Two people fishing at sunset with mist rising off the lake and boreal forest in the background

Top 6 parks for canoe fishing in northern Ontario

Paddling into the wilderness, fishing from a canoe and then going back to camp to enjoy a backcountry fish fry is a special experience.

If you’re up for a trip like this, check out our recommendations for the best backcountry fishing destinations in our northern parks. 

Northwest Ontario

Quetico Provincial Park

For over 100 years, Quetico Provincial Park has protected a vast, pristine and interconnected network of lakes and rivers. This park is full of Walleye, Lake Trout, Small-mouth Bass and Northern Pike — in some cases, all in the same lake.

Silhouetted person fishing at dawn

If you like Lake Trout fishing, Quetico offers some of the best in Ontario. Or maybe you want to try your hand at catching the infamous “Basquatch,” the very large Small-mouth Bass that lurks somewhere in the waters of Quetico.

If you do catch the big one, however, this would be a good time to practice catch and release – keep the legend alive! Just snap a quick pic first.

Wabakimi Provincial Park

Looking for some pan-sized Walleye? This park has 2000 km of lake and river routes, with plentiful Walleye, Northern Pike, Lake Trout and Whitefish. Anglers can access Wabakimi via bush plane, train, and paddle-in road access points.

Northern Pike being held

After a great day of fishing, fry up some fish and camp on one of Wabakimi’s secluded beaches, surrounded by pristine, boreal wilderness. Or take your canoe and search for Wabakimi’s exciting whitewater routes. This is your spot if you want to mix up your trip with big catches, relaxing shoreline fun, and whitewater adventure.

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

While fishing for Lake Trout, Walleye, and Northern Pike, look out for  other wildlife species. True to its name, the park is Woodland Caribou habitat, and if you are a lucky and quiet traveller, you just might catch a glimpse of one of these majestic animals.

The back with a person wearing a tilley hat, fishing in the sun with a blue lake and a green shoreline in the background

Also, if you’re up for a challenge, there is a lake in southwest Woodland Caribou that has some voracious Muskie. Just make sure to keep your fingers in the boat!

Can’t decide which northwestern park to visit? Why not visit all three and challenge yourself with the Northwest Wilderness Quest? If you camp in the interior of Quetico, Wabamiki and Woodland Caribou, you are entered into a draw to win a brand new 17′ canoe or one of four paddles.

Northeast Ontario

Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park

Are you an experienced paddler, up for a real adventure? Look no further than Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater.

Take exciting routes through rapids to fish in the whitewater pools for Brook Trout, or aim for the lakes, also chock full of trout. As you’re paddling through, you’ll be surrounded by old growth White Pine, boreal forest, and many peaks — including the highest elevation in Ontario: Ishpatina Ridge.

2 canoes on a rock shore, with waterfall in the background

Plus, this park features six beautiful waterfalls, with campsites adjacent to the falls. At Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater, you’re in for some incredible in- and out-of-boat recreation experiences.

Solace Provincial Park

In the heart of Temagami, Solace is aptly named. As you fly in, you’ll be surrounded by flat water, beautiful Jack Pine forest, and lots (and lots) of trout.

Brook trout on the line, but still in the water

There are easy and challenging routes in Solace; the chain of lakes have both Brook Trout and Lake Trout lakes. Regardless of where you are in the park, your spring trout fishing experience is bound to be a rewarding one.

Mississagi Provincial Park

If you want some time away from it all, Mississagi has one of the quietest flatwater experiences in the region.

Two hikers standing on a lookout point in Mississagi Provincial Park, under a big cloudy sky

Just west of Sudbury, this park features remote beaches, rewarding hikes and plenty of Brook Trout. And with no motors allowed in the park, it’s an ideal place to find peace and quiet.

Want to get even more remote? In Mississagi, there are also small Brook Trout lakes accessible only from the hiking trails.

Ready to break out your fishing gear?

Before you go, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the 2019 Ontario Fishing Regulations, get your fishing license and consider how to make your trip as sustainable as possible by practicing conservation fishing.

Also, some of these parks have special fishing regulations that are particular to the park and specify what type of lures and hooks you can use; check the park website before you gear up for your trip.

A trip to one of our northern parks will not disappoint. Their beautiful scenery, pristine wilderness, and — of course — bountiful fish will give you the expedition of your life.

Visit our backcountry page to discover more about accessing and staying in each of these parks.