Ontario Steelheading offers one of the most rewarding experiences that you can encounter on our magnificent rivers. I often get asked what is the best option to catch these elusive fish, “a day on the river in a drift boat, or a day on the water walking and wading?”. Tough question… If we were talking Ontario Smallmouth then I would say our best option is the drift boat. As these fish are not migratory (although there are some lake run bass in the spring) they will hold in the same areas year to year. So should you want to learn to fly fish for these bronze backs then a drift boat is the best pick.
Steelhead are different. A drift boat day can certainly get you to areas where there are no people and get you to spots where there could be some incredible runs. However with a year like we are having this year where the fish seem to be scattered throughout the systems you may hit a drift where virtually there are no Steelhead. Unfortunately once you have launched you’re stuck on that one particular run. We have had great success walking and wading this year. This method allows you to hit several different areas of the river. Start low towards the mouth and if there is nothing there move up a concession. Some days we hit 8 different sections of the river until we find the runs. While hunting for Ontario Steelhead keep moving. You will be rewarded!