Top 5 Reasons to go Fishing in Sunset Country

Big fish, spectacular scenery, it's all here
Gerry Cariou
By Gerry Cariou

Gerry Cariou is the Executive Director of Ontario's Sunset Country.

Last Updated: May 29, 2023

Do you even need a reason?

Sunset Country is certainly well-known within the fishing community and for good reason. For almost 100 years, people have been traveling hundreds, and for some thousands, of miles to get here just so they can experience our freshwater fishing. When you travel that far to go fishing, the quality of the experience needs to be top-notch and in that regard, Sunset Country always delivers.

What makes people pack up all their fishing gear and hop in a vehicle with their friends or family and drive across several states or provinces just to fish here? Well, that's a good question. That aside, after talking to people over the phone about their trips for the past 20+ years, these are the top five reasons "why" that we hear from people, often from very excited people, who can't wait to get here.

Fresh walleye shore lunch - courtesy Timber Edge camps

Enjoy freshly caught walleye for your shore lunch

Reason 1: Getting Away From It All

More often than not, the fundamental reason so many anglers travel here is to get away from it all. To them, Sunset Country is "God's Country" where things are the way they were before people were around, and the fact that people are still not around today is the thing that really makes all the difference to them. We offer you a true wilderness experience and there are no crowds on the water in Sunset Country!

No crowds on the water in Ontario's Sunset Country

Open spaces, vast waters to fish, and no people!

Reason 2: Big Fish

This making the list will come as no surprise to most people reading this article. Long-known as a trophy fish destination, Sunset Country gives every angler, old and young, the opportunity for that "fish of a lifetime". Be it trophy muskie, pike or lake trout, walleye over 10 pounds, or a 6-pound smallmouth, your chances of landing the big one are good to excellent. In some cases, you may even catch two fish of a lifetime while visiting, it's certainly possible! It's also a big reason people visit here year after year.

Mike Hehner with a trophy northern pike

Trophy pike can be found in many lakes across Sunset Country

Reason 3: The Scenery

Many of the people we speak to each year tell us that the scenery, in addition to the quality of the fishing, is a big reason they visit Sunset Country. If you want to visit a place that still pretty much looks like it looked before European settlers came to North America, then Sunset Country is one of those places. Covering 60,000 square miles and dotted with 70,000 lakes, rivers, and streams, not much changes up here from year to year. There are more lakes than people in Sunset Country and the Boreal forest is home to many animal and bird species you won't see anywhere else, at least, not in the numbers you see here. Jagged granite outcrops are the dominant feature and the sunsets over the lakes are jaw-dropping.

Manitou Weather Station Fish Lodge on Lower Manitou Lake

What a view! Image courtesy of Lindner Media

Reason 4: Having a Lake All to Yourself

We are not kidding when we say you can rent your own lake for a week in Ontario's Sunset Country. When you do a fly-in trip to a remote outpost that is the only development on the lake you're the only people there. Flying into your outpost is part of the excitement of one of these trips but once you arrive and get out in the boat for the first time, the feeling that you can go anywhere on the lake you are fishing and never see anyone else for the time you are there is truly a feeling unlike any other you'll have experienced before.  It's definitely one of those trips any serious angler should have on the bucket list. If you don't want to be all alone, you can stay at a remote resort that is the only resort on that lake

Stay at a remote outpost cabin while fishing in Ontario

Reason 5: Maintaining a Family Tradition

Listing this as one of the top 5 reasons people visit may be a surprise to many of you but to others, not so much. We often have a long conversation with an individual, usually an older individual, who organizes a trip to maintain a strong family fishing tradition of an annual trip to Canada. Americans, more than almost anybody, love fishing and to many, there is no place like Canada to do it. They tell us how they first visited with their grandfather or father and now, they want to ensure their children or grandchildren get to experience the same magic they did when they were a kid. Many an outfitter in Sunset Country can boast of having family groups that have visited their lodge for generations. It really is a tradition and is one of the reasons we often hear when we ask why people come here to fish. 

Bring your kids on a fishing trip to Canada

Maintaining family traditions with the annual trip to Canada's Sunset Country

Not an all-inclusive list

Without a doubt, there are many other reasons people have for choosing a fishing vacation in Sunset Country, these are just the ones we hear the most often at the office. Whatever your reasons are, we thank you for choosing Sunset Country as your vacation destination and we sincerely hope you have a wonderful time while you're here.

Trip Planning Resources

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Everything you need to know about visiting Canada

Current restrictions on what you can bring into Canada

Highway and road updates


Don't forget about the incredible sunsets you can see while in your boat!