Behind the Scenes: Hidden River Lodge

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This blog takes you into the Algoma region of Ontario to a place called Hidden River Lodge near Hawk Junction, on Whitefish Lake. The location is perfect, it’s nestled in the area of Missinaibi, Dog, and Wabatongushi lakes… right in the heart of Walleye country and perfect for a Fish’n Canada TV episode. We have actually shot here before (Wabatongushi) and fished without shooting a show (Missinabi).

With the addition of an adjoined lake (accessed through a small channel in an old flooded dam) called Manitowik Lake to the north, the acreage of fishable water is incredible.

For some reason, I was nervous when prepping for this trip. I didn’t have Ang by my side nor any other co-host. I realized I’ve filmed many FNC episodes before, however, since we haven’t been all that active through Covid, I felt a bit rusty.

After talking to lodge owner Matt Risko though… he built my confidence (Matt is an extremely knowledgeable angler).

The target species were Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, and Brook Trout. Although there are no Brookies (at least what we know of) in Whitefish Lake, there are a bunch of smaller local lakes that Hidden River Lodge has access to (the Algoma region is famous for small Brook Trout lakes)

THE FISHING

Smallmouth:

For the Smallies, I travelled to the extreme top end of the pair of lakes (what a gorgeous boat ride I must say). Once I got there, I fished two areas, both with incoming rivers or streams.

A chunky Smallie that was sitting in a perfect current area of an Algoma river mouth.

I sat the Princecraft in both mouths of the fast-running water (pretty much a no-brainer for a shot at some fish). With crankbaits, Ned rigs, etc. in hand, I proceeded to whack em’ pretty darned good. I even dropped downstream on the main river mouth and popped a few Walleye that were schooled up no more than 50 feet from the Smallmouth. SUPER FUN!

This little Yo-Zuri crankbait (3DB 1.5MR) is quickly becoming one of my favourites for a bunch of species, including the Smallmouth on this trip

Walleye:

Although I already fluked into those river mouth Walleye, my main pattern was to find some on Slip Bobbers. I love using these for any species but especially for Walleye (I’ll explain more when the full web article comes out). My absolute best location was a narrowed-down area of the lake, as well as a small area of boulders along the shoreline in that set of narrows. I instantly found a nice school of Walleye hiding among the rocks with my LiveScope unit. The technology is scary good!

The circled area of our EchoMap screen shows the group of Walleye that I was casting my slip bobber to

Brook Trout:

My final species were Brookies. I only had a few hours to try and put something together but it still worked out for a couple of fish for the episode. We trucked in a small Mercury outboard into a back-lake, hiked down a short trail, loaded up the boat, and started covering water. Trolling a small Cleo spoon was the deal. 

I truly believe this was one of those trout-following-lures days and they needed lots of time to be convinced to eat. I also believe this was a spoon type of day where the fish wanted that slow undulating wobble that only a spoon can produce. They were that finicky!

Cover lots of water and catch the trout.

Here is a typical trolling Brook Trout from the Algoma Region of Ontario

CONCLUSION

With all my worrying now in the past, this shoot ended up a success. From catching a bevy of Smallies and Walleye in a couple of gorgeous waterfalls settings, to cherry-picking Walleye hidden in rocky structures with a slip bobber rig, and finally to trolling for feisty Algoma Brookies – it was a great, all-round fishing adventure. No giants, but just a ton of fish!

This is one of those fishing destinations that is easy on the wallet and has multiple fishing opportunities to keep everyone happy.

Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

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