Backwoods brook trout adventure

Posted by Steve Galea at


Last weekend, I took a much needed break and made my way into the back country with a friend. Our goal was to camp, canoe, relax and find a few brook trout. I'm happy to say that we accomplished everything on that list.

This little adventure took place on the Haliburton Highlands Water Trails, which sits on the site formerly occupied by the Frost Centre. Our route was fairly simple -- up St. Nora's Lake to the 813 metre portage that took us to Sherbourne. Another 20 minute paddle and we were at our campsite, which we used as a base. Once set up, we loaded fishing gear and canoed down a bay and carried it over another half kilometre portage, which brought us into two nice brook trout lakes. 

Pictured above is one of 10 or so brook trout we caught. We released all but enough for dinner on both nights. This fish was average size. 

They were scrappy little guys that actually put a nice bend in the rod. Dan was using an ultra-light spinning rig. I used a 5 weight fly rod. The fish were partial to white Cat's Whiskers and olive beadhead wooly buggers as far as flies go. I also tried hanging a nymph as well as Edson's Tigers, orange woolly buggers (which caught fish) and a black ghost. 

I can't tell you how nice it was to sleep to the sound of the loon and waves lapping on shore. Or to see mallards, black duck. ringnecks, mergansers and geese continually pitching into that little bay. On the portage into our fishing lake, there was still huge blocks of ice hanging from the bluffs in shaded areas -- a reminder that winter was not that long ago. And there was also moose and bear sign which is always an indication you are headed int he right direction.

In any case, I'll be going back sometime this year. I'm hoping in early fall before brook trout season ends. The colours on fish and landscape will be spectacular.


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  • Sounds great, Steve. I’m envious.

    Geoff Coleman on

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