Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My New Backyard, West Rouge River

  Last I week I posted that I'd started to explore my new neighbourhood with respect to finding fishable water, and my first foray was fairly successful in that I found several underutilized ponds full of carp and who knows what else. This week I decided to expand outward a bit and check out the west branch of the Rouge River. Little did I realize that the river was only two blocks farther than the ponds, but for all the inconvenience it might well have been two extra miles! You see... a brand new subdivision borders on the valley and there's been no time or inclination for the local kids to blaze new trails into the "wilderness". The only access I could find was down the side of a train trestle, sliding uncontrollably over a 100' on loose gravel with my mountain bike fully loaded down with gear. Thankful to be by the river side in one piece, it was obvious I wasn't leaving by that route, but I'd worry about that later...I was standing beside a new river!
West Rouge River, north
West Rouge River, south
  I had a few decisions to make as I stepped into the cool clear water; up or downstream and better yet, what fly to use as I'm unsure what's residing in this little stretch of aquatic paradise. Choosing a weighted olive bugger as a good multi species fly and working my way upstream (north) because it looked more interesting, I immediately found a good sized brown trout holding behind a boulder in the first fast run. Several drifts with the bugger went completely unnoticed so I changed to a hare's ear nymph. Again... no interest. Several more changes and a couple dozen drifts and it's time to move on.

  I worked my way up through several more runs and pools without seeing any more fish and only getting the occasional tap tapping of creek chub hitting a fly too large to swallow. About a half mile up from my starting point I came to a larger deeper pool and immediately had some action. From the way the fish was "bulldogging", fighting to stay near the bottom, I was certain it was a small bass, and after a brief fight I retrieved:

  OK...not what I was hoping for...but a fish all the same. Resigned to the fact that this was about as good as it was going to get, I decided to head back to my bike and consider how I was going to get out of the valley, after all it was getting on in the day and I still had to work a shift at midnight.

  It turned out that there was a game trail just a few yards from where I'd stashed my wheels. Although not an ideal route, it was far better than risking life and limb on the gravel slope of the trestle. It took 20 minutes to haul my ass out of there, planting my feet, pushing the bike to arms length and applying both brakes for traction so I could move up two steps. It was the equivalent of bench pressing the bike and all the equipment 200 times and in the end...TOTALLY WORTH IT!

  I didn't have any great expectations for the day... it was an exploratory outing. I saw a fish. I caught a fish. What I haven't mentioned so far is that this river has a massive salmon run in the fall and a fair run of browns and steel, and if the lack of access and trails is any indicator, I might just have those fish all to myself!
My new backyard is starting to look awesome!


  1. trout and salmon? now your talking my language

  2. From the pictures I'd say you won't have much competition. Nice to have something that nice, that close.


  3. Man O Man how good is your back yard, Just love to fish for Trout but its been a while, And the Butterfly is one of the nicest ive ever seen,

  4. now that's a good looking back yard...I can't imagine you'll be having any fun...ha!

  5. Awesome, like talking to the mirror.

  6. John
    Really glad you made a comment on my post about Boogle Poppers otherwise I would have not found your blog. I am joining up with your group because your posts is what I look for when I am bloging. Also where you live makes me wish I could fish in that area and probably the closet I will ever come to Toronto is your post. Great pics and awesome stream you was fishing.

  7. That looks a lovely bit of flowing water to wet a line in John,you're very lucky.

    Some lovely pictures as well,I can tell that I am going to enjoy reading through your blog a lot.

    kind regards and tight lines


  8. Just wait till the fall. The salmon are fun, but the brown trout and steelhead fishing is even better. Browns are usually in thick by Halloween, and the steelhead get better by the week till it finally freezes over.

    Many moons ago I lived fairly close to the west Rouge, and fished it often. It's a wonderful river, and you're lucky to have it so close by.

  9. Just fished that very spot today (I'll keep it a secret, no worries). Bit of a pain to get down the hill but there are some nice residential browns! All in all a great day of fishing.