Arrival at Bowman Island Lodge Ontario Canada

by | May 28, 2023 | fly fishing Ontario | 2 comments

Bowman-Island-LodgeI’m keeping the ball rolling as far as mixing up my fishing venues.  Last night after dinner I drove north to knock off two hours of a drive.  This morning I continued that drive along the Minnesota side of Lake Superior then crossed into Ontario Canada.  From there me and my old Exploder ventured another two hours to the small town of Nipigon – home of some of the largest brook trout of North America.


Coaster-Brook-TroutLast winter I got asked by my friends Jerry Darkes and Joe Wolthuis if I wanted to join them on their annual “Coaster Brook Trout” trip to the north end of Lake Superior.  Coasters are the oversized lake-welling brook trout that once flourished in the Great Lakes. Unfortunately they were overfished and their habitat was so degraded that by the 1970’s they were nearly extinct.  Thanks to 40 years of conservation work they are making a strong comeback.


Nipigon-BayThere’s a group of six of us.  A few of the guys I don’t know – Gary Amendola, Rick Cooper and Brian Reed.  Jerry is actually the host of this trip and these other guys are his guests.  By 3 PM everyone met and gathered at the Nipigon Marina where we met Bowman Island Lodge owner, Gary Lange.  Gary loaded us up on his big boat the Anica Lee and we made a four hour jaunt to the lodge.


Nipigon-OntarioBowman Island is on the Ontario Canada side of Lake Superior and about as remote in the Great Lakes as you can get.  It’s exactly 25 miles by boat only from the mouth of Nipigon Bay.  It’s part of the new Lake Superior Marine Conservation Area so I’m happy to say this region is safe from any type of development.  The area around the lodge is incredibly beautiful and they often see moose, bear, and wolves along the shore.  Best of all, no bugs!  There is no standing water on the island for anything to hatch and Lake Superior is too cold for mosquitoes or black flies.


Gary-LangeThe lodge is clean, comfortable, and solar powered.  There are several main bedrooms in the lodge and a couple separate cabins.  It has a traditional Finnish sauna which will be really nice.  Boats appear solid and seaworthy with dependable outboards.  Gary Lange, the owner, is a great character with plenty of interesting stories about the area.


fly-fishingThe main target of this trip are the coaster brook trout.  Strict seasons and keep limits have increased the populations of these fish very significantly.  In the 8 years our host Jerry has been fishing here, the increase in numbers, average size, and top size has been very noticeable.  Last year they had a lot of fish over 20″, topping out just under 24″.  Biggest they have seen is 26″ and probably 8 lb.  There are also lake trout, rainbows, salmon and pike.


Joe-WolthuisWe arrived at the lodge at 7 PM.  Joe and I will share a room and fish together most of the week.  Joe is one of the main guys at Scientific Anglers and we’ve been friends for many years.  The same with Jerry.  Joe and I tossed our clothes in our room and rigged our rods.  We have extended daylight because we’re far up north.  At least until at least 10 PM so we went fishing.


coaster-brookiesWe could go fishing because this is a self-guide operation, meaning there are no guides.  The lodge provides 16 ft Lund boats with 30 HP engines and you’re on your own.  This is common in all of Canada and luckily Joe has been here before and knows the area and fishing.  Joe had a nearby location we could fish for an hour.


Bauer-reelsThis trip will be mostly streamer fishing so I went with my usual streamer rig – 9’ 6-weight with my Scientific Anglers Sonar Stillwater Clear Camo WF6I.  I used straight 0X Flouro with two flies. My point fly was a size 6 chartreuse and white jig fly and my dropper was a black woolly bugger size 8.


Jeff-CurrierThe weather is wonderful and looks to cooperate all week.  Its in the upper 50°s and tonight there was hardly an ounce of wind.  We took an easy ten minute boat ride to an area where a river flows in.  It was a pretty spot as the sun got low.  I took it all in as I launched long casts towards the shore.


It wasn’t until I made a cast directly into the outflow of the river that I first went tight.  I missed this fish but two casts later got him.  It was about a 16” coaster and he showed his strength.  Jerry actually recommends 7- and 8-weights to his guests so this fish was a handful on my 6-weight.  Nonetheless Joe got the net under and we snapped a few pics before letting him go.


CanadaWe returned for dinner shortly after.  Gary does all the lodge work himself including the cooking.  Dinner was great and then we kicked back and enjoyed a drink.  Now it’s off to bed.  We should have a great week ahead.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tad




  2. Howie

    That sounds awesome!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!