Anglers know deep down that we can’t spend every waking moment on the water. That’s where this year’s roundup of hot spots comes in. These 31 great fishing destinations also offer fun, quirky and downright cool attractions, activities and events guaranteed to enhance your fishing trip. Think of it as a value-added action guide to angling—and playing—across this great land.
For the full list of getaways, see Canada’s Hip Hot Spots.
Exclusive fishing & head-banging rock
One of North America’s largest private fish and game reserves, Kenauk Nature (above) has more than 60 lakes to explore in over 26,000 hectares of wilderness. Expect to find brook, lake and rainbow trout, large and smallmouth bass and northern pike in the many stocked lakes, fly-only waters and lakes reserved for catch-and-release fishing. The facility even has its own on-site biologists to ensure the conservation of its resources. Once you’ve had your fill of the great fishing and luxurious accommodations, you can flip the switch and go bang your head at Canada’s largest rock festival, Amnesia Rockfest (below). Just 15 minutes south of Kenauk, the June festival features some of the world’s hardest-rocking bands, including last year’s Korn, Lamb of God and Blink 182. At press time, German goth metal heavyweight Rammstein and California punk rockers The Offspring were confirmed for 2017. Rock on!
ST. LAWRENCE RIVER
Montreal sportfish & comedic relief
Talk about an awesome multi-species fishery. Known for its smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing, both in terms of sizes and numbers, the St. Lawrence River (above) is also home to big carp, channel cats, lake sturgeon, muskies, pike and walleye. Now imagine fighting these sportfish in the currents of the mighty river within view of the Montreal skyline. Self-confessed fishing addict Phil Lumbroso is a good source for local angling intell, especially when it comes to shore fishing, and he can arrange for guides through his website (below). For some laughs off the water, meanwhile, time your fishing trip between July 14 and 30 to take in Montreal’s 35th annual Just for Laughs (below) comedy festival, which features some of the funniest people on the planet. Last year, for example, comedic standouts Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Lewis Black, Sarah Silverman, Hannibal Buress and more kept the crowds in stitches.
Brook trout fishing & marquee music
It may be the world’s largest forestry research centre, but the 412-square-kilometre Montmorency Forest (above) also features five waterbodies where anglers can target resident and stocked brook trout. Visitors can choose from a variety of fishing packages, which include access fees, the use of a boat and life jackets. Lodgings and meals are also available, and there are fly-fishing courses for beginners. For some post-fishing fun, head an hour south to Quebec City, where you can take in the Summer Festival (below) from July 6 to 17. Held on the Plains of Abraham, the music festival features an eclectic mix of music, ranging from hip hop to rock to classical, with some 300 performances on 10 stages over the 11 days. While the lineup wasn’t confirmed at press time, some of last year’s marquee artists included Sting, Peter Gabriel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cult, Ice Cube and The Lumineers.