The headwaters of the Lady Evelyn River which is located in Central Ontario is a great place to fish for the beautifully colored Brook trout. I have personally fish this area for over 30 years, and it’s a treat to myself every time I embark on a Brook trout fishing adventure in this area. The beginning of the Lady Evelyn is a series of lakes that is connected by streams. There is a healthy population of lake trout, Brook trout, and whitefish in these lakes. From these series of lakes you could travel down stream with a few portages all the way to Temagami.
We often bypass the series of small lakes, by taking an old logging road called Red Squirrel Road. You may have heard about the Red Squirrel Road in the news the last few years. The road runs through some of the last standing old growth forest in Ontario. Some protesters had the road blocked off so the loggers couldn’t come in and cut the trees down. This road runs down through the Lady Evelyn-Smooth Water Provincial Park. After the end of May you are only allowed to travel by vehicle to a gate that stops you from entering the park. We usually park alongside the road just outside the park and carry our canoe and fishing tackle to the bridge where we start our fishing expedition.
From the bridge we drift down the river casting up ahead usually with small spinners and spoons. Spinner and spoons in the zero to number two sizes seem to work the best. You just have to try a few different colors to find one that’s working that day. On a sunny day I usually use a brass colored lure, and on overcast days I will try silver colors. I have also had really good luck by simply hooking up a dew worm and casting alongside trees that have fallen into the river, as we drift by them. We canoe down to the first of the rapids and stop there. There is a campsite there which at times we have used and camped overnight. Otherwise, we will turn around and paddle our way back up to the bridge. I must say it’s a lot easier going downstream with the current than it is paddling back to the bridge upstream against the current. This round trip usually takes five to six hours.
Some days you can’t help but catch Brook trout, and the next day there doesn’t seem to be a fish and the whole river. But that’s all part of trout fishing, even when the fish aren’t cooperating the scenery is outstanding. You never know what animals you’ll see if you quietly paddle your canoe down the river. On occasion coming around the bend we have come upon moose standing in the middle of the stream. There is also been times when we’ve seen black bears along the shoreline. And there’s never a lack of beavers working the shoreline. I have also at times seen huge Brook trout that I have spooked as my canoe passes by.
I would highly recommend for anybody that appreciates this fine species of trout, which actually is part of the char family, to spend a week in the wilderness, paddling their way along the Lady Evelyn River system.