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I am going to have off of work the last week of July and would like to fish for lake run trout or salmon with my spey rod. I'm thinking the St. Mary's may be the ticket? I have never been there and don't have the extra dough for a guide so this is going to have to be a do it yourself trip. Is this the time of year when the Atlantics are in?Any info on public access, safe places for wading, flies to tie, cheap camping or motels, flyshops, etc. is greatly appreciated. If I can get out on some new water and swing some flies on my spey rod I will be a happy. A fish or two would be a bonus. Please post or email me if you have any advice to offer. Thanks!

Brian
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Brian

Fish the Canadian side, cross from the parking area to the small island and then cross the next water (no small task - use a staff) to the cement berm, and fish off the berm. Watch out for the water depths, as it is so clear it will fool you. Ten feet will look like 18 inches. It is awesome, even fearsome water, but then it is emptying Lake Superior. The fish are in obvious holding lies, behind rocks, etc, and can often be sight fished.

I have fished Atlantics beginning in August and had good sport, with the same flies I use for them in Ireland, but single hooks. Unlike most Pacific salmon in the Great Lakes, they will move quite a distance in the water column to take a swung fly. You should have some Chinnooks and maybe some steelheads staging there as well. And lake-run browns.

You can get a conservation license from the province which permits no keeping of fish and is less expensive than for keeping.

I'd advise a long-handled net.

Good luck and wade safely.
 

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St Mary's Rapids

I fished there in July for 6 years in a row ... sometimes with a guide … sometime by myself. I was not lucky enough to hook, let alone catch an Atlantic Salmon. I did see a couple, but they never move to any fly.

The best way to get to the wall is to follow the nature trail from the Canadian lock to the foot of the auto bridge … there are some big rocks in the river … stay up stream of them … wade slowly … watch someone else go across first … copy their path.

I will tell you, even when the water is wadeable on far side of the wall, it is the toughest, most dangerous wading you will ever do. The water is deep, fast, clear and cold. The rocks are covered in the slipperiest slim I have ever seen. The rocks are uneven and unstable. If you fall there is no recovery ... there are holes below you that could swallow a bus. I started to wear a inflatable CO2 wading belt for safety.

May your luck be better than mine.
 
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