Best Places to Fish in Canada

Warm weather is upon us, and you know what that means. It’s time to trade your ski poles for spin reels and search out fishing places near you. Canada has the most lakes of any country in the world—and don’t even get us started on the coastline. That’s a lot of water, and that means lots of fish!

That also means lots of choices when you’re in search of the best fishing near you—or where to travel for an angling adventure. We scoured social media sites, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to find the places that garnered the most attention, then ranked them by mentions per capita. Whether you’re in search of heart-pounding saltwater salmon runs or the ultimate relaxing fly fishing trip, you’ll find your inspiration here.


1. Port Hardy, BC

Best time to fish: July – Sept
What you’ll catch: Halibut, herring, salmon

Fishing in Port Hardy is a sure winner. Fuel up with a plate of legendary Captain Hardy’s fish and chips, then get out there. Codfather Charters offers salmon and halibut packages with gear, meals, and accommodation included. They’ll even clean and pack your fish, so you can make your friends at home jealous, too.


2. Lutselk’e, NT

Best time to fish: June – Sept
What you’ll catch: Lake trout, northern pike, whitefish, Arctic grayling

Great Slave Lake is the deepest in North America—and monsters lurk in its depths. Christie Bay is a stunning 640 metres deep, and there’s also world-class fly fishing on the Stark River. With a home base at Frontier Fishing Lodge, you can experience the fishing trip of a lifetime.


3. Nipigon, ON

Best time to fish: Spring and fall
What you’ll catch: Brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, walleye, salmon, northern pike

Nipigon is known for its world-record brook trout, plus lake trout up to 50 lbs. Increase your chances of snagging a monster when you get your gear—and advice—at Nipigon River Bait Tackle & Souvenir. Insider tip: Visit during the Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival over Labour Day weekend.


4. Tofino, BC

Best time to fish: April – Oct
What you’ll catch: Salmon, halibut, yelloweye, cutthroat trout

Before fishing in Tofino, take care of first things first: Freshen up your wardrobe at Tofino Fishing & Trading so you look amaze in your Instas. Then get out there with Cleanline Sportfishing. Take the offshore fishing experience to reel in giant salmon or cast your line on a freshwater fly fishing adventure accessible only by floatplane. Another top pick? Tofino Fishing Adventures. This family-run business sets you up to catch chinook and coho salmon, among other popular saltwater fish in the area.


5. Selkirk, MB

Best time to fish: May – Sept
What you’ll catch: Huge channel catfish!

Selkirk is located in the heart of the Red River North district, the “Channel Catfish Capital of the World.” Hook up with CatDaddy Fishing Guide to learn the ropes—er, lines. Got the know-how, but need equipment? Stop by Smoke N Fish for rods, bait, and tackle, rent a boat with Parkside Rentals, and get fishing!


6. Lake Louise & Banff, AB

Best time to fish: June – Sept
What you’ll catch: Brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout. All. The. Trout.

No surprise here! The fishing in Banff and Lake Louise is unrivalled. On Lake Minnewanka, take a tour with Banff Fishing Unlimited for expert advice. For fly fishers, Blue Wing Adventures offers trips on the Bow River. Guided trips are the way to go for another reason: You’ll be able to identify at-risk species, like bull trout and cutthroat trout, which must be thrown back by law.


7. Dease Lake, BC

Best time to fish: June – Sept
What you’ll catch: Arctic grayling, Arctic char, northern pike, burbot, lake trout

With local rivers that empty into both the Pacific and Arctic watersheds, Dease Lake has a huge diversity of fish. Fly fish for Arctic graying or troll the lake for giant trout with Little Dease Ventures. Already an expert? Try your luck at the Dease Lake Fishing Derby, over Canada Day weekend.


8. Forteau, NL

Best time to fish: July & August
What you’ll catch: Salmon, brook trout, cod

One look at this quaint seaside town shows you why Forteau was a top choice. Sea View Cottages & Restaurant overlooks that beautiful scenery, and offers a “Salmon by the Sea” package that includes accommodation, guided fishing, and traditional salmon “boil-ups.” That’s a coastal adventure done right.


9. La Ronge, SK

Best time to fish: May – Sept
What you’ll catch: Lake trout, walleye, northern pike

Lac La Ronge is not only gorgeous, but filled with all sorts of finned wonders. Up this way, your best bet is to stay at a fishing lodge, like Pickerel Bay Cabins—all you need to bring is your love of fishing. And if you do need supplies, chances are Robertson Trading Ltd. has them.

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10. Peterborough, ON

Best time to fish: June – Sept
What you’ll catch: Northern pike, crappie, muskie, large and smallmouth bass

Peterborough is central to the 130 lakes of the Kawarthas—an angler’s dream! Panfishing with Chemong Lake Fishing Charters is perfect for newbies. If you’re after the big boys, Williams Outfitters will take you out on a fully loaded bass boat. Hot tip: Find the elusive northern pike/muskie hybrid, the tiger muskie, in Balsam Lake.

Remember to always check the rules regarding permits, possession, and bait and tackle, as these vary by area and by fish. And when in doubt, go with a guide. Most of all, get out there and have fun. The sun is shining and the fish are biting at a fishing spot near you!

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About Author

Carolyn Albee

Carolyn Albee is a lover of writing, dogs, and new cities—not necessarily in that order. When she’s not on a mission to find the best late-night snacks in those new cities, she’s off writing about why you should visit them, or doing some exploring of a different kind: Taking to the hills with her dog, Markus.


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