20 years experience

Fishing The
Beaver River

Georgian Bays Top Trout and Steelhead River

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Fishing the Beaver River

The Beaver River is one awesome river that flows into Georgian Bay in the town of Thornbury Ontario. At times it can be one of the busiest steelhead rivers. There is a few dams along the river that the steelhead are able to pass. Steelhead can make it all the way to Hogs Falls which is up river of the little town called Kimberly.

The entire river can hold brown trout early in the spring but the river may warm up to much near the mouth during the summer so the brown trout will move further up the river. Big brown trout, lots of brook trout, a few resident rainbows, plus salmon, large runs of steelhead and awesome scenery make this river a fly anglers favorite.

Angler Fishing Up River

But it’s not just for the fly guys, it’s a great river with a float rod or to throw lures with a spinning rod and reel. There is also a canoe route on this river and is used by paddlers during the warmer months.

There is a large section of the middle portion of the river between Kimberly and Heathcote that is very slow, flat, and almost swamp like water that meanders through the forest and doesn’t get fished much.

Much of the river is private property which allows the fish to do well with little pressure from anglers with the exception of the lower river near the town of Thornbury.

Some of the brown trout and brook trout sections are very technical with lots of wood and forest cover to contend with. The big browns in this are area are all wild fish and can be very finicky, but for the persistent and skilled angler the rewards can be worth it. The hatches along these river can be very thick and almost daily during May and June. I’ve seen aquatic insects on this river I don’t see anywhere else.

The big brown trout along this river are some of the most difficult to catch and some anglers say they only feed at night which I don’t believe is true. It’s not uncommon for anglers to tell me they can go weeks or even all year without catching a large brown trout.  I have been teaching anglers the required methods for getting the big ones on the line in this river and with the proper presentation you can catch these big brown trout during the day.

Fishing on the Beaver River
The Beaver river in Ontario

Some of the brown trout and brook trout sections are very technical with very clear water, lots of wood and forest cover to contend with.

The big browns and the brook trout are are wild fish and the steelhead and salmon naturally reproduce in this river. For the persistent and skilled angler that gets to know this river and all it’s fish the rewards can be worth it.

The hatches along the river can be very thick and almost daily during May and June. I’ve seen aquatic insects on this river that I don’t see anywhere else.

The big brown trout along this river are some of the most difficult to catch and some anglers say they only feed at night which I don’t believe is true. It’s not uncommon for anglers to tell me they can go weeks or even all year without catching a large brown trout. 

I have been teaching anglers the required methods for getting the big ones on the line in this river and with the proper presentation you can catch these big brown trout during the day.

There are good numbers of brook trout in the upper sections and in some of the tributaries. These sections are usually small, tight and heavily forested but can be a lot of fun.

Steelheading in the lower sections can be some of the best steelhead fishing in the area at the right time and this lower section is good to fish with a fly rod, a float rod or spinning reel. Up to 30 Steelhead a day on a fly rod is possible when the runs are at their peak but it can also be very crowded during these times.

The Beaver River
The Beaver River

The mouth of the river has an extended fall sections up to the damn. With only this very small section of the river open after September 31st it can be very crowded at times. Two of the dams are in the lower 5 kilometers of river and are large 30 feet or higher and both have fish ladders which can be an attraction for tourists. Check the fishing regulations for more details on the extended season and regular seasons rules.

The scenery through much of this area is beautiful but the section near the town of Kimberly in the beaver valley is the nicest. Mush of this section is private property so please respect land owners.

Many locals say the fishing is not as good as it was 30 years ago and I would have to agree with them. Likely a combination of environmental changes, and fishing pressure is taking it’s toll on the river and it’s fish species.

As with most Ontario rivers, this is not a catch a release river and as long as anglers continue to keep fish this river will never hit it’s full potential again, therefore I recommend practicing catch and release.