Migratory – The Sydenham River – Owen Sound, Ontario

The Sydenham River in Owen Sound is a river in Grey County in southern Ontario. The river flows north from a source near Williamsford, drops over the Niagara Escarpment at Inglis Falls and empties into Owen Sound harbour on Georgian Bay.

For most of the year, going after salmon means downriggers and deep water trolling with lures, plugs and erring strips. But the fall run brings the fish within reach of anyone who cares to try their luck along city’s harbour or up the Sydenham River to a fish sanctuary, which is marked by yellow posts downstream of the Mill Dam. Salmon eggs, fished either off the bottom or under a float, are a preferred bait, although a variety of spoons and plugs work well. Morning and evening are generally the best times.

The fall salmon run also brings a chance to catch steelhead, or lake-run rainbow trout, which will eat salmon eggs. The occasional steelhead can be caught through the winter, but the big run comes in late winter and early spring. Steelheading has become its own science, with  float rods and spawn the best producers. Some also fall to flies and lures, but the float fishermen are the closest to having the number of these wary and hard-fighting fish, which will try to run up nearly any river or stream. There are many special seasons for salmon and trout in area rivers and streams to allow anglers opportunities to fish and to protect fish during their spawning runs. Checking the regulations and exceptions is a must.

Migratory – The Sydenham River – Owen Sound, Ontario

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