There is a whack of diversity and a lot of options when fishing in our neck of the woods.
Please practise Catch and Release in all these areas to preserve the fishing opportunities for the next generations.
Before setting out, check on the local weather.
Radar weather will give an outlook for the next few hours.
Then check the river flows to make sure that the river is not blown, or to find the most suitable conditions available.
Check with the local fly shops online or in person to get some seasonal tips.
Check the hatch charts in your area and match the flies you take to the seasonal recommended flies.
Check on Google Maps to find a good access point and nearby parking. (Zoom onto the area you want and go to the street view).
Wear sunscreen during the brighter days, and have a supply of bug juice handy as well.
Always wear a hat, and polarised glasses.
Carry some pliers in case you get embedded with one of your own hooks. You will need to flatten the barb on that hook if you had not already done so.
A wading stick is essential if you are planning stream or river fishing.
Carry a waterproof bag for your cellphone, and don’t forget your camera. Carry an ample supply of potable water (preferably NOT in disposable bottle form).
In most areas the trout fishing season in our zone 16 is between the 4th Saturday in April until the 30th September. But there are quite a few exceptions found in the Ministry’s Guide.
Great runs of Chinook and Coho in late August through September in the lower reaches.
Rainbows follow the salmon runs after a cold snap and after an increase in rainfall.
There is also a significant steelhead run in the spring as soon as the season opens.
The Forks of the Credit has Browns, Rainbows and a few Brook trout. There are more Brookies above the Cataract at the Forks.
There are masses of Atlantic Salmon planted in the river and these parr are voracious in the faster stream sections and tend to dominate as smaller fish catches.
Seasonal runs of Salmon and Steelhead are complemented with some of the feistiest Bass and Muskie for the rest of the season. A lot of the river has limited access due to steep banks and deeper pools that limit wading activity. It is recommended to use a knowledgeable Guide with a guide boat in such circumstances.
Denny’s Dam is a favourite spot for the Fall runs, but this tends to be a shoulder to shoulder event.
In the higher reaches of the Saugeen, above Walkerton, there are some large Browns, best fished for in early mornings and early evenings. There are also stocked areas of Rainbows downstream of Walkerton.
The Beatty Saugeen is a gorgeous and challenging wading river and is stocked with small rainbows annually. Again check with the locals for access points and also take note of the sanctuary limitations in the Spring.
Stocked annually in the tailwaters below the Shand Dam in Fergus with 24,000 Browns.
Well demarcates access points can be found along the river from the Dam down to West Montrose.
Most of this stretch is available for walk and wade.
The middle and lower reaches of the river have fall runs of steelhead from Paris downstream. Bass are prolific too.
Bass can be caught throughout the season with Salmon and Steelhead in Spring and Fall.
Be careful when fishing the Maitland on foot as there are some deeply crevassed areas when wading.
The Bronte riparian cover has been much improved by conservationists over the past 25 years. It has seasonal Salmon and Rainbow runs and is home to some large Browns as well.
I fished the forks of the credit yesterday, entered at charlston road bridge, I noticed several spin casters along the river, they were killing and keeping the brookies on stringers. I thought this stretch was fly flishing only, no kill, no barbs. if it is fly fishing only there are no signs and no one enforcing those rules. very sad to see a guy using a spinning rod to catch and kill a nice brookie likely a fly fishing gentleman had released.
Thanks for this observation, Steven; on opening day last year we were approached three times by conservation officers, but their presence is very sporadic at other times.
We have noticed similar occurrences on the Grand, especially on the lower reaches of the Upper Grand. I always carry my phone and there is always the chance of getting photo evidence of such occurrences along with the car reg plate number.