Brook Trout Fishing at Dunlop Lake Lodge

This lodge is a haven for souls looking to relax, refresh and regenerate in the vast wilderness of Northern Ontario.

I stepped out of my dirt-covered Jeep and onto the gravel parking lot. Stretching my legs, I took a sip of water and began to survey my surroundings. Light, fuzzy green pearls stroked the treetops as small bursts of colour poked out from every corner. Spring was sweeping across the North, and I was early to the party.

wilderness lake mountains elliot lake

A quick turn to close the door and my keys fumbled loose from the balancing act on my pack. Bending down to retrieve them with an awkward descent and hands full, I suddenly found myself staring straight into the amber eyes of a slight and focused fox. It sat there beside me, staring at the keys I dropped like they were slivers of tasty trout fry. I slowly reclaimed my faux fish and continued to unpack the trunk. Fly rods, packs, cameras, waders. Back and forth I went, with a little shadow silently trailing me, hoping for another fumble of those metallic rainbows. Clearly, we both had our minds set on one thing. My Fly Fishing Journey had begun.

angler sitting beside lake with fly rod

Dunlop Lake Lodge is a haven for souls looking to relax, refresh and regenerate in the vast wilderness of Northern Ontario. Just 15 km north of Elliot Lake, the Lodge is a gem buried within the emerald cracks of vast forests with over 150 km of trails and river systems surrounding it. With a plethora of activities that cover all seasons, Dunlop is a mecca for anglers who are hoping to dive into a multitude of species.

fly angler casting wilderness river

This trip not only had me sitting on the side of rivers waiting for bugs to awaken but crawling on my hands and knees over massive boulders to spy on the travelling brook trout - fish that are cruising their fluid highways for cooler water and their next meal. On foot, this place was magic. Nooks and crannies and holes and valleys -- the only thing that stopped me from moving and searching was the fading light of the setting sun. I had yet to find my true gem, that sliver of speckled metal.

mukwa adventures

Morning light. Crushing the forest floor on my ATV, I had my Guide from Mukwa Adventures showing me the hidden holes that were navigated through moose and bear tracks. Trails that I couldn’t distinguish without assistance and teachings -- lessons I would never forget in this wild place. We pulled up to a beautiful horseshoe bend in the river that held a slow burn of tannic water and cut so deep you could never see the bottom. Grabbing the 6-weight and sinking line, I shot a purple clouser pattern into the inner seam of the first cut.

purple clouser fly pattern

We were there for hours. Nothing had hit when the sun started to fade. I was about ready to ditch my team and head for the homemade meals of the Lodge when I decided to drag my line upstream for one last walk-through. Halfway up, my line went tight and I pulled hard to unsnag myself from the layers of structure that riddled the water. The line detached itself -- pulled and pulled like taffy being ripped from its form. It pulled again and I suddenly saw the belly of a 4-pound brook trout ready to burst into red and yellow flame.

angler holding brook trout

I twisted and turned to set like a mayfly hatching for the first time. A wild act in a very wild place.

Thank you to Dunlop Lake Lodge, Mukwa Adventures and our unforgettable Guides in the District of Algoma.

About Alyx Parks

Motivated by restless waters and migrating fish, Alyx has been adventuring through Ontario’s river systems for over 20 years and has dedicated her spare time to helping people find that same joy. She believes that everyone can adventure together, and is focused on getting people out of the office and into nature through fly fishing. Alyx is a motivational speaker and professional Career Coach in the Tech industry as well as an aspiring photographer and dog-mom to a (relentlessly) bouncy Aussie Shepherd. You can find her building coaching programs, hosting Women in Fly Fishing events and (most often) tripping and falling over rocks.

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