Brook Trout of the Tiaga

Exploring The Asheweig River by Mike Borger

For most, Ontario’s Asheweig River is an enigma. Little known and fished even less it’s truly one of the provinces hidden gems. A massive tributary of the legendary Winisk the Asheweig flows in a northeasterly direction through countless kilometres of unbroken forest before finally spilling into the big river. The landscape is dominated by large glacially carved lakes, an area that’s almost more water than land. The upper half of the river being a cartographers nightmare with chaotic jumbles of violent current separated by a myriad of vast windswept bodies of water. It’s a cold water river and its rushing tannin stained waters teem with overgrown wild brook trout. In the slacker water areas walleye and pike live to a ripe old age without ever seeing a lure. From an anglers perspective it’s paradise. In stark contrast to other brook trout rivers like the Sutton, the Asheweig flows through classic shield country. It’s a wild river with a steep gradient and churning waters and its river bred trout have adapted perfectly. Thick and muscular with dark backs and flaming orange bellies they are the symbol of this rugged landscape. It’s primitive country, untouched by man, untamed and beautiful.

 

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