Why the NWT’s Great Slave Lake is heaven for trout anglers

The Other Great Lake

Often overshadowed by Great Bear Lake, the N.W.T.’s Great Slave offers stunning scenery, affordable access and endless lake trout

Scott Gardner
Scott Gardner

The Narrows

East of the lodge, Slave’s McLeod Bay extends for another 130 kilometres, collecting water from an immense drainage area. It all funnels through Taltheilei Narrows, past the lodge en route to the Mackenzie River and eventually the Beaufort Sea. The narrows aren’t exactly a rapids, but there’s a lot of water moving through, swirling around small islands, creating eddies and riffles, and flowing over holes up to 40 feet deep. This concentrates a huge amount of forage that attracts predators ranging from Arctic grayling to lake trout to birds of prey. As a result, Taltheilei Narrows is arguably the best spot on the entire lake—and maybe the world—to consistently land sizable lake trout (top, and note lodge in background!) Lynn and I were within shouting distance of the lodge when we caught both the first and last fish of our trip. But as productive as that spot was, we chose to venture further afield and see more of the East Arm’s stunning landscape, with its towering cliffs and stands of evergreens, in between recently burned-over patches.

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