11 Nunavut rivers with awesome Arctic char fishing


If you could only wet a line for one species of fish in your home province or territory, what would it be? That’s the question we asked ourselves at Outdoor Canada when selecting our 2019 Canadian fishing hot spots. For more bucket-list species and hot spots, see our complete list.


Tree River 

Arctic char in Nunavut

Why this is one of Canada’s must-have fishing experiences

As Canada’s northernmost freshwater fish, Arctic char are emblematic of the rugged north country they inhabit, and of Nunavut in particular. They’re so prevalent, and so popular among the Inuit of Canada’s northernmost territory, in fact, that they’re often simply referred to as iqaluk, the Inuktitut word for “fish.”


Eager to take a fly or lure—and exceedingly tasty on the table—Arctic char can be found throughout the myriad coastal rivers of the Nunavut mainland, as well as the territory’s Arctic Archipelago. A circumpolar species, they also inhabit the waters of Iceland, Greenland, Scandanavia, Russia, Alaska and, of course, the rest of Canada’s northern fringe.

Char are anadromous by nature, and in Nunavut they spend their summers in the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay before venturing upriver to spawn and overwinter. There are also landlocked populations in dozens of unnamed lakes, with the fish in Ellesmere Island’s Hazen Lake considered to be near the northern tip of the species’ range.

The people of Nunavut traditionally catch and sun-dry their fill of char along the endless coastlines, but for sport anglers, nothing beats fighting and releasing these feisty fish in rivers. And when you bring one to hand—particularly a male with its hooked kype and fiery regalia of spawn colours—you’ll know instantly why Salvelinus alpinus is worthy of any angler’s must-catch list.


WHEN TO GO: June to October

HOT TACTIC: Dead-drift egg patterns under indicators for late-season fish


LEARN MORE: www.nunavuttourism.com


  1. Armshow River
  2. Clyde River
  3. Coppermine River
  4. Diana River
  5. Ekaluk River
  6. Hood River
  7. Meliadine River
  8. Soper River
  9. Sylvia Grinnell River
  10. Thelon River
  11. Tree River

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