This is one of southern Ontario’s finest steelhead streams. It is relatively small, and rather inviting to just about any angler who enjoys a wilderness getaway in the heart of southern Ontario. Located on Ontario’s “West Coast,” The Bayfield River is a small to medium sized river. It flows from just south of the town of Seaforth, then through Vanastra and Clinton before emptying into Lake Huron at the town of, you guessed it, Bayfield.
Migratory and Resident Fish Populations
The Bayfield River receives a healthy run of migratory Rainbow Trout in the spring and fall, with the majority of them being wild. In the fall, look for Chinook Salmon and Coho Salmon as well. Summer time can provide the fly angler with endless fun for Smallmouth bass, but resident Brook Trout and Brown Trout can be found year round near the mouths of feeder creeks such as Tricks Creek.
Extended Steelhead Season
There is an extended Rainbow and Brown Trout season on the Bayfield River until December 31st all the way upstream to Clinton or Highway 4. Late fall and early winter on this river can be a Steelheaders dream, especially a couple of days after a good rain or snow. The river takes on that emerald green hue that seems to display your fly in the best of lights, and everywhere you would expect a fish to be, they are.
Exploring the Bayfield
Don’t be shy about the walk and wading this river. The further you get from the more popular access points, the better it gets. This is the kind of river that can get you into trouble if you have dinner plans. As you work you way along this stream, the Bayfield River is one succession after another of nice gravel runs, after log jams, after pocket water, after deep pools after, well you get the point. Some nice water to keep anyone interested, provided water levels are decent.
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Ontario’s West Coast
The fact that this river ends at an absolutely beautiful town on Ontario’s west coast is just a bonus. The town of Bayfield is touristy but still quaint. It’s the perfect place to take the family for the weekend. There are nice restaurants, pubs, stores and beaches to keep the whole family occupied while you spend a day getting to know the lovely Bayfield River.