As much as I love to fish its not something I do everyday. Trust me, I am an average angler at best. Bob Izumi and cast of 39 hours have nothing to fear from me. Once you have decided on a location and outfitter there are a ways to improve your odds of success even before you leave your home. Whether the lake you have chosen is big, small, or somewhere in between your first day on the water can be overwhelming if you haven’t done any prep work. I remember strolling into our second fly in trip assuming the fish would be easy to find – not! We spent a few days scouring nook and cranny before we were able to establish a pattern. We got it dialed in eventually but certainly some solid prep work before we left the GTA would have been very helpful!
Here are my 3 favorites:
1) Talk to your outfitter!
a. Your outfitter is one of the best sources of information ahead of your trip. They can provide an overview of the general patterns for the time of year you will be at the lodge, and they can give you a sense of the types of presentations and lures that work on their lake. Your outfitter is aware that your success on the water is a big factor in your overall enjoyment – give them a call!
2) Internet Fishing Forums and Boards
a. There are lots out of board out there covering almost every area and species you can think of. Since you are going to a lodge most people are willing to provide tips and tricks. I remember one kind soul who shared his map with our group prior to hitting a fly in lake – it really helped us to have a few spots to start with and made the first day or two less daunting. I use Ontario Fishing Community a lot https://ontariofishingcommunity.com/
3) Satellite Imagery like Google Earth
a. As they say a picture paints a thousand words. Prior to heading out I like to pull up the lake or river I will be fishing on Google Earth or Bing Maps. Ideally based on steps 1 and 2 I have a sense of what/where my quarry could be. I have always had success fishing for small mouth bass in Ontario around mid lake humps or rock piles. A lot of times you can make out these features and mark them down to give you some spots to check out right away.
So, if you are planning to a fishing trip this summer here are a few ways to start formulating your attack plan. Do some online research, make a few calls, and use all the mapping tools available. Trust me it will be worth it.
Andrew Gordon is an avid outdoorsman who spends as much time as he can fishing, camping, hiking or kayaking with friends and family across Ontario. He maintains an outdoors blog www.northernjacks.com that contains a lot of great information about outdoor experiences across Canada.