Fly Fishing The Saugeen River

Go To: Upper Saugeen River Hatch Chart

Information for fly fishing the Saugeen river in Southern Ontario. The Saugeen river offers a wealth of fly fishing opportunities. Both warm and cold water species exist in this giant watershed. Everything from Musky to Brook trout and everything in between. This is one river in Ontario that you should fish without doubt. There are several campgrounds on the river, and various access points that offer you fly fishing opportunities in many communites on the river.

Few rivers insouthern Ontario are as large and complex as the Saugeen. From its tiny beginnings near Dundalk, Ontario, the Saugeen flows west, fed by several large and small tributaries along its way.

The Saugeen River is located in southern Ontario, Canada, flowing generally north-west about 160km before exiting into Lake Huron. The river is navigable for some distance, and was once an important barge route. Today the river is best known for its Fishing and as an excellent canoe route, one of the longest in southern Ontario..

The river is split in two for most of its length, with the South and North Saugeens both being formed from a number of smaller branches starting south-east of Owen Sound. The two main branches meet about 24km south-east of its exit into Lake Huron, at Southampton.


The tributaries of the Saugeen River include:

  • Rocky Saugeen
  • Beatty Saugeen
  • South Saugeen
  • North Saugeen
  • Teeswater River

During the fall and spring runs of migratory fish seeking spawning areas in the cold, clean upper  sections of the river, Salmon and Trout can be caught from the Truax dam in Walkerton right down  to the mouth of the river at Southampton. A particularly popular spot for fly and spey fishing is the area below Denny’s Dam in Southampton down to the mouth. This area has an extended open season until December 31st.  Additionally, a section of the river further downstream remains open year round.  Refer to the MNR fishing regulations summary for details on extended open seasons.


The upper reaches are your typical cold water fishery supporting brook and brown trout with some branches seeing seasonally stocked rainbow trout in the mix as well. Access is very limited on the upper reaches of the Saugeen, as with many other southern Ontario headwaters streams.  If you do find access, be sure to leave no trace of your presence behind, and if you find evidence of careless visitors, please pack it out with you to keep the river as fresh and clean as it should be.

Accessing the River

and access points on this river include:

  • Durham
  • Hanover
  • Mount Forest
  • Southampton
  • Walkerton

It is also recommended that you contact the Saugeen Valley Conservation Area to find more information about other access points along the river.

The main branch of the Saugeen from Durham to Southampton provides excellent fly fishing for both warm and cold water species.  Species include Small Mouth & Large Mouth Bass, Pike, Musky, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, & Carp.

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