From The Anglers Atlas:
The St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie is a world-class salmon and steelhead river. For fly fishers, the St. Marys River Rapids is the premier place to go.
Andrew Kovala has spent the past several years getting to know the river and the fly fishing opportunities. An avid angler and fly-tier, Kovala loves the St. Marys River for its combination of easy access, excellent fishing, and the lack of fishing pressure.
“We do most of our fly fishing in the rapids. We do fish from boats downstream of that, but we wade in the rapids…. Wading is extremely dangerous. I like the rapids because you can go fishing in places that not many people want to go to. But once you know the rocks and pathways, you can wade the entire thing.” Kovala notes again that it’s very dangerous, and there are a lot of deep pools over your head.
In the rapids, you can fish for Atlantic salmon, big rainbow trout, pink salmon and chinook.
“Atlantic salmon are in the rapids when the water is warm, and they’re absolutely perfect for big, two-handed fly rods. You fish full-floating lines and small flies. You swing them like bug imitations, right onto the sufrace of the water.” Kovala says that lots of different patterns will work, and small flies are best.
In the main part of the river, Kovala says that there are walleye, and that lots of people love to fish for walleye in different parts of the river.
Kovala loves the fishing opportunities around the Sault. “Lots of the lakes around the Sault are very limited in their access, with zero camps or anything. There are lots of lakes full of smaller lake trout and really big speckled trout, up to 6 pounds. I catch them on the fly in the spring,” he adds.
“Up here, there are smaller runs, and you have to hit them at the perfect time. You could be the only person on the river a lot of the time. That doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of catching fish; they’re untouched rivers and they aren’t stocked.”
“Lots around the Sault is unspoiled, and you just have to go and do some exploring and discovery for yourself. That’s what’s fun about it.”
River Access to The St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario:
St. Marys River Rapids are right in Sault Ste. Marie and accessible only from the Canadian side.
Access is through a series of trails on Whitefish Island.
Please remember that the rapids can be swift and should only be accessed by seasoned river anglers.
Local Fishing Opportunities
Local Freshwater Species
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