The Niagara River feeds the famous Niagara Falls. The Niagara River flows between two countries, Canada and the United States, and is home to a healthy steelhead trout fishery. Steelhead are known for putting up a tremendous fight, making them a popular sport fish with anglers. The Canadian side of the river offers choice steelhead fishing. If entering Canada from the states, be sure to bring your passport as new laws now require them for travel between the two countries. In addition, you will need to have a valid Ontario fishing license prior to casting a line into the river.
They say timing is everything, and fishing is no different. Steelhead fishing is at its best on the Niagara in the fall and winter, according to locals and The Fish Aquarium. There is a winter Steelhead Tournament held on the river each year. Due to the extreme nature of the weather during this time of the year, be sure to wear submersion suits if fishing from boats. Be prepared for extreme weather changes and ice floes.
According to the author of "Fishing the Niagra River," concentrate on fishing the lower river for steelhead. There is a public boat launch in Queenston, and fishing from the shore near the launch is permitted. The Lower Niagara River is part of Ontario's Zone 20 which is downstream from the falls to Lake Ontario. Fish this section of the river during the winter for prime steelhead strikes. Many steelhead stay close to the river's edge where there is vegetation that produces oxygen.
What to Use
Outdoor Canada Sport Magazine's A.J. Somerset recommends using a heavy rig with a level-wind reel to float fish for the species. Use a four-inch long, bright pink plastic worm for bait. Bottom bait and cast fishermen should use heavier rigs than usual to get the bait or lures down to the fish. Use a small sinker on a thin wire leader.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.