Guiding in Southern Ontario

     Instead of branding our own guiding program we work as a referral service connecting our customers with established guides across Southern Ontario and let them do what they do best.  Here at Drift we recognize the value of having a group of guides and instructors we can rely on for quality instruction and time on the water.  The founder of our company was a guide on the waters of Southern Ontario and recognizes the merits,

quality and integrity of professional, full-time guides. 

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Matt Martin - Smooth River Guiding Company

www.smoothriver.ca

Instagram: @smooth.river.guiding

Matt Martin has been an avid fly angler and "river resident" for over 20 years. He grew up in central Ontario where he had access to countless lakes, and  many amazing trout and Steelhead rivers. Over the years he has been fortunate enough to put in some serious time to perfect his angling, and more importantly, his teaching skills.

Matt starts his guiding season in March chasing steelhead on the open sections of some of our larger river systems. You will spend the day learning everything from local history, how to read a river, casting and fishing techniques, as well as what to do once you hook up! Matt strongly focuses on the education component. He is happy to instruct all types of fly fishing for these silver rockets. From nymphing to swinging, Matt will take you through all the steps needed to help you become a more skilled angler, and more importantly, the reasons why. 

 

Once May rolls around, and our resident trout streams open back up, Matt will be found chasing Ontario's beautiful brown, brook and resident rainbows. Want to learn all about european nymphing? This is the time of year to do it! You will spend the day walking up some of Southern Ontario's most beautiful cold water streams, chasing some of our most beautiful fish. While you nymph your way upstream, Matt will carry another rod rigged up and ready to go with a dry fly, this makes for an easy transition for when the bugs start hatching and the trout are looking up! On the way back down to the cars, we will rig up a streamer and hit all the log jams and deep dark pools, this is a good way to see, and hook some absolute monster fish!

 

Do you love sight fishing? How about for big fish? As sad as it is, eventually we all need to lay off the trout streams. As the summer approaches and the water temps increase, Matt transitions to guiding the flats on Georgian bay. Where you will stalk one of the fastest growing fly target species around, carp! These fish get huge, they are picky and hard to catch, but the patience is worth it, you will likely see your backing multiple times with each fish hooked! Matt will take you to the warm, clear shallow water locations where these fish love to feed. We will spend time ensuring your cast is accurate, you don't need to cast far, but accuracy is key. We will then hit the water! Matt will share all the secrets needed to find, approach and hook these fish, then all you need to do is hold on and cross your fingers the hook stays firmly in place. While we are wading looking for carp, Matt will carry a second rod rigged up with a streamer as there will be shots at pike, smallmouth, freshwater drum and lots of longnose gar. Are you a saltwater angler looking to scratch that itch during these covid times? This has many similarities to fishing for bones or redfish. And speaking from his experience, is as every bit exciting!

Ian Troup - Into the Backing

www.intothebacking.com

Ian has been a fly fishing guide and professional instructor for close to 20 years with a passion for education. Ian's top priority is improving your fly fishing skills to have more fun on the water.  Ian is one of the first and only to offer guiding & instruction on stillwater (lake) angling and European techniques, with unmatched expertise on UK lake techniques including loch style, new approaches to fishing streamers and wet flies with mastery in European dry fly and nymphing. 

A firm believer that you never stop learning, Ian spends his free time improving on the latest and most innovative techniques to pass along to clients. Ian fishes regularly with the best anglers across the globe, including multiple World and National Champions and guiding mentorship from the late Ian Colin James. 

Ian has a passion for competitive angling and coached the first and only all women team to compete in the Canadian National Championships. Ian is the former Canadian National Vice champion and current member of Team Canada, having the honour to represent Canada internationally, including Team Canada’s first ever Gold Medal performance at the 2016 Commonwealth championships with Silver the following year, most recently competing at the World Fly Fishing championships in Tasmania. 

Ian was certified as a FFF Fly Casting instructor in 2008 by renowned casting expert Bruce Richards. Ian's guides on his home waters of the Grand, Maitland, Bayfield and Saugeen rivers for steelhead, resident trout and smallmouth bass with access to private trout lakes .

Graham Bristow, A Perfect Drift Guiding Company www.aperfectdrift.com

Instagram: @ontarioriverguide

For lessons, clinics and special events hosted and taught by Graham Bristow please check out his site or on our Education & Events page.

Graham is one of Ontario's top full time independent river fishing guides who teaches and guides over 200 days a year. In the last 15 years as a professional guide Graham has had the opportunity to guide and teach over 2000 anglers!

Living and guiding in what may be considered the best fly fishing area in all of Southern Ontario, Graham offers guided trips for trout, steelhead, salmon, bass, musky, and pike on 13 rivers in his area.

Graham is the first and only guide in Ontario who is an expert at modern fly fishing methods, traditional fly fishing methods, and is currently the top centerpin fishing guide and instructor in Ontario. Graham is also known as an easy going, friendly and patient guide that loves working with beginner and advanced anglers.

Always striving to bring his clients the best experience and education possible, Graham has fished and trained with other expert anglers, top fishing guides, a USA national fly fishing coach, as well as numerous TV fishing show hosts, fishing authors, and has fished with magazine owners and writers from all around the great lakes region. Graham's has been featured on numerous fly fishing shows and he has been featured in fishing books, fishing magazines and has been a presenter at many local fishing clubs.

Also an accomplished and innovative fly tier, Graham uses mostly custom tied flies for guiding which catch many, many trophy fish for his clients. His custom flies are being used with great success by many Ontario anglers.

Due to his expert skills and professionalism Graham is a recommended guide at numerous fishing stores across Ontario.


 

Tyler Dunsmore & Adam Pett, Fly Water Guiding www.flywaterguiding.com

Fly fishing is more than a job or a sport to Tyler, it is a passion.  His love (obsession) for it comes through in all the little touches that makes his guiding the finest you will encounter.  Now located on banks of the Middle Grand River, Tyler endeavours to incorporate all the best attributes of the fantastic places he has been privileged to work, to creating the best fly fishing experience possible here in Southern Ontario.

Tyler grew up fishing Southern Ontario rivers since he was five.  Drawing on extensive experience having lived and guided in various Canadian fly fishing hot spots. Tyler has guided on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick for Atlantic Salmon and in British Columbia for Trout including Vancouver Island Steelhead. As well as having lived and guided in Argentina & Chile for the famous Patagonian Trout, and hosted trips to Tierra Del Feugo's for Sea Run Browns.  When not scouting or exploring on the river he spends time sitting on the executive of the Middle Grand Chapter of Trout Unlimited. You will find his drift boat handling skills and experience is sure to provide an unforgettable week of fly fishing.  
 

Adam Pett has been passionate about fishing since he was old enough to stand. He has a true passion for steelhead and trout fishing and continually finds ways to challenge himself and his clients. Spending countless days on Southern Ontario rivers and lakes, Adam is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the pursuit of Steelhead and hunting for rising Trout along with all the questions it will bring. Adams lives next to Whitman’s  Creek and considers the Middle Grand River and its tributaries his home water. He is a devoted conservationist and sits on the Middle Grand River Chapter of Trout Unlimited as a Director at Large. Adam has travelled all over the West Coast and fished for steelhead, cut throat and native bull trout.  Adam has a passion for teaching and developing anglers and looks forward to sharing his passion with others.​​

Jeff Jackson, Algonquin Fly Fishing

algonquinflyfishing.com

Algonquin Fly Fishing is Eastern Ontario's premium guide service. Jeff offers unique, customized and client-centred fly fishing adventures. They are career guides that call the rivers and lakes of the Ottawa Valley and eastern Algonquin Park home, and have a proven history of providing exceptional, distinctive fishing opportunities. 

 

Algonquin Park brook trout from ice out to the first week of June; adventurous backcountry day trips that sell out every year, so book early! 

 

June, July and August is drift boat season chasing smallmouth bass on a range of Ottawa Valley rivers. Ideal for new fly anglers or experts, you'll travel untouched rivers where you won't see another soul. Solo trips or groups, we can put up to four boats on the water so can accommodate hosting your large group functions. Also check out their learn-to sessions, and gift certificates are available for any future date, ideal for Christmas or birthdays!

 

Check them out to see what makes them so special: AlgonquinFlyFishing.com

 

 

Kevin Sullivan Fly Fishing

ksflyfishing.com

Kevin began his career in Colorado, USA over 10 years ago. His passion to teach, guide and entertain clients led him traveling across the States to several prime fly fishing locations. Operating primarily as a float guide; Kevin honed his skills on several of the most competitive & difficult-to-master waterways in the Rockies; the Roaring Fork River, the Colorado and the North Platte Rivers (spanning from Saratoga to the city of Casper, Wyoming). 

Raised in Denver, Colorado by two angling parents; Kevin's outdoors experience spans his whole life. His passion followed him to to Ontario, Canada in 2019 - ultimately leading to the creation of 'Kevin Sullivan Fly Fishing'. Now established as a world-class float guide; it is Kevin's enthusiasm & attentiveness that leaves a lasting impression with clients. Kevin's move to Ontario has opened up the opportunity for Ontario residents (and travelers) to spend a day with a knowledgeable and diverse fly fishing guide