Fur, Feathers, Hackles and Trophies

Harold Written by 

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Fur, Feathers, Hackles and Trophies Featured

Until recently, one of the most overlooked and misunderstood ways of catching Great Bear Lake’s legendary, monster Lake Trout was fly fishing.

For the majority of Great Bear’s heavy metal/flatfish fraternity, the only way to tame these monster Grey’s is to use a direct, no nonsense approach with tackle to match.

To do otherwise was to court certain disaster. 

Anyone seen heading out with a fly rod in hand – unless they were planning to fish Grayling – was without question a person to be pitied, and would clearly be better off spending their time - and money - on the services of a psychiatrist, rather than a trip to Great Bear.

What these guys needed was analysis - not a fly rod.


Well, funny thing is, these “pitiable” fellows were not only catching a mess of Trout - not just five and six pounders, but legitimate trophies in the twenty and thirty pound range - they were having a great deal of fun doing it!

So why has it taken so long to catch on?

Well for one thing, virtually all of the promotional materials put out by the various lodges that once operated on Bear, advised potential guests that the best way to catch big trout was by using heavy tackle, and lures to match.


Light tackle may have been fine for catching a lunch fish or Grayling, but otherwise the Great Bear angling mantra was:

“Go big or go home!”

And, if you asked past quests and/or guides what kind of gear to use, the answer would invariably be the same.

Then why, you may ask, is the popularity of fly fishing suddenly on the rise?


Spey Rod Silver

  • The lodges – Plummer’s in particular - began to specifically target fly fisherman, and could clearly demonstrate that catching monster Lake Trout was indeed possible on a fly rod.
  • Knowledge about the lake, it’s ecosystem and the habits and proclivities of the fish from a fly fishing perspective has been increasing, thereby resulting in people catching more, and bigger fish.
  • Guides with fly fishing experience, who have the knowledge and skills necessary to put fly fishermen on fish, are now being actively recruited.
  • Big Trout – Char, Grayling, Pike and even Lake Whitefish are more than willing to take a fly, and in some instances, throwing flies has outperformed traditional fishing methods.
  • Word of mouth. Folks like me, who were – and to some extent still are – charter members of the “heavy metal/flatfish” fraternity, tried their hand at fly fishing, caught some very nice fish, and subsequently spread the word over social media, and
  • As Arnold Gingrich - avid fly fisherman and co-founder of Esquire magazine once said:

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up." 

So please stay tuned, because our plans include publishing articles on tactics, tackle and fly patterns, together with plenty of pictures that just may entice you to try your hand at fly fishing when visiting the Bear.

Last modified onWednesday, 08 February 2017 06:22
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  1. Plummers Arctic Lodges
  2. Fly Fishing Esnagami
  3. Hunting in Alberta
  4. Country Home, Golden - BC

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