Fly Fishing Quetico 2023

Fly Fishing Quetico 2023

Last summer my buddies Brent, Brian, and John left for another 10 day trip into Quetico Provincial Park. Each day had it’s highlights as we fly-fished for bass, pike, walleye, and lake trout! It was a great trip that included of our best bass fishing days ever, a new personal best pike, and some crazy lake trout encounters in shallow water. I hope you enjoy Fly Fishing Quetico 2023!

Gear List

This is some of our favorite gear used on our trip! We would not have survived the trip without the NoBugZone Bug shelter and if you are looking to going on a similar trip I could not recommend it enough. The Downeast rod holders are also extremely helpful when trolling for lake trout. Being able to paddle, but still quickly getting to your rod when a lake trout hits is very useful. And as always, my favorite fishing accessory a pair of scissor mitten clamps.

JS-Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Day 1: Packing, Shuttling, Canoeing, and Portaging into Quetico Provincial Park

After packing it Brian’s house the night before and eating a delicious steak, sweet potatoes, and broccoli that Brian had cooked for us, we went home for a few hours of sleep. We all met at my place at 3:45am the next morning and left for our shuttle at Anderson Shuttles. It started pouring rain during our pack. We paddled and portage for six to seven hours, including “goat hill”, which was one of the toughest portages we had ever done. It was a hot and buggy day and we had the heaviest packs of the trip. We were all excited to find the campsite on an island on the north end of the lake was still available. We were all exhausted. Brain made us brats and beans. I went swimming while John and Brian went for an evening troll and caught a lake trout. Brent and I cleaned up at camp, then fished for bass from the shore of our island. We each got a handful of nice smallmouth bass and a largemouth.

Day 2: Nonstop Bass Fly Fishing and a Big Pike! (Grand Slam Day)

We slept in until 8:00am I woke up a few times but I could only hear the hundreds of mosquitoes outside my tent so I went back to bed we got our gear together and I took off late in the morning. Brian and I fished together. I caught a lake trout trolling over to our first portage. We all caught pike and bass. John and I both got 36” pike. Brian and I stayed to catch bass and we’re sledding bass most of the afternoon plus a few more pike. We portaged back around 6pm as soon as we started trolling again I got a nice 22” walleye to finish out my one-day grand slam, then landed a few more lake trout!

Day 3: Doubled Up with Smallmouth on the Fly!

We had coffee and breakfast after waking up around 7:30am and got our stuff together. It was a bass day for both canoes. We all caught around 40 or 50 bass! John and I trolled to the south side of our lake to find the pictographs we were told about. We had missed them the first through but found them on our way back. They were super cool! I got one lake trout but it was really slow we headed back to camp and saw the moon rise it was super bright orange. The mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies were terrible today.

Day 4: Our BEST Day of Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing!

We slept in till 8am today. I fished for bass with Brent today. We each caught 70 smallmouth bass! Plus a rock bass a pike and two nice walleye at the end of the day Brent hooked what we thought was his 70th bass on a Dahlberg but it turned out he caught a walleye he then threw in again and caught a nice 20-inch bass for his 70th fish of the day great weather we had one quick storm blow through we had planned to portage through but the portage had a ton of blowdown in it. Brian and John trolled for tout and boated six lake trout. I took another swim and is in bed by 11:45pm. Another buggy night.

Day 5: Lake Trout on Flies and a BIG smallmouth Bass!

We woke up at 7am and paddled to a neighboring lake to fish for lake trout. Brian and I fished together. I landed a lake trout right off camp then we paddled down to the portage. It was a nice but fairly long portage. We had heard some yelling then, heard over the radio that Brent broke his new fly rod on a lake trout they had hooked right away after the portage. We only caught one nice lake trout then headed back to our main lake. I hooked another one briefly, and then I had one scream drag that I had snagged. We went back to camp to grab bass rods. Brian caught 8 to 10 bass just east of our camp including a 21.5” bass on one of my Dahlbergs!

Day 6: BIG Lake Trout Right By Our Campsite!

We got up at 7am. Slow drip water filter made for a longer wait for coffee. Brian and I fished together again today we planned on checking out a new lake. We trolled there right from camp and I got a lake trout right off the campsite! Then I jigged up a late trout by The Reef after calling out that “I was going to jig one up”, then WHAM! We had stopped on the reef and cast it in the morning for lake trout but there was some busting bait close by we caught some smallmouth I lost a really big one casting Brian’s rod..

Day 7: It’s a LAKE TROUT! Surprise While Casting for Pike.

Travel day today. We woke up at 7am, packed up camp and left around 11am. We pulled up through a river and did three portages to get into the next lake, then a few more tough portages into our destination lake. We got the campsite that we wanted, set up camp, ate dinner, and went fishing. Brent and I started bass fishing. we caught a bunch of smaller smallmouth and largemouth we started to cast for pike by the portage within 5 minutes I got hit after fighting fish for a while we realized that it was a lake trout a 28” Laker that hit my triple articulated fly and a few feet of water I took a break and paddled Brent and then I slap my fly next to the canoe in another lake trout swam up and I watched it eat my fly such a cool fish! What a great day!

Day 8: My BIGGEST Fish on a Fly! Wouldn’t fit in the net

John and I ended up staying at our lake all day and within 15 minutes of fishing I hooked and landed a 39” pike! My new personal best pike. I had caught it on a green and white imposter fly. Then we paddled around to the west side of the north bay and while we were casting I saw a big pike swim under the canoe we turned and cast towards it I let my fly sink and after one strip it was on. After a long fight, I was able to finally get my hands on it. a 45” monster pike! I had broken my personal best pike twice in one day! John caught a couple 30 in pike we then trolled for Lakers and pike. I caught a 26” and a 28.5” lake trout trolling my big double articulated fly. I caught a few smaller 30” pike and some nice 19” smallmouth and a 17” largemouth we lost a few more lake trout then missed another pike that chased my flight of the surface. It was a beautiful day. Fantastic fishing! 4 pike, 2 lake trout, 3 smallmouth, and 2 largemouth.

Day 9: Big Pike Almost Took My Finger!

Normal Quetico morning. I fished with Brian, while Brent and John went to went searching for lake trout. We trolled and bassed and piked all day. another beautiful day we each caught some average-sized bass on the south side of the lake. We trolled around and caught a couple of lake trout and then went into the north bay for pike. Brian and I each caught a few pike. One of them ripped my finger up good when it thrashed with my hand too deep in its gills. we took a break when the storm blew through then went trolling we got bumped a few times Brian caught a small lake trout and a medium Pike then we trolled into the north bay at the end of the day Brian got hit and pulled in a giant 30” lake trout!

Day 10: Fly Fishing for Walleye! (bass and pike too!)

Travel day again today we woke up at 6:30am, had coffee and breakfast then packed up from our sight. We had three small porches to go through to get into Crooked. We didn’t get the first portage right and got tangled in the brush. After the third portage, John realized he didn’t have his waterproof bag but he went back with Brian to get it. Brent and I started fishing while we were waiting and caught some nice bass! We paddled for a couple of hours and fished a few spots along the way one spot we caught smallmouth bass and a handful of walleye. John caught a mid-30” pike! I caught a dozen bass to walleye and one 30” pike. We made it to our plan-B site on Crooked while John and Brian checked out our primary site, but had burned from a fire the year before. It was a decent campsite on an island. We had a great trip but were all exhausted and ready to get back home.

Watch the Full Playlist on YouTube.

Subscribe on my YouTube Channel to get notified of new videos.

Book a Guided Fly Fishing Trip

js-outdoors is a free resource for all anglers.

Please consinder donating to keep this site ad-free!

Your support is greatly appreciated!