Snowshoe Camp Resort

A year-round cottage resort on Wakomata Lake offering a wide variety of adventures. Come enjoy the great outdoors!

When I got the call from Mark Melnyk to join The New Fly Fisher on a fishing trip, I was super excited and when he told me it was to the Algoma region I was thrilled. It had been a long time since I’d been up that way. I used to frequent the area quite often in my younger years. When Mark told me it was for pre-spawn bucket smallmouth my eyes lit up. I have never had an opportunity in Southern Ontario to target pre-spawn bass and have always wanted to give it a whirl. They are out of season in the spring where I live, but have an open catch and release season north of Highway 17 in Algoma Country. Just a few days later the truck was packed and I was heading North.

drone footage algoma region lake

The Algoma region is the ultimate DIY destination and an all-around outdoor paradise. This vast region begins close to Elliot Lake and proceeds west to Sault Ste. Marie then all the way north past Hornepayne. The drive is full of opportunities to see wildlife along the way such as bears, moose, deer and even the elusive elk. There are countless unspoiled rivers and lakes just waiting to be explored with endless angling opportunities for not only multi-species but also for legitimate trophy fish.

cottage at snowshoe camp resort

Nestled on Wakomata Lake near the town of Thessalon is Snowshoe Camp Resort. As we pulled in, the owners, Brent and Laura Shergold, came out to greet us in true northern fashion. They instantly made us feel at home. The cabins are as good as it gets for a DIY Housekeeping package. They are clean and comfortable with lots of space and a wood-burning stove that kept us toasty warm if needed. There is even a recreation room to kick back after a long day on the water, to watch a game, play darts or shoot a game of pool. Looking off the back deck you will see breathtaking views and beautiful sunsets. It didn’t take long to settle in and exhale while trying to fight off the excitement of the next few days ahead on the water.

In the morning, Mark introduced me to our guide and I was pleasantly surprised to meet a local Algoma guide, Adam Vallee. Adam and I had been social media pals for years and when we met, I felt like I already knew him. He is a staple in the area and his deep local knowledge and experience are due to his lifelong passion for fishing. When it comes to bass tactics, I was very impressed with Adam’s knowledge and ability to dial in on their behaviour specifically, where to pursue them based on water temperatures. Adam is also a salt of the earth kind of man and a lot of fun to spend a day with. Snowshoe Camp Resort and Adam Vallee have a great relationship and people can be guided right off Snowshoe Camp Resort’s own docks.

anglers with bass

The plan of attack for the next couple of days was to follow the water temps and chase cruising massive pre-spawn bass and it didn’t take Adam long to get us dialled in. With Mark mainly casting poppers, I took the streamer route and we both lit it up. Bass after bass, and as the waters warmed the fish got bigger. We hit two different lakes in total and we found fish all day. Countless aggressive streamer strikes and explosive top water takes bring goosebumps to the most seasoned fly anglers. These are visuals you will never forget. I even caught my personal best, an absolute tank of a fish weighing in at 6.5 pounds.

We later found out this could be an unofficial fly fishing world record on 3x tippet, and a fish of a lifetime. We chose to release it for sport and hope another angler down the road hooks into it and gets to experience all that comes with trophy bass. Adam thinks there is fish pushing 8 pounds here and I 100% believe it. As we continued to fish, we saw whitefish under the boat, lake trout and a big musky sunning in the flats just ensuring us that this lake has plenty of huge fish.

brook trout algoma country

To finish the trip, we decided to give our bass thumbs a rest and wader up to explore the local creek that we kept driving past. The creek looked so fishy and pretty that we couldn’t resist. Our curiosity got the best of us. We used this opportunity to explore the pristine creek and pave a path for future anglers and the lodge. This creek didn’t disappoint, and we got into brook trout immediately, and it’s within throwing distance of the lodge to boot. No fish with size but a small creek, and light rod angler’s dream, the beauty of these fish is legendary. We took a hike, exploring everything the area had to offer. We couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up our stay at Snowshoe Camp Resort.

I cannot wait to get back to see this area. With so many lakes and rivers, one can’t even scratch the surface of hitting them all. Algoma has a special place in our hearts and it never disappoints.

About Mikey Metcalfe

Mikey Metcalfe is a life long fly angler based in Fergus, Ontario. He is a Federation of Fly Fisher’s certified casting instructor who specializes in teaching beginner anglers the nuances of fly fishing, and runs the  Metcalfe School of Fly Fishing. The Grand River is his home water, but he guides all year in the tributaries of Southern Ontario.

Recommended Articles

Top 10 Ice Fishing Lakes

Every kind of fish and experience—Ontario ice fishing is some of the best in the world.

Predicting Lake Thickness

When Will Ontario Lakes Freeze Over This Winter?

Top 5 Flies for Smallmouth Bass

The inside scoop on bass flies from the hosts of The New Fly Fisher.

5 Deadliest Fishing Lures

Use these lures when ice fishing for lake trout in Northern Ontario.

Ontario Brook Trout

Fish these 10 sweet spots.

3 Great Ontario Walleye Destinations

Karl of Extreme Angler recommends must do walleye lakes in Ontario.

Best WhiteFish Tactics

In Part Two, Learn Best Rods, Reels and Lure Presentations for Whitefish

Lake of the Woods

10 Facts You Didn't Know

Fishing and Foraging

Add some fresh foods and forage to your fishing adventures!

Big Lake Abitibi

Ice Fishing With Dunn Right Outfitters

Eating Northern Pike

The Best Recipe to Cook This Fish

Five Brook Trout Flies

What flies to bring when fishing for brook trout.

Leuenberger Air Service Is Your Ticket to Ontario's Best Fishing

Discover remote outpost fishing for northern pike, walleye, and whitefish

Top 5 Musky Destinations in Ontario

The Musky Hunter shows you where to land the best musky in Ontario waters.

The Eyes Have it

How to Use a Natural Resource as Bait

5 Places to Shore Fish

Fish’n Canada shows you where to go shore fishing in Ontario.

Angling the Missinaibi

Exploring and fishing the mighty Missinaibi River

Real Fishing at Mattawa River Resort

Mattawa River Resort offers an easy to get to location and unlimited fishing opportunities

Summer Smallmouth

Bass Techniques to Help You Catch a Trophy

Salmon Fishing

The Michipicoten River is a Sleeper for Chinook