Where Nature Touches the Heart

Saskatchewan’s 100,000 lakes and rivers offer visiting anglers nearly 60,000 sq. km of fishing heaven. These water bodies cover almost ten per cent of the province’s land mass with the majority tucked into a vast boreal forest that blankets the province’s beautiful and sparsely populated north.

Look at the upper half of Saskatchewan’s provincial highway map and you will see dabs of blue everywhere. The biggest dab of blue is giant Lake Athabasca crossing the provincial border in the northwestern corner. Covering an area of almost 8,000 sq. km and with over 2,000 km of shoreline, this giant water body is the eighth largest lake in Canada.

Not far behind in area and with an even longer shoreline to explore is Reindeer Lake, which straddles the province’s eastern border. It is Canada’s ninth largest inland water body. While not a particularly deep lake, overall, Deep Bay, on Reindeer’s southern tip, plunges to a depth of 220 m (720 ft.), surely well beyond where even a lake trout will venture. Millions of years ago, a large meteorite impact created the circular depression here.  

Peaceful Northern Canadian Wilderness

Other big lakes with big reputations include Wollaston, Cree, Hatchet, Tazin, Scott, and Lac la Ronge. The immense and majestic Churchill River, which stretches from its headwaters at Peter Pond and Churchill lakes all the way across Saskatchewan on its eastward quest to reach the ocean at Hudson Bay, connects a string of island-filled lakes with short stretches of powerful rapids. These waters and thousands of other lakes and rivers, big and small, give Saskatchewan its reputation as an exceptional freshwater fishing destination.

While all the walleye, northern pike, lake trout and Arctic grayling that can be caught up here are the prime draw, anglers who have visited northern Saskatchewan know the experience isn’t only about the fishing. Yes, there are the big fish stories, but being in the middle of the Canadian wilderness can have a bigger impact on your spirit. Being up north is calming and peaceful and soothing to the soul. Here, nature touches the heart. Out on the water, the peace and quiet is almost overwhelming.

This is Canadian Shield country, where cool and clear lakes, trapped in the undulations of billion-year-old rock, and regal rivers –  sometimes calm and lazy and sometimes wild and raging as they flow downward over top of rock ledges and broken-up boulders – call out to anglers. 

In the rocky north, nature’s beauty shows up as the morning call of a loon, the roar of a water fall, the silence of a calm bay, a bald eagle circling above, a moose standing tall along the shoreline, bear tracks on a beach, magical northern lights and brilliant night skies.  

Southern Saskatchewan Fishing Experiences

In the south’s vast prairie landscape, wheat fields are far more prominent than lakes. This doesn’t mean you should overlook fishing waters, here. Reservoirs along the North and South Saskatchewan Rivers, and a chain of lakes in Saskatchewan’s beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley offer great fishing for walleye, northern pike, rainbow trout and other species. Tobin Lake holds the provincial walleye record and can produce big pike. A world-record rainbow trout was caught on Lake Diefenbaker. The Boundary Dam Reservoir, whose water is warmed up as it cools the Shand Power Plant, supports a largemouth bass fishery. Spring fed creeks in the pine-covered Cypress Hills can be fly-fished for brown, brook and rainbow trout.  Many other easy-to-access gems await anglers.

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