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Anyone have swing experience on the Nipigon River? I am looking at a trip up there next year to check things out. Probably fishing from the shore my first trip and then bring my boat for later trips.
 

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I looked into that once myself and I was told that shore fishing is fairly limited. Please let me know if you hear otherwise. From what I have read some good fish to be found in that river.
 

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Anyone have swing experience on the Nipigon River? I am looking at a trip up there next year to check things out. Probably fishing from the shore my first trip and then bring my boat for later trips.
Having fished the Nipigon for it's wonderful, big brookies as well as other species, I can say that shore fishing opportunities are extremely limited, even when using a two hander. The only really viable spots tend to be below the last dam(n) and then only if it is a low water year (not the past couple of seasons!). The river is deeeeep right off the bank with a deadly flow. Even fishing it from a boat (21 footer with 60hp) gives me the heebie jeebies in spots. There's a tiny bit of swinging water where the highway crosses it low down, but really not much. You really need a boat to access the areas that are the best holding waters below the various dams and in the gorge, and even there's no where that you can even get out to wade and cast unless the water is really really low. Forget about setting an anchor too - you need one guy to run the motor full time while the other fishes. I suggest getting a guide and bringing the single hander (8wt). I would also suggest learning the waters from a guide before going on your own for safety sake, there is no messing about with this river.

I will say that the brookies are huge, I have landed several between 5 and 8lbs. If you want to drool over brook trout, look up Randy Beamish (great guy) who fishes the Nipigon a lot. There are a lot of other smaller (but still good-sized) rivers further east that have various runs of great fish depending on the season and some of them are good waters for a 2 hander.
 

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I looked into that once myself and I was told that shore fishing is fairly limited. Please let me know if you hear otherwise. From what I have read some good fish to be found in that river.
Yes that is my understanding as well. From what I hear the fish are very bank oriented. Sounds like a perfect quarter across and dangle situation to me!

I do have a pacific style dory setup with a 30hp prop as a pseudo power drifter that I think would be perfect for this river. The snag is that I usually fish solo.

My first trip up there I plan to take my KLR and bank fish so I can scout access points and get a handle on the situation.


-Dan
 

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Never fished the river but driven over it a few times in the past. Looks like some gnarly water, Niagara-esque. I'm sure you could find some fish from shore but boats with big motors and safety backup motors would be the way to go. Remember you're a long way from any kind of help up there, be careful!
 

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Yes that is my understanding as well. From what I hear the fish are very bank oriented. Sounds like a perfect quarter across and dangle situation to me!

-Dan
Hi Dan...

I really don't mean to discourage you, but the river is certainly NOT a perfect quarter across and dangle situation.

I think what people are trying to say is that when the water is high (and it is REALLY HIGH at the moment and will continue to be)... there are really no bank fishing opportunities at all. There are no gravel bars or "rocky" shorelines, to walk and fish, but instead huge dangerous claybanks and massive boulders and cliffs, and trees right to the bank where it instantly drops of into a deep dangerous current...with sweepers.

If I could fish the bank anywhere right now, I would have fished it every day after work this week. But since I like to swing flies with my two hander, I go fishing elsewhere. It has been disappointing for us that the river has been so high for the last two years....but we have no control over water levels.

Most of the very few sections that are swingable when the water is down (and it has to be WAY down) are sanctuaries in the spring and fall, and only open for three months in the summer.

Steelhead are only found below the lowest dam at Alexander, which further limits your fishing opportunities. A boat is essential for access as there are no trails along the river (as there is no shore fishing of any significance). Any shore fishing that does take place, will occur only when parts of the river bed are exposed in low water, and in short isolated sections of the river. Where this occurs, you will also be joining the spinning rod crowd who will choose their spot and will not move for you ( as they have never seen such a thing as a two handed rod). Generally even the gear anglers require a boat to fish the river. Even the guide mentioned in the above post (who definitely is great guy) does a lot of trolling with rapalas.

Having said that... if you have a boat, and a partner who knows the river, (and a bit about two handed fishing,) AND if the water is LOW...it is possible to find a few very very short sections of swinging water, and the possibility of a magnificent fish.
Otherwise, I think the suggestion of fishing the river with a singlehander, from the boat (while wearing a lifejacket), with an experienced partner driving the boat, is some pretty good advice.
 

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i tried last spring - found one small 40yd stretch below the dam at a power cable cut, then one other place at a landing at an indian reservation which was about 100yd of rip rap.

nothing at either.

gave up and went to the McKenzie, Wolf and Cypress rivers for coaster brookies and steel.

Rivers Edge Flyshop in TB is your go to place.
 
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