities offered by Waterfalls Lodge is the option to take a day trip to a remote back lake known for holding tons of massive smallmouth bass. For our first full day, that’s exactly what we decided to do. With a threat of showers in the forecast, I packed up my rain gear, grabbed my rod and hopped into the side-by-side with owner and guide Rob Murphy. No matter how many new species of fish I catch, smallmouth bass on a fly rod will always be number one on my list.

This was the first species I ever landed with a flyrod, and my favourite go-to when I’m taking friends and family out for a day on the water. In my mind, there is little else that parallels the thrill of hooking a massive smallie on a popper. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. The back lake provided a variety of structures, namely large submerged boulders, rocky shoals, and beaver lodges. Despite intermittent rain, there was no end to the action on the water that day. Massive post-spawn females were eager to chase and kept hammering my poppers even during the heavy rain.


When fishing for smallmouth bass during early to mid-summer, it’s always best to come prepared with a variety of equipment to ensure success no matter what conditions you face during your trip. I suggest #6 to #8 weight rods in a 9-foot length with a fast action tip, and a wide variety of lines (on this trip I brought floating, sink tip and intermediate) in order to explore different parts of the water column as needed. With topwater action being the goal of my trip, I primarily used poppers with a concave face, rubber legs, and bright colours such as green, orange and yellow to really attract the fish.


In these uncertain times, these memories of trips and fish gone by really do help feed the soul. Ontario lodges and outfitters look forward to welcoming international anglers when it’s safe to travel once again. Stay safe, and stay healthy! Ontario and Waterfalls Lodge will be here waiting for you. For more information on Waterfall Lodge rates and availability visit them here. 

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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